H_TeXMeX_H, be kind.
Many people are not computer-literate yet deserve credit for trying to shake the shackles of proprietary software and at least trying to install an operating system. Many people today, unlike us old farts who have been around computers a long time, never have installed an OS from scratch. The venture is overwhelming for many people.
I have been using Slackware for several years. I agree that, generally, Slackware is more difficult than the usual point-and-click way most people are accustomed. I am comfortable now traversing my way around Slackware, but that was not the case years ago.
Yes, a lot of digging in text files can reveal much, but most people are like the traditional deer in the headlights when Slackware is installed and there is nothing but a command prompt blinking and a cryptic message "You have mail" with no immediate instructions how to fetch that mail.
There always will be README files and change logs to read regardless of the operating system, but there a few things I wish Slackware did better. Such as auto-configuring X, which about half the time, is a nightmare for many people. My WAG is that from following the LQ forum threads for several years, about half the people never have X issues and the other half experience a lot of frustration.
The repeated number one hit page at my web site is the mini how-to to configure the scroll wheel on a mouse. Learning how to do that manually is fun for some people, not fun for others. Other top hit pages include configuring GRUB and the basic bash startup scripts. Those three pages are always the most hit. I wish Slackware provided better X auto-configuration (beyond a VESA configuration), GRUB as a built-in alternate boot loader choice, and that some basic bash startup scripts were available.
Another popular question here at LQ is configuring the iptables firewall and why there is no related rc script. I would like to see an rc.firewall stub script, inside of which is a simple URL to Eric's firewall script builder web page.
There are many nominal tweaks such as this that I think Paul Sherman is trying to accomplish with Absolute. I don't know whether Absolute offers enough to pull me away from the stock Slackware, but I have a couple of old boxes here that I am tempted to test with Absolute. I can browse the web for additional opinions about Absolute, but since the original poster asked the question, I too am interested in what others have to say about the distro, especially those who still prefer the stock Slackware.
To the original poster, everything I have read indicates that if you like the basic Slackware philosophy, you more than likely will enjoy Absolute. I have been using Slackware for several years. I do not consider myself a Slackware guru and there are several here at LQ. From what I have read, Absolute has no installation options, therefore you would install and be done. Absolute offers several configuration tools that Slackware does not, and from what I can gather, does auto-configure X, which often is a painful experience for users new to GNU/Linux.
My guess is that if Absolute addresses some of the typical bumps and bruises I've mentioned, then the distro might serve well as a way to get more acquainted with Slackware.
Browsing the Absolute forum indicates Paul Sherman is active and responsive toward user questions (Pat V. is too, I'm only commenting about Paul and Absolute).
Here is a more recent review:
Review: Absolute Linux 12.1.05 – Slackware Made Easier