Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 3rd May 2008 05:47 UTC, submitted by ZacharyM
Slackware, Slax One of the oldest Linux distributions, Slackware, has pushed out another release. "Well folks, it's that time to announce a new stable Slackware release again. So, without further ado, announcing Slackware version 12.1! Since we've moved to supporting the 2.6 kernel series exclusively (and fine-tuned the system to get the most out of it), we feel that Slackware 12.1 has many improvements over our last release (Slackware 12.0) and is a must-have upgrade for any Slackware user."
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RE[6]: Packages, packages...
by psychicist on Mon 5th May 2008 22:10 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Packages, packages..."
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As much as I love Slackware, it's an incredible pain in the arse to maintain (read: keep up to date) and expand beyond the original scope of Patrick's vision for a distro

I can't say I don't agree with that sentiment. I ended up with Slackware after using SUSE, Mandrake and Red Hat probably about the same time as you did and it isn't as if I was really looking for it.

It actually found me, since whatever I tried with the other distributions to make them run stable and complete I ended up fighting them to make things work. Slackware was both fast and went out of its way to enable customisations without breaking everything.

The lack of dependency resolution makes things hard for upgrading but on other distributions it's already hard enough to make things work in the first place.

Not only 8 steps long, but two of them require delving into other files/documents and one of them requires that you manually (read: needlessly tedious) migrate all of your previous config files in /etc.

I agree that there is no excuse for not automating the process as much as possible. One point is the nature of the text configuration files themselves. You have to parse them and look for changed data.

It would be much better if each config file had a stock read-only one and a writeable one with additional options so you could blow the stock ones away with an upgrade. Or change to XML configuration files with settings.

Slackware is an interesting distribution, one that I personally feel is antiquated in methodology for the time being. It is so reluctant to change that it makes Debian look like Fedora, IMHO. I would hope Patrick makes an effort in the near future to make his distribution more accessible to people who don't take pride in doing things by hand and "the hard way" just because.

It sure is interesting but some concepts could use updating. You don't even want to know what I had to endure on irc even suggesting some things could be improved upon or changed for the sake of useability or ease without giving up the core values of the distribution.

Every attempt at doing things differently is seen as an attempt to fork when I just want to get changes merged upstream for everyone to benefit from. I consider forking a last resort, but perhaps it's ultimately necessary for the project to evolve into the 21st century.

Your final comment, "But that's OK. Those who use Slackware are the only ones who need to know." reveals just how conceited the majority of Slackware users are.

I would like to remind you that not all Slackware users and developers are like that. I have used all kinds of operating systems from the aforementioned GNU/Linux distributions to Solaris (Express) and the BSDs, two Macs (one running OS X 10.4 and one Slackintosh current) since a few days (and am also pretty familiar with that other operating system). I can see the benefits and drawbacks of each of these and what could be integrated to make Slackware a better and more easily handled operating system.

I'm open to and welcome suggestions for improvement that I can try on my MIPS (running on Loongson 2E/2F) and SPARC (developed on UltraSPARC, but almost exclusively built with V8 compatibility) ports. If several changes prove to be genuine improvements it's always possible to get them to be applied upstream if PV wants them to.

You can send me a PM if you've got a suggestion or other kind of improvement that you're willing to share with me.

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