Basically, the author of cdrecord modified its license to not allow modifications of his code by distros without doing so in cooperation with the author.Many critisized the author as a free software-sellout, however, in my opinion, the author has the right to do these modifications and so I am with him. Usually, when distros are zelously patching packages –any package– they create new bugs. And then, many users (not all) are submitting bugs upstream, to the cdrecord author, instead to the distro in question (no, not just SuSE). This, obviously creates problems to the developer, and additional work load that he should not have to go through. It’s his right to protect his time and work, and I respect this.
Slackware is one of the very few distros that –on principle– try to NOT patch software (if something is stable, is stable, otherwise, it won’t be included at all, not even in the development tree of Slackware). This is the main reason why Slackware is so stable (it doesn’t surprise the user with unexpected behaviors) and considerably fast: no patches. However, on big commercial distros like RH or SuSE, the users are dictating the features they want to see, and so the project managers of these distros sometimes need to add/modify features. Problem is, in the “shared library/dependency” nature of Linux (where even trivial non-system apps are very much depending on the ‘right’ version of some other software), these per-distro modifications lead to problems in the long run (speed, backwards compatibility etc).