“The Gentoo install was like finding a forest, cutting down the trees, breaking a leg, getting out of the hospital, coming back, taking out the stumps and clearing the land of rocks, planting wheat, building a mill, making flower, making dough, then building an oven in which to burn it to a crisp, stealing a cow, milking it, churning the butter, picking berries, making jam. YUMMY! Breakfast is ready, but you don’t have time to eat because it’s time to update everything, including GCC, which also means a complete recompilation of everything.”
ROTFL! You’ve made a good point, to a degree. But do you know what has pushed me out of Slackware?
The default system was kinda empty and I had to install a thousand libraries and compile them with no automation, and that drove me crazy. I tried SUSE, but I hate rpms and I found it unbearable. For example, looking for right rpms is very annoying, when you can’t find them for your distro, then you try some other version’s rpms, and they sometimes work, sometimes not. Suddenly it doesn’t play MP3s, or DiVX, you need to look for howtos on how to make it play those multimedia formats, then there are 15 of them, of which 13 are outdated.
Gentoo has excellent documentation and howtos. You won’t find 15 howtos on one topic. You will find only one, written well.
With Gentoo, I have a huge repository of build scripts with all the fancy stuff I like to use. All the license-related issues are left to me. If a fetch-restriction is on (no automatic downloads of Sun’s Java, for instance), I have to download the source file manually, and portage installs it for me.
I have all the recent applications, like Picasa or Google Earth in the distribution! And I have them quick.
But… um… yes, I needed to upgrade GCC once. However, it wasn’t more hassle than installing a new Slackware with new GCC, which forced me to recompile all my hand-compiled stuff again. With no automation.