slackroll v24 released
It's been a long way since I started coding slackroll, but it has now reached version 24 and there are 481 commits in the repository. It's probably time to announce it again in LinuxQuestions and get some more users.
slackroll is a package manager for Slackware. It has been coded from scratch in Python. It's written by a slacker for slackers and doesn't try to mimic any other existing tool. Yet, if it had to be compared to anything, the closest alternative out there is slackpkg, the one distributed in /extra/.
I started the project because, after being a swaret, slapt-get and slackpkg user, I got the impression all those tools fell short in some aspect. So I, like many other slackers out there, decided to create something on my own. If I have learned something since I started visiting these forums and the ##slackware channel at freenode, is that Slackware users have, for the most part, technical knowledge. This means that many of them prefer to follow their own methods, code their own scripts, or restrict themselves to official programs like slackpkg or software made by people they trust (what we could call the Slackware team). This, I think, is part of the reasons slackroll hasn't really taken off in the number of users. On the one hand I don't think it's really important. It's useful for me and handful of people who know it. But, at the same time, I know for a fact that many of the good slackroll features are there because someone suggested them. Kaapa, for example, is the one who suggested having the list-transient operation, one of the most important operations the program has nowadays. He also pointed me to vimdiff, for example. And, like that, dozens of details that have made slackroll a better tool for me and for everyone else. This is the reason I'm, again, announcing a new version here. So as to attract potential users that in the long run may make suggestions, comments, critics I can read and base my improvements on.
slackroll is available at sourceforge, and its website contains almost all the information you need to get started on using it and seeing what it does. Be sure to read the FAQ too, even if you don't have any questions, because it can be a bit insightful in some aspects. There is also a tutorial available at slackwiki.
It's a powerful program. It detects all types of activities in the remote tree and lets you upgrade your system as it needs to be upgraded, both in -current and in -stable. This comes at a small cost, which is that the initial setup takes a bit longer than usual (but not too long, don't worry) and that it has a lot of operations for fine-grained control and information display. However, I've been using it for months and thinking of going back to some other tool makes me shiver. I've been running -current since I installed version 10.0, and this installation has survived two computers already. I trust slackroll to keep my system clean and organized, if that serves as a proof that it has to be taken seriously. Please, give it a try and tell me if you think it does a good job and, if not, why. Probably, all the worries a serious slackware user would have when using a package manager are handled by slackroll. Does it do glibc upgrades properly? Yes. Does it let you read the new changelog entries before upgrading? Yes. Does it detect new packages? Yes. Does it help me track .new files? Yes. Does it detect package reverts? Yes. Et cetera.
Thank you in advance for giving slackroll an opportunity.
Many thanks to Mathieu Bouillaguet for reporting a bug when using slackroll under the -stable branch. I wouldn't have noticed this bug if it wasn't for him. It's been fixed and slackroll v25 has been released. As I said, more users means more eyes spotting bugs and a better program for everyone, including myself.
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