Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Slackware Linux today features a powerful and easy-to-use package management system, but making Slackware packages has not always been straightforward. Now Slackware application developers have a tool for easily making Slackware packages from source code and precompiled binaries. Src2pkg, now in version 1.6, very nearly lives up to its author's tag of being Slackware's "magic package maker."
The traditional method for installing software in Linux is to download the source code, uncompress it, and then run ./configure && make && make install. The result is compiled software that is installed in the (hopefully) correct spots in the file system. The problem is that there is no easy way to track which files end up at which locations. The result is that it can be extremely difficult to remove or upgrade applications.
Package managers solve that problem. Slackware packages are simply tar archives, compressed with gzip (with the .tgz extension), that contain a file structure and the compiled files. Slackware's package tools unpack the package files to the correct directories and maintain a database tracking where the files are installed.