Great news! Patrick Volkerding, the man responsible for the Slackware distribution of the GNU/Linux operating system announced the release of Slackware 10.2. There are a lot of improvements and new additions to the system and I really look forward to use it. Most notable among those are the inclusion of KDE 3.4.2, a test 2.6 bootable kernel in the installation routine, new documentation, the inclusion of Firefox and Thunderbird, and many others.
However, there are two changes that in my personal perspective are major ones:
First of all, the bad news: GNOME is no longer included. The reasons were known long ago, and they boil down to this: GNOME is a dog to package and build (and I can attest that this is true of at least some packages). It is sad to see a desktop environment of the quality and importance of GNOME being excluded from a “generalist” GNU/Linux distribution. However, Patrick points out to two great GNOME package repositories in the release notes, so thankfully fans of GNOME are not left out in the cold.
The real good news for me is the inclusion of teTeX 3.0. I’ve been using 3.0 since some months ago, and it adds new packages and classes that I previously had to install to get some much needed functionality; and more so, is the first teTeX release that is truly multiuser, allowing you to have as many “local setups” as users on the system. (Previously, while all users could use TeX, they were limited to one monolithic global setup that was performed by the system administrator). The immediate advantage of this is that you could upgrade teTeX as much as needed without destroying your customizations. Previously, you had to re–create your config or customization with each upgrade.
I look forward to upgrading to Slackware 10.2. It promises to be a really good release.