Post by James H. Markowitz
It has been a long time since the most recent release of
Slackware was announced. In the meantime, numerous packages have become
obsolete. Even in Slackbuilds, many packages can't be updated because
they depend on new versions of software that is indeed available in the
latest release, 14.2, but in rather old versions, sometimes not even
supported any longer.
14.2 is currently over two years old - an eternity in the Linux
world. While I am all for the Slackware philosophy of making sure that
the system is stable, rather than having the latest and greatest (and I
love the fact that Slackware keeps shunning systemd) the truth is, that
philosophy may result in an obsolete system. That does not mean
"useless", of course, but it does mean "less useful".
The fact is that 14.2 is seriously beginning to show its age,
even with the pathes regularly released for it. There is activity in the
current branch all right but, it does not seem to be the case that a new
release is imminent - meaning anything less than several months, at best.
I never thought it would come to this but, if no new Slackware
release is announced within the next couple of months, I will seriously
start looking into other distributions, or perhaps one of the BSDs.
￼ Today, 03:14 PM #8
Registered: Dec 2002
Distribution: Slackware! :-)
I told them to take it down or I'd suspend the DNS for the store.
I've been mulling over exactly how to tell you all this, and I guess
this is as good a place as any. The store has been ripping me off
horribly, and I'm very nearly broke. I have no evidence that they've
ever done anything with donations besides line their own pockets. I've
not been paid any money by them in two years. That was upon the 14.2
release (and followed another long period of time with no income). The
14.2 release generated nearly $100K in revenue. The store gave me $15K,
and later said that I was "overpaid".
When I agreed to set up the store, it was structured as a company where
they owned 60%, and my wife and I owned 40%. I had not yet escaped
California and would have quickly gone broke there with a house
underwater had I not taken the deal. And 60% seemed fair, since the idea
was that the company would be providing health insurance, paying for the
production of the goods, and handling shipping and related customer
service. And when my daughter was born and needed surgery and continuing
medical attention I could hardly jeopardize our insurance in the days
before the ACA. I was between a rock and a hard place like many
residents of the US. Since then, the store has ceased to provide any
benefits, and shouldn't even be getting a 50/50 split in my opinion,
much less looting the coffers for 81+% (anything they want to spend
money on is an expense, apparently, while any expenses I have to support
the actual project come out of the peanuts they toss me). I only found
out about how bad it really was last year when I finally managed to get
some numbers out of them. I thought the sales were just that bad, and
was really rather depressed about it. Another side note - the ownership
of the 60% portion of the store changed hands behind my back. Nobody
thought they needed to tell me about this. At that point I'd say things
got considerably worse for me.
Still not sure how to move forward, but I have some hope that the
community might think that my work is and has been worth supporting. If
at all possible I'd like to get away from replicating physical media
which seems to be a lost cause. T-shirts? Well, maybe, but I don't see
that providing a reasonable income either. I'm wondering how Patreon
would do. It would at least be better than nothing, which is where I am now.
Through all of this I have continued to work hard towards getting
Slackware 15.0 released because I believe it will be by far the best
release we've ever had, and because I'm dedicated to my work and the
community that uses it. I've never really been in this for the money. At
any given juncture (including now) I've had numerous opportunities that
would support me and my family far better and would provide us with the
things that we need rather desperately. I mean, I'm sitting here in a
house with a giant hole in the roof, a broken door sealed with duct
tape, and a failed air conditioning condenser that I can't afford to
fix, my wife has been driving on a spare tire for weeks, my teeth need
serious attention again, and I only just got a machine here with UEFI
for the first time (bought a used machine... really out of my budget but
it had to be done).
I'm open to suggestions at this point. As far as Slackware 15.0 goes,
I've been testing PAM and Kerberos here and have given quite some
thought to trying to get them merged (or at least in /testing) so that
we can have proper support for Active Directory and NFS. Plasma 5 has
been a consideration as well, although frankly it's grown much larger
than GNOME was back when I decided that should be spun off for third
party maintenance. If that's going in, we really need to analyze which
dependencies would not be used outside of Plasma and stick all of those
in the KDE series. I'm as tired of the pollution of the L series as the
rest of you are.
"I did this 'cause Linux gives me a woody. It doesn't generate revenue."
-- Dave '-ddt->` Taylor, announcing DOOM for Linux