Thursday, December 11, 2008

Are new releases of Slackware newsworthy?

From the Slashdot RSS feed, I saw "Slackware 12.2 Released", and it made me wonder if this is actually newsworthy. Granted, Slackware was technically the first Linux distribution I ever installed. It came with a "Linux for Dummies" book I bought in 1997, when I was starting to become more interested in doing more with computers than basic every day tasks (email, web surfing, word processing, games). However, my experience with Slackware was short lived because I was still living at home, and my parents used AOL for Internet access.

Nowadays, it seems Slackware is revered by older users, but isn't used. To me, it falls into the same area as using the Eudora mail client, or until recently, Netscape web browser. It seems Ubuntu (and its variants) and Fedora dominate the Linux desktop, with a smattering of Debian users; and CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Ubuntu (somewhat surprising to me), with some Gentoo diehards, leading the Linux servers. I think this may be the least used "mainstream" *NIX distribution available. Except for nostalgia, what reasons do users install Slackware for?

Not that I'm discouraging further development of Slackware, or trying to insult their users. I'm just questioning their relevance in today's IT news, unless it's just a slow news day :)

1 comment:

Matt said...

I think it's the combination of the slow day and the other reason you mentioned; it's what a _lot_ of people started on. Me too. Like a first love, I've still got unresolved feelings about it. It's like I've expanded myself and my skills, but it's still the same. So much the same that it makes you remember what it used to be like, and when you get a bunch of old Slack users in the same thread reminiscing about configuring mode lines by hand, well, you get that thread.

I'm not sure it's any less news than a lot of stuff Slashdot runs though ;-)