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Old 04-20-2004, 05:20 PM   #1
shepper
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Can Pat Keep it Up?


Being a frequent visitor to Distrowatch and the Slackware Changelog I have gotten the impression that Linux development is literally exploding. Previously when a program was updated Pat V. would be able to incorporate it into Slackware within days.

Program updates are now occuring so quickly that I wonder If Slackware development is now too overwhelming for one person?

Presently Abiword is at 2.0.6 while it is 2.0.3 in Slackware. GCC is now 3.4, Gnome is 2.6.1, gftp 2.0.17. Should XFree86 be dumped in favor of X.org? Beep media player instead of XMMS?
The jump to the 2.6 kernel series. And now a new KDE release.

Not only does this require alot of effort to build but the testing needed to continue Slackware's reputation for stability looks overwhelming. Will 64 bit processing be the future and how can you cover that base while supporting 32 bit processing?

Will another developer fork to Slack64? Will Pat begin to accept help with package submissions from the community and take a more supervisory role rather than micromanaging the distro? Would a FreeBSB system with package maintainers work for Slackware?

It will be interesting to see how things develop.
 
Old 04-20-2004, 05:36 PM   #2
ringwraith
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The literal explosion always goes on. Many of the releases in packages however matter little to the average user. Sometimes you would have to read the changelog to know what changed. I know many users have a constant craving to have the newest available package at all times, even if it isn't one they use. Pat puts out a stable, reasonably up to date distro. The Slack user can then chase the newest packages all they want.

There has been some talk on a.o.l.s. about someone porting to 64 but I don't know if anyone really wanted to do it. Pat will probably do something in that vain when he feels the need.
 
Old 04-20-2004, 05:52 PM   #3
portux
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I hope Slack won't go the update frenzy that Linux distros are, and that drove me away from windows among other things like user exploitation and abuse.

I'm new to linux although I use it since RH6.2 (not sure about the .2) when I first instaled it, but I couldn't do something useful with it (lack of knowledge and internet) so I returned to windows to my regret, since then I've tried several distros, from Corel to Suse to Debian to Mandrake to RedHat; and finally I found Slackware, and from what I've read in the net it was too good to be true, a distro that didn't launch a new release every 6 months, and with a reputation of stability, I've installed Slackware 9.0 and then 9.1 and I'm happy since then and, more important, got rid of windows for good.

I can see your point, and I agreed that is important to evolve and to give support to new hardware and so, and probably it is too much work for a single man, even my reply can be seen as being off topic, but my fear has grown due to persons like you that think Slack should be upgraded to *all* major aplications upgrades.

I think that whoever wants the latest KDE or Abiword release should use the old method of installing it himself, instead of pressing the distro developers to realease another and another version; that is wrong, even if the distro realeasers are not volunteers anymore, look at RedHat...

Sorry for my rumbling, I'm just concerned.
 
Old 04-20-2004, 06:24 PM   #4
shepper
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I agree that a stable distro is the number one priority. Some of the packages (abiword and gftp) were released with bug fixes and code cleanups. Xfree/X.org has alot to do with hardware support. as do the kernels.

The literal explosion does go on but I get the sense that it is following Moore's law and with the speed of development occurring faster as time goes on.

I just wonder if Pat groans with each new ALSA release that shows up at very short time intervals.

Last edited by shepper; 04-20-2004 at 06:30 PM.
 
Old 04-20-2004, 07:32 PM   #5
slackMeUp
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Pat is doing fine...
I would like to see him take on more people to help with slackware, but if he can handel the load...

Slack is gold.
 
Old 04-20-2004, 08:08 PM   #6
J.W.
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Another thought to consider is that you don't always want to be on the bleeding edge. For any mission critical machines, you want to have full confidence that the version of each package you are running has been proven to be stable. Just because "xyz-3.2.17" was released last week and you are only running "xyz-3.2.15", it doesn't mean that you need to immediately upgrade. I would say that with the exception of critical security bugs, unless a new release contains functionality that would directly have a positive impact on your operations, there would be little point in upgrading. Similarly, if you don't happen to be using a given package, the fact that a new release may have come out is pretty much irrelevant. For instance, I don't use Abiword, so whether I've got version 2.0.3 or 2.0.6 is a non-issue for me.

I do agree with your point however that given the sheer number of packages that now comprise Slack, it becomes an increasingly difficult job to select the right combination of them and ensure that they will all play well with one another. Just solving the dependency issues alone would be a huge task (for me anyway), but I have confidence that Patrick has sufficient self-awareness to realize when the task might start approaching the outside limits of his capabilties. I don't think that day has arrived yet, but if/when it might, I would expect that he could take on a partner(s) to handle certain aspects of the project. Just my 2 cents. -- J.W.
 
Old 04-20-2004, 09:44 PM   #7
Kovacs
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I think the need to have the latest bleeding edge software is a linux thing... if you look at the freebsd ports system, sometimes it takes a long time for new software to show up there. Personally I'm really happy with my slack-current, and if there's anything that I really want the latest and greatest of then, since you're working with a basically unmodified linux distro, it's not usually a problem to compile it and make a package with checkinstall. In some ways Slack's simplicity (and the above average skill level of most of its users) almost obviates the need for a constant update service like you have with some other distros.
 
Old 04-20-2004, 11:45 PM   #8
tank728
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I to like to have the latest stable packages installed on my system (notice I said stable). I think that Pat focuses more on core of the OS rather than the latest word processor, ftp client, etc... Which is a good thing because if you think about it are those packages necessary for your system to run? No. I like the way slack is right now, stable, secure, solid.

As for the upcoming hardware Pat has a whole lot to deal with. Just to name a few 64-bit computing, pci-express, and SATA. Maybe SATA, and pci-express are more of a kernel issue, but he still has to write/package and implement some sort of tools to manage that new hardware. But I do agree with shepper it will be interesting to see what developes, and what Pat does.

-tank
 
Old 04-21-2004, 01:08 PM   #9
Big Al
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I don't mind if my software is several versions behind as long as it works. If I want the latest version of program XYZ I can either wait until Pat gets around to including it, or install it myself. I would like to see a Slack64, but there's no rush; my AMD64 runs 32-bit Slack just fine.
 
Old 04-21-2004, 01:28 PM   #10
jong357
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It does huh? Damn... Just ordered a new computer and went with the P4 HT proc..... Really wanted a 64 bit proc but was woried that Slack might not run.... Hmmm... Oh well.....I don't worry about bleeding edge either.... I think we all instinctively trust him to always put out the most stable distro that's around... That certainly probably wouldn't happen if he used the latest 2.6 kernel and all the latest versions of apps. It would probably be totall crap actually..... If I want a newer version of something than what he provides, I install it myself.... I'm actually not looking forward to Gnome 2.6...... I might have to choose another WM when he finally incorporates that into a release.....
 
Old 12-20-2005, 03:03 PM   #11
wini_g
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Slack should keep to its origins & not try to become fashionable by updating all the time - Slack is clean - tested - stable - & quiet - not many distro's of that kind are left.

& it would ruin Vector which I very love.
 
Old 12-20-2005, 03:32 PM   #12
KnightHawk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shepper
Being a frequent visitor to Distrowatch and the Slackware Changelog I have gotten the impression that Linux development is literally exploding. Previously when a program was updated Pat V. would be able to incorporate it into Slackware within days.

Program updates are now occuring so quickly that I wonder If Slackware development is now too overwhelming for one person?

Presently Abiword is at 2.0.6 while it is 2.0.3 in Slackware. GCC is now 3.4, Gnome is 2.6.1, gftp 2.0.17. Should XFree86 be dumped in favor of X.org? Beep media player instead of XMMS?
The jump to the 2.6 kernel series. And now a new KDE release.

Not only does this require alot of effort to build but the testing needed to continue Slackware's reputation for stability looks overwhelming. Will 64 bit processing be the future and how can you cover that base while supporting 32 bit processing?

Will another developer fork to Slack64? Will Pat begin to accept help with package submissions from the community and take a more supervisory role rather than micromanaging the distro? Would a FreeBSB system with package maintainers work for Slackware?

It will be interesting to see how things develop.
I think its a bit too early to be worried. It was never Slackware's motto to be on the bleeding edge of software versions and most people would not want it to be. I think your reference to Abiword underlines the silliness with this. 2.0.6 vs 2.0.3 are not going to be majorly different in any particular way, and I would not call that difference an example of Pat being overwhelmd.

Now obviously Pat is bound to get overwhelmed at some point, but I would not point out the minor version differences between slackware and any other newer distro and call that a failing or indication of problem with Slackware. Its like getting windows critical patch #3823784 and thinking your system should run much better now. (granted maybe not the best example to use )
 
Old 12-20-2005, 05:46 PM   #13
ringwraith
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There is a 64 bit fork http://www.slamd64.com/
 
Old 12-20-2005, 07:30 PM   #14
eelriver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ringwraith
There is a 64 bit fork http://www.slamd64.com/
There wasn't when this thread first died, in April of 2004...
 
Old 12-20-2005, 09:08 PM   #15
ringwraith
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Gee whiz, didn't notice that. How do these ancient threads get resurrected.
 
  


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