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Old 01-22-2014, 11:59 AM   #1
moisespedro
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Reviews often unnecessarily "bash" Slackware


A little bit of rant here. Excuse me for my english, it is not my first language.
It happens every time. Every review of Slackware says it is "hard", "non user friendly", etc. Like this one, for example.

Quote:
Therefore, besides the basics, you’ll need to find the software you want to install on your own. This includes creating Slackware packages on your own, using tools to convert .rpm and .deb files, or by compiling the code yourself. You can install Slackware packages with the upgradepkg command, but this tool does nothing more than install a package and keep track of those installed – it doesn’t do any dependency resolution or any other “advanced” features.
This part makes it looks like it is insanely hard to install what you want, forgetting to say that Slackware comes with a full KDE desktop (I dislike it but still) and a full XFCE desktop. It also forgets to talk about the incredible work of Alien Bob and all the people maintaning slackware packages and the slackbuilds.org website. To someone that doesn't know Slackware at all it will look like that you would have to become a distro maintainer yourself, keeping track of every single piece of software you would like to use. In my house I am running Slackware on my computer and Xubuntu on my old dad's PC and, to be honest, I often find it harder to get and maintain a new software on his PC than on mine (he can't do it on his own, he is sort of used to windows but not at all to linux).

Another thing that bothers me is how text/ncurses-based install process are "too hard" when they are pretty much straight-foward, read what you have on your screen, follow step by step and you are done.

It happens not only with Slackware but with Linux. You often find on articles trying to get people to switch Linux saying that "this distro is pretty easy bla bla bla you won't have to use any terminal command". I find that harmful, it is almost "demonizing" command line interfaces. People would still keep the idea that it is for "hackers" and it is "insanely hard" (like Slackware). Today, a lot of my daily usage is on the command line and I can say it is as easy (if not easier) and as comfortable as GUI interfaces. And, often, it is more powerful. I am not saying everyone should use command line, I am just saying people that are promoting/reviewing Linux should stop treating it as something "out of this world" nor "very hard to begginers".

Thanks for you attention folks, this was a rent as its finest, I've wrote it without thinking too much, I just wrote it.
 
Old 01-22-2014, 12:09 PM   #2
ponce
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you shouldn't take that review (or any other you randomly find on the internet) seriously, without trusting the reviewer first: in this specific case, as lonestar says in that article's comments, I also think the author doesn't even know what he's talking about.

Last edited by ponce; 01-22-2014 at 01:28 PM. Reason: added "without trusting the reviewer first"
 
Old 01-22-2014, 12:24 PM   #3
dugan
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I personally thought that the review was largely accurate.
 
Old 01-22-2014, 12:32 PM   #4
jtsn
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The reviewer shows a typical distro hopper POV: judging only the installer and concluding with a screenshot of the default desktop (in this case of Ubuntu, funnily enough). Which of course says nothing about the actual usefulness of Slackware.

But from that biased view, we can learn something interesting about the Linux ecosystem and expectations of the people inside it:
Quote:
Therefore, besides the basics, you’ll need to find the software you want to install on your own.
That is how PC operating systems had worked for over 30 years. It took until 2012 before the most popular implementation called "Windows" got something like an app store. I've never seen other PC operating systems (like DOS, MacOS, OS X) being criticized for that.

Quote:
This includes creating Slackware packages on your own, using tools to convert .rpm and .deb files, or by compiling the code yourself.
That is not the fault of Slackware. If you had to create MSI packages on your own, convert ZIP or RAR archives to something else and occasionally compile your Adobe Creative Suite using Visual Studio to get a productive Windows workstation up and running, who would be criticized for that? Microsoft? I don't think so.

This statement says a lot about how independent software vendors treat Linux. And this is one of the main issues of the total failure of the Linux desktop. But that is not Slackware's fault. Slackware provides a unified and complete base operating system perfect for installing third party applications. But open source software developers decide to make that complicated!

Quote:
You can install Slackware packages with the upgradepkg command, but this tool does nothing more than install a package and keep track of those installed – it doesn’t do any dependency resolution or any other “advanced” features.
The most popular and commercially successful operating systems don't provide automatic hierarchical dependency resolution, because they don't need anything else than flat dependencies. And resolving these is the job of the application developer and not one of the end-user or its operating system.

Last edited by jtsn; 01-22-2014 at 12:33 PM.
 
Old 01-22-2014, 12:41 PM   #5
metaschima
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I think the review is biased in its presentation, but like dugan says, largely accurate. You can tell the author doesn't like it, and they present it in this way.
 
Old 01-22-2014, 12:44 PM   #6
Richard Cranium
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dugan View Post
I personally thought that the review was largely accurate.
Well, it was accurate in reporting what the author thought but less accurate in describing reality.
 
Old 01-22-2014, 12:46 PM   #7
ponce
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a little quoting (just for laughs)
Quote:
Setting Up

Slackware also comes in a very minimal state. From the bootable ISO, you must partition your hard drive with command line tools, and then use a setup script to complete the installation onto your hard drive. From there, you can do whatever you wish with your system.

You’re likely not done, however, because all this installs for your is a command-driven system. If you want a GUI you’ll need to install drivers, the X window system, and a desktop environment of your choice.
I doubt that reviewer ever get it installed.
 
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:59 PM   #8
Woodsman
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I am at peace with what I use.
 
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:57 AM   #9
irgunII
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Those who rag Linux in general, are usually those who are 'lazy' brainers. By that I mean, they can think and breathe simultaneously without assistance, but prefer to take the 'easy way' like an animal of the forest. Then become so accustomed to having things done for them, that actually having to think, even a little bit, hurts too much and it's easier to just say it's too difficult so that makes it a Bad Thing.

For example...I know a person who will tell you how smart and logical they are, yet will go into an almost fit of rage if you try to get them to learn to use a cellphone and especially to 'text' on it. Their excuse - it's too difficult to figure out. (yeah, it's the kind of person you'd love to smack the crap out of!)

Last edited by irgunII; 01-23-2014 at 06:59 AM.
 
Old 01-23-2014, 09:05 AM   #10
mattallmill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irgunII View Post
For example...I know a person who will tell you how smart and logical they are, yet will go into an almost fit of rage if you try to get them to learn to use a cellphone and especially to 'text' on it. Their excuse - it's too difficult to figure out. (yeah, it's the kind of person you'd love to smack the crap out of!)
Haven't they,almost by definition, contradicted themselves? Or maybe they consider you to be the kind of person they are, not thinking in detail about their statement, and making them prove themselves. Boy, weren't they surprised when you proved otherwise?
 
Old 01-23-2014, 10:24 AM   #11
hitest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ponce View Post
I doubt that reviewer ever get it installed.
Agreed! Thanks ponce for a good chuckle this morning. Funny stuff.
 
Old 01-23-2014, 10:38 AM   #12
ryanpcmcquen
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I have noticed a lot Linux-ers complaining about this bug and that bug, and I can't help but think 'why don't you try Slackware'?

I also noticed someone who is newer to Linux trying to install two programs (I think it was Skype and Virtualbox on an Ubuntu derivative), and apt just wasn't having it (it wanted to remove one to install the other). Why do people think dependency resolution is so great? Because so many distros do it, it must be good? That is nonsense. I absolutely love Slackware and recently converted a long time (7-year) Ubuntu user to it. He now raves about its stability, how bug-free it is, and how much you learn while using it.

I am so grateful to have the opportunity to use a system that respects the user like Slackware.

Thank you to all who maintain it! (Pat, Eric, Robby, Willy and countless others)

;-)
 
Old 01-23-2014, 04:47 PM   #13
ReaperX7
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To touch on the comment about Slackware being less user friendly, and harder to use...

"We choose to do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard." - President John F. Kennedy

Things that are harder make you learn more, and without learning more, you understand and know less. Society today is engineered to give everyone the easy way out, and not show them if you try harder, learn more, and chose more difficult paths in life, the outcome is a greater reward in the end of both knowledge, experience, and payout.

Slackware is a hand up into the Linux experience that teaches you everything possible it can, not a handout that does everything for you, teaching you nothing.

Last edited by ReaperX7; 01-23-2014 at 04:50 PM.
 
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:00 PM   #14
vtel57
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An old GNU/Linux mentor of mine (Bruno of Amsterdam - brunolinux.com) once told me that if I wanted to email and play online, I should run Ubuntu. If I wanted to learn Linux, run Slackware. I chose the latter. There's no great mystery to Slackware. It's just a solid and stable distribution. You don't have to be a Unix guru to figure out how to use it. You just need to make some effort to learn it. It's not "point & click" Linux. It requires a little knowledge and intelligence to use and maintain it. That being said, maybe it's just a coincidence, but I've found that most Slackers are pretty damned smart.

Later...

~Eric
 
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:43 PM   #15
moisespedro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReaperX7 View Post
To touch on the comment about Slackware being less user friendly, and harder to use...

"We choose to do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard." - President John F. Kennedy

Things that are harder make you learn more, and without learning more, you understand and know less. Society today is engineered to give everyone the easy way out, and not show them if you try harder, learn more, and chose more difficult paths in life, the outcome is a greater reward in the end of both knowledge, experience, and payout.

Slackware is a hand up into the Linux experience that teaches you everything possible it can, not a handout that does everything for you, teaching you nothing.
It is not actually that hard. My problem here is people making it looks like is something really hard. That is harmful but I've got your point.
 
  


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