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Mandriva Linux

Developers Fork Mandriva Linux, Creating Mageia 206

Posted by Soulskill
from the onward-and-upward dept.
Anssi55 writes "As most of the Mandriva employees working on the Linux distribution were laid off due to the liquidation of Edge-IT (a subsidiary of Mandriva SA) and trust in the company has diminished, the development community (including the core developers) has decided to fork the project. The new Linux distribution, named Mageia, will be managed by a not-for-profit organization that will be set up in the coming days. There are already many people that have decided to follow the fork, but the people behind it are still welcoming any help offered in the various tasks related to establishing the new distribution."
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Developers Fork Mandriva Linux, Creating Mageia

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  • Name (Score:3, Insightful)

    by future assassin (639396) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @10:59AM (#33620314) Homepage
    Why do OS developers and other free software creators always pick user unfriendly names. When ever someone who knows nothing about free software/linuix asks me what free alternatives they could use I get a weird look from them when I tell them about Thunderbird, Firefox, Ubuntu, Amarok, Gimp and etc...
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by valros (1741778)
      I think here user unfriendly means different, the reason so many other names are "friendlier" is because they've been used so many times before.
    • Re:Name (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MBGMorden (803437) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @11:04AM (#33620352)

      Yes because Excel, Powerpoint, Quicken, Maya, and Twitter are so much better . . .

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Actually, they are for the most part.

        Powerpoint says something about what you do with it and conveys positive imagery - it's powerful, it's something you point at (a presentation). Excel - it doesn't really say what it is, but it conveys the idea of speed and success, which are important in business. Likewise with Quicken - they verbed an adjective (quick) that means something, and while potentially having some strange linguistic associations (quicken/quickening is the moment in pregnancy when a fetus' mo

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        Just because you can list some popular software packages that have stupid names doesn't change the point any.

        Eventually people know what those names mean, however until you develop critical mass the name hurts.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        How do you get modded up for that crap? Aside from Maya, all of those are fantastic names for products. Ubuntu, on the other hand...

        • yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Rule #1: Make it easy to pronounce so people aren't afraid to look stupid saying the name wrong. You think you are going to get critical mass with Ubuntu? Think again.

      • Yes because Excel, Powerpoint, Quicken, Maya, and Twitter are so much better . . .

        But they really are that much better.

        The motivational poster is at least a century old.

        Excel, Powerpoint and Quicken play on that same instinct to make your mark, get ahead in your career.

        This isn't the image conjured up by the GIMP.

        Twitter suggests fun and play. Maya, worlds of illusion, mystery, and magic. The tech that brings home an Oscar. Catapults Blue Sky Studios into the big-time with Ice Age and Scrat.

        While a blender

      • Listen to the pronounciation. ma... GAY... ah [searchgodsword.org]

        That to me sounds like they are intent on competing head on with Ubuntu.

    • by Xemu (50595)

      Well, Thunderbird and Firefox are a lot more userfriendly than your average car brand name or medication, yet the cars are bought. F-150, Escape Hybrid, E-series... not very userfriendly. Yet popular.
      zafirlukast, rabeprazole, fexofenadine - even less userfriendly. Yet very popular

      The gimp name is a marketing nightmare and probably has caused the software to be banned from more corporations than the developers realize.

      • No, these names are English. That is not userfriendly but culturally biased.

        Don't forget that Mandriva was in negotiations to get Russian state contracts. To me it looks like the Russians will simply sack Mandriva. The new distribution on a community/non-profit base is a perfect counter-weight.

        Magea is magic.

      • by couchslug (175151)

        "The gimp name is a marketing nightmare and probably has caused the software to be banned from more corporations than the developers realize."

        They realize by now, so it is obvious they don't care.

    • Re:Name (Score:4, Insightful)

      by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @11:12AM (#33620426) Homepage Journal

      One Word: Trademark.

      its really hard these days to come up with useful names these days without infringing on another companies trademark. ESPECIALLY if you want to go international.

      • by tomhudson (43916)

        One Word: Trademark.

        its really hard these days to come up with useful names these days without infringing on another companies trademark. ESPECIALLY if you want to go international.

        You mean like "Mandrake"? Hearst sued them [webmasterworld.com], but honestly, Mandriva? That's as bad as Mandrivel. Not like anyone cares any more.

      • by Kjella (173770)

        And I think you can extend that to names that don't actually infringe trademarks, but is sufficiently close that someone would make a trademark lawsuit. Very few open source projects have the resources to fight over a name, even if they would eventually get the case dismissed.

      • The trademark minefield and the growing exhaustion of the domain namespace are both culprits. It's increasingly true that "all of the good ones are taken".

        But still.... "Mageia"?

        Auto makers have the same problem, and yet they still (usually) manage to invent brand names that consumers will find easy to remember and easy to pronounce. "Mageia" is not. (I just had to look up to confirm the spelling, not a good sign.) A combination of three vowels in a row is confusing: do you pronounce each one? blend the

    • yeah! If a name can cause a project to be ill-fated we're looking at one here. At least choose a name that suggests a dominant pronunciation to your target audience. Even "manbearpig" would've been a better choice.
    • by Pharmboy (216950)

      I would agree. The fascination with recursive acronyms and "cute" names for mainstream products is not helping acceptance. Gimp is a good example, as it actually a good program that runs fine on Windows, but when people who want a photo editing program ask me for a free "photoshop" and I tell them "Gimp", they look at me like I just farted at the dinner table: Shocked and somewhat disgusted.

      Hey, if you code the program, you can call it what you want, but if your goal is to get as many people using your s

      • by ultranova (717540)

        Gimp is a good example, as it actually a good program that runs fine on Windows

        Apart from having to reset the "extended input devices" every now and then for my Wacom Bamboo tablet to be recogniced, yes.

        This is not acceptable for production environment or, really, any environment. And the fact tha Gimp for Windows is unsupported doesn't really help anything.

    • by MrCrassic (994046)
      Because they can't afford the super-expensive PR people that excel (no pun intended) at that...

      Choosing a name is not as easy as most people think. There's a lot of psychology that goes behind a brand name that marketing and PR experts are best at exploiting. Additionally, most software developers aren't known for their UI creativity...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by HiThere (15173)

      Interesting, I took Mageia as a back-reference to the magician theme that Mandrake used. Mageia, then, would be (freely adapted) the arts & skills of the Magus.

      Sorry it didn't mean anything to you.

      The problem, though, isn't when it doesn't mean anything, as much as when it means something you really don't want it to mean, the the Chevy Nova in Spanish speaking countries.
          (No va == "Doesn't go")

  • Fork of a fork (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Rememer that Mandiva was forked from Red Hat when it was Mandrake, and had bits of Connectiva too.

  • Ahh open source... divide and conquer.

    I recall Mandrake/Mandriva as one of the most user friendly distros when I used it... (IIRC around version 7 or 8).

    In my opinion it would be really great if instead of doing another fork the Mageia developers tried to merge all the good features of Mandriva into Ubuntu.

    I understand that Mandriva uses RPM and has several differences compared to Ubuntu, however merging both software would really benefit Ubuntu or better yet, Kubuntu (the chance to make it not suck).

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Bigbutt (65939)

      Hell, I'm still using Mandrake. It's my firewall but still, I haven't had any problems.

      [John]

    • by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @11:25AM (#33620512)

      Traditionally, a proprietary fork has always been a bad thing. However, there's not so much evidence for that in open source. Most of the time the two forks take ideas from each other, both advancing faster till the stage where one of them stagnates and hands over it's features to the other.

      From the user point of view this is great; you don't get data lock in because the source code always lets you see how the formats work; you do get much faster advancing software and it doesn't even really matter which fork you pick (though going with the community rather than the company has always been a good pick; just beware that often the community is with the company).

      Just because forks are bad in proprietary software doesn't mean the same here.

      • by Kjella (173770)

        Sometimes, sometimes it looks like they just duplicated effort moving at much slower speed like the radeon/radeonhd drivers. Branching is a quite necessary tool in OSS, diverging forks not so much. That usually just means there's too different goals or too much ego on one and the same project. That doesn't include the forks where pretty much all the development switches to a fork, like say xorg fork where the xfree project was essentially dead. Or some other not development-related stuff happening like MySQ

      • by CAIMLAS (41445)

        From the user point of view this is great; you don't get data lock in because the source code always lets you see how the formats work; you do get much faster advancing software and it doesn't even really matter which fork you pick (though going with the community rather than the company has always been a good pick; just beware that often the community is with the company).

        I've given a great deal of thought to this connundrum, though I'd actually call it a bit of a paradox.

        Why a paradox? Because, quite frankly, it's not that simple.

        Just because the source is available and there are forks and something continues to be maintained does not mean your options are clear cut, easy, or cheap. It does not mean that compatibility remains. It's the same with dead proprietary software.

        Yes, you could just keep using the same thing, year over year, because it "still works". But where does

    • It would be much better when Mandriva was the user polished version on a Debian base.

    • by Urza9814 (883915)

      No, they should merge all the good features of Ubuntu into Mandriva. That way you would not only have a good distro, but it would be one that wouldn't bail out during the install and would actually work with damn near any hardware you throw at it (i.e. Dell BCM43 chips - last time I tried to get one of those on Ubuntu it took _days_. On Mandriva it just worked.)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It would be stupid to try work with Ubuntu as they are not upstream friendly, they do not develope software and they do not care about the community. Mandriva was totally different when compared to Canonical.
      Mandriva even is more user friendly at 2010.1 than Ubuntu is with 10.10 (beta). When it comes to handling a hardware, networks or multimedia, Mandriva wins. Only thing where Ubuntu goes around is the amount of packages and that goes in rare ones. Mandriva package repos had almost all what was needed, wh

    • I wonder why they are not working with the Unity Linux people? They could contribute to Unity, and Mageia could be simply the most Mandriva like branch of Unity.

      With stuff like Ubuntu, I wonder how hard it would be to port the best bits of Mandriva (Control Centre, network applet, etc.) to Ubuntu?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bungie (192858)

      Mandrake was a very easy to use and user friendly release of RedHat Linux, similar to how Ubuntu is an easier and more friendly version of Debian. Mandrake had a good following back in the day and I remember it being very easy to use.

      I think that it would be best if they do their own thing and see what they come up with, not only because their base distros are completely different but because they could bring in new ideas. I'm hoping Mageia will be able to come up with a fresh user friendly Linux that can b

  • by GodWasAnAlien (206300) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @11:12AM (#33620414)

    Given the roots of Mandriva/Mandrake, perhaps merging with Fedora should be considered.

    Or perhaps Ubuntu may be interested.

    I don't think there is a need for this thing to live independently.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by koterica (981373)
      There is always the question: Diversify or focus? However, we do not need redundant diversity. Basically, in order to decide if it is worth keeping a separate distro, we should determine if Mandriva had any goals that were unique. If not, by all means merge. However, if there is something unique about Mandriva (I haven't used it, I have no idea), than some effort should be made to preserve those unique goals. I am guessing that the people who are forking the project feel that it is worth keeping Mandriva al
    • by Urza9814 (883915) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @12:36PM (#33621008)

      As a former Mandriva user (now on Arch) - there is very much a need for Mandriva to continue. It's the distro I always recommend to newbies, and as far as I know it's the only distro that is both extremely user-friendly and has excellent hardware support. I've seen far too many people give up on Linux because Ubuntu didn't like some piece of hardware. For a newbie's first Linux distro, you need to have at least basic support for _all_ hardware straight from the install. I've never seen Mandriva fail at that...and I've also never seen Ubuntu succeed.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        As a former Mandriva user (now on Arch) - there is very much a need for Mandriva to continue. It's the distro I always recommend to newbies, and as far as I know it's the only distro that is both extremely user-friendly and has excellent hardware support. I've seen far too many people give up on Linux because Ubuntu didn't like some piece of hardware. For a newbie's first Linux distro, you need to have at least basic support for _all_ hardware straight from the install. I've never seen Mandriva fail at that...and I've also never seen Ubuntu succeed.

        This never ceases to amaze me about Linux. If Mandrake has such amazing hardware support, why the hell don't all the other distros have the same level of support. It's all open source right?

        • by rmcd (53236) *

          The base system can be rock-solid, but the part exposed to users (and tweaked for the distro) can be broken. My experience is that the Ubuntu developers often break something (e.g., wireless) while trying to redesign the UI. A few releases back wireless stopped working for me. I found I could connect using barebones wpa_supplicant (a PITA to create the correct conf file, but it worked), but Network-manager was a mess. Slowly this got sorted out and NM now works for me.

          Currently, on other machines with Debia

      • by Ecuador (740021)

        Opensuse is another user friendly distro that will install almost on anything. I remember I had a particularly non-mainstream laptop at one time and all my attempts at installing a distro failed (I had started from debian and went on...) until a friend suggested Suse. Well, being a KDE person and also hearing about problems on Ubuntu installations that my friends had (flash, sound most common) which I had never encountered I just stuck with Suse. I understand that due to Novel having a sort of a relationshi

  • by abhishekupadhya (1228010) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @11:18AM (#33620460)
    The world could use one more distro.
    • by 0111 1110 (518466)

      * make Linux and free software straightforward to use for everyone;
      * provide integrated system configuration tools;
      * keep a high-level of integration between the base system, the desktop (KDE/GNOME) and applications; especially improve third-parties (be it free of proprietary software) integration;
      * target new architectures and form-factors;
      * improve our understanding of computers and electronics devices users.

      How is this different from lots of other distros we already have? PCLinuxOS, Mint Linux, Kubuntu/Ubuntu...? They should call it YADL (Yet Another Desktop Linux). Shouldn't they be trying to do something different? How about a user friendly version of a fast/lite Linux. Something like Arch Linux or Gentoo with a GUI installer maybe? Or a mandriva fast and lite distro? The Mandriva-like equivalent of something like Lubuntu. If someone wants bloated, slow, but easy to use they can just install Windows 7, or W

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by anshulajain (1359933)
      Mandriva as a distro is pretty much dead. Mageia lives on as the "new Mandriva". It will end up being a replacement and is not "just another distro"
  • Go Mageia! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 12357bd (686909) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @11:28AM (#33620532)
    Mandrake/Mandriva has been by far, the best KDE oriented linux distro, amd one the most user friendly. I hope Mageia keeps the good things on! Go Mageia!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Arker (91948)

      Mandrake/Mandriva has been by far, the best KDE oriented linux distro, amd one the most user friendly. I hope Mageia keeps the good things on! Go Mageia!

      A very subjective statement - users of Slackware and OpenSUSE and even Kubuntu might disagree.

      I havent tried it in awhile but it always aimed at somewhat the same audience as Ubuntu, only based on RH infrastructure rather than Debian, and defaulting to KDE rather than Gnome. It's good to have choices, even if that makes the assessment of 'the best' more di

      • by 0111 1110 (518466)

        So what was the difference between Kubuntu and Mandriva? I haven't tried either one.

        • Madnriva is faster, feels more polished, and has a very good control centre, and a better network applet.

          The only thing that is better on Kubuntu is software installation, especially through the GUI.

      • by richlv (778496)

        kubuntu... not really. whenever i tried it, kubuntu did not really live up to the promise of being a usable kde distro.

        slackware is quite a different thing (and i'm saying that as a slackware user). while things are much more automated than in the early days, that's still quite different from what other distributions on your list deliver (or promise to deliver).

        opensuse would probably be the closest, especially given them both being based on rpm. one thing where mandriva/drake/mageuiaieuia might be more sen

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by tronkel (1128393)
      PCLinuxOS is a Mandriva variant which works beautifully on PCs and is indispensable to me for use on my netbook. Mandriva itself is also great on netbooks. A primary example, that illustrates that Mandriva makes an excellent base to build other distros on. Mandriva seemed to produce solutions that were a breath of fresh air in comparison to the straight-thinking Ubuntu. No criticism of Ubuntu intended here. It's also a big favourite of mine. Remains to be seen though if PCLinuxOs can still produce the goods
  • good (Score:5, Funny)

    by onefriedrice (1171917) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @11:39AM (#33620610)
    Phew. I was beginning to think there might not be enough Linux distributions.
    • by BitZtream (692029)

      There are an infinite number of Linux distributions spread across an infinite number of universes.

      The problem is just finding the right universe to start looking in.

  • by buddyglass (925859)
    Honestly I wish they'd just glom onto some other popular distro and make it even better. Between Fedora, SuSE, Mint and all the flavors of Ubuntu, do we really need Mandriva?
  • My eyes! (Score:5, Funny)

    by MachDelta (704883) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @11:56AM (#33620708)

    Goddamn, I skimmed the headline in my RSS feed and saw "Developers Fork Mandriva Linux, Creating Mangina."
    I really need to cut back on the caffeine. :\

  • Am I the only person here still using Mandriva? It certainly would explain why some bug reports I've filed seem to have taken forever for anyone to look at them, and even longer for a fix.

    Now which distro to support, Mandriva or the new fork?

    I settled on Mandrake (as it was then) when it was known as bleeding edge, run on just about anything, and the most user friendly of the installations (with a decent partition manager when installing so you don't install into the wrong place / drive).

    • by davmoo (63521)

      No, you're not the only one. I use Mandriva extensively, even paying for it plus donating piles of bandwidth (on a real server, not something in a closet in my house) to the project, and for one simple reason. It works. It works correctly. Every time. And it does it right out of the box.

      I've never been able to get everyone's darling Ubuntu to install on any hardware I own *even once* without banging on it. Same goes for Suse and Fedora. And I don't have bleeding edge hardware. My feeling is that (unlike

  • What does the current health of Mandriva mean for Scalix [scalix.com]? Scalix is possibly the best alternative to Microsoft Echange right now, for organizations who have grown to expect Exchange groupware functionality but want to get away from Microsoft's convoluted, nickle-and dime licensing schemes.

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