In an unexpected move, the Gentoo trustees have contacted us, Exherbo, recently with a suggestion. Disappointed with the intense internal quarreling among Gentoo developers (which Gentoo has been famous for anyway), the general inability of the current Gentoo council to provide the necessary vision and strategic governance for Gentoo as a whole as well as the lack of implementation of newer EAPIs in Portage, the trustees deemed it necessary to step in.
Gentoo Foundation, Inc.’s president, Roy “NeddySeagoon” Bamford being a regular in our IRC channel #exherbo on Freenode discussed the current state of Gentoo with his most trusted advisors, Denis “Calchan” Dupeyron (already an active Exherbo contributor) and Thomas “tanderson” Anderson (Exherbo dev). All three of them had first-hand experience with Exherbo and the way we work – distributedly, with strong peer-review and almost every single user contributing to Exherbo.
This effectiveness, the overall quality of Exherbo as well as the fast-paced development of both our exheres-0 format, the amazing speed of Paludis development (Paludis being Exherbo’s package manager) and, last but not least, Ciaran McCreesh’s latest information about the move to cave and egress, a Portage-UI-compatible Paludis client, convinced them to boldly go on with their plan to strengthen Gentoo: To join forces with Exherbo.
Of course, the transition of both resources and developers will be a slow process. While the merger with Gentoo is to become effective as of today, April 1st 2010, the announcement on the Gentoo website might lag a bit behind as Gentoo’s PR project is unfortunately somewhat overworked. It should be noted as well that not all Gentoo developers are likely to make the transition. Some have, let’s say, rather strong feelings about Exherbo, some feel they’re not up to a fast-growing, fast-paced modern Linux distribution and some might simply not notice before next year.
I’m sure there will be some friction yet to overcome yet but, all in all, I think Gentoo does the best thing possible – moving in with us, under the ultimate supervision of Bryan “kloeri” Østergaard (who once served Gentoo as head of Developer Relations and, thus, is well-suited for the job) as the “benevolent dictator” Daniel Robbins once was, will make good old Gentoo find back its way to former glory albeit under a new name – but, as the saying goes, what’s in a name? (Speaking of which: The name “Gentoo” is a trademark of Gentoo Foundation, Inc. until that is changed, too, and this site is not part of the Gentoo project and is not directed or managed by Gentoo Foundation, Inc.)