Featured Comments: Week of 2010 December 19

Unfortunately, there were no comments on articles from the previous week (2010 December 12), so there was no accompanying "Featured Comments" article. That can be attributed to the fact that I wrote very few posts that week. Anyway, there were a whole bunch of comments this past week, so I can only post a couple.

Review: Slackware 13.1

There were many comments about this, so I'll post a couple, as well as my responses to them.
An anonymous reader writes, "You never even talked about this distro whatsoever. You just complained about what stuff you were used to that slackware didnt have. if every distro was the same then there would be one distro. Slackware is one of the most stable distros still surviving. You want a extremely stable distro here it is. While i agree that there is no dependacy checking, if you are going to slackware you are usually semi good at the command line and usually know how to install a program anyhow. so its "your" job to do it."
Reader Hannes Worst had this to say: "I think it's an ultimately unfair review. It only states the preferences of the writer and nothing about Slackware. It's like someone allergic to fruit writes a review about apples. From the first sentence on prejudice is shown. When you aren't capable of exploring and researching Slackware, don't write a review about it."
To the anonymous reader, I ask, if complaining about what isn't in the distribution isn't saying something about the distribution itself, then what is? Also, the last point leads me into my response to Hannes Worst.
I may not have made it clear in the review itself, but relatively speaking, I am a newbie to Linux. I like using Linux a lot, but I still have neither the skills nor the patience to work with something like Slackware for a long time just to get it working. I had a feeling that my experience wouldn't turn out so well for this very reason. But I wanted to test this feeling, so I did; I then wrote about the experience. Please tell me: what exactly is wrong with that? I figured that I made it abundantly clear that my issues with Slackware were never meant to reflect poorly on Slackware; quite the opposite: they reflect poorly on me as a Linux user.
I hope all that is cleared up. Next!

Familiarity Breeds Fondness, not Contempt

Reader T_Beermonster had this to say: "Probably the big one for me is the package manager. I've just got so used to APT over the years that I find other (probably equally good) systems don't feel right. Kind of like getting into someone else's car, the biting point is wrong and the seat is the wrong hight." I feel the same way as well, but I must ask, what about when familiar front-ends are applied to different back-ends? For example, PCLinuxOS uses RPMs in the back-end, but its GUI package manager is the familiar Synaptic. How would you feel about using that there? Or am I missing the point entirely?

Bad Experiences are Forever

Reader T_Beermonster wrote a long diatribe against Apple's Macs: "I have a visceral loathing of Apple Macs - not the hardware which in recent times has been quite attractive looking (if overpriced/underspecced). It's the OS."

FOLLOW-UP: Linux and Breakfast Cereals

Commenter twitter had this to say: "Diversity and choice are good, restrictions are bad. Despite the differences between distributions, they all share the same core of free software and all of it tailored to a wide variety of hardware architectures. That means that users get the software they want on the platform they want. Skype is difficult because it is not free software and the company has to do all the hard work of packaging things themselves. If you want Skype to work as well as Mozilla, ask Skype to liberate their code and rely on an honest service model that does not demand undue power over users."

Well, that's all for this week. I hope all the confusion surrounding my motivations regarding the Slackware review are cleared up, and I sincerely apologize for not delivering adequately to those who were expecting a more substantive level appropriate for an intermediate or advanced Linux user trying Slackware. As always, if you like the content, please continue commenting and subscribing. Finally, happy holidays!

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