[nSLUG] Debian X server help.

Bill Davidson bdavidso at supercity.ns.ca
Thu Mar 4 16:19:55 AST 2004


On March 3, 2004 07:59 am, Donald Teed wrote:

> Core packages are not updated until there is a new version of
> Slackware, unlike other distros where they do consider updating
> core parts and they will do so to support a wide variety of
> software packages.

This is wrong.

Besides, earlier you wrote:

> Sure you can manually compile your own base level of
> gcc, libc and friends, but you run the risk of an unknown
> number of applications breaking.

So, uhh, slackware is bad because you say they don't upgrade libc (which is 
false anyway), but upgrading libc will risk breaking unknown applications...  
Which is it?  Do you mean that when you upgrade your libc via Debian or RH 
package managers they also upgrade everything linked against libc?  I don't 
think so, that would be "an upgrade of the OS itself", basically everything 
except the kernel and init.  Oh I get it, the package managers are magic.

> Did you go outside of the Slackware FTP mirrors to apply
> the updates/patches?


> At the time I encountered the problems with Evolution building,
> I asked for assistance from many resources in how to resolve
> the issue, and found no one could.

That's too bad, and I confess that I doubt that I could have offered much 
help either at that point.  Once again I blame ximian for making it so damn 
hard to get to get current stable source, and for providing inferior build 
documentation.  I mean, the sources I just compiled contain a README file 
that contains a "dependencies" section that doesn't mention several 
dependencies or where to get them.  This makes it harder than it ought to be 
to compile.

Also, some of their build scripts in the CVS suck.  For example (forgot to 
mention this in my previous) to buid gnome-common to get gnome-autogen.sh,  
first you run autogen.sh which runs macros2/autogen.sh, which checks 
installed versions of several programs.  First it checks for autoconf>=2.53, 
and it found v2.57 on my system.  Then it checks for automake>=1.4, but it 
really doesn't, it checks for automake==1.4, and on my system it told me to 
upgrade to 1.4 even though I have 1.7.8 installed.  Luckily, there are a 
couple of ways around this (edit the script, link automake to automake-1.4, 
or set an environment variable).

> If you were setting up a desktop for yourself, and encountered
> problems with Realplayer, or Evolution, etc, the natural thing
> to do is move on to something else you think you will
> like, or get mad at Real for having such poor Linux support.

Did you ever have a problem with realplayer on slackware?  I've had it 
running in one version or another (of realplayer and of slackware) for years. 
 It's hardly like evolution.

> I'm sorry if Slackware is your favorite distro or second favorite,
> but you should really get out and try the other ones before too long.

Nothing to be sorry about.  I use Debian on my desktop at work, and admin 
Debian and RH servers.  I use Slackware on my home system because I like it, 
it works for me, and it works the way I like it to.  It's not a question of 
it being my fave, though.  What I don't understand is your antipathy to it.  
I'm sorry you had a negative experience with it, but your experience really 
doesn't mesh with mine.  In fact, my worst experiences with linux have been 
with various RedHat releases, especially when they foisted beta software on 
unsuspecting users.

I'm really not trying to be bloody-minded here.  I have tried to make two 
points in this thread: the first was meant to be informative and humorous, 
pointing out that slackware has facilities for automatic, network-based 
package management (installs, updates etc) which are at least as difficult as 
apt-get and friends.  The second was simply that installing evolution on 
slackware is not impossible, although I could not try your particular data 
point (evo 1.4 on slak 9.0).  I freely admit it is more difficult than it 
ought to be, but I would apportion at least 50% of the blame to ximian.

> One man Linux distros just can't cover the ground of
> rich application support.

Yes, we need more enterprise-level linux distros, stuff built by corporations 
for corporations.  We need more companies like IBM, Novell, and Microsoft 
building this stuff for us instead of garage-based hacker individuals.  Why, 
I heard of one project where some Finnish grad student tried to build his own 
unix-like kernel!  Would you bet your company's future on software like that?

Bill Davidson
bdavidso at supercity.ns.ca

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