Debian vs Gentoo

Before I begin let me state my opinion. I am a big fan of Gentoo. I have installed gentoo more times and in more machines than I had installed win98 🙂

I am currently making an effort, oh and I mean IS a effort, to install and configure a debian system. I want to use primarily as an Access Point/Client with 3 wireless cards. Sounds hard ? maybe…but debian makes it harder.
First of all…the damn development branches. Debian has stable, testing and unstable branches. I understand what stable is…but why should a decent distro have more than one branches in testing mode? The packages in stable branch are older than my grandmother. So most people actually use…the testing branch, and everyone on the net says it is “stable” enough to use it. So it’s more like debian has the stable-old-like-my-grandma, the testing-people-say-I-am-stable-enough and the unstable-don’t-use-me-I-will-crash your box branches. Gentoo just gives you arch and ~arch. Stable and unstable. Nice and easy.
Next…aptitude interface sucks. It just sucks. It so not user friendly…you actually get lost if you don’t learn all the keyboard shortcuts by heart. Yes, Gentoo’s emerge is a bit complicated too, but at least it is sane enough not to provide a crappy ncurses based gui. It’s better to stay command line only than having an awful gui. Maybe when you only have a few packages to update it might be a bit easier to distinguish what’s going on…but having more than 20-30 packages to update, like when you have just finished a fresh install and want to update,then it’s more like a killer task. It’s almost impossible to identify a blocking package unless you know the keyboard shortcuts. But then again…if you are experienced enough…why do you need a gui since everyone knows tasks made by guis are done slower ? Aptitude’s ncurses gui needs a drastic redesign if it ever wants to become user friendly and not a tool for the lazy admins that are just fond of blue and purple colors.
What I liked ? Updates did not hurt any of my conf files, yet. That’s where gentoo sucks. etc-update really really really sucks. dispatch-conf is a lot better…but it could have been a bit more optimized, especially when it replaces just headers and comments from files.