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Old 12-28-2009, 08:52 AM   #826
samac
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Did someone suggest making Slackware an easy (made for newbie) distribution? If the developers can improve Slackware by taking suggestions from users/other distributions, this does not equate to making a new distribution "Slackware for Dummies", it merely suggests that Slackware is doing as it has always done, moved with the times. After all we have moved on from 2.0 kernels and even have udev and hal. Slackware is, as it has always been, a stable, fast linux distribution, but it is more user friendly now than it was in the past.
Quote:
What features/changes would you like to see in future Slackware?
Is the title of the thread, so this to me would suggest that it is a good vehicle for discussing possible futures, no matter how heretical they are.

samac
 
Old 12-28-2009, 09:27 AM   #827
Lufbery
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samac View Post
Yes it does. The non-technical user doesn't care how a program is installed, all they care about is if I click on "A Generic Game" then the said game is installed and works without a fuss.

This is not ever going to be possible on Slackware as there is no way of resolving dependencies apart from manually, sbopkg does make this a bit easier with lists and queues but it does not completely solve the problem for the non-techies.

Pre-compiled packages do not solve this problem either as they may depend upon other packages that are not part of the base install. So slackbuilds and sbopkg are just as effective.
Samac,

You've summarized the discussion neatly. Basically it boils down to one simple fact: building, maintaining, and using software packages is not a simple task.

If you build it yourself, you're responsible for researching, building, and installing all the dependencies. This takes the most work, but it's also the best way to get exactly what you want, and sometimes the only way to get the very latest software. SlackBuilds.org makes this process very easy, and Sbopkg makes it even easier. Src2pkg is an exceptionally powerful utility that takes a different approach to building (and scripting) Slackware packages. These three tools give all but the newest users everything needed to build packages of the vast majority of available software and install them with little trouble.

If you use pre-built packages (e.g. from Eric's or Robbby's repositories), you're still responsible for researching and installing the dependencies. The dependencies are listed and also available from those sources, so this is not an inconvenience as long as you're willing to read the instructions.

If you use a package manager that also manages dependencies, then you may get dependencies you don't really need, or the software may have been built with options you don't really want, but installing software that works will take very little time. When I used distributions with full-fledged, dependency-checking package managers (Ubuntu and Open Suse), I was pretty happy with the results. For instance, I only experienced a little of the "dependency hell" that can sometimes occur. This happened mostly when a package I wanted to install depended on a newer version of a library than another package used. Nevertheless, this kind of setup is the norm for most distributions and is very user-friendly. On the other hand, when one gets into trouble with this kind of package manager, it can be difficult to untangle -- something else I experienced.

So in my opinion, the real question is who is Slackware Linux's audience? From what I can tell, Slackware is geared to those who have moderate experience with computer operating systems -- though, of course, very new users willing to read the Slackbook (which is helpful even in its current out-of-date form) tend to get up to speed pretty quickly. I think this is just fine.

Having said that, I have nothing against point and click graphical (as opposed to menu-driven) graphical administration tools! But they need to be designed well. The ones I've used tend to not be as informative as the README files that come with the SlackBuilds.org scripts. A great graphical, dependency-checking package manager should (at least in an advanced mode) list the dependencies, explain which options were used to build the software, and provide a way to examine the dependencies' dependencies and build options prior to installation. This is not a big deal when installing something lightweith, but complex software like QGIS, with its extensive list of dependencies, has a bunch of build options that require scrutiny.

In the end, I think the best of all worlds is one that offers users the most choice. IMHO, Slackware does that now, with the exception of offering a full dependency checking package manager. Personally, I'm okay with not having one of those. One of the main reason I chose Slackware is that I prefer the simplicity of manually editing configuration files and packaging my own software to the simplicity of using something like Apt and an official repository.

Quote:
So, in conclusion, my suggestions (from various threads) for improving the next release of Slackware are:

1) add sbopkg to /extra
2) make slackbuilds.org the official 3rd party site and have a campaign to extend it
3) add Alien Bob's 32-bit extensions to extra (64-bit version only)
4) Harvest the best bits from the numerous Slackware derivatives if they will improve the speed, stability or usability of Slackware
5) Trim Slackware to a core, basic, full (somewhat like Salix OS) installation and on a one program per use basis eg one editor, one music player etc. moving the other programs to /extra or slackbuilds.org
I tend to agree with these except for the 5th item. I've read all the discussions on that topic, but I don't see an advantage over the current recommendation to do a full installation for most users and leave the trimming of packages to those who know exactly what they want.

Regards,
 
Old 12-28-2009, 09:36 AM   #828
brianL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samac View Post
Did someone suggest making Slackware an easy (made for newbie) distribution?
samac
Some have, more or less. "Easy" doesn't necessarily mean suitable for newbies. Some newbies might want a "difficult" distro, some experienced users may want an "easy" one. Yes, Slackware does get easier with each successive release, but nothing too radical. It still has its own identity.
I agree with putting sbopkg in /extra.
 
Old 12-28-2009, 09:37 AM   #829
Lufbery
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Originally Posted by brianL View Post
I agree with putting sbopkg in /extra.
I'll add that src2pkg would be nice to have in /extra as well.

Regards,
 
Old 12-28-2009, 09:45 AM   #830
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Originally Posted by Lufbery View Post
I'll add that src2pkg would be nice to have in /extra as well.

Regards,
Me too.
 
Old 12-28-2009, 10:40 AM   #831
gapan
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Originally Posted by sahko View Post
Then i suggest you change the "Salix is a linux distribution based on Slackware" to "Salix is a package repository for Slackware". Sorry but those are two interely different things.
Care to explain why? We created an extra repository to use with our slackware boxes and decided that we could also build an iso that wouldn't include all the slackware packages we didn't need and that would include all our extra packages that we wanted (openoffice etc). An iso that we, our friends and anyone else sharing the same preferences/ideas could use to do an installation without having to mess with custom slackware installations, tagfiles, carrying extra packages to different mediums and installing separately etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsman View Post
SalixOS is both. The Salix developers want a custom system for people who like the Slackware design but not the overall effort to install and maintain Slackware. They want all of their packages to be backwards compatible with the stock Slackware in order to provide another repository.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sahko View Post
Yes, indeed that sounds nice.
Oh, wait. So you actually agreed that it could be both, but still you wanted to write that it couldn't...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sahko View Post
And they do include the scripts.
Didnt Zenwalk (from which the Salix developers come from) claim to do the same thing a while ago? Is that still the case? Those kind of things can change any day with notice to the "repository" users.
Thank you very much for providing that small piece of misinformation and spreading FUD. Had you actually looked in the Salix repositories, you would have found a complete source tree, just like in Slackware. Something that zenwalk never had and still doesn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sahko View Post
Re: trustworthy: Personally, one the main reasons I (only I) dont trust the Salix developers is cause IMO it has been proven (to me) that they dont even know how Slackware works.
I was generally expecting a small minority of Slackware users to be hostile towards Salix. But then again I don't care about those users at all. I would consider Salix to be a successful project even if a single Slackware users would install a single package from the Salix repositories. And that has already happened.

Contrary to what many might think, there is actually a demand for extra binary packages for Slackware. That's the reason why projects like linuxpackages and slacky existed for years. The packages Salix provides certainly have better quality than those two, I can even say that they have the same quality as Slackware default packages. You can take that as a fact or as a claim, I don't mind either way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hitest View Post
Agreed. I will stop using Slackware the day it becomes "something for everyone." Slackware is designed for people who like to roll up their sleeves and get a better understanding of how their OS works. If we add a graphical installer and or GUIs this will increase system overhead and in my opinion it will change the fundamental nature of Slackware.
Sorry, but that's only your idea about what slackware is. slackware.com disagrees with you (emphasis mine):
Quote:
The Official Release of Slackware Linux by Patrick Volkerding is an advanced Linux operating system, designed with the twin goals of ease of use and stability as top priorities. Including the latest popular software while retaining a sense of tradition, providing simplicity and ease of use alongside flexibility and power, Slackware brings the best of all worlds to the table.

Slackware complies with the published Linux standards, such as the Linux File System Standard. We have always considered simplicity and stability paramount, and as a result Slackware has become one of the most popular, stable, and friendly distributions available.

Last edited by gapan; 12-28-2009 at 10:45 AM.
 
Old 12-28-2009, 11:02 AM   #832
hitest
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by gapan View Post
Sorry, but that's only your idea about what slackware is. slackware.com disagrees with you (emphasis mine):
The term "ease of use" is a relative one highly dependent on a users starting point/background knowledge/skill set.
Slackware assumes that you will do the needed research, reading prior to sitting in front of a root shell prompt.
For me Slackware is indeed easy. I understand how to manually partition a HD with cfdisk or fdisk. But, for a "new-to-Linux" person or a Windows user the root shell prompt will appear daunting if they are not prepared with the requisite background information.
So yes. Slackware is an easy-to-use distro *if* you know what you're doing.
A windows user with no Linux experience can successfully complete an install with Ubuntu, but, they will fail at Slackware unless they have the knowledge base/skill set that Slackware requires.
 
Old 12-28-2009, 11:12 AM   #833
gapan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hitest View Post
The term "ease of use" is a relative one highly dependent on a users starting point/background knowledge/skill set.
Slackware assumes that you will do the needed research, reading prior to sitting in front of a root shell prompt.
For me Slackware is indeed easy. I understand how to manually partition a HD with cfdisk or fdisk. But, for a "new-to-Linux" person or a Windows user the root shell prompt will appear daunting if they are not prepared with the requisite background information.
So yes. Slackware is an easy-to-use distro *if* you know what you're doing.
I completely agree with you in everything except this part:
Quote:
Originally Posted by hitest View Post
A windows user with no Linux experience can successfully complete an install with Ubuntu, but, they will fail at Slackware unless they have the knowledge base/skill set that Slackware requires.
I would write that as: "A windows user with no Linux experience can successfully complete an install with Ubuntu, but, they will fail at Slackware unless they read the manual and try to understand what they're doing."
 
Old 12-28-2009, 11:22 AM   #834
GazL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hitest View Post
So yes. Slackware is an easy-to-use distro *if* you know what you're doing.
Hitest is spot on with this. The "ease of use" quote from slackware.com is many years old and "ease of use" had a very different meaning back then. Everyone using linux back then would already "know what they were doing", or at least be technically competent and in the process of learning what they were doing.


Gapan, Can I ask you... When Slackware 13.1 and subsequent releases eventually release, will Salix take a new copy of the slackware tree and re-apply their changes or is it a one time fork of slackware that will go off on it's own tangent from now on? Much in the same way as SUSE did. SUSE was originally based on slackware, but is now a very different animal.
 
Old 12-28-2009, 11:24 AM   #835
hitest
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by gapan View Post
I completely agree with you in everything except this part:

I would write that as: "A windows user with no Linux experience can successfully complete an install with Ubuntu, but, they will fail at Slackware unless they read the manual and try to understand what they're doing."
You are splitting hairs, gapan. But, I'm pleased that you agree with most of my previous post. I did not think that I *needed* to write "read the manual." I assumed that requisite background knowledge included having read the slackbook. Faulty assumption on my part.
 
Old 12-28-2009, 11:31 AM   #836
gapan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GazL View Post
Hitest is spot on with this. The "ease of use" quote from slackware.com is many years old and "ease of use" had a very different meaning back then. Everyone using linux back then would already "know what they were doing", or at least be technically competent and in the process of learning what they were doing.
If Slackware management doesn't find that statement true these days, shouldn't they update it accordingly? Since they don't, I'm assuming that it stays true. I don't think I have ever actually seen a statement by Pat that Slackware is only for technically minded people or tinkerers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GazL View Post
Gapan, Can I ask you... When Slackware 13.1 and subsequent releases eventually release, will Salix take a new copy of the slackware tree and re-apply their changes or is it a one time fork of slackware that will go off on it's own tangent from now on? Much in the same way as SUSE did. SUSE was originally based on slackware, but is now a very different animal.
When Slackware 13.1 comes out, there will be a Salix 13.1 release that will match it exactly, same for any subsequent releases.
 
Old 12-28-2009, 11:34 AM   #837
gapan
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Originally Posted by hitest View Post
You are splitting hairs, gapan. But, I'm pleased that you agree with most of my previous post. I did not think that I *needed* to write "read the manual." I assumed that requisite background knowledge included having read the slackbook. Faulty assumption on my part.
The difference is that I believe someone without any prior linux experience, can actually install slackware without any problems. Only things required are being careful and having a copy of the slackbook alongside.
 
Old 12-28-2009, 11:56 AM   #838
hitest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gapan View Post
The difference is that I believe someone without any prior linux experience, can actually install slackware without any problems. Only things required are being careful and having a copy of the slackbook alongside.
Fair enough. You and I will agree to disagree on this point. You and I both know there is more to it than simply reading the slackbook. The slackbook assumes that you have a basic working knowledge of the layout of a Linux file system. It assumes that you know what / means.

Here is a direct quote from the opening section about partitioning from the slackbook.

Quote:
3.3 Partitioning

After booting from your preferred media, you will need to partition your hard disk. The disk partition is where the Linux filesystem will be created and is where Slackware will be installed. At the very minimum we recommend creating two partitions; one for your root filesystem (/) and one for swap space.
If a user does not have a basic understanding of how a Linux file system is organized before they read the slackbook they may encounter problems.
 
Old 12-28-2009, 12:03 PM   #839
gapan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hitest View Post
Fair enough. You and I will agree to disagree on this point. You and I both know there is more to it than simply reading the slackbook. The slackbook assumes that you have a basic working knowledge of the layout of a Linux file system. It assumes that you know what / means.

Here is a direct quote from the opening section about partitioning from the slackbook.

If a user does not have a basic understanding of how a Linux file system is organized before they read the slackbook they may encounter problems.
Nothing a google search for "linux filesystems" won't solve.
We are really splitting hairs now. We really agree in everything, it's the way we're expressing it that is different.
 
Old 12-28-2009, 12:11 PM   #840
Lufbery
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hitest View Post
If a user does not have a basic understanding of how a Linux file system is organized before they read the slackbook they may encounter problems.
I'm going to split a split hair and simply say that the Slackbook has a pretty good explanation of the Linux file system -- it certainly helped me when I was getting started.

HOWEVER, Hitest is right in that the file system explanation doesn't come until after the section on partitioning and installing Slackware.

FWIW, I think Salix is a worthwhile project that deserves support, testing, and spirited debate from established Slackware users.

My one single, overriding complaint with XFCE -- even with Robby's extra packages installed -- is that there's no easy way to make the caps lock key an additional control key. I have a custom keymap I install for the TTY consoles, and change the setting in KDE, but I have to monkey around with xmodmap to make it work in XFCE. I haven't had the time or motivation to do that yet.

Warm regards,
 
  


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