The good thing about Linux and projects like it, forks can exist that can either supplement, assist, or replace a project when and if needed.
Very true, Slackware will probably never die. Slamd and existing fork projects based on Slackware could always be restarted as a project or another whole entire new fork could appear. If Patrick Volkerding fell off the face of the Earth tomorrow (*insert your deity's name* forbid), there are plenty of people, mirrors, side projects, and sources available to continue on without him. Yes it won't be the same, but the legacy will still be there and Slackware will live on. Might be a slightly different name, might not, but at the heart of it, Slackware will continue to be Slackware.
Case in point:
Look at TiMidity... original TiMidity project ended and TiMidity++ took it's place. It's not exactly the same project, but it preserves what TiMidity was needed for and continues to do so.
Last edited by ReaperX7; 08-11-2011 at 11:25 PM.