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Slackware has easy-to-use package management features both from the command line and graphically (ncurses-based).
But Slackware does not check packages for the presence of libraries they depend on, nor will the package management tools automatically download and install dependencies. Making the process of installing dependencies separate from installing applications means that when problems occur, the process fails gracefully.
This means that users generally do not need to recompile applications used in Slackware 12.
My testing generally bore out the compatibility of applications compiled under Slackware 12 in Slackware 12.1.
Most of Slackware 12.1’s improvements are under the hood.It includes the latest versions of Python, Ruby, the latest modular X11 system, and more.Slackware 12.1 installs glibc 2.7, which has great compatibility with existing binaries.System maintenance is minimal beyond applying security updates when they become available.Security updates are available for previous versions of Slackware back to version 8.
Tools such as slackbuild scripts available from Slackbuilds.org, and scr2pkg, make compiling Slackware packages a breeze.