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Old 10-06-2009, 07:23 PM   #31
slackass
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Auto dependency checking?

No thanks.
When I build something like ffmpeg I like to be right in the middle of the process so I can make sure I get all the bells an whistles.
It takes a little more time to do things tailored to my system but I wouldn't care much for some generic package that someone else "thinks" I would be happy with.
To write a proper review of Slack, I would think that the reviewer should actually use it long enough to get the "feel" of it.
 
Old 10-06-2009, 07:36 PM   #32
foodown
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hitest View Post
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 appreciate your point. However, can anyone really be considered a "Linux user" if they persist in being uncomfortable with the CLI? I would say that they cannot.

You are correct in that this seems to be the point of view from which see is writing. Nonetheless, her paradigm for the "ease of use" criticism is flawed. Could Linux really be easy to use for someone who does not know anything about how to use Linux? No. Is learning a new set of point-and-click dialog boxes "using" Linux? Perhaps it is in the strictest sense, but has a person at that point really learned anything about Linux or how to use it? Of course not. Slackware is easy to use . . . for Linux users.

Her criticism of Slackware for "failing" to meet its ease of use goal is analogous to someone criticizing a keyboard for being too hard to use for people who don't know how to type.
 
Old 10-06-2009, 10:19 PM   #33
hitest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foodown View Post
I appreciate your point. However, can anyone really be considered a "Linux user" if they persist in being uncomfortable with the CLI? I would say that they cannot.
Thank you. From my point of view a real Linux user is not dependent on shiny point-and-click GUIs. I agree with you.

Quote:
You are correct in that this seems to be the point of view from which see is writing. Nonetheless, her paradigm for the "ease of use" criticism is flawed. Could Linux really be easy to use for someone who does not know anything about how to use Linux? No. Is learning a new set of point-and-click dialog boxes "using" Linux? Perhaps it is in the strictest sense, but has a person at that point really learned anything about Linux or how to use it? Of course not. Slackware is easy to use . . . for Linux users.
Again I return to my contention that this article is not written for us. This article is aimed at the majority of Linux users (Ubuntu, Fedora, etc.). These people are using Linux, but, they in all likelihood have little idea what is happening behind the graphical user interface. Do they know anything about Linux? They don't need to know a lot to install Ubuntu. For an Ubuntu user Slackware would not be an easy distro to install or configure. So from this frame of reference her comments about ease of use are accurate. That is, a person who does not know how to hand edit system files or navigate on the CLI will find Slackware difficult to use.
I do agree with you that there is a difference between using Linux and comprehending how the system functions.
 
Old 10-07-2009, 12:51 AM   #34
molhar
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I agree with Woodsman & hitest in their opinions on Caitlyn's review. For any "average" Linux user who's only come to it in the past four or five years, Slackware appears "primitive" in some ways. However, the proof of Slackware's excellence can only be seen once it has been experienced.

I came to Linux 10 1/2 years ago, with Red Hat 5.2 and no idea of how anything worked. All I had was curiosity, a blank hard drive and the pdfs that came with the retail sales box (which was priced at $20). After a few months of learning Linux in my "hobby" hours, I moved to Mandrake 7. True, it was like going from a straight shift to an automatic. I saw a couple of articles on Debian and took an interest in it next. I learned so much more about "how Linux worked" from Debian than I did from either Mandrake or Red Hat -- and this was with an 8mb video card, 256 mb ram, on a p3 and a V92 modem. I still remember the overnight hours it took to download emacs at the time.

In all of this time my only resources for learning were (1) the Red Hat pdfs, (2) the web, (3) two slim Mandrake booklets, (4) the Debian Bible, (6) Linux Mag & Linux Journal and (5) my time. No human contacts, no forums, nothing else. Yet even I was able to install Slackware 9 from a "Linux User & Developer" magazine cd (which I still have. The "cover" reads: Latest version! Easy to install! Fuss free! Linux kernel 2.4.20x Free86 4.3 OGCC 3.2 ...and so on. And a picture of Tux and his red pipe.).

In no time at all, Slackware became my default Linux, just as FreeBSD at around the same time became my default *BSD. Both worked great on both that PC and the desktop machine I Built By Myself seven years ago. I had some laptop troubles when I switched to one about 3 years ago, but I overcame even that.

Today I still check out one openSUSE, Debian, Ubuntu, gNewSense, VectorLinux, Puppy and Fedora release each year and install them on a 20G "test drive" I use just for curiosity in their installation & repository schemes. Each distro stays on the testbed for one to five days. (Last time, Fedora stayed on the drive maybe 7 hours before I wiped it off :-) ). And I remain convinced of the superiority of both Slackware and FreeBSD for my needs.

I applaud Patrick & the other Slackware volunteers for keeping the installer & package tools just as they are. And it's going to be the rare reviewer who reviews Slackware as Its Own Thing and not something else. After all, am I wrong, or aren't 2/3 of the people who'd be reading a Distrowatch review be pretty savvy? (And the other 1/3 -- mostly recent converts -- may be in some tech nether world for awhile?)

And that's the opinion of this 48 year-old woman.
 
Old 10-07-2009, 01:55 AM   #35
TwinReverb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caitlyn Martin
One change in Slackware 13.0 is that ext4 support is now included and ext4 is the default file system.
I don't remember it being default. Just because something is selected doesn't mean it's recommended or default.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caitlyn Martin
However, there is no X configuration included in the installation process nor do you have the option to boot into X by default.
Yes but you forgot to read that now you don't even need an xorg.conf. I don't know how well Xorg with HAL detects everything, but I would assume that most people won't need an xorg.conf.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caitlyn Martin
The installer also failed to setup the system to load the kernel modules needed to support my laptop at boot....I suspect other laptop users, not just those with very old Toshiba machines, will need to do some configuration by hand to get their laptops to be 100% functional under Slackware.
Actually, IIRC those are loaded by hotplug (the software daemon) and/or udev/HAL automatically, so it's really an issue where those automatic features aren't doing their job. Still, laptops have issues with that from time to time due to non-standard / varying setups, so I don't really see that as a problem with Slackware. However, I have both a toshiba and a sony and both those get their modules loaded at boot. In my opinion those modules are support for non-standard platforms in the first place: I "blame" the laptop manufacturers first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caitlyn Martin
These manual configuration steps are perfect examples of why Slackware isn't easy for someone not used to old-school Linux configuration. Most truly user-friendly distributions automate these processes and offer appropriate choices during installation.
It also depends upon their willingness to learn. I have had people who figured out Slackware easily who had never even used Linux before. Also, once shown how to "feed themselves", Slackware becomes very easy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caitlyn Martin
My point is that initial configuration and getting a system customized to individual taste takes considerably more work in Slackware than it does in other distributions, the ones that are genuinely easy to use.
True, but you haven't seen people experience horrible problems with Ubuntu or Mandriva. On Mandriva in the past (since this is my #2 favorite distribution; 2009.0) I have had to do some interesting customization to get it to act usable enough. It mis-identifies my touchpad, and the promise of display switching is not delivered. It loads unnecessary garbage, and using your own tested-and-approved kernel configs with it is definitely a no-go (get ready to use THEIR kernel source that's hacked with their "improvements"). Then to top it off they include their own sound daemon (forgot the name) which runs on top of ALSA but only makes my applications do weird stuff, and which cannot be uninstalled or removed. That and their release of KDE4 gave you many problems, not the least of which was that you can't use KDE3 without major surgery, something that typically broke the system (even though it's their own packages).

I've even had Mandriva (2009.0) install fine but then not even work. I checked the DVD and it was indeed good to go (md5sum). (Now some distros are offering only the CD, not the DVD, which is sad in my opinion.)

How do you call the above "easy to use"? I learned to fix problems like other people have during my time using Slackware Linux and having to do things myself. I've helped people with the weirdest problems using Ubuntu or whatever else using my Slackware skills: problems their graphical tools didn't solve.

A promise made but not kept is better not made. This is why Slackware promises nothing but delivers, at least for me. I am not hating on other distributions, and I understand your complaints, but I just don't agree with you. This is why stability trumps usability: you can't use something that's broken.

Last edited by TwinReverb; 10-07-2009 at 02:02 AM.
 
Old 10-07-2009, 02:48 AM   #36
slakmagik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinReverb View Post
I don't remember it being default. Just because something is selected doesn't mean it's recommended or default.
Well, technically and literally, it is - if the kernel only supports ext3, that's the default but, if it supports ext4, that is, and those are the only defaults:

Code:
  if grep -wq ext4 /proc/filesystems 1> $NDIR 2> $NDIR ; then
    EXT4="Ext4 is the successor to the ext3 filesystem. "
    DEFAULT=ext4
  fi
Those variables are used later in the menu command. Since it's the middle entry, Pat's specifically saying "if you hit enter, you get that one, not EXT{2,3} or {J,REISER,X}FS" or dialog would just default-default to ext2 as the first item. So I agree with her there.

Re-reading my own rant and other people's comments, I will agree that she does a generally more balanced and technically accurate review than many (though hardly perfect) but to all those who claim she's being totally dispassionate and objective, I just point to phrases like, "grossly incomplete" and "pretty much inexcusable" and so on.
 
Old 10-07-2009, 03:10 AM   #37
mcnalu
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Quote:
I appreciate your point. However, can anyone really be considered a "Linux user" if they persist in being uncomfortable with the CLI? I would say that they cannot.
I think they can, but I do agree with you to some extent in that they're missing a lot of good things that we see in linux (or unix-like) OSes if they shy away from the CLI.

It depends on how literal you want to be with "linux user". Almost all "car users" know little about how their car works (they would probably save a bit of time/money/environment if they did know a little more!) but they are nevertheless users of cars.
 
Old 10-07-2009, 04:50 AM   #38
brianL
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Is Caitlyn real? If you read her reviews of 12.1 and 13.0, you'll find some passages that are identical. So, could she be some kind of review writing software, with a user-friendly GUI where you enter the distro name and it churns out a suitable, cliche-ridden, article?

http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?is...091005#feature

http://news.oreilly.com/2008/06/slac...est-versi.html
 
Old 10-07-2009, 08:00 AM   #39
sahko
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Well i got to admit that she's slowly getting better. In the 12.1 "review" she mentioned vectorlinux 7 times. In the 13.0 one, only 4.
Thank bob she doesn't write reviews about Debian.

Last edited by sahko; 10-07-2009 at 08:02 AM.
 
Old 10-07-2009, 08:28 AM   #40
hitest
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by brianL View Post
Is Caitlyn real? If you read her reviews of 12.1 and 13.0, you'll find some passages that are identical. So, could she be some kind of review writing software, with a user-friendly GUI where you enter the distro name and it churns out a suitable, cliche-ridden, article?
brianL, that is hilarious! Thanks for a good laugh!
 
Old 10-07-2009, 10:03 AM   #41
saulgoode
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It is ludicrous that advanced users should be permitted to claim that anything is "simple" or "easy to use". You never hear astronauts proclaiming that landing the space shuttle is easy; an airline pilot praising how simple it is to fly a 777; or a photographer claiming that it's a piece of cake to take pictures with the new Canon SLRs.

Likewise it is inconceivable that users of an advanced operating system should ever consider activating an FTP server by deleting a character in 'inetd.conf', or changing the screen resolution by adding a line to 'xorg.conf', to be "simple".

How ridiculous you Slackers are to think that you can consider YOUR WAY of doing something "easy" -- you forfeited that right the first time you compiled a program from source. You sacrificed all opportunity to praise elegance and transparency when you first grepped in /var/log/packages to determine what package a library belongs to, or performed an 'ldd' to list a program's dependencies.

If you can hit more than two characters on the keyboard in sequence then you are no longer permitted to use the words "simple", "easy", or (heaven forfend) "usable"; those words are reserved solely for the infantile caveman who aspires to no greater ambition than to point at pretty pictures on the wall and grunt "Next...".

Shame on you, Slackers!

Last edited by saulgoode; 10-07-2009 at 11:20 AM. Reason: grammar
 
Old 10-07-2009, 10:28 AM   #42
cwizardone
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Well said, saulgoode!
Cheers.
(That name is familiar; electronics? )

Last edited by cwizardone; 10-07-2009 at 10:38 AM.
 
Old 10-07-2009, 10:48 AM   #43
BrZ
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Configure Slackware is very, very simple, but acquiring the knowledge is up to you. This only demand brain, not skill. If you failed, it was not Slackware fault...
 
Old 10-07-2009, 04:30 PM   #44
Hello-World
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Smile

In same review

Look at comment 112 (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-10-07 18:19:07 GMT from United States)
Quote:
Slackware has no equivalent of either SELinux or PAM. I didn't mention that in the review because I was focusing on home desktop or small office / home office usage. Slackware really isn't suitable for an enterprise server environment precisely because it is lacking those tools. I've read an article which I could track down about implementing PAM in Slackware so with some work you could add that. I am not aware of anyone who has tried to implement SELinux under Slack.
Is this opinion true

I read about slackware stability and many benefits so i think slackware suitable for servers not only desktop :-)
 
Old 10-07-2009, 06:15 PM   #45
foodown
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Quote:
Slackware has no equivalent of either SELinux or PAM. I didn't mention that in the review because I was focusing on home desktop or small office / home office usage. Slackware really isn't suitable for an enterprise server environment precisely because it is lacking those tools. I've read an article which I could track down about implementing PAM in Slackware so with some work you could add that. I am not aware of anyone who has tried to implement SELinux under Slack.
Interpretation: you can't do these two things because there is no specific howto written yet . . . Oh, wait . . . maybe there's a howto written for one of them, so maybe you can do that, but there's no step-by-step howto about the other one, therefore it cannot be done.

Quote:
Is this opinion true ?

I read about slackware stability and many benefits so i think slackware suitable for servers not only desktop :-)
The opinion is as true as the idea that Slackware itself is "solid," but that derivatives like Vector Linux are "truly great distros."
So, no, it is not true.

Last edited by foodown; 10-08-2009 at 12:18 AM.
 
  


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