On Linux, Communities and Belonging

I've always been a Slackware user. For the longest time, it's been the only distribution that I used. Well, okay, I used Ubuntu for a while. While I enjoyed Ubuntu's ease of use, there was just this something that I was looking for.

I guess it's because that I'm a do-it-yourself'er type of guy. I really don't like it when I have no say on what's going on from the onset. Not that I'm saying that Ubuntu isn't good (it is!), it's the lack of choice at the onset that probably turned me off (not to mention Gnome). Ubuntu is prepackaged with what the developers feel that a typical desktop user would need. Most notable of which are:

Which is all that your typical user needs. I forget which multimedia player was included, but like I said, I only used it for a little less than two weeks. And this was the Warty the Warthog release, which was a little rough around the edges (okay, okay, I ran Hoary for about a day, but that was about it).

Anywho, what really makes me wonder is (ease of use questions aside), the Slackware community is all but invisible! And yet, in the months that I've been monitoring the rankings on Distrowatch (since last year), slackware never goes up or down. It's always steadfast between rank 8-10. To me, this just shows that the slackers are out there, but the question remains, in that Where are they?

Rolling back to Software Freedom Day, I remember meeting some fellow slackers. Security freaks, and more of the loner types (well, so am I).

Could it be possible that Slackware users are indeed loners? In all this time, I've known two slackers personally, maybe another handful from online, but the rest? It seems everyone and their brothers are on Debian, or Redhat, or Suse or Gentoo (or their derivatives, if available).

I'm not griping. I'm all for the freedom that F/OSS gives to it's users. It's just that I wonder. Where are they?

That the Slackware community is active is not in question, after all Linuxpackages is alive solely because of the contributions of Slackware users. Also, the official Slackware forum is located at Linux Questions. But still, the feeling of community is somewhat missing.

On occasion, the Ubuntu community makes me envious. From all appearances, they're one of the most dynamic groups of people around. Mostly friendly (I have yet to find one that isn't), and very active everywhere. Much like the Debianites, from which the fount of Ubuntu doth swelleth.

So, I therefore conclude (and until I otherwise manage to disprove it to myself), slackware users are loners. Much as I'd like to participate in the workings of other communities, I've already laid down my stake with slackware. And I guess, after the longest time, it's time to give back.

Now, where did I put those programming books?

Just to backtrack a little though, it's not that I don't like Gnome. It works well enough for what it needs to do. It just doesn't suit me. I still find that either fluxbox or enlightenment do well enough for me.

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