[Mageia-discuss] Mageia's strategy

Hoyt Duff hoytduff at gmail.com
Sun Sep 26 20:32:06 CEST 2010

I also appreciate the way that Mandriva provided reasonable defaults
but allowed one to choose alternatives.

As far a desktops, while Mandrake/Mandriva has always been known as a
KDE-centric distro, they have also provided well-appointed alternative
desktop environments. Given the disaster that the introduction of KDE4
has been, it's no wonder that Mandriva has gained an undeserved number
of detractors. Mandriva also has a reputation of having buggy x.0
releases, probably due to competitive pressure from other distros and
business management; Mageia shold be able to address those issues
easily enough.

What do I see as Mandriva strengths?

- broad hardware support, often superior to other distros
- a good installer with sensible defaults, but also providing powerful
- excellent well-integrated admin tools
- well-configured defaults for all desktop environments with good
distro-specific integration for all of them.
- a wide variety of kernels and packages
- the support of PLF for license-impaired software
- an adventuresome community

What do I see as Mandriva weaknesses?

- lack of a coherent management vision, often distracted by peripheral
issues  that wasted scarce resources
- unattractive graphic choices that made it look childish and less
than cutting-edge
- poor bug handling; triage seemed OK overall, but fixing the bugs was
slow and deficient
- no clear vision for providing help and information resources, with
community sources poorly co-opted by often  inadequate "official" info

Of course, we all have different lists and experiences and opinions. I
only offer this as an appeal to focus on keeping what made Mandriva
good and fixing what made it less than good. Having used Mandriva
since Mandrake 5.2, having been a founding shareholder of Mandriva and
a contributor to the 7.x documentation and a published Linux author,
I see Mandriva's biggest failure as having lacked a thought-out and
consistent vision and mission. That was mostly due to bad management
and leadership, but also due to the impulsiveness on FOSS that I can
see occurring in much of the thinking expressed in these mail-list

I suggest that the conversation focus both on what we want Mageia to
be and what it should NOT be while trying to avoid the traditional
emacs vs. vi, Mac vs. PC, DEB vs. RPM, Perl vs. Python, Linux vs.
Windows mentality that is so much fun, but so unproductive.  .

Hoyt Duff

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