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I agree onebuck. Slackware ships with an excellent complement of programs. If I need additional applications I will peruse the above-mentioned links.
Also, rworkman provides excellent Slackware packages. Robby is one of our Slackware developers; his packages are also completely trustworthy.
I consider the two most important ones, a seperate xulrunner (maybe along with nss and nspr) instead of using seamonkey and libreoffice. Texlive would be nice too.
But the chances of seeing the later two any time soon are pretty slim, since their sources are huge.
The fakeroot program allows you to build packages without root privileges. If you make a mistake in writing a build script, you don't accidentally modify system files.
If you just build a package no system files will be touched. If you are modifying a build script then do so from a copy of the original. If you are satisfied with the build then doing the installpkg will modify.
If you make a mistake in writing a build script, you don't accidentally modify system files.
This reminded me an incident I had a few years ago, when I was working on some SlackBuild and accidentally left one variable undefined. The problem was the line below, something like rm -rf $FOO. Ended up losing almost all of my system partition, luckily my personal files were left intact.
That's why it's crucial to test those things in some sort of isolated environment. And have backups.