After watching Gentoo rise in popularity; after listening to people complain about how slow the &lquo;linux desktop&rquo; is; after spending a few days in with the former SysAdmin for the company for which I now work — I confess: I don’t get it.
People, you’ve got a ton of speed at your disposal and you still want to spend all day long compiling just so you can eek a few more cycles out of your machine? This is not my idea of fun.
I think that is just it. Some people think that externals (in the case of Gentoo, compiling the same code with different switches) is gonna speed up their system when they should be concentrating on the code itself. See, Gentoo users now have an personal investment in the software that runs on their system (“Of course it’s faster! I spent all day compiling it!), so they can’t be trusted to make a rational judgement about distribution. But, just like adding a spoiler to your Honda makes it go faster, so, too, compiling your system with a couple of different #IFDEFs makes it scream.
Personally, I prefer Gnome’s approach. Make it simple. Look, I use Emacs, I shared my big, honking .emacs file with Dave, and he can attest to the fact that I like to tweak. But I’m not the sort that likes to mess around with my XF86Config file forever. I’ve tried it, and it isn’t any fun. I’d rather get on with other trivial pursuits like ensuring that weblogger.el works with another syndication format.