The last few weeks have been quite busy, but interesting nonetheless. Some new things are in the works, but I’ll have wait until a later date to possibly share the details…
State of the meta
What I will discuss is my work on the Gentoo Documentation and Wiki teams. Over the past several months (since April when I officially joined the project) my goal has been to get Gentoo’s documentation up to date. This is the first step in a series of goals mentioned below (keep reading!).
Gentoo is really the king of power-user distributions. It is in the category of “dream-tier operating systems” when it comes to software engineering. I am convinced there is no other distribution that does a better job providing developers what they need in a more effective manner.
With that being said, software engineers must essentially develop a full-blown system administration skill set in order to install, configure, and continually manage Gentoo as their development platform of choice over the course of development time. For those who value rapid development (which is important to the success of many businesses) the triple-edged dagger of installation, configuration, and management is a large turn-off and in many cases not a viable option. Often the power of Gentoo is sacrificed for speed and ease of use of less-flexible, heavier binary distributions. This is an understandable outcome when profitability and dev time are among the many aspects management must consider.
The reason Gentoo does well because hobbyists, who have walked through the Handbook and have developed sys-admin skills, have become well acquainted with the internals of the Linux operating system. They have realized the power available through Gentoo. The large advantage a hobbyist has is the spare time needed to track down issues that may occur on the operating system level. I believe it is likely developers who use Gentoo in the field (how many are out there?) started as hobbyists first, then grew to love their favorite purple disto.
My long term goal of improving documentation is the first step in a series of objectives I created to raise Gentoo to prominence once again. Just like the old saying goes Gentoo turns knowledge into power. The dilemma is obtaining the knowledge in the first place.
Welcome to the Gentoo Wiki - An ever increasing vat of power in a visually pleasing text format.
The goal of the Wiki is to become the best Linux-related resource on the web. This mission is impossible without contributions from the collective brain of the Gentoo community.
Raising Gentoo to Prominence, part 1
With the advent of having a goal for the Wiki and the completion of my long-term goal of moving project documentation, it is time to start another venture: to create a larger user base for Gentoo. This goal will be referred to in future entries as “Raising Gentoo to prominence.”
Here are some ways Gentoo can generate a larger user base momentum:
- Increase ease of use in Gentoo. Is this task impossible? Almost nothing is impossible with Linux given the right kind of attention. With some smart thinkers and and hard work. A few more well written beginner “concept” guides on the Wiki would advance this goal. However an ultimate boost would be an official installer.
- The first point would lead to this point: helping Gentoo become more of a developer friendly distribution. Gentoo is great. Our users know this. How do we communicate this to developer? We welcome them with open arms by obtaining specific goals. Maybe this is a new way of managing Ruby dependencies. Thought should be given in this area.
- Gentoo can be more involved in the community at large. We do a good job being involved in our self-hosted communities, however I think it would be beneficial to be more involved on mediums such as Facebook, Twitter, G+ etc. Meeting this goal requires some dedicated users who can find important/relevant information and share it.
Lets put our efforts together and raise Gentoo to prominence.