Saturday, February 01, 2003

Gentoo (and gump)

Before leaving this morning I started the "install" of gentoo linux. It is now compiling gcc - I expect it'll take few more day until it's done. I find it amazing - it is a sort of gigantic

gump, building the entire linux distribution from sources.

Looking at .ebuild files - they are remarcably clean. I think the biggest problem in gump is mixing the HTML generation in the build files. I wish I had more time... The other obvious difference is that it builds from "stable" - it seems it can also build from HEAD, but the stable option makes it more than a build tool.

An intersting idea would be generating .ebuild files from gump - or changing gump to use an .ebuild style. By default they have ant and many other apache packages - but tomcat doesn't seem to be included ( yet ). Update: it is included, but only 4.0.x. And the ebuild gets the binary - it doesn't compile.

Being able to build a program gives you the sentiment that it is easy to contribute and make changes and fix things. That's the main reason I like gump - I can make quick changes to various projects - and then get things compiled without the usual headaches. It just works.

Many years ago - I used to build everything. Then I started to get lazy and use binaries - and only now I realize how much I missed it. You can compile SRPMs - but they rely on other binaries or packages, and in many cases is beyond complex ( just try to compile kde3.1 SRPMs from rawhide on redhat8 ). It seems maven and centipede are closer to the srpm model ( which is not completely bad - simple builds will be easier ).

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