Saturday, May 17, 2008

Not good.

Ignoring people is something the Americans are not alone in doing. But, my recent experience with some of our American friends shows that some, but obviously not all, of them are very well capable of doing it.

I use Bluewhite64 Linux. A 64bit port of my all time favourite Linux distribution, Slackware.

Bluewhite64 is a like for like port in that what it offers is identical to that which Slackware offers. Like for like except that Bluewhite64 offers a 32 bit compatibility layer (several packages that allow a lot of 32 bit only programs to run, but not be compiled, on 64 bit systems). Unlike its main counterpart Slamd64 that has a few added in packages, Bluewhite64 is as close as one can get to that unique Slackware experience. As you should have guessed by now I am a staunch advocate of Slackware Linux over all the other distributions, old and new, out there. Now that all my systems are 64 bit (and knowing I could run Slackware 32 bit proper on my 64 bit systems, but chose not to) I spent a not inconsiderable amount of time searching out 64 bit distributions, downloading them and trying them all one by one but every one of them at that time left me feeling that something was not quite right. In the end I found first Slamd64 and while the experience was much much better it too did not feel quite right. In the end I stumbled upon Bluewhite64 and a new love affair with a distribution was born. I never looked back nor have I installed anything else since, though I have tried a few of the newer distributions.

I have mentioned these new kids on the block before on this blog and have, rather reluctantly, mentioned how I think Slackware's relevance today is not a patch on what it once was. Even so I reckon that Slackware and its derivatives and ports will be around for a lot longer yet. Hopefully Slackware's creator will see that these new kids on the block are slowly killing, by their actions, the spirit which the author himself created and nurtured all those years ago and that has survived until now with a sharp drop starting 18months to 2 years ago. Roughly, the time these new kids on the block got their grubby fingers into the distribution.

In recent times a new web site offering Slackware compatible, but not identical, package build scripts has popped up and stolen the limelight from another web site offering the same which just happened to have been around for years. Probably before the new guys with their new web site were even born so long ago was that original web site started. They made no reference to that long established defacto web site. In point of fact it was, when the new site first started, plain for us old hands to see that the less the old web site was mentioned the sooner people would stop using it and a new defacto web site would be born. I reckon that, as unfortunate as many reckon it is, the new web site succeeded. Many of the long established web sites built around knowledge of Slackware were, in the eyes and minds of new Internet denizens, killed off in similar fashion. Instead of engaging in dialog with these older, much older, web sites and learning what those web site creators could teach them, the arrogance with which these newer ones aimed their destructive attitudes towards the older web sites lost Slackware a few long time users.

Those, like myself, who have sat on the sidelines watching all this happening noticed a sharp decline in long time Slackware users and, of course, with these long time users gone there are few left to spread the gospel according to Slackware with the ferocity the older long time users gave it. Which meant that the Slackware, and its ports, lost its relevance in todays market place. As these new kids on the block continue in their so obviously arrogant ways and keep on changing things as they grapple time and time again at lose straws in their efforts to stem that ever increasing movement away from Slackware, and its ports. Some have said that the long time Slackware users that left are defectors. I do not believe that for one second. Most of those long time users, if not all of them, left because they saw what was happening and what was happening they did not like. Many no longer use any Linux distribution preferring instead a BSD distribution which adheres to the values Slackware once did and of those long lost values the main value was based on the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle.

Recently I downloaded a set of Slackware build scripts and was slightly dismayed, but not surprised, to find that there was no 64 bit (x86_64) settings within any scripts. I have emailed them before asking them if they wanted me to add 64 bit to their scripts and where needed either patch myself or use someone else patch who got there before me but as was expected the email was ignored. Of course, like many do nowadays they may claim they never received the email but whatever the reason is/was for the email being ignored I simply chalked it up as another nail in the sinking ship.


Eric Hameleers said...


I have been reading the posts on the various blogs you maintain with a rising discomfort.

Such a shame that you never have the guts to be explicit. I wished you would stop making vague innuendo accusations and write down names and projects that are maltreating Slackware. To name but a few: Eric Hameleers, Robby Workman, Better?

One of your other posts rambles along about how people grab your scripts, but never bother to tell you what they think of your scripts, and that annoys you because then you can not make your work better tailored to the users' wishes. This goes against the behaviour you display towards the Slackware team (perhaps not Pat, but certainly those pesky newcomers who are destroying your favorite distro). I never received a single email from you. Go figure!

To me this is quite confusing. Why are you here in your lair, writing bad things about me and others in the Slackware team, instead of coming out into the open and confront us with what you think we are doing wrong?

No, instead you install Ubuntu, a distro whose user base was ridiculed in one of your earlier posts. So much for consistency.

On top of this, you were not even running Slackware before that, but Bluewhite64, a distro created by a man whose intention it was to take away the profit of the distribution it was feeding on.

You're about my age, but you act like you can not free yourself from a past long gone. Terrible shame for someone as knowledgeable as you.


Robby Workman said...

If you're talking about SlackBuilds Central, then perhaps you should contact George and find out whether he was ever consulted, and if so, what his response was. I won't share the contents of a private mail here, but that should tell you whether he was contacted...