Home > Mandriva, Mandrake, Lycoris > Update about MandrakeSoft Status Update about MandrakeSoft Status Eugenia Loli 2003-07-02 Mandriva, Mandrake, Lycoris 41 Comments François Bancilhon, MandrakeSoft CEO, would like to update its customers on their current situation and his beliefs for the future. UPDATE: HP to sell PCs with Mandrake 9.1. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 41 Comments 2003-07-02 12:48 am I think those are good news for Mandrake Linux users worldwide. Hopefully they can get out of Chapter 11 by the end of the year, and their 9.2 release should rock. My CD-RW drive is ready! 🙂 2003-07-02 12:49 am vive Mandrake 2003-07-02 12:57 am That’s why I signed up to MandrakeClub at the basic membership. $5/month is not a lot to ask; especially since Mandrake is my kind of distro – a blend of cutting-edge features, usability and eye candy. I admit that Redhat gained a chunk of ground on them with release 9. It’s getting to the point where I believe that Mandrake and Redhat should merge – I don’t believe that the market can support 2 commercial distros that are so similar. A merger of the two would be, IMO, the best of both worlds. 2003-07-02 1:15 am My CD-RW drive is ready! 🙂 You know it’d be a lot more likely if you bought their products rather than copied them.. 2003-07-02 1:16 am <quote> I don’t believe that the market can support 2 commercial distros that are so similar. </quote> i wasn’t aware mdk was a commercial distro. rh is borderline, ie: if you don’t have the bandwidth, you’re screwed into buying a $139 OS. 2003-07-02 1:20 am ??? Do you mean $39? http://www.staples.com/Catalog/Browse/Sku.asp?PageType=1&Sku=509443 2003-07-02 1:23 am I think you went to rippedoffhat.com by mistake. 2003-07-02 1:24 am So when will they release a lean and mean Linux which works. 2003-07-02 1:36 am Does it have Mplayer set up by default with the browser plugin. If not it is not my kind of distro. Also I don’t think they can legally get in trouble for this, because didn’t Real.com create support for formats such as WMV, WMA, MOV (Sorenson), in a clean room environment. 2003-07-02 1:40 am is easy enough to apt-get. 2003-07-02 1:48 am Quote: We are very proud of the accomplishments introduced into Mandrake Linux 9.1. This version was released at a very difficult time, considering the problems we were facing. But our Engineering staff performed a wonderful job to deliver on-time what we consider a breakthrough release. What are these accomplishments? Drakefont (whatever it is called still doesn’t work for me, also the GUI sucks for it). The Engineering staff did a wonderful job in themeing KDE and GNOME. Seriously they need to do something amazing in the next release to grab my attention. To me they seem like the little distro makers, only difference is that they are a company and their config tools are graphical instead of ncurses or whatever. 2003-07-02 1:49 am Apt what, you mean urpmi, is Apt default now I didn’t know that. 2003-07-02 2:05 am >> What are these accomplishments? Drakefont (whatever it is called still doesn’t work for me, also the GUI sucks for it). >> No, it doesn’t suck. Mandrake 9.1 is largely uncompleted, and broken in too many places. But to be fair, you have to agree that they are on to a very good thing. If they can complete and polish what they’ve got in 9.1, they will have a clear winner. I hope their sales people are willing to work hard, though. 2003-07-02 2:20 am But to be fair, you have to agree that they are on to a very good thing. If they can complete and polish what they’ve got in 9.1, they will have a clear winner. I don’t know… It was the same about three years ago. The “complete and polish” part doesn’t seem to be all that trivial after all. Even the “big ones” RedHat, Ximian, SuSE, can’t deliver completely polished products yet. Since I know Mandrake (7.1) I have the feeling that they tend to add new and shiny goodies before they have completed the base. Thus it always was shiny when I tried it, but never stable or polished. :/ 2003-07-02 3:09 am my xp system is not “complete and polished” till i’ve spent some time disabling more then a dozen services, deactivating the eye candy (the ugly xp theme), changing a bunch of system policies (to stop spyware, the bubbles and other annoying crap) and installing mozilla plus winscp, putty(and it’s brother tools)… does that mean i don’t like XP? no. i like xp just fine. the same goes with linux. nobody would recognize my xp system, redhat system or freebsd system….none of them are polished and ready to go out of the box. all 3 require significant amounts of work to be useable. if you are talking about joe blow off the street? they need email and a web browser. all 3 are ready in that case. 2003-07-02 3:29 am RE: John Blink (IP: —.wc.optusnet.com.au) Also I don’t think they can legally get in trouble for this, because didn’t Real.com create support for formats such as WMV, WMA, MOV (Sorenson), in a clean room environment. Real Media licensed the CODECs off Microsoft a while back for their “Helix Server” they’re creating. Apparently it will be like a swiss army knife and the admin will not necessarily have to use the Real format for streaming. As for licensing the real codec, there is nothing stopping anyone from creating a nice GTK2 front end to Real Player, the problem is, no one can be bothered starting a project. Regarding the “engineering” side of it, the need to first decide what desktop they are going to focus on, IMHO, they should go with KDE. Then, they should push the envelop in terms of usability and speed. They should make the divide between the OS, X and KDE so small that when they user sees teh desktop, they see the whole operating system as one rather than a badly put together kitset. RE: Spark (IP: —.dip.t-dialin.net) The reason why they can’t deliver a “polished solution” is because they’re trying to be everything to everyone. It doesn’t work on paper or in real life. They need to ask themselves, what are the CORE requitements of a user. Providing 300 desktops, 40 editors and 4 different compilers certainly isn’t going to turn the average user on. The average user wants an easy to use operating system that is stable, reliable and most of all, reasonably priced. The user doesn’t want to contend with 2 copeting desktops with 2 different desktop menu locations and configuration methods. The user doesn’t want to have 3 different ways of accessing their SMB service. I’m sorry, but Linux isn’t ready for the desktop until the basic fundamental infrastructure underneath the desktop has been standardised. Kioslaves vs. gnome-vfs, nautilus vs. konqueror, esound vs. aRTs. The list goes on and on. As I said previously, if it were JUST the toolkits, there would be no issues, but when you have two of everything and nothing works together nicely, what doyou think happens. And for the people who will hang me for that, think about this, why can’t I embed kword into abiword? why? because it goes right back to the previous paragraph, two competiting technologies that don’t work together and in this case, kparts vs. CORBA. 2003-07-02 3:33 am I’m not talking about little tweaks to make it work well for you but about things you can’t change without digging into the source. It might be not important for everyone if there is some UI issue here or a small glitch there, but it leaves a really bad impression if you try to make money from it. 2003-07-02 3:41 am i got it now. 2003-07-02 3:45 am If they can complete and polish what they’ve got in 9.1, they will have a clear winner. (Hopefully mandrake engineers don’t read osnews so here it goes:) 9.1 is good, I bought the server CD only pack to help and I’m glad they are getting on a better finantial position. But, iT does have annoying bugs, starting with the languages you select at installl time, it enables the *experimental* UTF fonts, very buggy, if it is experimental why can a user inadvertently turn it on ?? The default font sizes are different on Gnome and KDE. The font size of appps from kde 2.* 3.0 and 3.1 are all firing at the strongest wind (you have to read the appps manual, like the kdevelop manual, with an uggly font). This is annoying and could be improved to “a lean and mean desktop”. To get to the other Gnome themes one has to uninstall the *default* galaxy theme, it doesn’t let you customize the Gnome environment the way you like it if you don’t uninstall the galaxy theme, after it all wents fine … and there was more to report … They should really focus on stability at the GUIs environment. Anti-alias fonts are good ! I can agree that I might not have found the right ways to turn around some bugs but that’s not for the user with no time (like me) that’s for the script developer to tweak. I still like it (9.1) very much. I do plenty of work with it. 2003-07-02 3:46 am I’m sorry, but Linux isn’t ready for the desktop until the basic fundamental infrastructure underneath the desktop has been standardised. Kioslaves vs. gnome-vfs, nautilus vs. konqueror, esound vs. aRTs. Kioslaves and GNOME-VFS just need to agree on a common URI scheme (fish:// in KDE is a bit weird, even though cute), but it doesn’t matter that the technologies aren’t the same. I don’t understand why Nautilus vs. Konqueror is an issue. They are just two file managers working with exactly the same kind of files. A common soundserver is definitely needed, yes. Even though every halfway decent soundcard makes it rather obsolete. And for the people who will hang me for that, think about this, why can’t I embed kword into abiword? why? because it goes right back to the previous paragraph, two competiting technologies that don’t work together and in this case, kparts vs. CORBA. Here you aren’t fair at all. You certainly can’t embed Textmaker into Word either. There will always be competing technologies on every platform and you will actually never find as much cooperation as in the Free Software world (if you look at the big picture). There are other problems to be solved like the clipboard or the menu standard. Those issues are beeing worked on hard and it’s only a matter of time when most major issues will be sorted. 2003-07-02 3:56 am Kioslaves and GNOME-VFS just need to agree on a common URI scheme (fish:// in KDE is a bit weird, even though cute), but it doesn’t matter that the technologies aren’t the same. I don’t understand why Nautilus vs. Konqueror is an issue. They are just two file managers working with exactly the same kind of files. A common soundserver is definitely needed, yes. Even though every halfway decent soundcard makes it rather obsolete. Well, there is already a X.org endorsed sound server, aka, MAS ( http://www.mediaapplicationserver.net/ ). It has been out for a good amount of time and qt already supports it. What is taking so long for the rest of the KDE or GNOME desktop to utilise it? Sure, I don’t expect volunteers to make it work, however, there is SuSE, Mandrake and Redhat they can easily make it work in a few days. Here you aren’t fair at all. You certainly can’t embed Textmaker into Word either. There will always be competing technologies on every platform and you will actually never find as much cooperation as in the Free Software world (if you look at the big picture). If the application is made available as a COM object, no problems. Fill your boots. Samething with the abiword vs. kword senario. There are other problems to be solved like the clipboard or the menu standard. Those issues are beeing worked on hard and it’s only a matter of time when most major issues will be sorted. Meaning, it still isn’t available, hence I said, Linux is not read for the desktop. Plain and simple. Make all the excuses in the world. Until all those basic things are fixed Linux will remain in the server room indefinately. 2003-07-02 4:06 am The point of Open Source Software is choice. Why would we want one of everything? I dont like KDE and I sure as hell wouldnt use a GUI if that was my only choice. You people seem to think that if everyone agreed on one thing, we’d be happy. Look at Windows. Many people hate it and thats why they move to linux. Choice is good. If one Sound server sucks, someone can make a new one. That, and theres just plain opinion. People’s tastes differ, and Linux allows you to find the Window Manager that is perfect for you. Why ruin the greatest thing about OSS, just to apease some dekstop users who don’t even know what desktop environment is. 2003-07-02 4:24 am The Desktop Choice issue is a false problem. Pick the one you like and live with it. You can use Gnome apps in KDE, and KDE apps in Gnome. Where’s the problem? You can even have identical themes now to make it more seamless. Also, the freedesktop.org project is actually bringing the two of them closer. As others have said, choice is good – despite what monopolisits like MS (and their increasingly vocal shills) will tell you. If the application is made available as a COM object, no problems. So, following your logic, Windows is not ready for the desktop because not all software developers make their applications as COM objects? Spark nailed it right: you really aren’t being fair with this. Meanwhile, the clipboard is compatible between KDE and GNOME (just tested it to make sure), and personally, I don’t care for “common menu structures” since I only use one of the two desktops (even though the menu thing is really around the corner, as in Gnome/KDE’s next release, or the one after that). Linux is ready for my desktop. It’s also ready for an increasing number of corporate and government desktops, despite naysayers of your ilk constantly raising the bar. And that’s good, because it means more CHOICE for the consumer. 2003-07-02 6:20 am The point of Open Source Software is choice. Choice that isn’t exercised wisely can be worse than no choice at all. Just because something can be done doesn’t mean it should be done. I fully support people who say the distributions should pick core defaults that are smaller and better. If technology isn’t useful it’s useless. To many people desktop fragmentation and lack of polish is too high a barrier to leap, and why Linux is worse than useless for them. 2003-07-02 7:52 am thats great! mandrake is a very good distro and it would be sad tosee it go, but doesn’t look like it will 😀 2003-07-02 8:43 am Since when Mandrake polishes any version without introducing a new set of problems 2003-07-02 9:44 am I started with Mandrake years ago, but other distros simply kept innovating. Mandrake is riddled with inconsistencies and has an unprofessional look-n-feel. Mandrake has nothing special to offer anymore. Try other ditros, you’ll be better of. 2003-07-02 11:20 am Gooo Mandrake. I am glad you guys manage to succeed! 2003-07-02 11:33 am We are getting a bit of subject, but just wanted to let you know that Volvo is owned by Ford. Not quite sure if this has changed the cars much. 2003-07-02 1:56 pm To many people desktop fragmentation and lack of polish is too high a barrier to leap, and why Linux is worse than useless for them. This is a complete myth. I’ve never heard of “desktop choice” as an actual, real-life hurdle to Linux adoption. I’ve heard plenty of others, such as application availability, hardware compatibility, installation difficulty (OS and apps), ugly fonts, etc. (most of which have been fixed, or are in the process of being fixed, btw), but “desktop fragmentation” comes very low on the list, if at all. Like a lot of other myths, this one has been repeated so many times people started to really believe it – that doesn’t make it any more true. 2003-07-02 2:17 pm Swedish engineered and beautiful. Won’t catch me buying american steel. Anyways…go Mandrake. 2003-07-02 2:34 pm I have used Mandrake since versionn 6.0. I finally realized that the money that I have spent i.e. joning the Mandrake and purchasing their new versions has very little value. Why? Because I now use Debian and it is a lot better distro than Mandrake. In fact the money that I have spent on Mandrake would of better been spent on supporting Debain. 2003-07-02 2:41 pm I know users, I work with them on a regular basis and let me tell you something, how smart is it to have 2-4 different places where the menu items can reside? Huh? That would mean that your users keep switching between Gnome and KDE. They shouldn’t if that would confuse them – just like constantly switching between Windows and KDE/Gnome/MacOS/whatever would. This doesn’t make any sense. Users will adopt one Desktop Environment and stick with it. As I said, this is a false problem, a myth. If you stick to one desktop, like the overwhelming majority of users do, then this “problem” will never happen. Heck, just look at Koffice vs. GNOME Office vs. OpenOffice.org. Does it really make any sense spreading resources so thinly so that a few can get a feel good factor of out toot-tooing around with some code? Again, you’re basing your arguments on false assumptions. All those projects come from different teams, therefore the resources are not spread out because they don’t belong to the same team in the first place. This is like saying that people working on Painter and people working on Photoshop are a wast of resource and they should all work on Photoshop instead to make it better. Same could be said of 3D Studio Max/Maya, and so on. Basically, what you’re saying is that, contrary to economic theory (and basic common sense) competition is bad, and monopolies are good…are you a MS employee? If Linux wants to get onto the desktop, there needs to be a united roadmap which all projects can follow rather than having 100s of projects pulling in opposite directions to suite a dogma. Newsflash: Linux is already on the desktop. The reason it’s not on more desktops has nothing to do with so-called “desktop fragmentation”; rather, it is a combination of MS’s Office monopoly (enforced through proprietary file formats), user inertia (people are reluctant to change), marketing money (of which MS has lots), and plain old FUD (including the SCO saga). At the risk of repeating myself, considering these, the desktop fragmentation issue is at the level of statistical noise. 2003-07-02 3:26 pm CooCooCaChoo Meaning, it still isn’t available, hence I said, Linux is not read for the desktop. Plain and simple. Make all the excuses in the world. Until all those basic things are fixed Linux will remain in the server room indefinately. I did not disagree, neither did I make excuses. I merely pointed out that some of your details aren’t valid, while others are. There is no need for your catchy endline, because you know that it’s not true. Linux _is_ already on the desktop of enthusiasts, students and more and more corporations. It is only the home desktop market, where much more simplification and polish is needed (a BeOS/MacOS-like experience should be the longterm goal). archie steel Meanwhile, the clipboard is compatible between KDE and GNOME It is indeed, but only with plain text at the moment. :/ Ideally, it would work with arbitrary data. I don’t care for “common menu structures” since I only use one of the two desktops The common menu system is mostly important to allow third parties to install menu items easily and reliable, whatever menu you use. Of course beeing able to switch desktops and keep your menu will be a neat bonus, too. As you said, it’s just around the corner. CooCooCaChoo #2 how smart is it for the two desktops to have 2 completely different ways of setting up their configuration. A common comfiguration backend would certainly be nice, but it’s not of importance for the end user and application developers can use what they prefer anyway. The only “downside” of not all projects using gconf is, that you can’t do all your configuration with gconf-editor. And that’s really a non issue, as this is rather an expert tool. Heck, just look at Koffice vs. GNOME Office vs. OpenOffice.org. Does it really make any sense spreading resources so thinly so that a few can get a feel good factor of out toot-tooing around with some code? Do you even realize, how many office applications there are for Windows or MacOS? Choice _is_ good, incompatibility isn’t. And that’s what we have to work on, not killing projects which are perfectly useful for many users and fun for many developers. It takes longer, yes, but I’m convinced that it is the right thing to do. See, when it comes down to it, that’s what life is all about. Having fun and having dreams. Not profit or world domination. 2003-07-02 3:32 pm how smart is it for the two desktops to have 2 completely different ways of setting up their configuration. Addition: If you meant that KDE and GNOME should even share their desktop configuration, then you are clearly shooting over the top. There is no reason to add complications like this, especially because users usually stick to one desktop, as someone else pointed out already. General application configuration should probably be shared in the long run, that would be something to discuss. Like font sizes. 2003-07-02 4:11 pm … up until version 9.0. I was a “Silver” member of the Mandrake club also. Mandrake is a fine distro and I certainly got my money’s worth out of it. What turned me off to Mandrake (and Red Hat, SuSE and others) was Mandrake filing Bankrupcy. I’m very glad they are working their way out of their problems, but it made me think about using a commercial distro that might go out of business at any moment, then where’d I be? At that point, I downloaded a Debian Woody ISO image (using the obligatory Jigdo process), burned it onto a CD-R, and haven’t looked back since. Yes, the Debian install is not for the faint-of-heart, but once you’ve done it a few times, you get the hang of it. Some of the benifits of Debian are: 1. It’s not commercial. It is truly open, and will be around a long time. 2. Updating your system is truly easy. Even if you use the Debian Unstable branch (like I do for my workstation). 3. The Debian Unstable branch is really no more unstable than any of the commercial distro’s out there. 4. I only have the apps installed that I WANT installed. I’m not trying to be a Debian “snob” or anything, but for me, it is the right solution. 2003-07-02 4:31 pm I think that if MdkSoft were to go out of buisness the actual distro would get picked up by someone. I think you forget something about mdk, and that is everything they do is Open Source. They do not have anything in their distros that you can not get the source for. So to compare this mdk with debian and saying its ‘truly’ open you aren’t stating any differences between mdk and debian. Mandrake the distro will be around a long time, maybe not mandrakesoft, but the distro yes. And why would you need to have apps installed in MDK that you dont want installed? You know you can uninstall stuff right? Oh well, my point is that I don’t care if you switched from Mdk to Debian, but I do think you did it for the wrong reasons. 2003-07-02 9:18 pm mplayer isn’t installed in the default package selection, IIRC. both it and the moz plugin are packaged and easy to install with urpmi or rpmdrake. codecs – you can get the wmv etc codecs from the win32-codecs package in plf. Haven’t found a video they won’t play yet. there is a gtk+2 frontend to realplayer, and it’s called gxine. accomplishments in mandrake 9.1, yikes, well let’s try just for starters… Unified GNOME and KDE themes without the hacks to KDE that made the KDE guys so angry with Red Hat. Easily the best packaged version of apache2 supplied by anyone. Rewrite of virtually all the Mandrake tools in GTK+2 and vastly improved functionality in most. Big improvements to urpmi functionality for things like large site installations. Overhauled installation routine including NTFS partition resizing during install. Eh, I’m bored now. I could go on and on. You get the idea. (looking at the bottom of the thread, which I just skipped to, how the hell did we get onto Iraq? anyway, go ArchieSteel.) 2003-07-02 9:36 pm Well, it seems some people are boycotting MandrakeSoft because they’re a french company…you get the idea. Thanks for the cue about gxine, I hadn’t heard about it. I’ve tried to have mplayer play realmedia, but haven’t been successful in this yet… 2003-07-02 9:54 pm Mandrake is the best distro for newbies and for those that just want to get to a command line. with so many screaming about this or that, all this does is keep more people interested in windoes gates is a convicted monopolist, does that bother anybody ? gates would love to read this stuff. just keep the linux people talking nasty about each other and leave he desktop to him. 2003-07-03 7:55 pm I’ve never heard of “desktop choice” as an actual, real-life hurdle to Linux adoption. I’ve heard plenty of others, such as application availability… The dearth of desktop apps for Linux is directly related to the fragmention in desktop environments. It’s a major reason why commercial software vendors like Adobe and Macromedia are reluctant to port their apps to Linux.