Right, so there was a a bit of furor over my last post about overlays.
Let me point out two things:
- Gentoo is not moving in this direction, these are simply my thoughts.
- I just want to get people thinking and discussing (maybe someday some of this will become a series of action items for someone somwhere).
Now, there is a bit of misunderstanding here. The idea that I propose is exactly to remove Gentoo’s “distro” status and restore its “metadistro” status. That does mean that Gentoo becomes a platform for other people to create distros out of. I want to address some of the comments here.
First of all, yes, there would be overlays: mostly they would be unoffical. But a few of them who pass some sort of series of evaluation tests would be considered “official.” When an overlay becomes official, it would be listed in make.conf as something sync’able. By default, all official overlays could become sync’able, and the user would have to opt out of the ones that they don’t want. That’s a detail and it’s unimportant. The important thing is that the package manager (be it portage, paludis, or pkgcore or some other), should be able to handle official overlays transparently.
Additionally, the environment is ripe for tools builders to build tools that can query packages in the official tree, offical overlays and unofficial overlays.
There is a definite challenge in that there might be interdependencies between the overlays. This is an issue that can be resolved, I should think. In fact, a requirement for being an official overlay might be to work those interdependencies out.
Finally, nothing stops someone from coming along and creating their own “unoffical-to-gentoo-but-official-to-themselves” overlay and packaging their own distro. Gentoo’s security team would handle its own security bugs (and those in official overlays). Derivative distros would have to have their own security teams.
And even more finally, I want to reinforce the idea that overlays can be official (and therefore part of the SYNC string, potentially) and unoffical (two guys building an Xgl overlay, for example). So users wouldn’t have to run around trying to find them. In fact, overlays.gentoo.org could serve as a central registry of all possible overlays.
Flame again: Kulleen, out.
Edit: Linked to xgl-coffee and changed the link for pkgcore to the official site