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View Poll Results: Do you use pre-packaged binaries from 3rd party repositories in your Slackware?
Yes, and I'd like to see more of them! 7 16.28%
Yes, but only for huge stuff like KDE. 7 16.28%
Yes, but only when a SlackBuild script is included. 4 9.30%
Yes, but only on servers. 0 0%
Yes, but only on desktops. 2 4.65%
Yes, on both servers and desktops. 4 9.30%
Yes, but I'd really like to see the stuff in repos better QA'd. 8 18.60%
Yes, and I really enjoy the comfort of tools like slapt-get and swaret. 3 6.98%
Yes, but I only use "official" tools for installing, like slackpkg. 5 11.63%
No, they just don't have the stuff I need. 0 0%
No, because the quality of packages is often inacceptable. 10 23.26%
No, but I use 3rd party SlackBuild scripts to compile from source. 10 23.26%
No, I enjoy to compile every 3rd party program I need myself. 9 20.93%
No, I never use 3rd party software. 3 6.98%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 43. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-15-2007, 04:28 PM   #1
gargamel
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Too many redundant repositories, too few packages for Slackware?


Hi everybody,

before I start: This thread is not intended to start a flame war, although its title may sound a little provoking.

The reason I am starting this thread is the following observation:

Compared to some other major distributions like Debian there's less pre-packaged software for Slackware in the known repositories. On the other hand, browsing the various repositories I found that quite a few programs are available in more than one of them. The packages may or may not differ, they are maintained independently, anyway.


Examples:

OpenOffice.org (OOo) binaries can be downloaded from robw810's Slackware Packages and from LinuxPackages.net.

HPLIP is part of the standard distribution since Slackware 11, but there are also two different (?) packages at the repositories mentioned.

And Wine 0.9.29 can, of course, also be downloaded from these two repositories, while there is also kind of an "official" package offered for download at winehq.org.

And from an end-user's point of view it is even worse: There is absolutely no hint, what the differences between packages of the same program are. So you are lost in deciding yourself which one to use (trial and error).

But: Although we have two repositories offering OOo, none of them offers a German version. And nice oldies like TGIF and plan and xmbase-grok, as well as countless others aren't available as Slackware packages, at all, at the moment.

Although it is usually easy to compile a program not available as a pre-packaged binary from source on Slackware, this is not always the case. But even if it were:

Isn't it kind of wasting time and valuable resources when the same programs are packaged by more than one maintainer? Wouldn't it be better to have a coordinated approach, with just one package per program? This could set free resources that could be used for new programs not available as Slackware packages, yet.

Don't get me wrong: I would like to express that I am very grateful for the excellent and unselfish jobs of *all* the package maintainers. And, of course, this goes as well to all the guys hosting and managing and funding (!) the repositories. They all contribute to make our lifes a lot easier.

I just would like to raise some awareness that we could preferrably use more packages for new programs instead of redundant packages. And I am really interested to know what other Slackers think.

What do YOU think about this?

gargamel

Last edited by gargamel; 01-15-2007 at 04:34 PM.
 
Old 01-15-2007, 06:34 PM   #2
bird603568
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Registered: Aug 2004
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well slacky.it is pretty sweet. also i dont trust most repos because you dont know if its built in a clean environment
 
Old 01-15-2007, 09:35 PM   #3
folkenfanel
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Wink May the Source be with you

Hi there

I compile everything I can from source. Works for me. I like it.

I compile everything I can. Even glibc, Firefox (I hate the default BBC feeds), etc. etc.

I usually use the new Slackware version for some weeks. After that I make a "correct toolchain" using information I found in DIY and the SlackBuilds. After that I'm on my own. I compile most of my personal use software (Apollon, baghira, games, long etc.) for pentium3, since I own no AMD machines (I have to say that most of my packages have actually worked on AMD machines -weird, I thought they shouldn't normally...)

I usually make packages with all the software I compile. I have a private repository at home (at this machine). These packages are being used in about 20 machines.

I usually do check www.linuxpackages.net quite often: but most of the time only to check if someone has made a new slackpack. Besides it would be exhausting checking every site just to check if a new version was released (which normally makes its wat to LP). I seldom do use packages from there when I can't figure out how to compile them. Until I find out how.

Some packages ARE a pain to compile. KDE takes about 36 hours to compile, just to state a single case (a hard one). I don't compile KDE anymore due to time constraints.

May the Source be with you!
 
Old 01-15-2007, 09:43 PM   #4
folkenfanel
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Wink Many packages

Many packages I've seen out there don't have correct entries in /usr/share/applications so I normally make up those entries in my packages.

I would recommend to use SlackBuilds. However I wouldn't recommend to use another one's SlackBuilds. (other than PV the Master).
 
Old 01-16-2007, 01:45 AM   #5
MS3FGX
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Quote:
Compared to some other major distributions like Debian there's less pre-packaged software for Slackware in the known repositories.
Well...yeah.

Slackware is not about having thousands and thousands of precompiled binaries like Debian is. The goal with Slackware is to give you a very stable, very capable Linux installation for you to build on. The idea is that the end user is going to compile their own software, not use binary versions.

That is why Slackware comes with so many libraries, untouched source code, and the all of the compiler tools. In a time when many distros don't even include GCC in the default install anymore, Slackware is still there to let the user do their own thing.

So no, you are not going to find a whole lot of precompiled binaries. The ones you do find will probably be redundant as well, since many people from all over the world are compiling the same applications for their Slackware machines, and want to put that package up online to share with others.
 
Old 01-16-2007, 09:46 AM   #6
jong357
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Location: Columbus, OH
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Yep. Couldn't have said it better. This is just the way Slackware is. It's also why we use it. Generally speaking, Slackware users love to tinker and do things themselves. So you have thousands of people compiling the same programs. That's all it boils down to.
 
Old 01-16-2007, 11:50 AM   #7
salenger
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Registered: Jan 2007
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re:_redundancy/too_few_packages

I'm a Slacknewbie, so forgive if I speak out of turn.

Just throwing in my 2:

Not enough software? So, compile some new stuff *shrug*. Seems that since Slack seeks to work with programs the way their com,pilers maintain them, sounds like Slackers should have more flexibility overall. Course, I'm speaking out of ignorance, but so far, the only thing about programs that have bothered me is that when I do

_# man -k *foo*

and get a series of files returned, I find that many of them seem defunct; executables, config files, etc.. Some even no longer exist on the distro, it seems.

"Make love and war."
~Bob Dobbs
 
Old 01-16-2007, 11:58 AM   #8
Crobat
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Food for thought...

My PC with Slack 10.2 on it is still ticking. I tried installing wine on it before, and figured I'd just go get the package. Certain programs wouldn't work that others were getting high rates of success with. I tried compiling from source, and then wine started working how I expected it to work.

When in doubt, do it yourself.
 
Old 01-16-2007, 01:12 PM   #9
gnashley
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Hello gargamel. Have you looked here lately? There's about 450 packages(plus sources) there, most of which are not commonly found elsewhere.
http://distro.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/...inux/download/

What kind of programs do you miss seeing?
 
Old 01-16-2007, 01:21 PM   #10
alienux
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I'm with everyone else who said they compile their programs from source. I've always had apps run better when I compile from source myself, so I pretty much do that unless I have a specific reason not to.

I can see where a new Slack user, or someone who isn't comfortable compiling from source could benefit from a bigger central repository, but my impression is that most slackers either prefer doing things themselves, or eventually get to that point. Of course there are always going to be exceptions, but that is my general impression.
 
Old 01-16-2007, 02:50 PM   #11
gargamel
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Original Poster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS3FGX
Well...yeah.

Slackware is not about having thousands and thousands of precompiled binaries like Debian is.
It may not be a primary development goal, but it wouldn't hurt, would it? Having a lot of software available doesn't necessarily mean a lack of stability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MS3FGX
The goal with Slackware is to give you a very stable, very capable Linux installation for you to build on.
I totally agree with you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MS3FGX
The idea is that the end user is going to compile their own software, not use binary versions.
[...]
I doubt that. And in fact I think this contradicts to your point about stability as a design goal of Slackware.

As far as I know Slackware is designed and maintained primarily with servers in mind. On a server, however, I wouldn't want to see a compiler, for two reasons.

(1) I would like to apply security fixes as fast and easily as possible. The easiest way is to use vendor patches wherever possible. For programs you compile yourself you also have to build your own patches. As I am not an expert for *all* the programs I add to my system after the basic install, this appears to be too dangerous for me, as far as security and stability are concerned. And it's IMHO not an acceptable procedure on a production server.

(2) Compiling with inappropriate options can cause security or stability problems that are really hard to detect.

Of course, Slackware makes it easier than any other major distribution to compile packages. And I appreciate this feature for software not available as a Slackware binary package. But if I would like to compile for its own sake I would probably switch to Gentoo or ROCK or Arch Linux. But I won't.

Slackware is a binary distribution, *because* its primarily designed for stability, robustness and security.

Am I wrong?

gargamel
 
Old 01-16-2007, 02:56 PM   #12
gargamel
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Registered: May 2003
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Original Poster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnashley
Hello gargamel. Have you looked here lately? There's about 450 packages(plus sources) there, most of which are not commonly found elsewhere.
http://distro.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/...inux/download/

What kind of programs do you miss seeing?

Thanks for the URL, interesting indeed.
I am missing packages for some classics. To mention just one example: TGIF is a superfast and efficient vector drawing program with unique features. Only snag: *Ugly* GUI... ;-)

But in fact my point was more a general one. I guess everyone in the Slackware world would like to see one or another program for this distro. Otherwise they wouldn't compile the programs, would they? (With the exceptions of the real geeks, of course, who *enjoy* compiling OpenOffice.org or Gnome...).

gargamel
 
Old 01-16-2007, 04:43 PM   #13
gilead
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Registered: Dec 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gargamel
As far as I know Slackware is designed and maintained primarily with servers in mind. On a server, however, I wouldn't want to see a compiler, for two reasons.

(1) I would like to apply security fixes as fast and easily as possible. The easiest way is to use vendor patches wherever possible. For programs you compile yourself you also have to build your own patches. As I am not an expert for *all* the programs I add to my system after the basic install, this appears to be too dangerous for me, as far as security and stability are concerned. And it's IMHO not an acceptable procedure on a production server.

(2) Compiling with inappropriate options can cause security or stability problems that are really hard to detect.
[snip]

Am I wrong?
Generally, I agree that having a compiler on a production server isn't desirable. And I also prefer to use the binary packages for most updates. However I'm now working on a site where waiting for a vendor release for some of the software isn't practical. Our solution is to have 2 other servers apart from the production boxes.

The first is used to compile the source and create a package, the second is a test server. Once the package has passed testing it is deployed to the production boxes.

You could say that the administrators of the production boxes are in the position you describe - only needing to apply a binary release. But it's a small number of servers and the administrator is just me

Slackware gives me the stable base I need to build and deploy the customised apps we user here...
 
Old 01-16-2007, 05:39 PM   #14
Randux
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I'm with all the guys who build everything from source. I occaisionally use binaries on huge stuff that doesn't have much benefit to compiling, like Mozilla and OO. I also trust Pat's packages. I don't trust packages from some unknown source so I don't use any repositories.

The only thing I don't like about building from source is when the dependencies on the app's web site are not listed or unclear. It usually takes a lot longer finding all the pieces than actually compiling the source. If people would do a better job listing dependencies then life would be simpler.

The whole thing about packaging stuff for Slackware is why a lot of people prefer Slackware. Even on a really nice OS like FreeBSD you get tremendous bloat even building a port. The showconfig doesn't always tell you what you don't need and you pull in tons of crap you don't need. I'm building codeblocks right now on Slackware and all I needed was the wxwidgets I already built for something else. Why do I get gstreamer and gstreamer plug-in and tons of other garbage I don't want when I build the port on FreeBSD?

My Slackware systems are always lean and clean and since I'm the one who chose all the individual packages and built everything else, I know if I need something or not. That's the way I like it.
 
Old 01-17-2007, 04:10 AM   #15
titopoquito
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I also prefer to build packages on my own. But sometimes I wish there were more precompiled packages -- it's nice and easy to build fox-toolkit, xfe, aterm, MPlayer, ntfs-3g with fuse, hplip/net-snmp and others, but especially multimedia apps like vlc player, cinelerra or dvd::rip with a lot of dependencies can drive me nuts (yes, I know of precompiled packages for them). I just installed Ubuntu 64-bit to test video encoding speed and have to admit it was nice to get precompiled packages of vlc and dvd::rip with its package manager in a minute :-|
 
  


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