As for "dir" it was probably setup in your other distro as an alias. However, slackware is "bare-bones". If you want to get all fancy with it, that's your choice, but you'll have to do the finger work. It's meant to be sleek and not have all the frills and crap some other distros do. It tends to setup less symlinks, and customized things by default than your other distros.
If you prefer those things, you can always switch back, one of the nice things about linux... choice.