Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 19th Sep 2010 21:18 UTC, submitted by gireesh
Mandriva, Mandrake, Lycoris It's been a troubling couple of weeks for Mandriva, but I decided not to report on it since I found it hard to unravel the events leading up to all this. Now, though, the story has come to its (logical) conclusion: now that most of Mandriva's employees have been laid off, they came together and forked Mandriva. Enter Mageia.
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Complaining about too many distros is like complaining about to many toothburshes to choose from at the store. A healthy market has choice and in a healthy market products fail and are replaced by competing products.

Distros are not toothbrushes, they are software projects that require skilled contributers for which there is a limited supply.

It doesn't make sense to have so many of them working on distros whose differences could be encapsulated within themes and custom packages. I realize this is the nature of open source but that doesn't mean that Linux users need to be supportive of all these general purpose distros.

Reply Parent Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:

So it's about developer resources. Why allow developers to choose where they put there time and effort when you can just dictate that they all work on your pet project then? We'll just decree that Red Hat and any other distribution maintainer merge into one megacorp too then? We better tell the people behind Backtrack that they can't produce a superbe security distribution anymore because it's too specialized; it's not an assimilated part of "MegaLinux; the one true path".

Do we also decide that all those engineers wasting effort for different car companies need to consolidate and give us one standard car assembly to not quite fit everyone's different needs? How do we decide which product categories are allowed to have multiple models from multiple competitors and which are not?

See Linux Distributions are all different products from different companies. Red Hat and Ubuntu have very different target purposes though they happen to be inter-operable and assembled from similar commodity parts. "Linux" is not all one single product unless you really mean just the kernel alone.

The nice thing in all this is that resources are still shared where it counts. Red Hat and Canonical both contribute code back into the kernel and various other projects. We have a healthy market full of distributions to choose from while having competitors contribute to each other's base products. In terms of development effort, your concern, the workload is already shared.

Based on the license, one can't really remove the freedom to create a new distribution eiehr

Reply Parent Score: 5

WereCatf Member since:

Do we also decide that all those engineers wasting effort for different car companies need to consolidate and give us one standard car assembly to not quite fit everyone's different needs?

A car and a software collection are two quite different things: one is an actual physical entity and thus is limited by the physical world, and the other one is a collection of software modifiable whenever and wherever to suit the needs. A car can't just be made to suit 2 passenger and then magically upsized to a truck as needed. Software can.

In the case of f.ex. a security-oriented distro aimed to be booted from a USB stick it does indeed make sense to have it as a whole separate distro. But for example something aimed at education needs is almost always a desktop distro with additional software anyway, so why can't it just be made an installable metapackage instead of a complete distro?

It would make more sense to be a little bit more selective and instead make it easy to install additional capabilities to an already existing foundation.

Just think about it.. a user downloads and installs Ubuntu, spends some time learning it, customizing the desktop to his or her tastes and what not, but then realizes the need for educational and audio creation software. What does (s)he do? A) Install task-education and task-audio-studio or B) Google around, browse tediously through all the available software and try to figure which ones do what and if they are worth installing.

Reply Parent Score: 3