Linked by Eugenia Loli on Fri 12th Sep 2003 00:59 UTC
Mandriva, Mandrake, Lycoris MandrakeSoft, the third biggest Linux provider which has known financial problems, decided to go ahead and offer advertising options via its upcoming operating system. Regular screensavers, bookmarks, default first browser page and Installation screens will feature advertisements. The ads will only be part of the free download edition and not the purchased version of the OS. OSNews featured a poll last year regarding advertising via an OS: 55% did not favor the idea, 30% did and 13% were not sure.
Order by: Score:
Soso idea.
by Masao on Fri 12th Sep 2003 01:21 UTC

I wouldn't mind this if the user can delete the bookmarks, change the homepage, and remove the ads without too much trouble. You are getting it for free and if you don't want to hassle with removing the ads, support the company and buy it. Although if you can't remove the ads, then time to move onto a new distro :-)

Interesting
by trashcan on Fri 12th Sep 2003 01:23 UTC

I wonder what the next logical step would be towards an advertising supported operating system (not necessarily Mandrake). Usage statistics? Or perhaps even advertisements in included software, a la Opera.

Just like I been sayin' ....
by Darius on Fri 12th Sep 2003 01:27 UTC

You knew it had to be comin', and now here it is. Next on deck is going to be spyware in Linux. It's going to happem ... mark my words!

RE: Just like I been sayin' ....
by trashcan on Fri 12th Sep 2003 01:33 UTC

Oh phew! We're saved, because of the root / standard user privelage seperation. I mean, all the spyware can see is my personal data in my home folder, oh wait.

Well at least I can still believe in the magical "Linux is more secure" barrier to keep me safe at night. You can't that that from me Darius! ;-)

RE: Darius
by BP on Fri 12th Sep 2003 01:33 UTC

Ah hah! But thanks to the lovely license Linux is under...
You can always FORK em!

I just hope it's not ad-ware like Opera. Or else we could see another distro of Linux.

Well, more market for software like Ad-Aware and Spybot Search and Destroy! Ad-Aware Linux Edition...

Debian
by dags on Fri 12th Sep 2003 01:33 UTC

I'm just glad Debian will never take this route.

Re: Just like I been sayin' ....
by John Blink on Fri 12th Sep 2003 01:34 UTC

If it ever comes down to Spyware, then you know the option is to choose one of the many YALD.

don't like it
by Matt Seidel on Fri 12th Sep 2003 01:45 UTC

This isn't the greatest idea I've heard. This is only the beginning with the ads. It starts with just throwing ads to splash on the screen during the installation, and the addition of bookmarks and screensaves. But what's going to stop them from implementing the ads within the actual OS. Don't be surprise if Mandrake pops ads in the menu bar, or in the windows.

With everything spam now in days, people won't go for this for very long. Might be cool at first, but then it will get annouying.

Fork 'em
by Aitvo on Fri 12th Sep 2003 01:48 UTC

It's not like they didn't do it. ;-)

Spyware in the apps, not the distros .....
by Darius on Fri 12th Sep 2003 01:57 UTC

Once you start to see spyware in Linux, it'll probably be in the apps, so switching distros won't help much. And of course, these will not be open source apps either. So, you'll either have to use open source apps only, or it'll be like Win32 where you just have to be careful about what you install.
I've been running my Windows XP install since February (when I first got this computer), and spybot has yet to find a trace of it (except cookies).

Also, I'm wondering about the possibility of embedding spyware in Mozilla/Firebird extensions?

No Such Thing as Free
by Jack on Fri 12th Sep 2003 02:14 UTC

This is just a reminder that there is no such thing as a free ride. You always have to pay for it somehow. It's time the Linux community realizes that.

A few thoughts on this
by Aaron Benedict on Fri 12th Sep 2003 02:18 UTC

Of course you can just install the latest release candidate and then use urpmi to update to cooker.

Personally, if I were still using Mandrake it would make me want to go out and buy the full version. Also, AFAIK, we don't know if they are taking the ability to change screen savers and home pages away. So until more information comes out, let's be patient.

It will be interesting to see how many advertisers (and who they are) sign up for this program.

A few thoughts on this
by Aitvo on Fri 12th Sep 2003 02:23 UTC

"You always have to pay for it somehow. It's time the Linux community realizes that."

Define "paying for it" I define it as giving something back, which I do. I have purchased distros, but I learned a long time ago that the best way is to just give a little back.

RE: A few thoughts on this
by Eugenia on Fri 12th Sep 2003 02:25 UTC

> Define "paying for it" I define it as giving something back, which I do. I have purchased distros, but I learned a long time ago that the best way is to just give a little back.

While "giving something back" might help the code evolve, the Mandrake coder families don't live on code. They live with money. And as long their stomachs are not full, they can't "give something back", because they have more important things to do: survive.

As long as it can be disabled/deleted later...
by .jon on Fri 12th Sep 2003 02:27 UTC

...I have no concernsa about it.
Just make sure I won't see it after I decided to wipe it off.

RE: Jack
by BP on Fri 12th Sep 2003 02:27 UTC

Jack... Nobody who's been around Linux for awhile will tell you it's "free cake"...

Free is more as in Freedom, Free from proprietary code, free to modify, free to view the source code. etc.

Or simply put, it's more Open than Free.

RE: No Such Thing as Free
by josh on Fri 12th Sep 2003 02:30 UTC

This has probably already been said but, the "Linux community" does realize they don't get anything for free. This is why thousands of developers spend time working on software, graphic artists improve the look, etc. etc. There are people who just download the ISOs, but there are also people who pirate windows. They are getting something for free. I'm not comparing the two (well, I kind of am actually), because one is legal and one is not, but there are always free loaders.

ads are everywhere
by hugh jeego on Fri 12th Sep 2003 02:38 UTC

ads == mind control
[this space for rent]

RE: No Such Things as Free
by Anonymous on Fri 12th Sep 2003 03:00 UTC

Look at the big picture... Mandrake is on the verge of going under. Why put up with their crap of trying to 'milk' every dime from users just so they can survive?

I suggest dumping Mandrake and moving to another distribution such as Debian.

You got to pay the bills
by Scott on Fri 12th Sep 2003 03:02 UTC

We all love free things, but someone, somewhere has to foot the bill. Mandrake has always tried to give us a top notch distro for FREE, and if we have to look at a few ad here and there what the harm. In all honesty, the ads and links would be thing us geeks would be interested in anyway. Additionally, if Mandrake needs to put spyware in to off set the cost, we shouldn't complain too much. We can fairly confident that Mandrake would fully disclose information to us about it.

Remember even free beer comes at the expense of a hangover the next day. >8)

Blah
by Anonymous on Fri 12th Sep 2003 03:15 UTC

After my annoyances with 9.2 RC2, I'm going to be sticking to RedHat in the future. Gentoo is also acceptable if they would fix their fscking GRP install so gnome actually works.

Just charge for the distro instead
by FaithMAX on Fri 12th Sep 2003 03:26 UTC

I personally would rather see them charge a small fee for the os instead os stop to ads. Charge $5 per download, or demand the membership idea they use. Good software is worth money.

$$ for Mandrake
by Anonymous on Fri 12th Sep 2003 03:42 UTC

I've said it before and I'll say it again. This is what Mandrake needs to do to become profitable:

1. Once a release has gone gold, do everything humanly possible to press the CD's and make the retails boxes as fast as possible.

2. Hold off on releasing the final version.

3. Fill all pre-orders taken from the Mandrake store site and fill them FIRST. The people who take the time to pre-order are your best customers. Treat them like so. Pre-orders should get their boxes in their hands before a box appears in any retail store.

4. Once the pre-orders are shipped, get the retails boxes into as many stores and on as many online e-retailers like amazon as soon as possible.

5. Let the boxes sell from the stores for 4 weeks. Then, and ONLY then, release the final free download version.

Mandrake needs to encourage sales of its product. Releasing a final version before the boxes are in stores and, even worse, before your best customers who pre-order is shameful and very bad business. The horror stories of pre-orders being filled months after 9.0 and 9.1 (trust me, I know from personal experience) are a really bad reflection.

But, Mandrake won't listen. I guarantee they will release 9.2 final via download first. Then, maybe a few months later, the boxes will appear in a few stores but in none of the major chains, like Best Buy or CompUSA here in the States. Then, a few months after that, the poor saps who gave their money to Mandrake via online pre-order will get their boxes. Just in time to see 9.3 beta 1 come out.

It's no wonder they are bankrupt.

RE: A few thoughts on this
by Circuit on Fri 12th Sep 2003 03:54 UTC


Okay, let's be really honest here: How many linux coders, whether for mandrake or not, are or ever have been in fear of starvation or prolonged homelessness?

Let's get off our middle-class high horses here, and get some damn work done.

I hate advertising
by Maynard on Fri 12th Sep 2003 03:58 UTC

NOw to have my OS advertising to me. Damn, I think that it low. Mandrake needs to be more creative. Its a sign their business model is not working. Right now, they do not target the home user with the same vigour that Xandros, Lycoris and Lindows do. Wonder why they lose out? I hate GAIN and all forms of ads forced down your throat. I can not take it with Linux.

Mandrake 9.2 FX isos for download
by tech_user on Fri 12th Sep 2003 04:08 UTC

i can just see it... 2 weeks after mandrake releases its ISOs for download... you'll see Mandrake 9.2 FX (no ads, no homepages, no ad-screensavers, no unwanted net connections) isos for download available from somewhere.

mandrake should know better. it is THEY that forked redhat when redhat wouldn't play nice with KDE, back in the sepia glory days.

and mandrake will be dead for serious/corporate/secure/server users.... they won't trust extra cruft... even the whiff of advertising and builtin code to useage stats collectors... will make them drop the CDs in the bin.

mandrake - you were recovering, and this is a BAD decision. wake up, which consultants are you using for this silly adventure?

chill out
by jason v on Fri 12th Sep 2003 04:09 UTC

Uh, Microsoft sells space on their desktop. Browser vendors load their default bookmark lists with their favorite items (usually pointing to their own site, but still -- it's open territory).

Mandrake isn't out there suing CDR vendors to stop using the Mandrake name on their sites like RH is. I don't think Mandrake cares where people get their OS from, as long as they can convert some of those interested in their product into subscribers. If the final version is as good as 9.2 RC2 and if I don't have lilo problems (which are unique to Mandrake and never bothered me with RH, Deb, Knop, FreeBSD, etc), I'll pay up.

So they put some links and ads in there. If you can change it in less than 5 minutes, who are we to fuss? This hardly impugns the OSS movement's business model, lack or disinterest in one, etc.

People are too grumpy here, and usually I'm the grump.

v REAL ads in Linux
by Seth on Fri 12th Sep 2003 04:13 UTC
Whipped
by slash on Fri 12th Sep 2003 04:14 UTC

If anyone is still using Mandrake after this debacle, they can consider themselves officially whipped.

anyone recommend alternative to mandrake
by tech_user on Fri 12th Sep 2003 04:39 UTC

what distro would a mandrake-lover consider after mandrake?

actaully, i've been considering moving from mandrake after many years of service now, they just keep getting sillier, debacles, non-delivery, treating customer like poo, begging for cash in return for no privileges, buggy rushed releases, ... if no-one forks mandrake, i'll give something else a shot ..

can anyone suggest what distro, someone who is the mandrake type, would go for?

Other distros can do it quite well without advertising. Why can't Mandrake? as someone pointed out before. Maybe if they didn't release the free version until 4 weeks after they might actually make some money.

typical
by Anonymous on Fri 12th Sep 2003 04:41 UTC

It was only a matter of time.

I'm going to take this occasion to thank Frederic Crozat for his efforts in getting GNOME (esp. gedit) up to speed. Also closing bugs. Good man.

The rest of Mandrake -- okay, just the management portion... they're just doing what comes naturally. If prostitution is natural for a perpetually-flailing software company, anyway. Like the joke about the hooker with epilepsy. Or was that a clam with diarrhea?

Two things...
by Quattro on Fri 12th Sep 2003 04:54 UTC

I think it is an ingenous way for Mandrake to bring in more revenue. If it keeps them in business, great! That's more brain-power promoting the Linux platform. From a user's point of veiw, it doesn't bother me; the ad sites will just be another line in my /etc/hosts file.

I wouldn't even worry about spyware. If spyware starts infecting Linux apps, someone will find a way to block it.

RE: anyone recommend alternative to mandrake
by Darkcloud on Fri 12th Sep 2003 04:56 UTC

You might want to consider Libranet - it's Debian but easier. Either that or SuSE.

Re:anyone recommend alternative to mandrake
by Anonymous on Fri 12th Sep 2003 05:08 UTC

Try Mepis...up to date Debian with a decent installer and plenty of packages.

OK
by zeb on Fri 12th Sep 2003 07:10 UTC

At least Mandrake is 100% free. Other distros like Lindows, Suse or Xandros use proprietary components to prevent redistribution in iso images.
Mandrake is Free software : you can remove any of these ads. And I see people talking about spyware, this is BS : the only adverts will be :
- during install (fair enough, I install only once)
- on bookmarks : delete/edit them !
- on screensavers : change them !

When Mandrake does not sell its distro, people criticize it. Now they try to make money with it, without changing their policy about the 100% Free code, people criticize it too...

DL only...
by zeb on Fri 12th Sep 2003 07:11 UTC

And don't forget this is only for the download edition. It is fair.

hmmm bad idea ?
by raver31 on Fri 12th Sep 2003 07:20 UTC

from what we have heard it is a bad idea. however, it also depends on how mandrake impliments it. if mandrake sets the home page to one of them pay per click search engines, no problem, I will use that, (I mean, even google is changing over to pay per click with paying advertisers getting top of the results). if they fill up my bookmarks with advertisers site, also no problem. I might be bored some day and click through them all and check their wares.
Ad windows like in opera, I dont mind them as long as they are small and only in the browser.

POPUP ads, now they piss me off, I dont want them.
Spyware, they piss me off, I dont want them.
Browser search bars, they steal screen space and piss me off, I dont want them
Selling my email address to advertisers, that pisses me off, I dont want that.
In fact anything that pissed me off and made me move away from using Windows as my primary os, I dont want that.

Re: DL only...
by Anonymous on Fri 12th Sep 2003 08:09 UTC

The screensavers are download only; the rest is right through all 9.2 editions.

RE: DL only
by zeb on Fri 12th Sep 2003 08:14 UTC

You're right. Well, it is only bookmarks. The system is FREE : it is not as if you could not remove the things ! And they are very clear : no spywares, no pop-ups !
For club members, that would be nice to do a club_edition rpm that would remove the adverts that are not in the boxed edition.

Scared to sell
by Olivier on Fri 12th Sep 2003 09:21 UTC

9.1 already had some form of advertising for Safari, as I recall. I ticked the box that removed it.

Mandrake has to realise that it's OK to sell their work of packaging their software in their own way and they won't have to resort to questionnable money making schemes.

I'd compare it to Fishing. Fish is free in the sea, but someone has to go and get it, pack it, transport it to shops, maybe make a ready meal of it. You can do what you want with it after you bought it.
But you can still go at sea and fish yourself if you are so inclined, provided you don't break fishing regulations.

Granted, packaging a distro is far less dangerous, but still not free to do. So go on mandrake, boost sales and stop messing around.

I'm migrating from Mandrake
by BIll on Fri 12th Sep 2003 09:43 UTC

I emailed mandrake right away after hearing this letting them know I as a user since ver. 6 of the box set(the only d/l versions have been betas and rc's) wasn't happy with the prospect of ads in the boxed version and would be migrating away if they were in the boxed set. Their condensed response was "so what" so after work I am installing Slackware or Gentoo on the machine. See ya Mandrake!

.:.
by HAL on Fri 12th Sep 2003 09:57 UTC

all for it. next up: limit the number of simulaneous processes and throttle the CPU in the free version. You get what you pay for.

Good decision.
by avih on Fri 12th Sep 2003 11:01 UTC

IMHO, it's a good decision. It gives them the oppurtunity for a better revenue stream. If you know your way around, you'll be able to go around it, or just pay them and actually buy it. You really can't complain when you get something for free (as in money). Take it or leave it. That's the freedom.

Web sites have ads, why can't Mandrake have them?
by Anonymous on Fri 12th Sep 2003 11:04 UTC

osnews has ads too, but nobody seems to care.

"osnews has ads too, but nobody seems to care."

Probably because they're really easy to block should anyone be so inclined.

No More Mandrake
by Eddie on Fri 12th Sep 2003 11:38 UTC

If Mandrake is going to be taking this route then I will not longer download or utilize it in my OS. I'll stick with SUSE, Debian or Red Hat. Linux is a great OS and I'd rather have it not contaminated with spyware junk.

Ads
by zeb on Fri 12th Sep 2003 11:49 UTC

@eddie : who is talking about spyware ? Have you a link ? There will be bookmarks, that's all. Not a big deal.

@syntaxis : and it will be very easy to remove them in Mandrake.

RE: $$ for Mandrake
by AdamW on Fri 12th Sep 2003 12:38 UTC

"5. Let the boxes sell from the stores for 4 weeks. Then, and ONLY then, release the final free download version."

mmmhmmm. And for all that time, the final version has already been available, from most Mandrake FTP repositories, in the Cooker tree. next idea, please!

RE: Mandrake 9.2 FX isos for download
by AdamW on Fri 12th Sep 2003 12:40 UTC

"and mandrake will be dead for serious/corporate/secure/server users.... they won't trust extra cruft... even the whiff of advertising and builtin code to useage stats collectors... will make them drop the CDs in the bin."

Um, "serious/corporate/secure/whatever users" don't download the free version of the distro. They pay for it. And where the hell are you getting the idea about stat collecting code? No-one has said anything at all about that, it's pure invention.

Why can't Mandrake? Because Mandrake *provides* a free downloadable ISO distro (SuSE doesn't) and provides its official updates for free without any hassles (Red Hat doesn't). Every distro makes money somehow; this is Mandrake's chosen route. Would you prefer the SuSE or Red Hat model? If so, say so.

darkcloud:
by AdamW on Fri 12th Sep 2003 12:43 UTC

Okay, Mandrake is adding a small amount of advertising to its freely downloadable ISOs. SuSE...doesn't provide any freely downloadable ISOs. How exactly is SuSE a better alternative?

re: zeb
by Syntaxis on Fri 12th Sep 2003 12:50 UTC

For the record, I have no objection to the ads. It sounds like a viable means of generating revenue. Provided they don't make the advertisements too obnoxious, I really doubt many will care. That said, I'm using Debian so it doesn't affect me in any way. <shrug>

That said, the claim that it will be as easy to block the advertisements embedded within the Mandrake installer as it is to block the OSNews banner ads is ridiculous. In Mozilla: Tools --> Options --> Web Features, check the box that says "Load images for the originating Web site only". Hey presto - no more banner ads. I seriously doubt that the Mandrake installer will provide a similar check box to tick, because that would rather defeat the purpose.

Ad idea
by Anonymous on Fri 12th Sep 2003 13:02 UTC

Red Hat could buy a bookmark ad in Mandrake, something like "Upgrade your OS" ... ;-)

re: AdamW
by Syntaxis on Fri 12th Sep 2003 13:06 UTC

"Every distro makes money somehow"

A minor nitpick: you're conveniently forgetting the existence of the community-supported distributions such as Debian. They don't have or need a business model, and by definition can never turn a profit.

That's not to say that I object to MandrakeSoft trying to make a living off their distro, merely to point out that not everyone's in it for the money.

@syntaxis
by zeb on Fri 12th Sep 2003 13:10 UTC

I don't see the problem with ads during install. I only install once, and don't stay in front of my machine. There will be these images during the package copying...

I am more concerned by the ads that are shown after install, during normal use. What have we then :
- screensavers : easy to remove, easy to change.
- bookmarks : the same.

re: zeb
by Syntaxis on Fri 12th Sep 2003 13:19 UTC

Lol!

You might want to read what I wrote again.

I explicitly stated in my post that the ads wouldn't bother me, and in addition that "Provided they don't make the advertisements too obnoxious, I really doubt many will care". So if your post really was meant to be addressed at me, you're preaching to the choir.

I should point out, however, that "they don't bother me" is not a convincing counter-argument to the fact that ads embedded in the installer are without doubt harder to block than banner ads, should anyone wish to do so.

Eddie (IP: ---.dyn.optonline.net)
by dpi on Fri 12th Sep 2003 13:57 UTC

"Linux is a great OS"

Linux is a kernel.

GNU/Linux or a Linux distro would be an OS. There are some great Linux distro's, and one has the freedom to chose one. There are also some Linux distro's which do not rely on a company. Like Gentoo and Debian.

(Yes. the Gentoo site has some ads. Boohoo!)

@AdamW
by Shawn on Fri 12th Sep 2003 14:05 UTC

"Why can't Mandrake? Because Mandrake *provides* a free downloadable ISO distro (SuSE doesn't) and provides its official updates for free without any hassles (Red Hat doesn't). Every distro makes money somehow; this is Mandrake's chosen route. Would you prefer the SuSE or Red Hat model? If so, say so."

WRONG. RedHat provides updates free for all of the downloadable versions of RedHat. You can login to any of the FTP mirrors or their site via http and download all the updated RPMs if you want. They're even in a special 'updates' directory. Or, if you have a 'demo' account you can use the up2date program to update your system *IF* there are slots available. So the only major inconvenience by NOT paying for updates if NOT getting priority access to the automatic update system. You can still update manually, which is fairly easy since if you login to the RHN site they tell you exactly what packages need to be updated.

RE: $$ for Mandrake
by DW on Fri 12th Sep 2003 14:08 UTC

Agreed. I actually tried to buy Mandrake 9 when it came out, but after waiting and waiting for it to appear, I eventually got bored and simply downloaded the ISO instead. Had mandrake simply held off on releasing downloadable ISO's until they had CD's to ship (or only released ISO's to club members)they would have gotten my money.

re: AdamW
by Anonymous on Fri 12th Sep 2003 14:20 UTC

"mmmhmmm. And for all that time, the final version has already been available, from most Mandrake FTP repositories, in the Cooker tree. next idea, please!"

No, you don't get it. I am saying Mandrake should NOT make the final version available from ftp and cooker! That's the whole problem! They release the betas, release the RC's, then freeze cooker and don't release the final version in a 3 CD download set until after the retail packs have been made available as I described. Maybe RC4 or whatever is virtually the same as the gold final, but newbies don't know that and Joe Average who is looking to download the latest version of Mandrake won't find and thus will be encouraged to buy a boxed set, or wait 4 weeks or whatever until the final version is released for download.

AdvertOSing
by Justin on Fri 12th Sep 2003 15:02 UTC

As a businessman, I have to say: those are some really attractive terms for advertising. $7000-10000 to get your ad displayed during install or as a screensaver? 3 million + captive eyes?

Damn, that's cheap. All I have to do is fork over some cash and some copy-mandrake will be distributing the ads for me: on magazines, via FTP downloads, trade shows....If I had my own firm I'd jump at it. Nearly free advertising and the users or Mandrake does all my legwork.

I don't know if it's genius or stupidity.

Sill, NOT ON MY OS. I can't even stand the rampant Microsoftism in XP-what makes Mandrake think I'm going to sit through their advertisers ads?

If I were microsoft, I would by an ad for 2003 server. Put it during the install and the screensaver. Say something like-don't want to see this ad anymore? Buy Server 2003!

That would be funny.

linux and OSS != ads
by tech_user on Fri 12th Sep 2003 15:44 UTC

one of the reasons people use OSS (aside from Freedeom, open code) is they want bloat-free code that just does what its supposed to. nothing more. no CPU cyles stolekn in the service of XYZ corporation. YOU paid for your cpu and your electricity. why should THEY use it.

the strong negative feelings here and elsewhere against this decision are not so much against this decision alone - but where it is headed. it is headed into bad things. mandrake will become known asthe most sell-out linux distribution.

and no, i know many serious corporate/server users who use free download versions of linux. its free. its makes financial sense. they have enough in-house knowledge and access to google to do without paying for support.

t

Re: Justin
by Darius on Fri 12th Sep 2003 15:57 UTC

Sill, NOT ON MY OS. I can't even stand the rampant Microsoftism in XP-what makes Mandrake think I'm going to sit through their advertisers ads?

This kind of makes me wonder ... I wonder if Bill Gates uses a popup blocker when he surfs with IE ;)

RE: tech_user
by Nick on Fri 12th Sep 2003 16:15 UTC

Ya your right, Mandrake, and every other linux company out there that tries/does make money, should just stop ....because if they do we call them sell outs!! Why? Because all those bookmarks take up CPU cycles god damn it! Come on, you have to come with something better then that!

MDK is trying to make money, and the with the only advertising part that the user can't get rid of is in the install, so what, big deal! If it makes them money and it doesn't hurt the user who cares? Don't like the bookmarks? Delete them. Dont like the screensaver? Delete it. Really, its not that tough.

And where exactly is this headed and why is it so bad? My guess is that it's not headed in the direction of Windows where you need something like AdAware on your machine, but where more distro's actually take up MDK's idea, oh but wait, then they'll be evil sell outs too.

Guess we just cant win.

...
by Err on Fri 12th Sep 2003 17:58 UTC

""one of the reasons people use OSS (aside from Freedeom, open code) is they want bloat-free code that just does what its supposed to.""

Funniest thing I've read all day. Have you discovered a magical compiler that can remove the diseased code and unused features from the majority of OSS applications? If not then you're gonna have to face up to the fact that they are just as bloated as their proprietary counterparts ("Why yes, let's write the whole thing in C++ and use the GNU compiler."). Any minor difference is a result of the OSS development team not (Yet!) having caught up to the proprietary app's functionality (ie its feature bloat).

Mandrake Responds
by Aaron Benedict on Fri 12th Sep 2003 18:24 UTC

Here is a link on Mandrake's site talking about this whole issue http://www1.mandrakelinux.com/en/mdkads.php3

False alarm...
by Great Cthulhu on Fri 12th Sep 2003 18:42 UTC

The ads will be non-intrusive, they won't appear in the screensaver, only in the installer and as extra bookmarks in the browsers, and the user will be able to remove the latter. So it's not that big a deal after all...

IMO not a bad idea
by Jeff Moody on Fri 12th Sep 2003 19:04 UTC

Personally, I've read the press release Mandrake put on their page.
There will be 1 (one) ad in the installer.
There will be a few bookmarks in the web-browser that were paid for.
There will be 1 (one) ad-related screensaver.

Bookmarks can be deleted. Screensavers can be changed.
Personally, I think that this actually isn't a bad idea. It's a way for a Linux company to generate some revinue off of the free download edition of their distro.
...and for those people paranoid enough to think that there's spyware hidden in the free edition, there's still purchaseable editions without these issues...
...or 200 other Linux distros.

I give props to Mandrake for trying something different...

the way to make money is not...
by tech_user on Fri 12th Sep 2003 21:09 UTC

the way to make money is to have an effective customer service, software that works well, tested relatively bug-free (did you know that mdk 9.1 xfs filesystem means gdb does not work at all, try it, put in a break point and it fails).

making money involved not saying "so what" to customers.

making money means choosing good distribution channels.

it doe snot mean begging for money. nor does it mean trivialising the people you wants as your customers. it does not mean putting in unwanted code (adverts, associated sound, graphics) that takes CPU cycles, takes disk space, takes bandwidth and does nothing but lower the overall stbaility of a system.

mandrake, imagine the kick you'll get when users report that the system is insecure or slow or unstable and link it to your ads-features.

some people are applauding this as entrepreneurial flair. wrong. 7/10 new companies fail. 2 break even. 1 is successful. point is : not all hair-brained ideas are successful.

mandrake - look at redhat and suse, they do well wthout such horrible horrible degrading tactics. why? because they mke money by being nice to their customers. they provide good support. they don't jump on weak bandwagons like "e-education" (that's right, lets replace human teachers). suse creates strategic and profitable allegiances.

mandrake never was the corporate cultured company that suse and redhat were. if they want to be, start with your first point of contact. if i was a ceo looking for a relationship, mandrake's website would put me off straight away.

get a clue chaps, you're looking silly.

It's OK now...
by zeb on Fri 12th Sep 2003 21:28 UTC

Calm down, they have corrected the announcement : thre will be only one bookmark and one screen at install ! No screensaver anymore.
The announcer page has been updated and GaŽl Duval made an official statement.
Either this page was obsolete, either they listened to the complainers. In any case, this is good news, and a lot of noise for notjing.

RE: the way to make money is not...
by Great Cthulhu on Fri 12th Sep 2003 21:50 UTC

they don't jump on weak bandwagons like "e-education"

That's a low blow, and more than a bit unfair. The idiots who were responsible for the whole e-education mess left the company quite some time ago. The current Mandrake adminstration is the first to recognize that this was a tragic mistake, and certainly one of the biggest reasons for the company's financial troubles.

I'm not all that hot about the adverts, but they are unobtrusive and relatively minor. One thing is certain: they will not create security risks (screens in the installation? bookmarks?) - to suggest otherwise is either to be misinformed about the actual nature of the ads, or to act in bad faith to spread some FUD about the distro and the company.

I like Mandrake as a company, and will continue to encourage them as they regain financial health. At least, you can download isos for their entire distro...something you can't do with SuSE, IIRC...

carefully selected ads can be good for OSS
by zeb on Fri 12th Sep 2003 23:33 UTC

And advert could be nice to support of Open Source too. Take O'Reilly for example : that would not be shocking. On the contrary, this editor makes excellent books. So if announcers are carefully selected, it can also contribute to show users who discover Linux there are jewels in the commercial OSS world

It's fair
by Francis on Sat 13th Sep 2003 01:29 UTC

I think it's more than fair to put some (removeable) ads in the DOWNLOAD Version.

Why the hysteria?
by Ez on Sat 13th Sep 2003 02:27 UTC

I can't believe the levels of hysteria this decision has generated - especially in a forum which is usually very rational!

For those who haven't noticed;

1)There are ALREADY ads in the MDK installer - they're just pics hyping Linux, GNU and Mandrake. Selecting to watch a detailed install hides the ads. Alternatively, go make a cup of tea - you don't have to watch your OS install.

2) How many people use the supplied bookmarks on any operating system? I don't, I've got my own set which I use in preference of those supplied every time. If you don't like 'em, nuke 'em.

3) Screensaver Ad. There is a choice of over 20 different screensaverss in MDK. What's stopping you from changing your preference?

Enough of the hysteria, already.

What on earth is the big deal?
by Andrew D on Sat 13th Sep 2003 10:50 UTC

If having 3 lousy advert areas (install, a screensaver, bookmarks) 2 of which can be removed, one of which is only ever seen ONCE is the price to keep this company alive then what on earth is the problem?

Thin edge of the wedge arguments do not cut it here, because of the very nature of OSS they couldn't sneak in some spyware (who mentioned spyware!?!?) so thats a complete furphy.

What a ridiculous brouhaha over NOTHING. Good luck Mandrake. With this crew you're looking like you'll need it...

anonymous:
by AdamW on Sat 13th Sep 2003 12:48 UTC

right. so for the next four weeks time, how exactly is development and testing to be done? I don't think you understand Cooker, do you? it's not some kind of public bastardization of the Mandrake development tree. Cooker IS THE MANDRAKE DEVELOPMENT TREE. It's where the Mandrake developers work. So if you freeze it for four weeks after finishing a version, you write off a month's development time. This does not strike me as a sensible idea, especially in a distro with a six month release cycle.

re: AdamW
by Anonymous on Sat 13th Sep 2003 15:17 UTC

Mandrake already freezes Cooker after a release, just like RedHat freezes Rawhide for a few weeks after a release. Sure, there is still internal development going on, but it's not fed to Cooker/Rawhide until it's unfrozen a few weeks after a release.

Mandrake mentions its freezing of Cooker right on the Cooker FAQ:

http://www.mandrakelinux.com/en/cookerfaq.php3

(see section called "Release Cycles").

RedHat already pretty much does what I'm talking about. They release betas, then freeze Rawhide, then release the final version, then unfreeze Rawhide a few weeks after a release. RedHat also gets the boxes into stores fast so generally speaking boxes are available at the same time as the final ISOs. RedHat has recently abandoned the retail box since they make more money in the enterprise and support areas, but Mandrake does not have that luxury, so Mandrake needs to fill pre-orders and get boxes out onto retail shelves before releasing the gold ISO's.

The point is this: Mandrake is in serious financial difficulty. Selling a few ads isn't going to bring in a whole lot of money. Mandrake needs to take some serious action such as what I'm suggesting in order to drive in more revenue. Mandrake needs to look at the big picture and do everything it can to encourage the sale of its distro. It's been my experience as a former Mandrake user that sadly most Mandrake users choose not to support the company with their wallet by purchasing retail packs or joining the Club. By making the final version available first to Club users and in the form of retail packs might change that. If a particular Mandrake user still doesn't want to pay any money, they can wait 4 weeks until the final ISO's are released. It makes good business sense.

@Ez
by zeb on Sat 13th Sep 2003 21:10 UTC

There won't be screensaver ads.
http://www.mandrakelinux.com/en/mdkads.php3

I agree with you for the rest.

anon:
by AdamW on Sun 14th Sep 2003 17:25 UTC

it's frozen for, oh, a couple of weeks, usually. this is mainly because all the developers go on holiday when a release is made ;) . besides, it's not always entirely frozen. after 9.1, several core packages were updated within the next two weeks.

re: freezing cooker
by Anonymous on Sun 14th Sep 2003 23:57 UTC

"it's frozen for, oh, a couple of weeks, usually. this is mainly because all the developers go on holiday when a release is made"

which makes doing what anon suggests even smarter. i am a current mandrake user and what anon suggests is a great idea. since cooker is frozen anyway, hold up on releasing those final isos until the preorders are filled and the retails boxes are in the stores.

the only people who won't like this idea are those typical mandrake freeloaders who always download and never pay. i want mandrake to survive so i want people buying the packs or paying for the club. if that gives them priority to the final isos, that's seems more than fair.

anonymous:
by AdamW on Tue 16th Sep 2003 12:04 UTC

no, because Cooker isn't frozen until the box sets are released currently. That's why I made the distinction in time periods. Development starts up again well before the box sets are received. Personally I agree with Warly from mdksoft, who thinks the whole "selling boxes" business model is getting increasingly obsolete. Boxes are unwieldy, time-consuming and not particularly profitable for Mandrakesoft (they make way less of the overall take on boxes than on Club subscriptions or site donations), so they should be moving away from them, not artifically messing with the development of the OS in order to help the sales of boxes.