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

Fabrice Facorat fabrice.facorat at gmail.com
Fri Oct 1 12:38:31 CEST 2010

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

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have to be done about it as its UI is clearly outdated and not on par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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_Software_Center ,
- iTunes App Store :
, http://cybernetnews.com/download-iphone-firmware-20-itunes-77-app-store-and-more/
- Interesting discussion about PackageKit direction :

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 :
You must be this tall to ride: __ :

Close the World, Open the Net

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