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What I think about Slack....
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Thread: What I think about Slack....

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  1. #1

    What I think about Slack....

    Well I have been using it for a week or so now and have formed quite an opinion on it.

    I like slack for certain things, it's speed is very nice, and it comes with packages up to date versus many distros that are still using older packages, so you could say Slack is more bleeding edge.

    I absolutely despise the packaging tool, or lack thereof. Everything downloaded is in tarball format and therefore very open to being a real pain in the arse to install.

    I like slack in the fact that I can have about a thousand windows open and don't see any degredation in performance, you can't do that in Mandrake, but then again that is comparing apples and oranges.

    I absolutely despise the install program as well. If for some masachistic(sp?) reason you decide to do expert install, as I ever so stupidly did, your install will take a minimum of an hour, it took me even more than that. Slack does let you choose down to whether you want your i's dotted and your t's crossed, cuz god it took me forever to go through their selection system. Maybe for some this is a perk, but they need to clean up the look and feel of the install program. It is VERY boring to look at, and would be somewhat hard for a newbie to understand.

    Also their install disc is bloated. Out of all the crap they have on their install disc, there isn't even a print server such as cups or a way to set up a printer. I have to download an entire extra's cd to be able to get this, well unless I download the files myself. I think this should be standard on the install disc, not something they have to seek out and download or install another disc for. I don't think printer support should be an "extra."

    Well with this said, I am going to prolly switch distros to either debian, or eventually when everyone and their dog stop downloading RH 7.2 I'll be doing that. I have to say, RPM's gave me a bit of a headache at first, but when I got used to them, they were a cinch and I liked them very much. Plus, it is easier to find an RPM for a proggy than it is a .deb file.

    To be continued....

    Aragorn
    If you give a man a fire he'll be warm, if you light the man on fire he'll be warm for life.

  2. #2

    Re: What I think about Slack....

    I just want to add, if someone has a correction to this, please go ahead. I would be more than happy to be told there is a print server on the disc, etc....

    Aragorn
    If you give a man a fire he'll be warm, if you light the man on fire he'll be warm for life.

  3. #3
    Aaron_Adams
    Guest

    Re: What I think about Slack....

    One of the points of Slackware is to be the most customizable and unix like distrobution available. This is the reason why the installation process isn't a snazzy looking setup that makes people excited. And also why a lot of programs people normally would expect aren't included. Its all about doing it yourself. Although this can be harder for newbies, it's also great for newbies to experience, because you will know whats being installed and learn the process of compiling. I've been using Linux for just over 6 monthes, and after 2-3 monthes of Mandrake and RedHat I went to Slack. The reason why I stuck with it, is because it wasn't easy like MDK and RH. I've learned an unbelievable amount since using Slack for the very reason of it not being easy. I understand where you're coming from when you say it should be fixed up to make it look better, but I disagree with it, because I know it isn't the point of Slack. From what I've read/seen the develepors try to stay away from making it look nice, and concentrate on making it work good. This is one of the reasons the amount of users has decreased over the years, and why its called more of an expert distro. If a user wants to learn Linux inside and out rather then use it for just a few things, I'd recommend Slack. If they want a comfortable less technical do it yourself distro, where they can get things done without worrying about the little things Slack is definately not for them.

    Did you actually try the pkgtool? *.tgz are packages that work in Slackware, and can be installed easier then compiling the program yourself. They are still a little more complicated than RPM's from my experience, but they usually work well and easy. pkgtool will start up an ncurses menu where you have a couple of options to do things with pkgs. installpkg *.tgz will do it without the need of the menu.

    I'm not sure if there are any Print servers on the main disk, I don't use a printer on my boxes normally so... I have never needed to pay attention to that. I always use my moms laser printer from her mac when I need to print hehe.

    I'm glad you atleast got the chance to try Slack long enough to form a valid opinion hehe, I'm not surprised you won't be sticking with it though. The next step after Slack IMO is LFS. Thats what I'm working on for my server. Should be interesting.

  4. #4

    Re: What I think about Slack....

    How you can customize it is great, I don't want any distro to take away from that(ie Mandrake). Yet they can make it easier to understand and look at. I know the creators of Slack are planning on revamping their install program to include making it look a bit better, but yes it isn't high on their list. Ease of use isn't a problem for me anymore, but I don't want installing a package to take for ever or give me a headache, I went through all that as a newbie and know about it, I shouldn't be having to deal with it later on. I did mess with pkgtool, and didn't like it, I rather do the console method especially since pkgtool crapped out a million times on bluefish.

    Now I can understand removing a lot of the fluff, that I completely agree with. Now removing the essentials which I believe printer support is, is wrong. There is something to be said about customizing, but you have to atleast give them beggining steps to start with.

    LFS, hmm, I have been thinking very very heavily about doing this. You can even build LFS to be RPM enabled or whatever. This attracts me to it very much. It looks like a real time hog, which unfortunately I do not have now. I am so engulfed with just trying to keep up with this site by myself and take care of personal matters, I don't have time to sit down and build an LFS system. Maybe one of these days.

    Now on the issue of leaving distro's because they are to easy. I understand what you are trying to say, but I have to counter with this. You have to understand that for Linux to become standard on the desktop it has to become visually pleasing and easy to navigate. Now remember that to do this doesn't mean you have to sacrifice configurability, this is the stance Mandrake has taken it seems, and it is unfortunate. RedHat seems to have avoided this false need of sacrifice. RedHat is easy to navigate and can still be customized to the brim, this isn't from experience but from what I have read, and I am sure JimH could ellaborate. Progeny(R.I.P. :'() was a prime example of this. You talk about a great install program, easy to navigate, and can be configured to your hearts delight. Oh how I miss Progeny already. Progeny was a biotch to upgrade though, but they were working on that before its untimely demise. Slack needs to do this to stay alive, otherwise your going to see a lot of converts as you already do to Debian, RedHat, and other distros such as LibraNet.

    Aragorn

    Rest In Peace Progeny, you will be remembered! :'( :-[
    If you give a man a fire he'll be warm, if you light the man on fire he'll be warm for life.

  5. #5
    Aaron_Adams
    Guest

    Re: What I think about Slack....

    I have yet to try Debian... I should get around to it one of these days. Sorry to hear progeny wen't away.

    I agree with you that printer support should be included, I was just trying to justify why it may not have been included. I think it is a good thing to have distrobutions for users that aren't as interested in how the whole thing works and forcing you to learn the hard way. I can't deny that at times RedHat (not MDK though) is tempting to install again, just because its less hassle. I think most users shouldn't use Slackware thats for sure. (When I said Slack wasn't for newbs, I didn't mean you of course... As I am probably one of the biggest Linux newbs on the board. (Felt I had to verify that) )

    Also the leaving RH and MDK because they are too easy, is of course my personal preference, as when I got into Linux I did it so I could learn as much as I could about what really goes on, as that option isn't present with Windows and Macintosh. I just felt RH and MDK didn't offer as easy of a solution for my needs as Slack does, although Slack is at times anything but easy. Hopefully my LFS project fills in all the blanks that Slack leaves. I have a feeling that if I really enjoy the LFS system I build, I might just stick to that. We'll have to see, my ideas and mindset seem change daily if not more. LFS does seem to take a bit of time, as I said I'm working on it right now, (off and on, I try and learn to many things at once) but when I finish it I'll let you know how it went, and what to try to avoid etc.

    I must agree that pkgtool isn't much help sometimes. I've come to the habit of compiling everything myself, that i don't even think about it now. The only thing that I personally find it useful for is if I find a need to install a pkg from the cd, I can just install it rather then compiling each seperate thing.

    The one good thing about Slackware is it seems to keep you on your toes about what you know and don't. It keeps you thinking outside the box for certain problems you encounter. Everytime I've thought to myself I've grasped a steady hold on it, something new arises that I can't figure out. I appreciate that for the reason that if I am ever in a work environment and something goes wrong, I'll be so used to fixing wierd, annoying problems it won't be as much hassle to deal with as it could have been.

    I don't think Slack will ever regain the position it had of distro dominance, or even get half way again. I have a feeling it will stick near the bottom with the die hard Slackers keeping it alive. Just a thought though.

    Well thats my Slack rant... sorry for the length. If it seems to not make any sense or is condratidctory (sp?) Atleast you all know a little bit more about my perspective, or lack thereof.

    Aaron

  6. #6
    Panserbjorne
    Guest

    Re: What I think about Slack....

    I like slack for all the good points mentioned above.

    Aragorn, i think that there is a printer setup on slack. Unfortunately, I have yet to make it work. How'd you get yours to work?

  7. #7

    Re: What I think about Slack....


    I like slack for all the good points mentioned above.

    Aragorn, i think that there is a printer setup on slack. Unfortunately, I have yet to make it work. How'd you get yours to work?
    I couldn't even find one, more or less get it to work. I did find a BSD Printer control, but that thing is crap and it causes my printer to keep spitting out pages until it runs out of paper, not even printing on it. It even auto setup for my 610Cl printer, augh....OH well...hopefully if I can go a brain and figure out how to compile QT i'll be able to get my LFS system up and going!

    Aragorn
    If you give a man a fire he'll be warm, if you light the man on fire he'll be warm for life.

  8. #8
    Mojo
    Guest

    Re: What I think about Slack....

    I LOVE Slack.

    Why? Its fast, not bloated, and did I mention uber?

    Its good because it gives you a base to start building from - like mandrake to get it to my liking I had to remove so much crap it was stupid - and after that the fun bit - kernel recompiles, untarring (:P) etc - And you learn a lot along the way. With slack theres no crap to remove - its very pure!

    Flames to dev@null.com

  9. #9
    Aaron_Adams
    Guest

    Re: What I think about Slack....

    Assuming that SkyNet is still here, that's 3 slack useres. We're slowly taking over...

  10. #10
    Aaron_Adams
    Guest

    Re: What I think about Slack....

    Assuming that SkyNet and Panser are still here, that's 4 slack users? We're slowly taking over...

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