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Old 04-17-2012, 05:33 AM   #106
H_TeXMeX_H
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackRider View Post
I see now, so here's how it seems to have gone, connecting the dots:

V. T. Eric Layton starts this thread, Alien Bob replies saying it is "Old hardware, lack of funds...", then people panic and V. T. Eric Layton makes a blog post, which is read by Caitlyn Martin who immediately assumes that Slackware is going to die very soon and decides to "You remember that comment about my involvement in the development of a Slackware derivative? Forget it. We're already discussing about delaying the release and rebasing off of something with a more secure future."

So, Alien Bob, I ask you again, clarify the situation ASAP before you doom Slackware with your words ...

Last edited by H_TeXMeX_H; 04-17-2012 at 05:34 AM.
 
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:46 AM   #107
caitlyn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
which is read by Caitlyn Martin who immediately assumes that Slackware is going to die very soon
I made no such assumption. Please don't put words in my mouth. As I explained in my previous post, Slackware is a community distribution developed by a small team with little financial backing. Suddenly Linux portal sites are reporting financial issues (i.e.: Tuxmachines.org) and I raised the issue again as I have in the past. It finally resonated with the other developers. That is what I shared on DWW and now here.

Last edited by caitlyn; 04-17-2012 at 05:56 AM.
 
Old 04-17-2012, 05:56 AM   #108
caitlyn
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Alien Bob posted on DistroWatch if you want to read his comments.
 
Old 04-17-2012, 05:59 AM   #109
Ilgar
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@caitlyn:

There are quite a few Slackware-based distros out there and I don't think that the core community has any grudge against them (at least I haven't noticed any such feelings so far). As for the future of Slackware: I think that Slackware won't die easily, because in a sense, it doesn't need too much effort to keep it up. I don't want to be misunderstood as underestimating or ignoring the work done by Pat and the team, so let me clarify:

Slackware is a very "vanilla" distribution. It doesn't have the habit of applying hundreds of custom patches to the software it distributes. Custom system management tools are text-based and simple, complex solutions like a GUI-based dependency-checking package installer are avoided. I am managing my Slackware 13.37 system in more or less the same way I managed my Slackware 10.0 many years ago (a programmer's analogy would be like having a consistent API over many many years). Slackware has a solid, well-established basis and it doesn't require as much upkeep as the ever-changing distributions that we all know. The community certainly has sufficiently many talented people to provide this upkeep even in the absence of the current developers. The philosophy is also well-understood by the community. No one feels any urge to try the latest stuff coming out, so nobody has to quarrel over which latest piece of software to incorporate and how (one really does have peace of mind with Slackware ). For these reasons I believe that Slackware can't die even if Pat himself wanted it to.

And again, I certainly value the efforts of Pat, the team and other contributors a lot. The effort they put into Slack perhaps measures less in terms of man-hours when compared to other distros, but who cares, it is rather the accuracy of the choices and the philosophy that makes Slackware so valuable to me.

Last edited by Ilgar; 04-17-2012 at 07:04 AM.
 
Old 04-17-2012, 06:37 AM   #110
Alien Bob
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OK, let me repeat two sections of that post here.
Quote:
The slackware.com server is down. This is a technical malfunction. It costs money to do something about that. Something will be done about that server, but if it takes a while, it is most likely caused by prioritizing and finances. Slackware was without its own web server for a long time in the past. And still active are ftp.slackware.com and connie.slackware.com, so what's the big deal?

There is no reason to doubt the availability, stability and long term viability of Slackware, the distribution. It has not been a one-man show for some time, the development effort is substantial and plainly visible in the ChangeLog, and there are no plans to switch to another development model or even ditch the distribution.
It's not that difficult: if everybody suddenly stops buying stuff from the Slackware store, then Slackware will not last another year in its present form - the Store sales are Pat's income (and it feeds several other people too), but remember, the core team surrounding Pat do not get a penny of these revenues at all. Therefore, the rest of the team is not impacted in any way by Slackware sales figures and we will keep working with Pat on the distribution just like we have been doing for the past years. Look at the ChangeLog - sometimes there is a period of relative silence but that does not mean that no work is being done. Like last week, the updates can come in big gulps. Slackware will not die, its philosophy will not change, the team is dedicated and full of ideas.

If people start chickening out and cancel their subscriptions, then that is a pity. Thankfully, I see lots of other Slackware users who decided that this is a good point to make a donation or buy something at the Store (if their financial situation allows it). Thanks to all of you for "supporting the cause". And remember - if you can not financially support Slackware, then helping your fellow Slackware users in forums like this one is an invaluable form of support as well! Slackware will not die because of financial issues, it will die if all of its users leave.

Eric
 
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:47 AM   #111
Chuck56
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Count me in. I just sent a PayPal donation to Slackware. Long live Slackware!
 
Old 04-17-2012, 07:04 AM   #112
H_TeXMeX_H
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caitlyn View Post
I made no such assumption. Please don't put words in my mouth. As I explained in my previous post, Slackware is a community distribution developed by a small team with little financial backing. Suddenly Linux portal sites are reporting financial issues (i.e.: Tuxmachines.org) and I raised the issue again as I have in the past. It finally resonated with the other developers. That is what I shared on DWW and now here.
I didn't put any words in your mouth, the part in quotes is what you said, other parts are mine.

How else can this be interpreted ? Nothing was posted about this on distrowatch, other than these comments. This decision was very sudden and seems to be based only on a blog post and a thread and some panic.

I strongly recommend that you reconsider all of this. Discuss it again, without the panic being caused by this thread and a blog post. I don't believe that Slackware is going to die or is out of funds. The site has gone down in the past and it has come back up with no mention of a funding problem. I think Alien Bob only wanted to say that without its user base and donations, Slackware would die ... but not that it is dieing nor that it is out of funds. I think it's just panic and blowing things out of proportion.
 
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:29 AM   #113
ruario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caitlyn View Post
I raised the issue again as I have in the past. It finally resonated with the other developers. That is what I shared on DWW and now here.
Weird. I don't know why you worried in the first place. Slackware is 19 years old and has therefore proved itself in my eyes. It continued along whilst multitudes of other distros (often supported by relatively large companies) have come and gone. Some people might not trust it to continue because it is a small team but in my eyes I think a large part of the reason it keeps on going is actually because the team is small, primarily focussed around the efforts of really dedicated individual. I suspect Slackware will outlast the vast majority of distros listed on Distrowatch and hence is one of the safest distros to depend on, either directly as a user or to make a derivative from (as SalixOS does).

I also can't understand why the rest of your team would worry now when nothing has changed other than a single webserver being down due to hardware issues. Slackware's situation seems fine and pretty much identical to what it was a week (or a year) before this webserver went AWOL. All other Slackware associated sites continue to work (ftp.slackware.com, connie.slackware.com, store.slackware.com, etc.) and the last update to -current was yesterday, with a very large update 2 days before that. Nothing has changed, why start to doubt now?

Caitlyn, I suspect the reason that you have started to garner rather negative feedback is because your comments intentionally or not (and I will assume they are unintentional) perpetuate the myth that this is a big deal when it isn't. If others do the same thing then perhaps it could start to make it a bigger deal, since less informed users might start to worry, go elsewhere and hence Slackware's funding via its store could decrease. Or to put it another way this is only a problem if people make it a problem.

Personally, I think you should stick with Slackware as your base, precisely because I think it is a solid distro tthat is unlikely to falter or disappear (in addition to its stability and other merits). Also I would be very interested to see what you and your colleagues have done with it. Yes, as you say I may not use it over Slackware but I am sure there are benefits I could gain from it, even if it is only stealing a package or two . I don't use Salix as my main distro either but I have learnt a lot from it and its developers, used it as a source from for quality binary packages and recommended to those who find Slackware too intimidating.

Also don't take the feedback so hard. If you guys had said that you had been working on a Debian, Arch, Gentoo, etc. derivative and later posted that you thought you should switch because you no longer had faith that the parent distro would be able to continue to support itself I am sure you would receive equally negative comments. It is pretty much to be expected.

P.S. AlienBOB didn't actually ask for money because of the problems, neither did any of the rest of the Slackware team as far as I am aware (though he and others often suggest donating as a sensible thing to do). He just stated the situation as it stood and the original poster took it on themselves to write a blog post and try to get more donations (and why not!). If PatV (or perhaps one of the team) were truly concerned perhaps they might have asked for money but they didn't, so I can't really see how things are that bad.
 
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:40 AM   #114
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@AlienBob: Quick question, which you may or may not know the answer to. I actually made a donation via http://store.slackware.com/cgi-bin/store/slackdonation rather than the PayPal button on the front page of the store. Do you know which is cheaper for PatV to process. If I make further donations in the future I'd like the largest percentage of the money end up in Pat's pocket. Any idea which is more efficient in this regard?
 
Old 04-17-2012, 08:56 AM   #115
Alien Bob
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No idea Ruario...
Pat does not manage either of those two. The organization behind the Slackware Store does.

Eric
 
Old 04-17-2012, 09:03 AM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruario View Post
...I also can't understand why the rest of your team would worry now when nothing has changed other than a single webserver being down due to hardware issues. Slackware's situation seems fine and pretty much identical to what it was a week (or a year) before this webserver went AWOL...
When you consider there hasn't been any real development activity in -current, other than the sporadic security release, until 3 days ago, just 13 days short of a full year since the last stable release, and then hear there are servers problems due to a lack of funds, some people will make the somewhat logical jump to "the end is near."

It has been very heart warming to see how users have responded and reached into their pockets to contribute. Renews one's faith in their fellow man.
 
Old 04-17-2012, 09:48 AM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwizardone View Post
When you consider there hasn't been any real development activity in -current, other than the sporadic security release, until 3 days ago, just 13 days short of a full year since the last stable release, and then hear there are servers problems due to a lack of funds, some people will make the somewhat logical jump to "the end is near."
Yep, I can understand some people might think that way but those who have followed Slackware for any reasonable length of time have seen these apparent drops in activity before. I might also add that these may not actually be decreases in activity since testing and other stuff may be happening behind the scenes (only PatV and the contributors know for sure). As a side note related to this, I work for a company that produces "free as in beer" software and often write the blog posts accompanying our development releases. I have often noticed that if we don't put out a new development snapshot at least once a week some of our users start to think the sky is falling and development has come to a complete halt, when in reality we pretty much never stop but don't always have stuff ready in a form we want to test with a wider audience. So yeah, I get that people start to think this way. It is human nature to worry I suppose.

That said, since Caitlyn and the rest of her team have been working on this for "around for four years" I would have expected that an apparent slow down in development and a failed webserver wouldn't spook them but I suppose it did. That's fine, it happens. I don't want to be overly critical of anyone but perhaps we can now all take it down a notch. I honestly don't think Slackware is disappearing any time soon and if people look at the few facts we do know I think most would agree, there doesn't appear to be a big problem right now.

That all said, if the end result of all this is a few extra donations to Slackware, then perhaps it was a good thing after all.

P.S. AlienBOB has stated that he and the other contributors don't get any money from the Slackware donations. That said, he does a great to maintaining Slackware64, offering non-official binary packages, giving advice to users, and teaching us all how to make zoervleis . So if after donating to Slackware you have a little more money burning a hole in your pocket I noticed he has a PayPal donate button on his blog. If might be that Roberto F. Batista (aka PiterPunk), Robby Workman, Stuart Winter and the rest of the contributors take donations as well but I didn't notice any PayPal links on their respective pages. Ah well, never mind and also I'm not made of money! :P
 
Old 04-17-2012, 09:53 AM   #118
brianL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caitlyn View Post
I know some of you hate me
Not me, anyway. I don't know you well enough. I disagree with your opinions, such as this:
Quote:
99% of the Linux community that doesn't use vanilla Slackware wants things like automated dependency resolution
If they're not using Slackware, that shouldn't bother them. 99% or more of Slackware users are satisfied with it the way it is now. There are plenty of other distros to suit everyone's taste.
 
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:59 AM   #119
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I don't think it's the end of slackware, but common. The official website is down for days? What kind of signal is that sending to people?

I'm also a student but luckily the currency is in Pats favor, so I donated $100. It's a little much for my economy, but since it's my ten year "anniversary" with slackware in a few months, I thought it was worth it. I've gotten much much much more in return.
 
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:06 AM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caitlyn View Post
I don't know of any other distro where creating a custom build for business would be criticized but the Slackware community is, um... special.
I haven't been much around lately, but I think you've misunderstood. Either that or I've misunderstood. My impression has always been that we like Slackware the way it is, and every attempt in changing Slackware it being frowned upon. In these cases we encourage them to make a fork with said changes and leave Slackware as is.

That's my impression anyway
 
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