I used to use Sabayon back in the 3.x days and somewhat earlier, but it was eventually rotated out of my life through distro-hopping, new computers, etc. Still, I've always kept an eye on Sabayon, since it seems to seek to directly address the biggest setbacks of Gentoo, which is a project I always loved for its flexibility and the scope of its package library.
For a while, ending just over a year ago, actually, I used Arch Linux. The experience pretty much soured me on using new flavor-of-the-month package managers (Gentoo users: avoid Pacman. It will make you cry (possibly tears of blood).). But I came back to Sabayon with an open mind just a few days ago, since my experience with the distro in the past was always positive. So! Here's what I have to say:
Fabio & co., you have done an amazing job with Entropy. It is by far the best package manager I have ever used. It's better than the little guys like Pacman, better than the heavy hitters like Yum/Aptitude. I get awesome transfer speeds from your cross-lfs mirror in my corner of the US, and equo does a great job of taking full advantage of that bandwidth with parallel fetching. Dependency resolution and searching are handled shockingly fast, and I really love that you've followed in the Gentoo tradition of giving your command-line utilities gorgeous color output. Speaking of the Gentoo tradition, for all of the scariness about it being unsupported' on the Sabayon wiki, Portage compatibility is good. While equo is pretty aggressive about replacing packages merged manually from the Portage tree, selectively masking/unmasking the handful of packages I need to grab from outside the Sabayon repositories (most notably the beta Nvidia 275.xx.xx drivers, which fix a nasty hard-freeze I get with the 270 drivers) was trivially easy. The way I've got it now set up, the Sabayon packages will automatically replace the Portage ones as soon as they're equivalent, but no sooner, and that seems like the perfect setup.
So anyhow, I just wanted to drop by and let y'all know that you have done a fantastic job with the Sabayon packaging system. I have never seen a faster or more configurable package manager, and I'm extremely impressed that you've got all this in such a relatively young packaging system, let alone one that has yet to see a stable 1.0 release! The Sabayon-weekly repository is also an awesome idea to help mitigate the pain that can come with maintaining a system on a rolling release.
Portage integration could be a little
tighter, IMO, and I think there was a typo in my repositories.conf file when I installed Sabayon 6 KDE/amd64, which prevented updating until I compared it to the repositories.conf.backup which came with my system and resolved it. Aside from those minor blemishes, I think that Entropy is an incredibly impressive project, and Sabayon may be for me truly the ideal distro, taking the worst of Gentoo and making it painless, while leaving its best still possible, and offering some impressive functionality of its own!
I can't make any promises about my ability to be active in the community, since I'm pretty busy with school and other commitments, but it does seem like creating an Entropy repository isn't incredibly difficult, especially if it's just to hold packages derived from existing ebuilds. I'll be experimenting with this a bit, and for the sake of better organizing the packages on my own computer I may try to fill in the gaps for the handful of packages I still do grab from Portage and a few overlays. If I could, I'd be happy to contribute my small part in that way.
Anyway, kudos once more to everyone on the developer team, as well as the community support that has kept this project running since I last was here. Entropy was good enough to me that just using it got me interested in building a repository for it, if that means anything.
Awesome, awesome job.