Saturday, May 3, 2008

Slackware 12.1 released

Slackware 12.1 has been released to the faithful. I count myself amongst that number. Even though I no longer use Slackware itself, I do use Bluewhite64, which also released 12.1 on the same day, which is the best 64bit port of Slackware.

This is the first release with only a 2.6.x kernel. Finally. This release also missed a few good updates such as perl 5.10 (Slackware has 5.8.8) and PHP, both of which have been around quite some time now. But in the time honoured fashion that is how Slackware is created the creator has stuck with older, possibly more reliable, versions of those two applications.

This URL shows how staid Slackware can be in its choice of applications over the years since its first release. The remit of Slackware is to release a distribution that is good for servers and desktops alike but as I said here I think apart from the faithful few like myself who simply love the stability Slackware and the ports of it, offer on both desktops and servers, Slackware's relevance in todays wealth of desktop orientated distributions is nothing like it was say 6 or 7 years ago.

I am sure Slackware's creator still makes a living from his creation but making a living from something and that somethings relevance in the market place are two entirely different things. It will survive for years to come but its relevance in the market place will slowly but surely diminish further than it is today which is lower than it was a few years ago.

I will use Bluewhite64 for as long as I use computers on both the desktop and on servers but this stark reality is something that is constantly at the back of my mind. Added to this is the fact his "Crew" are not popular at all with the vast majority of administrators and desktop users it all adds up to a bleak future, but a future where Slackware will just about survive for quite sometime. Possibly forever, though I have my doubts on that one.

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