Thursday, April 23rd, 2015
Where has all the magic gone?
Few days ago I was building a PC for media copying and backups as
I proposed in January in my seven point plan for 2015. I installed
a SCSI controller in one of the free PCI slots to connect JAZ and
ZIP drives and as it has not only 50-pin connector, but also two
68-pin ones, I connected a 18GB SCSI drive, I used some 8 years ago
and which was lying in the box with spare parts since then. I didn't
remember exactly, what was on it, so I started the computer and after
few seconds I saw on the screen boot logo of Source Mage GNU/Linux.
I had the very same controller and disk in quite a similar PC in 2007
and back then SMGL was a good source based distribution. It was in my
opinion way better than the competition named Gentoo. Install process
had nice text-mode menus (shell-hell in Gentoo), the package system
was written in bash (python-based in Gentoo) and dependencies were
described in form everybody can understand.
I visited SMGL site to see how is it doing and I discovered, that the
project is dead for years, last release is from 2011. No more spells
and sorcery. This is symptomatic for the whole development of Linux
based systems as such: all the magic is gone now. There are hundreds
of distributions, but most of them are derived from Debian or RedHat,
usable unique up-to-date distros can be counted on fingers of one
hand. And SMGL is not among them anymore.