What if you don't have all the dependencies needed for the package? I suppose the newly created install package will fail? Does the installer tell you that your missing dependencies like it would if you were trying to ./configure?
In the case of Gnome-mud, vpackager did tell me that gnet was required. gnet is a package in Gslapt, so after installing this vpackager successfully made a package out of the source of gnome-mud that successfully installed (however, it only worked with version 0.11.2 and not with the 0.11.1 source you were working with).
vpackager is okay, but not super reliable with dependencies, admittedly. Sometimes even when it successfully makes a package, the end-result won't install. The true test of success is if it can be installed and run in the end (but, that's also the true test of success for installing straight from source).
So far I've compiled 3 apps using ./configure, make and make install. I think it's easier than finding a package to try to install from if Gslapt doesn't have the package.
That works too, if you prefer. Whenever possible I prefer to install something from a package, rather than straight from source, since uninstalling or upgrading is often easier using the former rather than the latter method. Generally, when I wish to install something, I'll proceed in the following order:
- check if it's in Gslapt
- check if it can be found at http://slackfind.net/en/, using version 13.37, since Slackware packages are often compatible with Vector
- find the source, and see if I can make a Vector package out of it using vpackager
- find the source, and install from source
Note: when successful, the completed packages from vpackager are found in the /tmp file. When you go there with Thunar, the file manager, you can right-click on the package (which generally has an extension of .txz) and this will give you the option to either install or upgrade (the latter if a previous older version already exists on your system).