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Mandriva Businesses

Interview With Gaël Duval of Mandrake Linux 157

jukal writes "Open for Business's Timothy R. Butler talked with Mandrake co-founder Gaël Duval about the company's past, present, and future. Worth a read, clip: "GD: For one year, we had a so-called "World Class Management" team that left us in a very bad financial situation, and engaged the company in ventures (such as e-learning) that we should never have been involved with. But that's all part of our history now, so I'd prefer to not dwell too much on that. ""
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Interview With GaŽl Duval of Mandrake Linux

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  • Re:My prejudice (Score:3, Insightful)

    by leviramsey ( 248057 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @11:13PM (#4234450) Journal
    Or as I like to call it "unethical RedHat".

    Considering that Mandrake has a much stronger policy regarding Free Software than Red Hat, I find that interesting.

    Either that, or IHBT.

  • Re:My prejudice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HaggiZ ( 68526 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @11:14PM (#4234452) Homepage

    Why is it unethical? I remember as a newbie I had lots of problems getting X up and running in slackware, and just generally having how I want. So I tried RedHat, that was a lot easier. Then I gave KDE a shot, and woah!! Wasn't that a breeze!!

    I fail to see why just because it was easier, it was "unethical". Things shouldn't have to be difficult just because they can be.

    I think many other newbies are the same as me, and maybe it's a sad reflection of my generation, but slackware (and at times redhat) took too long to do what I wanted when I was learning. I want to make some changes, compile, see the difference. I dont want hours upon hours of trawling config files when I'm learning, I want immediate reflection of my actions so I can learn it quicker.

    Once I'm learning it, and starting to actually understand what I'm doing... then I'm willing to spend hours understanding it in more depth.

    More power to KDE, if it wasn't for them I probably would have walked away altogether, and I'm sure many others are the same.
  • Re:My prejudice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheTomcat ( 53158 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @11:17PM (#4234468) Homepage
    to me Mandrake is still RedHat+KDE ... Am I the only one?

    I used to think the same thing.

    I'm a pretty die-hard Debian fan (100% of my server installations have been Debian for the last year). However, when Woody came out, officially, I tore my desktop apart (time for a backup of critical and wipe of the garbage I'd been collecting). I tried Woody.. liked it just as much as any debian I'd tried (started with slink)... I I also decided to try Mandrake9.0beta (since my machine was in a "confused" state, anyway).

    I've used Mandrake before (7.1+). It was always "decent", but had its problems.. I must say I'm impressed with 9.0, and I'm running GNOME on top of it right now, as my primary (home) desktop, as I type.

    It's no longer just Redhat + KDE. RedHat can do that on its own.

    With 9.0, my opinion is that Mandrake is finally holding its own. It's actually decent to work with, and while I miss apt-get (and can't find a decent MDK-9 apt-rpm repository) greatly, I honestly can't be bothered trying to get all my stuff working on Debian, where with Mandrake, it all works nearly out of the box. And it's no longer impossible to find config files (they're starting to be, for the most part, where you'd expect them).

    I'm not bashing Debian, by any means.. just praising Mandrake (9).

  • Re:how funny (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mudhiker ( 15850 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @11:18PM (#4234478)
    And if it's been ages since someone quit and that excuse don't work anymore, blame it on the NEW GUY!
  • by vlad_petric ( 94134 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @12:06AM (#4234718) Homepage
    I was one of the people who responded to Duval's call in March. I thought I was doing a good thing (and actually still am)- giving some money to the company who created the distribution I had been using for one year on a couple of computers. The fact that I was getting something extra for my money was an even bigger incentive

    The months have passed and I have discovered that the "benefits" were only marketing "painting"

    the extra rpms were in their vast majority obtainable from their vendors

    StarOffice 6.0 - well, you actually pay for it. Only 120$+ members can get it, not the 60$ ones

    the unsupported rpms, made by volunteers, sometimes cause more trouble than .tar.gz source compiling

    direct trading ? yeah sure, what a benefit. Even if I were investing with my heart, I would still prefer a regular stock market.

    not to mention that we, mandrake club members, don't even have a priority ftp!

    Overall, I don't consider I was ripped off. The quality of Mandrake is reasonably good. And because the distro is so user-friendly I'm actually migrating my girlfriend to Linux as well (with some Codeweavers help). But there's no real advantage in MDK Club, and I fear the worst for Mandrake in the next year, when the 2001 March memberships will expire.

    The Raven

  • by Idou ( 572394 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @01:33AM (#4235033) Journal
    Eventually put in 120 bucks . . .

    -The extra downloads are "extra" (consist of commercial packages) and only attainable from the Mandrake packaged distro not the mirrors. I don't think other vendors let you download Star Office.
    -Star Office is like $72 . . . you wanted it for $60 and were considering this charity?(for who?)
    -unsupported rpms are "unsupported," but I haven't had any trouble (are you using urpmi?). Plus, I found Mplayer that way, which has been worth the $120 (since I don't have enought time to find such software on my own)
    -direct trading only applies if you wanna own their stock, but this really is a revolution in the trading of equity (all they did is put up a little system that allows you to trade stock at volumes as low as 50 shares, without having to pay a 3rd party commission. Nothing special EXCEPT no other company seems to be doing this . . . ). So let me get this straight . . . if you had the choice, you would prefer to pay a 3rd party commission just to buy a stock that you have already decided to buy?
    - As far as the priority ftp goes . . . it is unfortunate. However, if you spent some time reading posts at mandrakeclub you would know that something of that nature appears to be in the works . . .

    I'm sorry the club isn't what you expected but calling it charity seems a bit of an extreme. I wish you could be more specific about what you want out of the club instead of what you don't like.

    ". . . I fear the worst for Mandrake in the next year, when the 2001 March memberships will expire."

    Mandrake 9.0 seems like it will bring in a lot of new members and another 13 new members joined in the last 24 hours so it doesn't seem as bad as you think. Of course, spreading your discontent here, instead of at Mandrakeclub really isn't helping the situation much (though I am sure a lot of mandrake folks visit slashdot on a regular basis).

    In conclusion, I really just joined at first to help insure that the distro would continue. The "services" (call them what you like) were really just extra treats. Since I graduated college, I really don't have time to fool around with Linux the way I used to. My job, though it pays well, treats me like a drone and does not allow me to implement most of what I learned during my days in college (both from classes and from playing with Linux). Mandrake is easy enough for me to still play with during my short breaks and the mandrakeclub allows me to give something back since I don't have enough time to learn how to code. Oddly, I don't consider either side of the realationship to be "charity."
  • by tres ( 151637 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @01:58AM (#4235101) Homepage
    I don't know how long it may have taken a genius like you, but it took all of two seconds to figure out that, yes I can download, and no, I don't have to pay for it.

    What do you think that Mandrake is supposed to let you download without knowing that people's livelihoods rely on your payment? Do you think they should take you out to dinner too?

    For someone who wants to USE their computer, Mandrake has the best distribution out there. There's a small learning curve compared to your other "high performance" Linux distros. They should get paid for that, or at least you should acknowledge that yes, you do want to take from the mouths of the people that put it together.

    Mandrake sells Free software. They've held up to their end of the bargain. Schmucks like you who'd prefer to i-opener Mandrake and then bitch when they make you think about it should just go back to downloading your Warezed OS of choice and leave the good-guys alone.

    I for one appreciate the value added by Mandrake. I appreciate that they are trying to protect the interests of the company by letting freeloaders^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H downloaders know that they are, in fact, abusing the system upon which they rely.

    You schmucks should go back to Warez; give the little guys a chance before you i-opener them into oblivion.
  • One more thing. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by deno ( 814 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @08:19AM (#4236116) Homepage
    In case that wasn't clear enough: I can't stand beggars, and they stand no chance to get any money from me. On the other hand, I'm handing out a lot of money to street musicians. So, what's the difference?

    BEGGAR: this guy attempts to get money from me by showing how miserable he is. For many of them, begging is a profession of choice. Others really end up being beggars out of misery, but I live in supposedly "social state", pay high taxes, and demand from my goverment to take care of people who can't take care of themselves. Begging is a shame.

    MUSICIAN (anod other street performers): These guys entertain me, make my kid happy, and generally "make my day". I WANT to give them some money, because I WANT to see them again. Beeing a street performer is not very lucrative job (they can only reach very small public), but there is no shame in doing it. On the contrary, a town withouth street performers would IMO be a very sad place.
  • Re:My prejudice (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Strog ( 129969 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @09:58AM (#4236792) Homepage Journal
    Of course Redhat went out and wrote everything from scratch. Wait a minute, they "stole" software from everywhere.

    Mandrake was the result of someone loving a product but wanting to add something to it. Mandrake gained popularity because many other people wanted the same things(mainly KDE in beginning). Mandrake has done a lot of good things and given a lot of software, patches, etc. back to the community.

    It's not like a lot of other people. "I'm going to take my ball and you can't play". This is all about making things better. Use what you want.
  • by deno ( 814 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2002 @01:05PM (#4238535) Homepage
    Yes but...

    Does the Oxford dictionary have a word for

    "giving voluntarily, because you will be better off that way"

    or such? It would be really cool if we would have such a word to stick to - "charity" unfortunately doesn't say anything about your motives, and there is a BIG difference between:

    Giving because "someone" is in need and

    1) you are such a good guy
    2) he is working on something that is benefitial to you, and you want him to continue with that work.

    I don't expect folks to join the Club because "they are such good guys", I want them to join the club because they really appreciate our work and want us to continue with it.

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford