Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sat 15th Jan 2005 02:09 UTC, submitted by Paul Best
Slackware, Slax On a recent IRC discussion Pat discussed Slackware's future and the restructuring that will happen for Slackware 11. Regarding the removal of Gnome from Slackware, he said: "GNOME is not easy to build into packages, lacks decent documentation to build, and requires many undocumented system changes for things to work 100%".
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@Bill Allen
by FuraxFox on Mon 17th Jan 2005 19:34 UTC

>Yes, because Slackware is one of the linux distributions
> more reactive to innovations.
?? I'm surprised, I could say that of "Debian stable"
(kernel what ? 2.2 ?), but I think you are wrong. Slack is
keeping up very well but is not taking ALL innovations, only
those thought appropriate (I'm running current on most of
my machine, and I don't feel so far behind).

> Yes, I made a mistake. But why not use PAM if it is good ?
The usual answer is : why add some more complexity when it is not required. I think PAM is one of the issue where Slack will probably change, because 1) PAM really has improved 2) more and more services are PAM dependant (LDAP/SAMBA integration being an example).

>What difficult is to use chkconfig, create some symlinks
> and rc.local (if you prefer simply add some
> lines to this script) ?
Well I simply find easier do a chmod -x to disable a daemon,
and I really apreciate to have the whole scripts in /etc/rc.d when I need to tweak some start order (I hate those trees of oddly numbered links )

> System V also use scripts and it is a de-facto standard
> in commercial Unix world. Only *BSDs and Slackware
> still not use this.
ONLY BSDs ? well .... by the way argument by number sounds
odd : 95% of desktops are Ms owned, does it automaticaly
imply that I should switch to Windows ?
But I'm running some Suns too, and each time I have to play
with startup scripts, I like Slack a bit more.

>But almost all distribututions which have graphical
>installers also offer ncurses-based installers as
>OPTION, like Fedora, etc.
you are right, my anger is more oriented against products
requiring some X11 support to install on servers
(who said oracle ?).
But if I remember well, even if I install a RH through ncurse X11 will be required by many utilities that are multimode X11/Command Line/curse (up2date ? I think it even needs some sound oriented packages).

> I understand that text installers are better and
> important for some cases but DON'T OFFER ALSO a
> graphical installer is not good for some users.
Well they are, but would I recommand Slackware for
users requiring a graphical install ?
World of Linux distributions is not really a "one
size fits all" world, and I think Slackware is more
oriented toward technical users. I would recommand
Slackware to someone willing to learn a bit about
the underlying system, there are other distros for that.

I like Slack because as a professional IT guy it feels simpler to me (particulary to debug problems when they surface), I don't pretend it is appropriate for everybody, but I would think that trying to satisfy to large an audience, Slack would lose its purpose.

>> RPM systems seems to have a will by itself to become
>rpm --rebuilddb
>if rpm database corrupts.
Yep but I shouldn't have to rebuilddb (I've been using some
RH since 5.2 I think and I can't count the number of time I
had to do that).

>>Slackware choice of package management(particulary on
>>granularity) is different but I never encoutered a problem
>>with it (particulary not one of those nasty circular
>Maybe because the packages on Slackware are bigger. Gentoo,
>Debian and Red Hat-like distributions with apt-rpm don't
>have problem with dependencies, except for packager errors
>(human error).
I mis-expressed myself, I meant that I encountered circular
dependancies with other distros (RH mostly, but once in NetBSD ports, and another time on a Suse if I remember well) that never surfaced on Slackware.
I also believe that most package manager problems are caused by human errors, but the more sophisticated they become, and the more likely they are to produce hard to solve/understand errors.

>>"For me, Slackware is simply easer because more
>>"transparent" than most distros."
>All linus distributions are transparent because all are
>opensource and use scripts (therefore human readable).
I meant that it add less layers of customisation around applications, which make easier to trace problems.

>Slackware is a good distribution and I respect it but you
>can do the same with another distributions.

>This is the problem: it is a one man distribution
>basically, not a community project like Debian or Gentoo.
>Yes, I think Patrick is not human but nobody is perfect and
>the best in linux is community sense.
You are right to say that a one man project is more vulnerable.
But it is also more coherent and more able to adapt quickly.
Comitees do not protect from error, very often they protect
more from responsability than from mistake (may not apply to
Freesoftware world) and tend to favorise compromises between
involved parties.
I also believe that would he encounter a ...longer term problem and cease to maintain Slackware, some other(s) would continue (and would probably make the distrib evolve differently of course).

So I guess choosing between the two systems is more a matter of personal philosophy/preferences.