[nSLUG] Debian X server help.

Donald Teed dteed at artistic.ca
Thu Mar 4 18:44:00 AST 2004

On Thu, 4 Mar 2004, Bill Davidson wrote:

> Hi:
> 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.

There are updates to the entire system available to Slackware
while not upgrading to the next version?

> 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.

I didn't see any updates to libc in the time frame I was working on it,
which means it is about 20x less frequently updated than
Gentoo, to name the opposite extreme.

I mentioned upgrading via manual non-Slackware sources as
a way to attempt to resolve problems like the ones I
encountered with Gnumeric, evolution, ogle, and one ICQ
client I no longer recall.  I was not talking about the
OS's updates in that context.

I don't know for certain about Debian's level of package
management, but yes Gentoo is capable of doing a deep
emerge to recompile everything against the current libs.
So I guess gentoo is magic.  It wasn't what I was referring
to originally, but I thought I'd answer your jest anyway.

In the emerge help:

    --deep (-D short option)
           When used in conjunction with --update, this flag forces emerge
           to consider the entire dependency tree of packages, instead of
           checking only the immediate dependencies of the packages.  As an
           example, this catches updates in libraries that are not directly
           listed in the dependencies of a package.

> 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.

Can't disagree with that on Redhat.  Providing modperl in
Redhat 9 that can't even pass the "Hello World" test.
No QA to speak of there.  I think they must really depend
on beta testers to catch it all.

> 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.

I don't know what you are saying here.  At least as difficult
doesn't provide any feature.  However the package management
is non-existant when the packages are not from Slack, and
that happens very often.  As well, the package management
tells one nothing about dependancies.  You find them
out by trying it out.  That isn't package management.

> 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.

Again, Evolution was just a good example of something I
couldn't resolve.  There were others.

> > 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?

This doesn't not describe Debian, Gentoo, FreeBSD and others.
Even Linus doesn't maintain the kernel by himself anymore.

The Wright Brothers designed and built the first airplane.
Two guys.  More sophisticated designs with greater capabilities
took more and more people to make it happen.  It is the
same with OS and software.  One person projects have limits
on what that person can achieve.

--Donald Teed

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