Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 10th Oct 2004 05:47 UTC, submitted by Andrew
Slackware, Slax This is a message from Patrick Volkerding in regards to his thoughts on Gnome and Slackware. It was originally posted on the Dropline Gnome Forum. Editor's note: Pat has made similar comments to me as well regarding Gnome's bugs and maintainance problems.
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I blame Gnome and Pat
by Sammyd on Mon 11th Oct 2004 01:11 UTC

Well let me give my two cents on the issue since I can. As to whether it is a good decisions or not will be debated on many forums and such I am sure. As for the technical merits of the claim by Pat this is not true when we talk about versions, and install issues. However on the shear magnitude of work required to keep up with gnome this claim is true. Gnome needs to get a handle on what it is doing. There are so many sub projects to it that no one can keep track of it. You have so many libraries and many of these are just needed by one program. If you look at other large development projects you will not see this X11 and KDE come to mind. This makes the simple fact of building gnome a real pain in the butt. However if this is all you are doing is building a distro then so what its part of the job grin and bear it.
If doing this is is a good choice I would say no, but here me out on it first. The idea is to gain as much of a user base as you can, by removing Gnome you will loose some of this base. If you look at its history it has not had security or stablity issues as of late. These are usually his arguments for removal. Of course Pat isn't one to be the most wisest of folks when it comes to gaining a user base. If you consider the fact that it is one of the oldest distributions out there and is last in this group when it comes to user base. It is one thing to be stubborn but another thing to let ego get in the way of running a business. Every person you loose is a possible lost sale of a Slackware CD. Slackware had it oportunity to be on top many years ago but due to ego maybe it was left behind the rest. With its great stability and security record it could have dominated the Linux server market. You know 50 years from now when we are all dead they will not be saying wow he was a great man he didn't change his software. No they will be saying like some do now that wow he wasn't very bright he had the chance to make a difference and didn't.
In the past I always used Gnome or some other DM besides KDE. KDE to me was just MS Wanabe bloatware. As time has gone on and KDE has found its calling it does make for a good DM. However if Gnome is removed you will find a bunch of good useful applications just wont compile on Slackware anymore. Having GTK and Glib is one thing but there are many good applications that need the rest of gnome to compile. If he tries to remove it he will still see he is going to need a bunch of the libs from it if he wishes to keep some of the GTK related applications around. So he will still end up having to keep up with some of it.
As for the Dropline thing. Until dropline stops trying to do its own thing it just isn't going to be a good alternative. All dropline is doing at this time is basically porting the Ximian desktop over to Slackware. If you have ever seen Ximian installed you will know what I am saying. If dropline was to try and be more compatible with Slackware it would make for a good alternative and even a wise choice for Pat to direct user to. The problem with it now is that it is not compatible with a standard Slackware install. If dropline was to remove the PAM, the full LDAP install, X11 and a few of those other non gnome related packages it would be very compatible with a current Slackware system. They would also need to recompile for an i486 arch so to give it a wider audience. Current data shows that optimization results in very little noticeable difference and at times has shown to slow a system down. Even Linuxpackages will not allow packages built on dropline systems for this reason. It also runs the old time Slackware users away from it. Dropline should sit back and take a look and see what they can do to become more compatible with Slackware. This is an excellent opportunity with Pat having doubts about the future of Gnome with Slackware to step up and give the Slackware community something that follows the true nature and heart of Slackware and not try and turn a Slackware system into a Redhat system.