The DistRogue

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Why Zenwalkers Give Dolphins A Bad Name

Dolphins are among the most intelligent of all animals. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that Zenwalk Linux chose one as its mascot. After all, Zenwalk came from Slackware, one of the oldest, most pro-oriented distributions of all. (In fact, Slackware is the oldest surviving distribution, having existed since 1993, back when the Linux kernel was still in beta testing.) Slackware is also known for its devoted, experienced following, so closely-knit that it's almost become a religion. And some religions have witch hunts- Slackwarism being no exception.
How do I know this? Well, a couple of days ago, I decided to review Zenwalk, one of Slackware's closest forks. I gathered some info on #zenwalk and DistroWatch, just to know what I was getting into. It sounded so good that I even grudgingly installed LILO as the default boot loader (Slackware uses LILO by default, and installing GRUB is a long, painful process). The fact is that I desperately wanted to like Zenwalk.
After spending some time using nothing else, I came to my conclusion and gave Zenwalk a 3.7/5. Not horrible, but certainly with some room for improvement. I never lied once about my experience, giving an honest account of what I found. But obviously, 3.7 wasn't high enough to pay tribute to the awesomeness that is Slackware! Burn the witch! The angry readers swarmed in, calling for me to recant and repent. The also asked me to admit that I was lying, that Netpkg's divinely-made dependency-tracking system worked 100% of the time without fail, and that the sun revolves around the Earth. I stood by what I said, as I do now.
To answer some questions, for the fifth time:
-Compositing: I really mean it when I say that I found drop shadows under my windows after the installation. I went into the XFCE settings and found that compositing was on. I turned them off, and noticed a minimal change in performance, so I decided to turn them back on.
-MP3 playback: I double-checked my notes, and I have to give you guys this one. It turns out that when I tried listening to music, another app was running that was locking the sound.
-Dependency tracking: I still say that I had to install 3 separate packages (manually) in order to get Exaile working (but it was worth it, as usual). Everything was in a full Netpkg GUI, including the original Exaile install.
-Flash: I said that Last.FM and YouTube worked out of the box, and they did. I was pretty puzzled as well, but it really happened.
I'm not the only one. A while ago, Beranger was burned banned from the Zenwalk forums for heresy alleging that the church Zenwalk devs weren't abiding by the Bible GPL. Truth hurts...
Because of this fanboyism and bias, I am banning Zenwalk and Slackware from my site/blog. In addition, I've removed Zenwalk from my site's list of distros. In short, Zenwalk is dead to me. If this is how the community acts, then I don't want any part in an 3-1337-157 community of "more-haxor-than-thou"-ness and witch-hunts.
I sincerely hope that the Arch community is less annoying than this.
From MEPIS 7.0,
The Distrogue.

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