It's still possible to determine exactly what is being installed on your system using Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, or any other distro. And it's really not that difficult either (you can always make your own packages, although it may not be as friendly as in Slackware). It just isn't as transparent as on Slackware. Well, it is -- but it isn't. It's hard to explain. Slackware isn't really much more "open" than other distros, it just forces you to see everything. Other distros allow the same openness, but they provide other tools that don't show you everything. You can use Debian or Ubuntu while compiling all of your programs from source -- but it negates the whole point of using a Debian-based distro with its lovely apt-get and dependency-resolving goodness. It seems like because the other distros don't absolutely force you to pay attention to what you install, people assume you can't pay attention. This is false.
However, using Synaptic in Ubuntu (for which there is no true equivalent in Slackware) makes me a little nervous seeing all of those packages install without me knowing exactly what's happening (one badly created package and BAM! SYSTEM DOWN!). Basically, you are using the full ability of these other distros when you don't have to, and are blaming their utilities for unstable (or closed, opaque) systems, just because there isn't an equivalent in Slackware.
iiv, you should never completely judge a distro based on other people's words. If I did that, then I never would have installed the 'aging dinosaur' I currently use (Slackware). Ubuntu is a great distro, and sometimes when I encounter a program with 3 million dependencies, I secretly wish for apt-get. But then I regain my senses and remember that I compile (almost) everything from source just so I know exactly what's going on my system (paranoid much?). I also love Slackware's simplicity and stability (though I have never used Ubuntu or OpenSUSE long enough to experience a crash). Hence I use Slackware -- but I would be pretty happy using other distros as well. Try it out for yourself in a VM or on a separate partition or different PC. It's not THAT bad, it's just not for me.
Last edited by T3slider; 04-16-2008 at 10:20 PM.