[Mageia-dev] About Mandriva tools future : Host Mandriva tools on github

Marc Paré marc at marcpare.com
Fri Oct 1 12:57:32 CEST 2010

Le 2010-10-01 06:38, Fabrice Facorat a écrit :
> I've been following closely all the Mandriva vs Mageia story. I found
> it unfortunate that we have to come to this way, but I guess there's a
> serious fracture between Mandriva and part of its community. We have
> no choice except to cope with this and try to do our best to allow
> this unfortunate situation to found a sensible solution in the future.
> As we know, one of the Mandriva strenght are the Mandriva tools,
> however Mandriva tools have some issues :
> - they are written in perl. Sorry for perl dev, but I do still think
> that perl is harder to understand than C-like based syntax langages.
> However we must admit that we are not going to rewrite all the
> Mandriva tools ;-) However better documentation ( PerlDoc tags ) could
> help a little.
> - Mandriva tools are not used by others distributions ( except
> PCLinuxOS, United Linux, and ... Mageia ) and so have few external
> contributions : They notably lack visibility.
> I do think also that Mandriva will have to use its ressources in an
> efficient way.
> Here aree my proposals, feel free to discuss :
> 1. host Mandriva tools on github or code.google.com. This will ease
> fork maintenance and tracking, to contribute back ( without having to
> have a Mandriva account )
> 2. Make some decisions about the tools we should keep, and the ones we
> should ... trash. For example we did replace printerdrake with
> system-config-printer ( python ), and msec have been rewritten (
> python ). Whereas I do think that system-config-printer is way buggier
> than printerdrake, I guess that at some points, we will have to do
> this more and more : replace some Mandriva tools with for example some
> Fedora ones. Please note however that this bring its own issues :
> python vs perl, and the integration with the rest of Mandriva
> infrastructure
> 3. A decision will have to be made concerning net_applet and NetworkManager
> 4. Whereas I do love rpmdrake, I do think also that something will
> have to be done about it as its UI is clearly outdated and not on par
> with the competition :
> - Ubuntu software center :
> http://seilo.geekyogre.com/2010/09/software-center-with-a-dose-of-zeitgeist-and-maybe-teamgeist/
> , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_Software_Center ,
> https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SoftwareCenter
> - iTunes App Store :
> http://www.askdavetaylor.com/how_to_download_iphone_apps_from_apple_itunes_store.html
> , http://cybernetnews.com/download-iphone-firmware-20-itunes-77-app-store-and-more/
> - Interesting discussion about PackageKit direction :
> http://mairin.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/a-story-about-updates-and-people/
> So we may have to completely rewrite rpmdrake UI or switch to
> packagekit with and urpmi backend.
> 5. Junior tasks contributions. I noticed while visiting the
> LibreOffice website. They have junior task for people willing to
> contribute to the codebase, and most of theses junior tasks consist to
> improve code clarity, fix comments. I guess that the same thing could
> be done with Mandriva tools, notably adding perldoc tags/comments.
> Last but not least, I know that on Mageia ML, there was a discussion
> about the people we should target. Here are some interesting
> reflexions :
> Sweet Caroline : http://mairin.wordpress.com/2010/09/02/sweet-caroline/
> fedoraproject.org redesign update :
> http://mairin.wordpress.com/2010/09/03/fedoraproject-org-redesign-update/
> You must be this tall to ride: __ :
> http://mairin.wordpress.com/2010/10/01/you-must-be-this-tall-to-ride-__/

Thanks for your observations Fabrice.

Just speaking from the "user" point of view. Let us not lose sight that 
one of the strong points of Mandriva/Mageia is the use of the MCC. 
Having all the controls under one title and well integrated is what 
really distinguishes Mandriva from the other distros. Practically in all 
of the news items that I have read of Mandriva, they mention the 
powerful tools at the users' disposal to help in configure/maintain the 
Mandriva distro, and this type of comment has been going on for years.

I hope that Mageia would not stray from this tool. Whichever way the 
devs decide to programme the tools from the back-en does not matter to 
the user. How easily it is to configure/maintain the distro is what 
counts to the user and it is quite a strong selling point.

When I help out people with their Mandriva setup and I tell them to go 
to their MCC (if they are not familiar with it, I usually say "You know, 
the blue sceen and red wrench thingy at the bottom of your monitor.", 
they are confortable in using it.

The only thing that I find lacking for the MCC is the lack of immediate 
help. If a user has never used a section of MCC, they will normally 
abandon the use of that section. But if there were a help button that 
would explain, in a graphic way (either video or by slide show) the use 
of that section, then that would go a long way in helping out.

I sincerely hope that the MCC (Mageia Contol Centre) will not be abandoned.


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