Stop the Presses: Slackware considers dropping support for GNOME

Slashdot is reporting that Patrick Volkerding, the lead (and most times the only) developer of the Slackware Linux distribution, is considering whether to drop support for GNOME or not.

According to the information, there are two things to be noted: (1) That a decision hasn’t been made yet; and (2) that this is not precisely due to preference for KDE, but because GNOME is a dog to compile according to Pat. (And it surely must be, if KDE is easier to compile in comparison!)

I sincerely hope Patrick does not decide to drop support for GNOME in Slack. Even though I am a KDE user, advocate and even a “developer” (because I do official translation work), I learned how difficult life could be with a distro that tries to belittle one of the two major desktop environments. Back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and I used KDE 2.2.2 in Red Hat, I could not use any international keyboard, because the Red Hat teletubbies shipped a broken Qt library, and they left it that way even despite the fact that they knew the issue. I would like a distro that can offer a decent implementation of both GNOME and KDE.

More information can be found in OS News and the alt.os.linux.slackware newsgroup.


  1. I learned of the discussion from the GoneME list. The message linked directly to the forum where Slackusers were discussing it. The whole point was that the GoneME developers were encouraged to learn from the criticism of compiling GNOME. I can testify that on the tightly-scripted compile routines on FreeBSD, GNOME has never compiled without the necessity of manully removing or replacing certain packages. It turns out that properly coordinating dependencies is literally impossible, since the GNOME developers don’t do it. I sense an increasing entropy of internal coordination at GNOME. One former developer noted that for the 2.6 release, they had a very hard time getting anyone to work on updating the central Gtk2 libs. They almost went live with the older ones from 2.4.1.

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