A Slacker Building from Source

It's a Slackware user's style to compile from source. The only hitch is satisfying dependencies (hmm, not unlike registering for classes). Unfortunately this can be much more than "a hitch" and consume entire days grabbing dependencies. There should be some sort of open project that maps the dependencies of projects upon one another, because as nice as the GTK is for building graphical applications (like Pidgin, in my most recent experience), it can really be a drag to build, and it has so little documentation on its dependencies and their dependencies that it is a stab in the dark and a waste of time to run that configure script only to find out that aaa-x.y is not present or is too old for this version of the application you are trying to build. And once you satisfy that one, bbb-x.y is also needed! Try telling the average guy on the street if he has his pango, cairo, freetype, fontconfig, pkgconfig, glib, and gtk built together. Nonsense!

For a linux user, no big deal, though, but some documentation could really help. Perhaps someone can start an extensible and open way to wiki some of this data together, so others can learn from our experiences. I understand that software changes, and that data could become stale very quickly, but if it became a popular site, hopefully it would be a great start, if not a complete start to building software from scratch.

I must point out that there is such a thing as SlackBuilds, which lets you compile source code directly to a Slackware package (.tgz) for your system. This could greatly aid in compiling software with its dependencies for Slackware, and would also remove the hassle of stale libraries (with the /usr and /usr/local package prefix disparity).

Anyway, long live open source and Slackware!

Registered Linux User #370740 (http://counter.li.org)


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