GNOME apps and Slackware

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Most of you know that I'm a fervent Slackware supporter. Despite the bad press that is unfairly heaped upon this very senior and robust Linux distribution, I have continued to use it exclusively to power my desktop since 1996. In fact, I credit Slackware with helping me understand the very powerful UNIX platform. It is well known that the distro is managed by one developer, Pat Volkerding, who recently and probably correctly decided not support the GNOME libs. One of the best aspects of Slackware is its stability and the philosophy of not incorporating software packages that are considered exotic or unstable. Remember, that the mission of Slackware is to provide a very stable and secure distribution that is easily configured and just works.

While I have no interest in running a GNOME desktop, I happen to have an appreciation for three major GNOME apps. Gnomemeeting, GnuCash, and Evolution. In recent years, most Slackers were forced to use the tarball and compile method of building these packages. While I had no problems utilizing this method to build Gnomemeeting and GnuCash. Compiling Evolution from source was typically an exercise in futility. Actually, I stopped trying after I'd built Evolution 1.4 (old Gnome 1.x libs). Three years ago, I stumbled upon Dropline GNOME, which essentially was a hack built by some members of the Slackware community. It worked fine for awhile, but I noticed that after I had spent a considerable amount of time configuring my Slack box using Dropline, everything would break after the next major Slack distro upgrade. I would then find myself repeating the entire process again. Not a very happy time. So I stopped fsck'g with Dropline and continue to build everything from tarballs as appropriate.

Last year, I unearthed a jewel called Freerock/GSB GNOME. It seems to have solved some of the problems that I experienced with Dropline. It is extremely stable and quite extensible in that it handles the dreaded dependencies, builds the very slick 'slapt-get' package manager engine (a knock-off of Debian apt-get), and installs a plethora of GNOME packages via the safety of well understood command-line http/lynx interface. After running, the latest GSB package for Slackware 10.2, I now have a fully functional Evolution 2.4 and Gnomemeeting 1.2. Very pleased that it was truly painless and saved valuable time.

To date, GnuCash is still built upon the older Gnome 1.x libs, but there is talk that Gnome 2.x port is in the pipeline. I may simply wait until the Gnome 2.x libs support is released for consumption.

  • Gnucash 2.1.3 - Slackware
  • links for 2006-05-16
  • Penguicon 3.0
  • Rude Linuxheads - Say it ain't so
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    This page contains a single entry by AG published on December 11, 2005 10:13 AM.

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