So, how would we be able to apply any fixes to programs? Or is that what you were referring to as being disabled?
The "mark all upgrades" function has been disabled, because unnecessary upgrades caused havoc quite a couple of times. It fits in the "If it ain't broken don't fix it" philosophy a lot of us here have. I haven't done an "upgrade" in over a year. Guess what? I haven't had any trouble because of this.
Blind upgrading of everything causes trouble on every distro every now and then. If you really want to be part of them you can still do it with slapt-get. To see what will be upgraded,you can use
slapt-get --simulate --upgrade
To install all the available newer versions:
If there is a particular piece of software you want upgraded, you can just search for it in gslapt and upgrade it manually. \
Keep in mind: a higher version number is no guarantee for better quality.