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Poll: Would you like to see more graphical tools in Slackware?
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Would you like to see more graphical tools in Slackware?

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The nominees are:

Yes
No
No, there are enough already in KDE

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Old 08-29-2010, 04:46 PM   #1
sahko
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Would you like to see more graphical tools in Slackware?


I was reading Darrell Anderson's excellent writings this morning.
His My Bumpy Relationship With Slackware article summarizes his own 'frustrations' with Slackware.
This poll focuses mostly on the following points:
Quote:
No graphical installation. A graphical installation is not a critical priority. If I provided other people support they would receive a pre-installed system. A graphical installation is not a priority for my own usage but is nice eye candy for demos.

No boot splash. A boot splash is important to “mom and pop” and non-technical users. I prefer a classical stdout boot output, but my experience is “mom and pop” and non-technical users recoil at anything but a boot splash screen.

No graphical administration tools. Graphical administration tools are a must for “mom and pop” and non-technical users. End of discussion. Some of the derivative maintainers have tried to fill that void.

No graphical package manager. The only graphical package manager for a stock Slackware I know about is gslapt. Some of the derivative versions have their own. I think gslapt and the others fall into the “good enough” category. Not as polished as some more well known graphical package managers, but probably good enough to keep “mom and pop” and non-technical users away from the command line.
and mostly on the 3rd and 4th paragraph.

Last edited by sahko; 08-29-2010 at 04:49 PM.
 
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:00 PM   #2
mostlyharmless
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It's not really the nature of Slackware to address the points brought up by Mr Anderson, in my opinion, so no. They're good points otherwise, but it's not really meant to be unconstructive when these kinds of frustrations are answered with some kind of referral to another distro, like Ubuntu. There's a reason Ubuntu is popular, but it doesn't seem to be Slackware's current mission (if there is one) to compete with Ubuntu, or SUSE, or anything else addressing those particular types of frustrations.
 
Old 08-29-2010, 05:01 PM   #3
Hannes Worst
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I think it wouldn't benefit Slackware if it lost its own character. If people want to add graphical 'bling-bling' in Slackware they just can, but in the process they will have to learn a bit of Linux too. But than everything is possible. That's the beauty (esthetics if you want) of Slackware.

Last edited by Hannes Worst; 08-29-2010 at 05:24 PM.
 
Old 08-29-2010, 05:08 PM   #4
Intel_
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I think that it would be a good idea to be available a separate group of GUI tools and the new users can install it, but these who won't - will not install it.
 
Old 08-29-2010, 05:10 PM   #5
Jeebizz
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Thumbs down meh............

Quote:
First paragraph:

No graphical installation. A graphical installation is not a critical priority. If I provided other people support they would receive a pre-installed system. A graphical installation is not a priority for my own usage but is nice eye candy for demos.
Ncurses is essentially graphical as far as I'm concerned.

Quote:
Second paragraph:

No boot splash. A boot splash is important to “mom and pop” and non-technical users. I prefer a classical stdout boot output, but my experience is “mom and pop” and non-technical users recoil at anything but a boot splash screen.
There is already a bootsplash, if the author of the article took the time to setup lilo with it. It is during the post installation setup.

Still the fact that it 'bothers' some people to have to look at what the system is doing during the startup, and would rather have a 'curtain', then why not just go ahead and use Ubuntu?

Quote:
Third paragraph


No graphical package manager. The only graphical package manager for a stock Slackware I know about is gslapt. Some of the derivative versions have their own. I think gslapt and the others fall into the “good enough” category. Not as polished as some more well known graphical package managers, but probably good enough to keep “mom and pop” and non-technical users away from the command line.
There is one, it is called 'pkgtool.'

It seems to me that the author is wanting Slackware to be something it is clearly not what Slackware is intended to be. There is already a distro available that offers all these 'features' that the author is reportedly looking for. Why should Slackware have to bend to what the author wants?

I like Slackware the way it is for a reason, the author and 'mom and pop' that is mentioned doesn't have to use Slackware, there are plenty of distros out there that can fit their needs. Just like Slackware already fits my needs.

Last edited by Jeebizz; 08-29-2010 at 08:03 PM.
 
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:19 PM   #6
hughetorrance
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I,m glad the No's are winning... !
 
Old 08-29-2010, 05:26 PM   #7
sycamorex
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I don't think many slackers would ever want any more GUI tools. I definitely wouldn't.
 
Old 08-29-2010, 05:29 PM   #8
T3slider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sahko View Post
Quote:
No graphical administration tools. Graphical administration tools are a must for “mom and pop” and non-technical users. End of discussion. Some of the derivative maintainers have tried to fill that void.

No graphical package manager. The only graphical package manager for a stock Slackware I know about is gslapt. Some of the derivative versions have their own. I think gslapt and the others fall into the “good enough” category. Not as polished as some more well known graphical package managers, but probably good enough to keep “mom and pop” and non-technical users away from the command line.
Graphical administration tools fall under a "maybe" category to me -- I won't use them (and don't WANT to use them) but if GUI tools were included that take care of simple administration just by creating the proper config files (and NOT doing something sneaky behind the scenes) I would be OK with their inclusion. However, getting a consistent GUI administration tool that doesn't add a layer of complexity is difficult -- I don't think one exists that supports a wide variety of tasks and software, and certainly the Slackware team has no time (or incentive) to create any (unless they talk about these things behind closed doors, of course). If this is important, start writing a GUI tool that produces clean, simple configuration files for applications included in Slackware (but what happens with third-party software? Sounds like you'd get stuck with a tool that functions for some programs but not all, providing an inconsistent experience...).

The graphical package manager exists in the form of pkgtool. If you want something X-based, that's fine (and there used to be a half-functional tool included with KDE3.5), but since Slackware has NO official repository and doesn't support any third-party repositories officially, what is the point in shipping a graphical package manager? In Slackware you are assumed to be capable of compiling your software or acquiring it from third-party sources yourself. sbopkg is a great graphical (ncurses) manager for slackbuilds.org, and gslapt is a working alternative for binary-based repositories. I don't believe either should ship with Slackware though, unless a repository of packages or SlackBuilds was deemed official. And of course that would probably change the entire Slackware philosophy, since any binary-based package manager would have to support dependency resolution (which I don't want to see in Slackware).

So my answer to the question at hand is, no. Those who try to impose the norm onto a distribution that willfully opposes it are trying to use the wrong distribution. Morphing Slackware into a mirror image of every other distribution negates its reason for existence. The issues stated are philosophical and would completely change the distribution. And if it did, what distribution would fill the niche that Slackware currently fills?
 
Old 08-29-2010, 05:29 PM   #9
spoovy
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Why is there this assumption that every distro should be designed for "non-technical users"? There are loads of distros targeting this audience already. Slackware seems to me to be quite deliberately aimed at more technical users, and is advertised as such.

Why must everything be "easy" all the time anyway? What's wrong with learning stuff??
 
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:59 PM   #10
dugan
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We would all be happy to see more graphical tools. If someone decides to write one and it turns out to be functionally better than not using it, it has a good chance of catching on. Sbopkg, Slackpkg and Wicd are examples.

Last edited by dugan; 08-29-2010 at 06:12 PM.
 
Old 08-29-2010, 06:11 PM   #11
brixtoncalling
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There already exist several graphical tools in Slackware (not talking about KDE or Xfce stuff by the way) and yet I never hear anyone advocating that they be removed. Why?
 
Old 08-29-2010, 06:14 PM   #12
damgar
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With the exception of fdisk (I'm sorry, I just can't make myself LIKE it), I find the slackware installer to be the best I've used, and ncurses is perfectly graphical as far as I'm concerned. It's simple, straightforward, and fast..... and ncurses is less likely to fail than an X based installer.

As for graphical admin tools, I've found that once the initial shock of manually editing text files wears off, it is a much simpler method to get things going quickly and properly. Even in Ubuntu and Mandriva I found that I ultimately had to resort to hand editing to get something like a samba share going properly, only I was much less clear on what was actually going on, because the graphical tools always generated so much cruft that 20 lines for 3 shares turned into about 60 lines.

I just really think that a big part of Slackware's appeal and character is that it doesn't seem to jerk in any one direction on a whim or to try and include the next "must-have feature."

Last edited by damgar; 08-29-2010 at 06:18 PM.
 
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:15 PM   #13
astrogeek
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"Lack" of graphical tools is a Slackware feature!

Before becoming a full-time Slacker a few years ago, I was a Mandrake/Mandriva user and promoter. But I avoided their graphical admin tools in preference to a shell. But it was a major annoyance when I would occasionally enter their graphical admin suite for some reason and find that some config file had been over-written and all my own comments and configs removed!

A major feature of Slackware is that it allows me to use my own admin skills, such as they are, without obfuscating things behind a GUI front-end or second-guessing my own choices!

As far as "mom-and-pop" users, I support some of them with Slackware and minimal problems, at least problems related to lack of GUI tools.

If Slackware began to cater to the willfully ignorant, then there would be nowhere left for them to grow as they learn!
 
Old 08-29-2010, 07:57 PM   #14
Jeebizz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damgar

With the exception of fdisk (I'm sorry, I just can't make myself LIKE it), ...
I don't like fdisk myself. I am a little lazy when it comes to fdisk, and that is why I prefer cfdisk, . It is as 'glitzy' as it will ever get for a Slacker, easier to use but still true to it's core.
 
Old 08-29-2010, 08:38 PM   #15
lumak
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Graphical Installation
- Meh, who cares. The more an installation tries to be help full, the more it hinders me. And non technical users often end up messing up their harddrives both with and without the graphics, so you aren't helping anybody.

Boot Splash.
- You can add this your self using the existing busybox program used with Slackware's mkinitrd setup.
http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/...Graphical_Boot

Graphical Administration Tools
- Can't say much on this end, but KDE makes a lot of tasks easier with it's polkit stuff.

Graphical Package Manager
- slapt-get, you said it. Works well enough. And for those that need more software, there is sbopkg.


So if you want to offer Slackware as a support option to clients, you can always modify the installation with slapt-get, sbopkg, and add in a graphical boot splash then tell them to use KDE. Probably make up a nice little pamphlet to tell them out to do basic system admin tasks like adding users and general functionality.

Chances are, you are going to have to modify the installation anyway for things like OpenOffice.

Mom and pops along with non technical users, really should not be messing around with partitions anyway.
 
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