Home > Slackware, Slax > GNOME removed from Slackware GNOME removed from Slackware Submitted by Mark Hill 2005-03-28 Slackware, Slax 40 Comments After long consideration, Pat Volkerding has removed GNOME from Slackware. Pat mentions in the -current ChangeLog that GNOME takes a lot of time to package and this move should allow more time to be spent on the rest of Slackware. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 40 Comments 2005-03-28 8:42 am I’ve never built Gnome from CVS, but I do know building KDE from CVS is trivial – even without something like konstruct. 2005-03-28 8:52 am gnome out, kde 3.4 is in, Thanks Pat! 2005-03-28 9:13 am I think most distributions will, in the very near future, choose to ship with only one of the Desktop Environments. It will only be a matter of time before the choice is made. 2005-03-28 9:26 am What makes you think that? Perhaps the distributions with limited manpower (such as Slackware which is practically run by Pat alone) or the distributions aimed at being low in size or very user-friendly. The community distributions like Debian will likely always package both desktops. 2005-03-28 9:46 am back in the day, when I was a noob. Now everyone I know has migrated to either Gentoo or Debian. Looking back, I have no idea why I even bothered with it. No remotely redeeming qualities as far as I can tell, or is that the point? Going off on a bit of an tangent now, I am even further dissapointed that Slackware is both LSB and FHS non-complient. Very sad to see Pat V flagrently disregard standards. People complain of Linux framenation, I blame the likes of Pat V who choose not to follow standards. 2005-03-28 9:56 am Back when I was an LFS user, I installed KDE and GNOME from scratch. While KDE may seem trivial to you, it was so much easier than GNOME. For gnome, I’ve seriously spent days trying to fit the whole puzzle together. With KDE, dependencies don’t reach 10 levels deep, as they do with GNOME. Also, with KDE many dependencies are optional, while GNOME will often require them. Mind you, this was 3 years ago. Things have probably gotten much worse today. 2005-03-28 11:31 am I would agree. I see at least 3 reasons for this trend: 1- it is possible to execute GNOME apps in KDE (and vice versa). So why have 2 DEs? 2- Most DE (GNOME, KDE, XFCE, Enlighten, etc) are different enough, providing unique ways to do things. DEs are no commodities and have strong supporters. Which make the DE itself an important feature in a distro. 3- distros distinguish themselves partly on what DE they pre-install and recommend (ie: GNOME for Fedora, KDE for SUSE). So why use the “less preferred/integrated” DE ? Slackware is not the first to include just one DE. Slackware is just bringing this trend under the spotlight because it is dumping GNOME. But the trend is already there: there are many distros with just one DE. The next step in this trend will be to unbundle redundent applications. Indeed why have several office applications, instant messengers, mahjong games, etc? The reason for this extended unbundling trend are: 3bis- the same as reason 3 above: a way for distros to distinguish themselves. 4- the way to improve support/performance/quality/reliability/integration of the chosen apps, and more broadly of the distro itself. And also a way to improve coherency of the whole distro/product. What will happen is further “polarisation”, at a technical level this time (rather than at a business level due to “consolidation”). Ultimately this will allow distros to distinguish themselves, and give people clear reasons to buy X, Y or Z. Ultimately this will present a strong (unified Linux base) yet diverse (specialised DEs & apps) market offering. 2005-03-28 12:40 pm pardon me, but don’t slackware still ships with windowmaker, fvwm, blackbox and others? In my humble opinion, the distros should fork into a base system, and a desktop system. It already proved to work with slackware+dropline. 2005-03-28 1:07 pm I’ve never built Gnome from CVS, but I do know building KDE from CVS is trivial – even without something like konstruct. I’ve never actually built KDE with Konstruct, but even from CVS it is a fairly simple procedure and there’s a good kde-build script as well that can keep it all up to date and build it in the correct order. There are some dependencies like there are in Gnome like libxml2 etc. and the optional HAL/DBUS that you have to make sure about but otherwise it’s quite easy considering you’re building a fundamental piece of software. Gnome on the other hand is huge. There are so many dependencies and little libraries that I can see why Pat’s dropped it. He just doesn’t have the manpower. Evolution itself depends on something like seventy different libraries itself. It’s probably got much worse now with all the additional Linux specific stuff they put on it. 2005-03-28 1:15 pm wmaker, fvwm and blackbox are not full blown DEs, just WMs. XFCE is a lightweight desktop and, as soon as they finish the new file manager, a very decent Gnome replacement, while needing 1/10th of the memory needed by bloatware like Nautilus. 2005-03-28 1:17 pm It’s useless to have two DE with similar capabilities. 2005-03-28 2:41 pm I agree, Gnome and KDE under freedesktop should combine efforts; even though this may set each of them back a couple year. Having a unified open-source desktop, in my opinion, out ways the possible disadvantages. 2005-03-28 2:44 pm IMO: the trend towards 6+ cd distros is misguided. I feel like the distro makers are throwing in everything but the kitchen sink, just because they can. What you end up with is a bloated and confused environment, with five word processors, and three spreadsheets etc, and half the stuff out of date. I’m reminded of the guy who appologized for writing a long letter because he didn’t have time to write a short one. Last time I looked, Xandros, Mepis, Debian, Knoppix, Arch, and Slackware, at least had the option of a one cd distro. Those are all some pretty decent distros. FWIW, JMHO, YMMV, etc. 2005-03-28 2:47 pm > I am even further dissapointed that Slackware is both LSB > and FHS non-complient. No, you’re wrong: slack *is* FHS compilant. Just not to the latest revision. As for LSB , i dunno what the people who wrote that where thinking, but it mandates RPM (which Slackware _does_ have BTW), makes it next to impossible to use a BSDish rc-style while remaining compilant, and what is up with the C++ ABI? Really, i’d be interested to know which distro(s?) _actually_ comply in full (to LSB 1.3). Rather then clame “LSB” (yeah, wich version?) without having been audited to the spec, and tested as such… 2005-03-28 2:50 pm I guess from a lot of switchers, KDE is easier to get on with, so from this point of view it is a smart move. From a personal point of view I have used Linux for 1.5 years, and I honestly don’t know when I used a Gnome app, apart from Gnumeric…..the rest of the time I used either terminal or in the GUI some of the excellent KDE stuff, which just gets better and better. 2005-03-28 3:13 pm Slackware is slowly but steady dying out, if you ask me the new & improved Slack for me is Arch Linux.. peace 2005-03-28 3:21 pm just try that on a shitty ‘net connection. I love the suse DVD. One download that lasts a week but then whenever I need another package it’s instant. I’m trying gentoo now and just waiting for the package to download is long enough. Developers: some of us like the kitchen sink and may choose your distro solely because of it. 2005-03-28 3:24 pm I was a Slack user, but once I heard they were removing Gnome, I have moved on. That is the desktop I am more familiar and comfortable with, so I had to say goodbye to Slack. 2005-03-28 3:35 pm For the orphans of Gnome, like trizon, you can’t stop using Slackware(the best Linux Distro, in My Oppinion!!), ’cause you can download Dropline(http://www.dropline.net/gnome) or http://gsb.sf.net and http://gware.sf.net. These were compiled for Slackware 10.0 and 10.1. Have fun! 2005-03-28 3:46 pm This isn’t surprising, its a long time coming. I dropped Slackware for Ubuntu exactly for this reason. I miss some things about Slackware, but without GNOME its just not the same. 2005-03-28 3:54 pm Ubuntu has a “sister” (brother maybe??) called Kubuntu which is KDE based. http://www.kubuntu.org.uk/ So to say Ubuntu is purely Gnome based is, well…not so accurate. Most distros offer you choice….and really it’s usually at install time where you pick your preferred desktop environment…or you do it post install. Gentoo is one of the easiest to do. Once you install the base stuff…you can either issue: emerge gnome or emerge kde to install your preferred environment and then follow the documentation to get it all up and running…and it’s good doco by the way. cheers peter 2005-03-28 4:04 pm there is nothing th guy can do, you run a maintain a who freaking linux distro, and one as popular as slack, just leave it be, i personally really like gnome, it is the underset to my XFCE(which lack alot, hence gnome be underset to make up for it) setup, i rather not have the core of slack be less updated, just have my choice is DE, and as for gnome deps, that is what make gnome so tightly integrated, unlike KDE, 2005-03-28 4:10 pm Dorkball? nice…havent “heard” that one b4…but here in Oz we’d probably have other similar insults. And you think Ubuntu is ready for “primetime”?? Get a grip. It’s a Debian fork. Yeah ok, a good fork (nothing like a good fork 😉 ) but it’s still nowhere near the main players…Yet. Yes..it’s looking good and will gain massive ground (except…no Java…no Flash…but that’s another story) So yes, Kubuntu *should* be on an Ubuntu users’ radar considering Ubuntus “maturity”…or lack thereof or “newness” if you prefer. cheers peter 2005-03-28 4:44 pm Although i’m both a huge Slackware fan and an even bigger Gnome fan, this switch doesn’t really matter. Dropline is a better distribution of Gnome than the “Official” Slackware build anyway. Gnome/Slack users would be nicely suited with Dropline, and Patrick won’t have to fuss with it anymore. Also, i hear Arch is good, but the last time i tried to install it, it didn’t go well. 2005-03-28 5:19 pm You all that are switching to other distros because Gnome is gone, please get a life. You can still install it yourself. Personally Gnome would be my third option, behind Fluxbox and XFCE. I like Gnome, the way they are going, but Slackware is still a far better distro thatn RH(fedora), Suse and specially Ubuntu. If you are gonna change distros because one is easier or more automated that the other one, please don’t call yourself a Linux guru, expert or whatever. You might as well just use Linspire or windows. Just Install it, or try the suggestions from Pat. If you don’t fell like going through the exitment of installing it yourself, then what are you doing using Slackware in the first place? Geeks love it, and most geeks don’t use Gnome, because a WM gives you more freedom over your computer. Either use it or shut up. Stop anoying people with your “Gnome is better, itt is my favorite, so I am going to move to the easier distro Ubuntu.” Yes please do so and get it over with. If you wanna learn then stay with Slackware, Gentoo, or try the *BSDs. 2005-03-28 5:37 pm Pat has warned last year, that he’ll drop Gnome if the building process/dependancy hell is not improved. He made good on his promise, and I am happy about it. Slackware has always been the cleanest, most transparent and manageable Linux distro – Gnome has been an ugly spot there. 2005-03-28 5:49 pm It should be mentioned that the reason Gnome has such a huge dependency problem is : A.) Poor choices made at the beginning of the 2.X cycle B.) They are forced to maintain backwards compatability. I think its very unfair to compare KDE and Gnome in this respect. Gnome 1.X ->[Partial rewrite]-> Gnome 2.X KDE 1.X ->[Rewrite]-> KDE 2.X -> KDE 3.X KDE had the opportunity to experiment with different technologies and learn from their mistakes, Gnome didnt. With Gnome3 *hopefully* coming after the 2.14 release, the Gnomers will no doubt kick some serious ass. Now you might ask, why is the Gnome community so demanding of backwards compataiblity for so long, why havent they already branched off? Just a thought, perhaps pressure from RH, Sun, etc. Sun in paticular seems to want to create a stable platform around Gnome to appeal to ISVs. It makes me tingle seeing this kind of devotion in the OSS community, very professional. No doubt, Gnome is on the fast track to world domination. 2005-03-28 5:53 pm Its a matter of policy. Removing arguably the most popular desktop for Linux currently (noting I am a KDE user..) just shows again that Slack doesn’t really care about its userbase… or should I say Pat doesn’t care. Slack offers nothing of consequence, and I personally have better things to do than spend a few hours installing and getting a system _running_ … I have servers to get up and configure… I have users to create. Slack has a narrow focus because it is only one person. You say by far better than RH, SuSE or Ubuntu. I would disagree. These 3 especially have a large number of developers that work on the projects you use. What has Pat done outside of Slack maintainence? Don’t get me wrong, I respect him for how much time he must put into building the entire system, Debian has around a thousand people doing about the same work. As stated though, his disregard for standards – amoungst other things – is why Slack is simply not a viable option. Also, tool are created to ease maintainence of a system. I hope you don’t consider yourself a guru because you’re too l33t to use tools that make your life easier… :/ 2005-03-28 6:00 pm I agree, Gnome and KDE under freedesktop should combine efforts; even though this may set each of them back a couple year. Having a unified open-source desktop, in my opinion, out ways the possible disadvantages. Thing is though, they are hobbiests – especially KDE devels – that are doing what they love. There is nothing to say that these people would be working on GNOME if KDE didn’t exist or vise versa. Both sets of devels have firm beliefs, and thats why they are working on the project they prefer. GNOME restricts many projects due to strict HIG guidelines. KDE is one of the truest examples of bazaar (see “Cathedral and the Bazaar” by E. Raymond) still in existance, and is generally considered more fun. Also, the programming language is a major contributing factor imo… many dislike C, although its faster when done correctly, C++ is better known, and easier to work with. Your opinion really is irrelivant – as is mine – though, because no one can make them do anything. 2005-03-28 6:17 pm > Sun in paticular seems to want to create a stable platform around Gnome to appeal to ISVs. > It makes me tingle seeing this kind of devotion in the OSS community, very professional. I guess that platform stability argument is indeed the reason. It sure is with KDE which has a promise of binary compatibility throughout a major version release cycle (currently that’s 3.0 to 3.4; they are allowed to break compatibility for 4.0, and they will) 2005-03-28 6:20 pm With KDE 3.4, there is no need for Gnome anymore 🙂 Really amazing how KDE has improved! 2005-03-28 6:31 pm > With KDE 3.4, there is no need for Gnome anymore That’s definitely beside the point. Patrick Volkerding announced this plan a long time ago and now he finally did it. One of the main reasons (besides being too much effort for him) had been the availability of alternative packages for GNOME. He mentioned them in his changelog… 2005-03-28 6:53 pm Give the guy a break. As so many others have said, there is Dropline Gnome if you must have Gnome in Slackware. If Slackware will be a better distro without Gnome built in, then so be it. Keep in mind I am a huge Gnome fan, and I initially switched from Slackware to Ubuntu so I could have a well-integrated Gnome desktop. While I do like Ubuntu 4.10, what I have seen of both Hoary (5.04) and Gnome 2.10 have turned me off from the distro and the desktop. Hoary has actually broken hardware compatibility that was present and working in Warty, and Gnome 2.10 is much less user friendly than 2.8 (lack of menu editing, for example). I’m currently debating switching back to Slackware and Dropline, both for the above reasons and to regain the near-absolute control of my system that I was used to before Ubuntu held my hand. I wouldn’t mind having the speed of Slackware back on my system too. I’m sure Ubuntu is fast on a modern machine, but I’m running three-year-old hardware and it shows. I’m still recommending Ubuntu 4.10 to people wanting to get into Linux for the first time, and I’ve been giving out Ubuntu LiveCDs and install CDs. I still think it’s the best distro for newbies. Regardless of my person decisions, I will always sing the praises of Ubuntu 4.10, and maybe even 5.04 if they ever fix the hardware issues. 2005-03-28 7:12 pm I’m a huge fan of both gnome and slackware, but I’ve always used dropline gnome, not gnome shipped on slack CDs. Gnome included in Slack has almost always been 1-2 versions behind the latest release, and dropline gnome is very well integrated and installs almost everything I need by default. 2005-03-28 8:00 pm I never was a fan of Dropline GNOME, it really slows down and dirties up the clean Slackware system. 2005-03-28 8:55 pm Gnome 1.X ->[Partial rewrite]-> Gnome 2.X It wasn’t a partial re-write. It took them about two years to get the infrastructure right for Gnome 2.x (gconf etc.), and all that is nowhere near the proposed changes that have been doing the rounds for Gnome 3.x. A lot of the infrastructure of Gnome 2.x even isn’t used by many Gnome or GTK applications. KDE had the opportunity to experiment with different technologies and learn from their mistakes, Gnome didnt. That’s just not correct and doesn’t have an awful lot to do with it, if at all. Backwards compatibility or no backwards compatibility Gnome has a lot of libraries to configure and compile, in the right order, and Pat has pointed out that even a released Gnome 2.10 is a moving target in itself before it’s stable. Don’t even mention using Gnome CVS. The problem is, Gnome isn’t structured that well. KDE and Gnome are fundamentally different beasts in that regard, as Qt provides KDE development with a very solid base with much of what it needs i.e. you spend more time coding and debugging your application than debugging the actual framework you’re writing on. You can actually draw a proper layered package/component diagram for KDE, see where Qt fits in, and then KDELibs and Base etc. etc. Would anybody care to do that for Gnome?! With Gnome3 *hopefully* coming after the 2.14 release, the Gnomers will no doubt kick some serious ass. Gnome 3.0 is a long way from being on the drawing board and can only start happening when GTK 3.0 gets talked about. It has been muted as a two year project, but it will probably be an awful lot longer than that. Heck, GTK 3.0 by itself should be a two year project. Sun will probably demand backwards compatibility as they always do, and may not even use a Gnome 3 for a very long time if it isn’t. Hats off to Sun there, because it is actually very important to them and Gnome 2.x is the base they’ve based all of their development and JDS off. There are also a lot of decisions to be made about Gnome 3 once GTK 3 is taken care of. Does the project adopt Mono or some other development technology (a potential minefield)? It’s clear they need something though. That development technology has to be nurtured and developed along with GTK as well as all the cool Cairo/Glitz/3D etc. stuff people talk about, and on top of that people have to re-write their applications and find the time to develop new features and GUI/usability concepts. That’s an unimaginable amount of work, because basically they’re dumping everything they’ve worked on and all the work put in since 2.x came out. Only Microsoft really have the resources to realistically undertake that kind of desktop project and make it do what is required. 2005-03-28 10:06 pm there can be only one! 2005-03-28 11:43 pm Funny to hear about Gnome 3. Qt4 is just about ready and KDE devs are already porting some of the code, getting ready for KDE 4.0. I wonder how many KDE 4.x versions we’ll see before gnome devs begin coding Gnome 3.0! 2005-03-29 12:54 am What? How is Gnome 3.0 related to KDE 4.0? Gnome 3 will be motivated by a massive overhaul of the conceptual model. KDE 4 is manly about techincal cleanups. Implementing freedesktop standards and such. Any way a version of a software system has a relation to that system and to nothing else. 2005-03-29 11:58 am Gnome 3 will be motivated by a massive overhaul of the conceptual model. Yet again. KDE 4 is manly about techincal cleanups. Implementing freedesktop standards and such. No, it’s a major version change with different development infrastructure.