[Mageia-discuss] Positive Reinforcement

George J. Walsh gjwalsh at dscvcp.org
Mon Oct 18 20:19:25 CEST 2010

I have been diligently following the ongoing discussions about future
directions, marketing approaches and technical support, most definitely
the insightful exchanges with Frank Griffin and Graham Lauder.

As briefly as possible, I'd like to suggest that some of us are perhaps
losing sight of what we really have with the existing Mandriva distro as
a jumping off point.

I spent a good portion of September installing and re-installing several
distros from scratch to see for myself where they stood. (I was running
a bit scared, I'll admit, so it was due diligence to ensure I had a plan
B were Mandriva to disappear.) For my development work in counselling
psychology, I use a server to provide our own sendmail, apache, php and
postgresql services. But I ALSO use the GNOME desktop not just for the
usual mail traffic and web browsing but as the front-end for all the web
development tools we also utilize. 

This makes a lot of sense in my case, true, but also for small business
generally. It is the simple, if not ideal, combination of the desktop
with a server as such. Mandriva never had a problem with that. Seems to
me, with the exception of commercial game-playing stuff, I come close to
having 'all things for all people'. You can't do this easily or directly
with Open Suse, nor with Fedora. I suspect that is because both are
subtly laid out to ensnare you in a money upgrade. Mandriva, by way of
contrast, selects and updates a kernel-server for my needs. No fuss, no
muss. At the time, neither of those distros had a FUNCTIONING equivalent
to our cooker. Fedora is all business and has heaps of documentation
support but I found it easier to work with the command line. Open Suse,
on the other hand, has endless detailed menus which, I suppose, is an
attempt to look like Windows. Impressed initially by the scope of what
was available, I quickly became lost in the visual congestion. I'm the
kind of guy who finds it far, far easier to write some script for rsync
backups rather than deal with the tedious and not overly transparent
form-filling required by luckybackup, by way of example. I'm not a
script fiend, I just like a natural choice between gui and command line.
Mandriva has always inherently provided me with that. 

I spent considerable time trying to be objective about Ubuntu, but I
admit to having been heavily biased by negative reviews of Ubuntu as a
server. I also installed BSD and, if I had to stop at this point and
Mageia were not to become reality, then that is where I would go. Kind
of felt like the old UNIX days, but there was something else I learned
from a rather non-productive month. 

When we are successful forking Mageia as a community, we will have
removed the manipulative, hidden agendas of SUSE, Red Hat and Ubuntu. We
will have the best opportunity to fulfill the original dream behind what
is now Linux. As is so often the case in human history, the tools we
already have in our toolbox are just waiting to be made use of. The
present world has become so cynical that it cannot conceive of something
'free' having any value. That is one of the unintended results of
aggressive marketing. Yet in the end real value, as opposed to monetary
value will stand the test of time. Linux, is still 'a kid'. Lets show
this 'kid' the mature patient nurturing it needs to reach even some of
its astonishing potential. At all costs, let us all endeavour NOT to
repeat recent history still again.  

My best to all ...


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