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[ale] Web server OS

First, there's no specific distinction between "updates" and "security 
updates" under Gentoo.  There are security advisories that are issued 
for Gentoo packages regularly, but the solution is simply one of 
updating even if it's from 1.2.3 to 1.2.3-r1 (where the -rX) signifies a 
within-version change made downstream from the original code by Gentoo 
package maintainers.  Under Gentoo, the package management is more of a 
distributed human effort that's under central oversight. 

As for "z years," I guess it's one of those things like any other 
community-based effort - when interest is lost or if the effort is 
overcome by events (say, the advent of the HAL 9000), the effort will 
stop.  Someday all of Linux will land in the dustbin. 

You might want to look through gentoo.org yourself - specifically the 
Social Contract (derived from Debian's) and Philosophy pages. 

What I have found, having dealt with both Red Hat, its derivatives, and 
Gentoo for several years, is that when I establish a Gentoo machine it's 
for a larger purpose and once the machine's established, the 
distribution gets out of my way and lets me focus on what I was going to 
use it for; the computer and its OS become infrastructure.  Now, this is 
just me and my sensibilities I'm talking about here; other people may 
find their stride elsewhere.  Part of the whole point of using Open 
Source software is finding and developing your own strengths as an 
individual and being able to pick and choose what you use for what and 
how you use it is just part of that process.

- Jeff

Brian Pitts wrote:
> Jeff Hubbs wrote:
>> In Gentoo-land, each package is pretty much managed as an independent 
>> unit and as such there aren't generally times where you're "forced" to 
>> upgrade because updates to a distro version stop.  No distro version, no 
>> version-keyed updates.
> I think that was part of Pat's point. Does Gentoo promise "we will
> provide security updates for version x of package y for z years"?
> -Brian
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