[gobolinux-users] On the distribution

rider mr.qweo at gmail.com
Tue Apr 21 09:31:11 NZST 2009

First of, I'd like to thank all the Gobo developers. You did such a
great work! In a sense you made GNU/Linux more UNIX-like - everything
is file, and so now the package manager :-) New directory hierarchy,
'the ports system" et al are really well-designed, and it shows - to
get a file to be managed by APT or Portage, you have to do additional
work, but since a file is always managed by a file system, with Gobo
you get package management for free - or at cost of a symbolic link
here and there. For me it's especially important, because with Debian
and Gentoo I felt too often that a quick solution is more like a dirty
hack with the present package management system - an upgrade - and
it's gone. There was need in databases and databases - one for
installed packages, one for index of files associated with packages...
And keeping multiple versions of a same program was... Well, I think,
sort of interesting experience. Excellent design of the new directory
hierarchy and Compile suite saved me hours of work during course of
use, and...
Indeed, I can continue the list of Gobo advantages, but I suppose just
anyone here knows that Gobo is the best GNU/Linux distribution around
;-) so let me proceed with list of its unpleasant quirks (and some
feature proposals) I can remember.
The worst thing about Gobo is incompleteness of included
distribution-specific documentation - for example, to figure out how
to update it, I needed to read through some (World-Wide) Dump pages.
Lack of Unicode support is a not-so-good thing, too.  Perhaps Gobo
developers have some reason for this, worthy enough to pass an
additional parameter to the kernel (which name, by the way, although
quite obvious, would be a worthy addition to the Live CD boot splash
in case someone would like to pass some options to it), but, really,
it's not that hard - recompilation of some "CRT screen handling and
optimization" library in order to enable multi-byte characters
support, some additional symbolic links and (in my case) a Russian
Unicode keyboard map - and the Unicode is here. Dependency lists are
not always right and Compile'ation of certain recipes breaks the
system (up to C library and kernel modules issues). Some recipes are
_really_ outdated (I know that maintenance requires good deal of
voluntary effort, and thanks to a script in the Scripts package
contributing updates is fairly easy, but separating actively
maintained recipes from "once contributed" ones  might be useful and
should not be that hard to implement). Another not-so-hard-to-do
feature that might be useful is DM (device mapper) devices support in
the Installer. Other bugs I can remember are: _very_ wrong handling of
the file creation mask value and a lack of handling of --help
configure option by the Compile suite, Texinfo documentation indexing
problem, wrong positioning of GoboHide task in the initialization
scripts so that files on file systems not yet mounted are not being
hidden and need to use ZSH as an interpreter for certain scripts. And
yes, a more minimalistic installation media for users that do not need
KDE & co. as well as some form of automatically-built snapshot-based
updates to that media would be certainly useful.

Concluding this all I'd like once again to thank Gobo developers -
despite some bugs and lack of documentation included, the distribution
is the best one I've seen, and of ('round dozen) various distributions
I've worked with Gobo is my distribution of choice for some months
P. S.: Why not Gobo GNU/Linux?

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