(Update: I may continue with Gentoo Studio. Talking with a few good folks on #gentoostudio got me thinking maybe I’ll take a break and get back to it. It seems Gentoo devs are well-known to be not very nice, and that there’s at least one Big Cheese at Gentoo who sympathizes and wants Gentoo Studio to continue. Which is all kinds of nice. But I’ll leave this post up for now, just because sometimes we all need to vent a little.)
Yesterday was not a good day for Gentoo Studio, or for me, personally. To create the Gentoo Studio install tarball, I depend on catalyst. It’s an excellent package for building Gentoo release stages. What’s not so excellent are the people who maintain it. They’re super-smart, but not very nice. I like to ask questions. I’m not afraid to say, “I don’t know.” But these devs aren’t personable. They only talk just enough to point people to man pages, and sometimes brief replies. If it’s not high-level dev talk amongst themselves, they’re just not interested. I think this is not good for Gentoo. It’s not good for people who come in off the street, all excited to build something new and cool based on Gentoo. Please take this hint, Gentoo Foundation. Really. Totally serious here.
Yesterday, I needed to know what the catalyst-9999 replacement for catalyst-3’s portage_overlay was. It literally would have taken them almost no time to say, “repos.” It took them a lot more time and energy to berate me about RTFM and how they’re not going to “spoon feed” me, and about how they’ve been helping me for so long. One of them even had an insensitive, discriminatory comment about my “communication issues.” If you didn’t know already, I’m deaf and I use cochlear implants. You don’t do that. You don’t tell the guy in the wheelchair to stop complaining about the lack of ramps. Or the person with fibro to just exercise more. Come on, man. They can’t see past their own noses. They just don’t care that I’ve put years of work into Gentoo Studio, even spending my own money on server and domain hosting – money I could honestly use for basic things.
So I lost it a bit. Them: “Read the man page.” Me: “I (effin) did, stop being a (d).” It takes a lot to get me to that point. It was building up for a while. It got worse after they brought on a new dev, who, from minute one, was very acidic toward me. No idea why. Weirdly enough, when I finally called him on it, he got better, but the rest of them got even worse.
And then, no effort to take me aside and talk to me like real people, no warning, they kicked me off #releng. And I knew after my head hit the pillow yesterday that it was over. I love Gentoo. I really do. It’s great. But eventually, I’m going to need help because we all do, right? We’re all human. And I’m not going to put up with their crap any more – not to mention they clearly want nothing to do with me for the crime of being inquisitive and social.
So, I’m sorry to say that the Gentoo release engineering team effectively killed Gentoo Studio. There’s a build running as I’m writing this, and I’ll let that finish and I’ll upload the tarball, but that’s it. This domain expires at the end of 2026, and I’m not spending any more of my money on it. I’ll be eventually shutting down #gentoostudio and deleting the Discord server. The Facebook page I’ll leave up, with this post I’m now writing as its final entry.
Gentoo has a lot to offer. But as long as their engineering team isn’t interested in being kind, I’m not interested in their software.
What I’ll do next, I’m not sure, but it will be something. Possibly building a new OS using Linux From Scratch. On a personal level, I’m going to try other Linux distros for my personal machines.
So before I exeunt, I’d like to thank a few people who have been kind. Neddy – you’re awesome. Always been supportive of Gentoo Studio. pjp, an excellent moderator who helped maintain the Gentoo Studio sticky in the Multimedia section. Hu, who would drop in now and then to offer helpful insights. There’s another user, whose nick I keep having to read carefully, starting with “feli” who has been helpful. Anyway, you guys, and others who have tried Gentoo Studio and offered helpful feedback, have all been fantastic.
(Incidentally, I clicked on “view unanswered posts” on forums.gentoo.org this morning. 7000 unanswered posts? I don’t think that’s right. Not sure what’s going on over there.)