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Old 10-06-2009, 07:19 AM   #16
hitest
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Cool


Quote:
Originally Posted by foodown View Post
Linux is, by definition, "UNIX-like." If editing text files to configure things or using a command-line interface is too "hard" for you, then you really have no business using anything "UNIX-like." Has anybody else here seen a UNIX system? Using one involves editing text files and using a CLI.
I'm a Unix user (FreeBSD) which is one of the many reasons that I love Slackware. I've used FreeBSD since 5.x, but, I have recently switched completely to Slackware 13.0. I appreciate the Slackware way of system maintenance, using a text editor and the CLI feels comfortable for me.

She's writing the review for a broader audience, that is, for all people who use Linux. She's not trying to convert anyone to Slackware, but, is attempting to list the merits, deficits of Slackware for any Linux user who may wish at some point try our OS.

From the point of view of a Slacker her review doesn't make any sense, that is, we don't think that Slackware is difficult to use. We love navigating around on our hard drive using the CLI, and manually editing text files. But, she *is* writing her review for all Linux users, many of which, who greatly rely on the graphical user interface to set-up system functionality.

I think the review is generally fair. From the point of view of an average Linux user who does not feel comfortable using the CLI or editing files by hand Slackware is not an easy system to use.

I think the review adequately spells out to all Linux users the skill set they will need to be able to install and configure Slackware. An intermediate Linux user who is sufficiently motivated can easily set-up Slackware in my opinion.

From my point of view all I can say is thank you Mr. Volkerding for keeping the faith! Slackware functions perfectly for my needs.
 
Old 10-06-2009, 07:29 AM   #17
~sHyLoCk~
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Quote:
She's writing the review for a broader audience, that is, for all people who use Linux. She's not trying to convert anyone to Slackware, but, is attempting to list the merits, deficits of Slackware for any Linux user who may wish at some point try our OS.
Well said hitest, I agree. It is a fair review.
 
Old 10-06-2009, 07:41 AM   #18
BrZ
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Ok, so...
 
Old 10-06-2009, 09:46 AM   #19
hitest
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~sHyLoCk~ View Post
Well said hitest, I agree. It is a fair review.
Thank you for the kind words, sHyLoCk.
 
Old 10-06-2009, 10:27 AM   #20
cwizardone
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Well said, hitest.
Thx.
 
Old 10-06-2009, 12:08 PM   #21
mcnalu
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here here!

hitest has expressed my thoughts on this matter too (probably more clearly that I could!)
 
Old 10-06-2009, 12:35 PM   #22
BrZ
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Not fair... The lady don't messed with Slackware64 =]
 
Old 10-06-2009, 01:08 PM   #23
hitest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrZ View Post
Not fair... The lady don't messed with Slackware64 =]
Her observations on how to install, set-up Slackware generally apply to Slackware64 as well (I've installed both).
 
Old 10-06-2009, 01:23 PM   #24
Woodsman
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Caitlyn is a reviewer who has a clue. I don't always agree but I respect her opinions.

I have learned from reading her reviews that she writes from the perspective of a non-technical person. When she focuses on "ease of use" she is focusing on people who are not computer propellerheads. Although some people believe the phrase as used on the Slackware web site means easy to use for Slackers, Caitlyn is using the expression in a manner that a majority of people would use the phrase. She provided a link to underline how she was using the phrase. In that respect I agree with her conclusion that Slackware is not easy to use.

Last week I was reminded what non-technical people are like with computers. I was asked to help evaulate some Windows software. I suggested installing VirtualBox and running an isolated version of Windows to prevent security and privacy concerns. We downloaded the VirtualBox software. I emphasized that the 256MB of RAM installed was insufficient to run virtual machines. Online we found the data sheet for his P4 motherboard and I showed him what RAM to buy. He could update to 1GB very inexpensively. We were in the middle of the configuration process for the virtual machine when I stopped to investigate remaining drive space. I noticed the 60GB hard drive had only about 10GB remaining. Not to mention the entire system was slow and there was a lot of disk thashing. I mentioned that creating a minimal Windows virtual machine would consume about 5GB max, leaving about 5GB on the drive. With only 256 MB available I paused for a moment trying to decide how much RAM to allocate to the virtual machine. I mumbled as much out loud as I was thinking. At that point the user simply freaked out and told me to uninstall VirtualBox. The problem was information overload. Adding RAM. Insufficient hard drive space. A slow running machine without additional RAM. The idea of running a computer inside a computer. All too much. Although running a virtual machine would have solved problems, he could not cope with having to deal with the technical side of using his computer. He was frank with me and told me that all he wants to do is point-and-click.

Slackware is not point-and-click. Slackers admit that. Thus, from the perspective of such users, from which Caitlyn wrote her review, Slackware is not easy to use. I believe Slackers who argue otherwise do not understand the majority of people who use computers.

I see this same type of behavior with the people I work. They do not want to know why something happens on the computer. They want only to know how to point-and-click and move on with their day.

Caitlyn's review was on the level and forthright. Slackware is my primary desktop on both my office machine and HTPC. Yet I agree with her assessment with respect to non-technical people. Perhaps the Slackware web site could be updated to better define the target market for Slackware, which might then clarify the meaning of "ease of use." As several people have mentioned, ease of use means something different to most Slackers than interpreted by most non-technical people.

Like Caitlyn, I never have recommended Slackware to a non-technical person. I have noticed that even many Windows users who consider themselves power users or knowledgeable computer users haven't got a clue about operating systems, compiling software, building packages, etc. I would not recommend Slackware to them either. Slackware is for computer people who are the equivalents of Saturday motorheads. Slackware will only frustrate people who do not want to get under the hood. That was the perspective from which Caitlyn wrote her review.

As hitest mentioned, the skill sets required to use computers vary. A significant number of computer users today could care less about the operating system or what is under the hood. As Caitlyn's review is intended for a reading audience where those skill sets vary wildly, I think her review is forthright. Her conclusion is correct --- Slackware is for a unique type of person. Caveat emptor (buyer beware) was her message. The majority of people these days who test distros are basically point-and-click people. People who probably broke in with a distro that uses a package manager and dependency checking. The person I just described is unable and unwilling to resolve dependency issues that most package managers nowadays resolve. Building a package would be a horror for such a person. Partition a hard drive? Edit a bootloader configuration? Ain't going to happen with such people.

People who stick with Slackware understand what Slackware does not provide or offer. The typical person reading reviews might not. Those people need to know that information before they start testing. In that respect I believe Caitlyn did her job.
 
Old 10-06-2009, 01:27 PM   #25
BrZ
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You should know it, but Italians and Latins can be very passionate some times...

Last edited by BrZ; 10-06-2009 at 01:42 PM.
 
Old 10-06-2009, 02:18 PM   #26
dugan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foodown View Post
Automatic dependency checking is only desirable if you only use your package manager to install software
This is absolutely true. Resolving package conflicts caused by unofficial repositories, and working around the package manager to install a newer (or better-built) package than what the repositories offer, are both more unpleasant than anything Slackware puts you through.

Last edited by dugan; 10-06-2009 at 02:20 PM.
 
Old 10-06-2009, 02:27 PM   #27
dugan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsman View Post
Slackware is for computer people who are the equivalents of Saturday motorheads.
http://ostan-collections.net/imeeji/...album=6&pos=22
 
Old 10-06-2009, 03:21 PM   #28
sahko
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Caitlyn thinks Slackware derivatives and especially vectorlinux, a distribution she used be part of the development/packaging team, is better than Slackware for the sole reason that it tracks dependencies.
That could be a valid reason from a point of view, but only if the following were not true.

1) vector, and most Slackware derivatives, don't respect the GPL version 2 and do not distribute the sources of the applications they include in their distributions.
That probably means nothing to end users but if the license was one owned by a commercial company, there would be lawsuits coming their way. But hey, its just the GPL.
No one is gonna sue a Linux distribution for violating it.

2) They don't have any kind of security related resources, mailing lists etc, and do not have frequent releases or package upgrades for security or other reasons.
IMO they are projects which started just for fun and learning Linux, and while that's certainly great for their developers, the user needs much more than that.
Consistency and security stuff matters to users more than dependency checking, which by the way, as even Caitlyn herself says can be added to Slackware as well.
And even on distrowatch, on which she wrote her article, if we take into consideration the distribution "interest" rankings, most of the site's readers would agree with with me as Slackware has been "investigated" by the site's usually newbie Linux users more times than any of the derivatives.

3) All they do is cut down the packages already in Slackware and possibly add some other ones, packing a more desktop orientated distribution. (With the exception of Zenwalk here, which evolved quite a lot and is very different than Slackware today).

I definitely agree with one thing with her. Time matters, and when choosing an operating system i haven't got time to play games with projects i can't depend on.
 
Old 10-06-2009, 03:58 PM   #29
brianL
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That review would have been OK if it was a comparative review: Slackware 13.0 v Debian "lenny", for instance. That might have justified mentioning the lack of dependency-checking, package-management, etc. A review of Slack alone should judge it on its own merits. Mention prebuilt packages from Alien Bob, Robby Workman, slacky.eu, amongst others. Mention SlackBuilds. Mention slackpkg, sbopkg, src2pkg, and how well they do the job they're supposed to do. People choose the distro that suits them, and Slackware as it is fills a niche that no other distro does. Why criticise it for being different?
 
Old 10-06-2009, 04:46 PM   #30
Woodsman
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Quote:
Why criticise it for being different?
While Caitlyn's review could be seen as criticizing, I saw the review as a constructive critique. I don't think she hides from wanting to see more usability from a non-technical user's perspective. After a few years of reading her articles and reviews, I think she wants to see free software become more dominant within the general populace. The only way that happens is improving usability.

Pat one day might change his mind, but the past record is that Slackware is unlikely to provide many bells and whistles, GUI admin tools, graphical installation tools, dependency checking, etc. In that respect she perhaps upsets some Slackers because many Slackers do not want those features. Yet things change. Some apps and features now a part of Slackware were unforseen several years ago by many Slackware users. So I don't mind that Caitlyn is pushing the envelope seeking non-existent features --- Pat one day might change his mind if enough people ask for something. Constructive critiques are healthy because one way or another, in the end Slackware becomes a better tool.

Caitlyn understands that Slackware is not targeted for non-technical people. Her point in the review was that the Slackware web site advertises the system as providing "ease of use." With respect to the definition she used in her link and using the phrase as most people use the phrase, she believes that Slackware fails to satisfy the description at the web site.

Nowhere did I think she was bad-mouthing Slackware or Slackers. Throughout the review her focus was on the phrase "ease of use" as used by most people. Slackware fills a niche and most people who use Slackware are content with the design philosophy. Caitlyn's review focused on people who might want to try Slackware and she was warning them that several features that now are standard and expected by non-technical people are unavailable within Slackware. I did not read the review and feel she had attacked Slackware. She only concluded that for non-technical people Slackware is not easy to use. She even added that Slackware is a good tool for learning about an operating system --- getting under the hood.

Some Slackwers might disagree with her conclusion, but Slackers tend to be technical people. Something that tends to come easy for technical people seldom comes easy for non-technical people. As I write this response, the two people chatting right now two cubicles down from me are not technical people with respect to computers. They would look at Slackware and act like the proverbial deer in the headlights. They struggle every day with Windows and the apps used here. I suspect neither has ever seen a terminal window, let alone used one. They probably never have heard of free software, the GNU tool chain or the Linux kernel. Yet those two people are hardly stupid --- they are quite smart and intelligent. They simply are not tech savvy with respect to computers.

People who read the reviews at Distrowatch might have a desire to test different distros, but that hardly means most of those people are computer savvy. Many are point-and-click people. Slackware probably is not for them and Caitlyn said as much in her review. She did not declare Slackware unusable. She only concluded that Slackware is not easy to use with respect to how most people inteprret that phrase.
 
  


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