As this questions seems to be popping up again and again. The question being either: “Why was Gnome removed from Slackware” or “Why doesn’t Slackware ship with Gnome”.
In the development cycle of Slackware-10.1 -> 10.2 Patrick Announced that Slackware would drop support for GNOME:
Announcement in the ChangeLog
On Sat Mar 26 23:04:41 PST 2005 Patrick Volkerding announced that Gnome gets removed:
gnome/*: Removed from -current, and turned over to community support and distribution. I'm not going to rehash all the reasons behind this, but it's been under consideration for more than four years. There are already good projects in place to provide Slackware GNOME for those who want it, and these are more complete than what Slackware has shipped in the past. So, if you're looking for GNOME for Slackware -current, I would recommend looking at these two projects for well-built packages that follow a policy of minimal interference with the base Slackware system:
There is also Dropline, of course, which is quite popular. However, due to their policy of adding PAM and replacing large system packages (like the entire X11 system) with their own versions, I can’t give quite the same sort of nod to Dropline. Nevertheless, it remains another choice, and it’s your system, so I will also mention their project:
Please do not incorrectly interpret any of this as a slight against GNOME itself, which (although it does usually need to be fixed and polished beyond the way it ships from upstream more so than, say, KDE or XFce) is a decent desktop choice. So are a lot of others, but Slackware does not need to ship every choice. GNOME is and always has been a moving target (even the “stable” releases usually aren’t quite ready yet) that really does demand a team to keep up on all the changes (many of which are not always well documented). I fully expect that this move will improve the quality of both Slackware itself, and the quality (and quantity) of the GNOME options available for it.
Folks, this is how open source is supposed to work. Enjoy.