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Slackware Documentation Project Begins In Earnest 81

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the documentation-is-an-aneristic-illusion dept.
New submitter vtel57 writes "A recent thread at Jeremy's LinuxQuestions.org lit a fire of enthusiasm for a new Slackware documentation initiative. A new SlackDocs Wiki has been started on Alien Bob's (Eric Hameleers) server. There is also a new mailing list for discussion and coordination of the project. All interested parties are encouraged to visit and participate."
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Slackware Documentation Project Begins In Earnest

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  • Who? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @12:54PM (#41082865) Journal

    Who's Earnest?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The headline makes it seem like there has never been documentation for slackware, as if we all had to "wing it" from the start. That doesn't make much sense, considering that slackware is the longest standing linux distrubution and shows no sign of losing support.

      Sure, the documentation could use a little sprucing up, yet somehow we all manage to get by.

      • ...Sure, the documentation could use a little sprucing up, yet somehow we all manage to get by.

        I'll confess to the fact that it's been a very long while since I've run Slackware (mid 3.x versions), but if things now are like they once were, that's probably just a little bit of an understatement. There was always enough documentation if you knew what you were doing, but otherwise it was just enough to be dangerous.

        • But Slackware has always come with man pages. Is there supposed to be more?
          • by IrquiM (471313)
            Yeah, some users need it written in English. They don't speak gibberish like we do.
            • by Cyphax (262239)

              But the "we" you're talking about should understand it or you would likely be the person that runs Ubuntu or something, but not Slackware (or a BSD, or Debian). The target audience of Slackware is the kind to understand man pages so well, I'd think...

              I'm fairly happy 14 is almost out. I've been wanting to run it in a vm in Virtualbox, but the installer of 13.37 won't boot due to a kernel panic. I'm hoping that this changes when 14 comes out. :)

              • by fnorky (16067)

                Which version of Virtualbox? I am running 13.37 with no problems on mine.

          • And that's the problem - if you want to increase the amount of documentation they need to include women pages too :)

            The man pages were great, but if you were just teaching yourself (especially without programming experience) a man page alone isn't enough to set up a robust system (besides, unless I'm mistaken, most man pages weren't Slackware specific). A man page doesn't give you a list of best practices (beyond the one function) or additional functions. For example, you could learn all about how to set

    • A friend of Vern's.

    • No idea, to be Frank.
    • And more importantly, who is the insensitive clod that is going to be documenting Slackware while they are in him!
  • And lasted for 2 whole minutes of everyone keeping a straight face before a raucous chorus of laughter erupted.
  • Ahh Slackware (Score:4, Informative)

    by wjcofkc (964165) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @01:21PM (#41083247)
    First distro I ever installed back in 1996 and still my favorite. It doesn't get much nerdier that Slackware (except perhaps OpenBSD). I am glad it has survived all this time.
    • by fisted (2295862)
      You're so alpha nerd, i barely dare mention that it's stupid to rate/compare OS in terms of their nerd factors.
      Also i assume you're mentioning OpenBSD because it happens to be the most exotic OS you once heard about. How's NetBSD less nerdy, btw?

      At what rank in the nerd OS hierarchy should i put myself for using FreeBSD?
      • Well, since OpenBSD was originally forked off of NetBSD after Theo got kicked out, I would consider OpenBSD more nerdy!
    • by unixisc (2429386)
      It's #14 on Distrowatch. I wouldn't think it's doing badly @ all. Incidentally, in unrelated news, Ubuntu has now slipped to #3 - below Mint and Mageia
    • by Saija (1114681)
      Curiously i just installed OpenBSD last week on some virtual machine to play with it and learned something different than Linux and Windows. I installed KDE(3.5) on it and i like learning how to do new stuff on someting totatlly new and strange
      • by unixisc (2429386)
        I checked their page [openbsd.org], and while w/ KDE, they are still w/ 3.5.10, in the case of GNOME, they are w/ GNOME 3.2.1 in fallback mode. I thought that they are real conservative about which software versions they tend to use.
        • by Saija (1114681)
          Yeah, it just feel a little oldie to run KDE 3.5, but i liked that version. I liked so much that even i was in the spanish translation team of that version translating the playground modules a couple years ago.
          • by unixisc (2429386)
            It's well known that OBSD is pretty conservative and uses stable versions of any software - be it GCC/PCC, Apache or anything else. Given all that, I found it rather strange that they've gone w/ GNOME 3.2 - one would have expected them to still be @ GNOME 2.32. On their choice of KDE 3.5.10, I wouldn't fault them, since it took KDE a while before 4 got its act together, and even now, one has to know to disable certain KDE services to make sure it doesn't slow down the system. But in their next version, t
    • Me too. Slackware 96 CDROMS from Walnut Creek. (I still have them as a souvenir).
      Been using linux since then; Debian, Redhat, Suse, Ubuntu in several flavors, and then LFS. (In terms of nerdiness, LFS is Slackware squared.)
      I only recently installed FreeBSD. The learning process seemed similar to my early days with Slackware. It's dejavu all over again.
      The nerdiest thing I have ever seen is Nerds hanging out on Slashdot discussing which Linux/BSD distro is the nerdiest. That's just Neil Goldman nerdy.

      • You too? I started back around then also... spent a lot of time hanging out at tsx-11 at mit.edu its where they had all the good stuff hosted

        I had a couple floppies included with a book, then there was a coupn in the back for walnut creek, even tho I didn't have a CD drive at the time... it didn't take long to get one. Dialup took a while, I tried that. Had all of slack 3 on floppies that way. It was pretty zippy on my 486 DX... good times!

    • by Mathinker (909784)

      > It doesn't get much nerdier that Slackware (except perhaps OpenBSD).

      Oh, yeah? I run Plan 9 inside of a virtual machine running on Haiku!

  • Isn't documentation antithetical to the very nature of Slackware? It's a bit like Steve Jobs serving meals at a homeless shelter.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Err, unless you count the man pages, the documentation included in an install in /usr/doc, or the community forum over at linuxquestions.org... In my experience on Slackware and Ubuntu, I'd even say that finding help in the documentation on Slackware is easier, simply by virtue of not being bogged down with useless forum postings, and dealing with the fact that from one version to another, changes by Canonical change the way things break, and how to fix them, while Slackware doesn't deal with that kind of

    • by Mister_Stoopid (1222674) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @01:33PM (#41083443)

      It's a bit like Steve Jobs serving meals at a homeless shelter and letting the homeless decide what they want to eat.

      Fixed for proper Steve Jobs analogy.

    • Isn't documentation antithetical to the very nature of Slackware?

      Yes, it is. Being as close as possible to "vanilla Linux", Slackware never needed much specific documentation of its own.

      As a Slackware user, I'm actually a bit surprised at this piece of news.

      • Maybe someone has been spending time looking at the ArchWiki and decided to give Slack it's own version...

        Arch also uses all vanilla packages, but having so much info on the wiki has been a huge timesaver when troubleshooting.

        • ArchWiki is held in high regard by most slackers (and is often used and referred to) so you're not wrong in suggesting this. The OP of the thread at LQ refers to Arch in his opening comments, and the first reply suggests ArchWiki as a model (cheers to kiki and Didier.)

          As a member of the slack cult, I'm enthused by community response.

          cheers,

  • It's important to be Earnest [youtube.com].

  • So what distinguishes Slackware from other distros? No public bug tracking. Closed development process. A primitive character-mode installer. All administration is done from the command line. No dependency tracking. Minimal feature set.

    Could somebody who uses this thing explain why they prefer it to a more modern and open distro?

    • by ledow (319597) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @01:56PM (#41083773) Homepage

      Because:

      - No public bug tracking is required. Closed development process is a myth - it merely packages plain source installs of everything it uses and pushes patches upstream. Actual patches above-and-beyond the version is states it uses of a particular app/library are virtually zero.

      - A primitive character-mode installer that lets you install it on ANYTHING. Literally, anything. And not worry about whether it supports VESA even, let alone KMS.

      -.All administration is done from the command line. So you don't NEED X. Perfect for server installs, in my experience, but perfectly serviceable as a desktop if you want (which one? Have them all!)

      - No dependency tracking - true, but the base install contains everything you need for a pretty substantial install. And if you're installing servers and working machine rather than desktops, you probably don't need to touch anything.

      - Minimal feature set? Same as every other distro, just maybe not as integrated and automatic as you would like. That's a plus to me - I can tell EXACTLY what's going to load when and can cut out the crap on the installer before it even gets off the disk. Oh, and it runs all the latest kernels just fine.

      If you think of PC's as "things that need a GUI", it's probably not for you. If you think of PC's as "things that get a job done, reliably, every time, with the minimum of extraneous resources consumed", then it's fabulous.

      Hell, it took about two-three days to get ArmedSlack (the ARM port) working on Raspberry Pi. Still the only thing I'd use on that device, given it's low footprint and having to boot off my 2Gb card. And when you intend the distro to do nothing more than track GPS, dial up 3G, integrate with external electronics, etc. then a 100Mb install that still can be SSH'd into without even having to go looking for what to install is a big plus. And no GUI required.

      The thing that distinguishes Slackware is that it was the first EVER distro. And it hasn't changed much. Sweet, simple, small, stable. Hell, I have 10+ year old machines still running on Slack.

      • by CAIMLAS (41445)

        No dependency tracking - true, but the base install contains everything you need for a pretty substantial install. And if you're installing servers and working machine rather than desktops, you probably don't need to touch anything.

        Until there's a vulnerability in something you installed and you then need to upgrade. Then you're pretty well fucked and are going to likely end up with a mess of broken dependenies and/or substantial downtime while you upgrade.

      • by fm6 (162816)

        More briefly put, its apparent disadvantages are actually advantages when you have old or limited hardware. Fair enough.

      • by chadruva (613658)

        I had a "white box" server back in 2004 with slackware, a very puny 256mb pentium 4 with tailor made (compiled) kernel, and for around 5 years it kept going very well serving a small PHP app with MySQL and email, it runned like a champ, we tried to keep it up to date but then we forgot about it for a couple of years, then a few changes to the hosted app needed an upgrade again and there is where disaster struck, never upgrade more than 2 versions up, we screwed glibc update.

        In the end we reinstalled debian

    • No dependency tracking.

      If you want dependency tracking, you can install pkgsrc [pkgsrc.org] for Linux, as I did.

      To anyone who really digs the Slackware way, the concept of a distro-mandated packaging system simply doesn't make any sense.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      So what distinguishes Slackware from other distros? No public bug tracking. Closed development process. A primitive character-mode installer. All administration is done from the command line. No dependency tracking. Minimal feature set.

      Could somebody who uses this thing explain why they prefer it to a more modern and open distro?

      Slackware I've considered to be more "pure" in the sense you administer it the same way you administered a UNIX box - at the command line and all that. None of the fancy distro-spec

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I really hope this is just a troll post. There were recent security issues discovered in BIND, which was patch right away. Oh you have to upgrade? slackpkg -upgrade BIND. Pretty straight forward.

    • by rastos1 (601318)

      Could somebody who uses this thing explain why they prefer it to a more modern and open distro?

      Because if something breaks, then I really find the thing that broke. Not like you install Ubuntu and the NetworkManager causes havoc. And you need to disable the damn automagic thing. Better yet uninstall it completely. And then a write a /etc/network/interfaces file that nobody knows who actually reads it. If I want to see how is the IP address or broadcast is assigned in Slackware, then I really can find the

    • Here's one - do most of the modern distros run on ARM? I'm guessing that Slackware, like Tiny Core/Damn Small can run on a Raspberry Pi. Or any embedded box built w/ an ARM - something that will not run Windows or Wintel software, but will happily accommodate Slackware's requirements.

      So anybody could build - like the MintBox - an inexpensive, embedded ARM based box, and put Slackware on it, and run it. Granted, there will be other options as well - Minix, Tiny Core and Damn Small Linux, Gentoo, and som

      • by fnorky (16067)

        Yes, Slackware does run on ARM. You will find the official port at http://www.armedslack.com. Getting it up and running on the Pi doesn't take much.

  • RTFM Noob!

    What manual?

    Oh, sorry.
  • To all developer who devote themselves to open source and make it available to others for free. To all people who post on forums to help others. It takes a good person to do that. Thank you.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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