Which Mandriva is in trouble ?

The cooker community is hot these days. A lot of Mandriva employees have announced their resignation from the Mandriva company. This is occuring as following to the death of Edge-IT (subsidary of the Mandriva firm) which was employing lots of employees working around the core of the Mandriva distribution.

It seems that Wallix is bringing financial support to Mandriva in order to save it. Well what does save mean here ? It seems the interest of Wallix is in Pulse and MDS. Well that’s not the real technical crown of Mandriva ! That plus Linux Rescue Server (competitor of MondoRescue) are more classical commercial products offering than Open Source projects.As well as Wallix products. As for the mentioned expertise in Linux, it’s probably too late as most of that is already gone, or will soon.

So it seems to me after looking at all these recent events that the orientation that will be taken is to favour the activity of software selling to the detriment of the Open Source activities. Anyway, without Olivier, Anne, Fred, Nicolas, our brasilian friends of cooker, and all the people who have recently left, I have no hope that the new Mandriva firm will be interested in maintaining a distribution anymore when so many people are leaving. Maybe some of their tools at the limit. But don’t hold your breathe here :-(

So the Mandriva firm will soon become much less interesting to me: no more friends working there, no Open Source dedication, Commercial SW dev centric. The company will probably survive, at least a bit. But what about the other Mandriva, the most interesting in fact, the distribution ?

Well, without all core contributors that were payed by the firm to develop it, it may well disappear. And that’s more of a concern to me as I have at least 10 computers, critical to both my personal and professional activity running it. It may well become an itch to scratch.

I think there are 2 scenarios there: the community is strong enough to reorganize itself, find new hosting for developing the distro, enough contributors to maintain packages, and continue to develop the real value add of Mandriva, the distro: urpmi, msec, auto-inst, draktools, KDE integration, PLF, … all what makes this distrubtion speial to its users. Is it really possible. Well I think I could give a bit more of my time to maintain some more packages and help at my level ontributing to improve it. It would also place it at a similar level to Debian, a pure open source distro, used and developed by its community. Why not, but again if ex-Mandriva firm employee do not have time to contribute anymore, big losses have to be expexted from their departure, and correct replacement will be long and hard to have. Also what about the innovation on the distro then.

The other and sader scenario is that the new mandriva doesn’t help the community to reform (they host everything today), thus discouraging the good willness of current contributors, making them move to another distro of choice for their activities. I for one, clearly will look at latest fedora and debian version to see which one is the most appealing to me, and which community I may join (my past experience with these 2 doesn’t make that move a very happy one to me, feedbacks welcome here).

Maybe there is also a mid solution: people interested by the above mentioned specific Mandriva tools adapt them to provide them on Fedora, OpenSuSE, … and thus make these distro lok more Mandriva friendly than today. I for sure will look closely at what happens in the coming days, and especialy around the 17th of September when the AG will be hold.

At least we have all these possibilities because the founders of Mandriva had the wisdom to put all their devs under the GPL. Thus ex-employees can continue to work on their tools if they want, if their new employer find it useful for their activity. Or others can take over. Without that, we would just cry and move right away.

I don’t worry too much about ex-Mandriva employees. Their talent and proof of experience around what they did for the Mandriva distro will serve as the best resume to find another place somewhere, and i’m ready to support them in their research where I can, if it’s useful.

Mistakes were made in the past around the Mandriva firm management. However its communiy and open source devs are just among the greatest I ever met in FLOSS. Let’s hope that this community (booth contributors and ex-employees) will find a way to persue its quest.

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24 Responses to “Which Mandriva is in trouble ?”

  1. Nano Theme » Mandriva Linux- The beginning of the end » Nano Theme Says:

    [...] a separate story, Bruno Cornec articulates his worries about the future of Mandriva (the distribution) even if the company survives: “So it seems that the orientation that will [...]

  2. Rémy CLOUARD (shikamaru) Says:

    hello Bruno,

    I share your feelings about this. I do hope we will continue the adventure together, or switch to arch, but really, I’d rather stay with my friends.

    If we decide to continue together, we’ll probably have to redefine our goals, and know where we’re going. I’ll wait for the 17th of september first, see what’s being said at the assemblée générale extraordinaire…

    • brunocornec Says:

      Indeed the 17th is not far, and I have so many stuff to do in // that I can wait ;-). But I think that for the first time it’s time to prepare alternatives.

  3. Bruno Cornec opina sobre la actual situación de Mandriva « ext4 Blog, el rincón de Malcer Says:

    [...] Mensaje original en el blog de Bruno Cornec || Encuesta || [...]

  4. Links 11/9/2010: Counter-Debunking the 1% Market Share Myth, Google Adds AGPL as Option in Code Hosting | Techrights Says:

    [...] Which Mandriva is in trouble ? I think there are 2 scenarios there: the community is strong enough to reorganize itself, find new hosting for developing the distro, enough contributors to maintain packages, and continue to develop the real value add of Mandriva, the distro: urpmi, msec, auto-inst, draktools, KDE integration, PLF, … all what makes this distrubtion speial to its users. Is it really possible. Well I think I could give a bit more of my time to maintain some more packages and help at my level ontributing to improve it. It would also place it at a similar level to Debian, a pure open source distro, used and developed by its community. Why not, but again if ex-Mandriva firm employee do not have time to contribute anymore, big losses have to be expexted from their departure, and correct replacement will be long and hard to have. Also what about the innovation on the distro then. [...]

  5. Erwan Says:

    Mandriva Linux distro was maintained by a team of OpenSource lovers. Product’s vision, design & implementation was done by a very talented & small team.

    Many of them accepted though conditions (salary/environment) because of their passion. Looks like the new direction, those who said to be Mandriva’s savers didn’t understood that and didn’t considered them as key people.

    What’s future of a distro that is loosing all its technical & management talents ? I’m very skeptical on both (new ?) vision & team they’ll have to setup to maintain or develop new product(s).

    I’m really sad seeing such talented team exploding. That’s a great loss for everyone.

    My question is “On which distro does Mandriva’s users will get to ?”

  6. Mandriva otra vez en la cuerda floja Says:

    [...] artículo es una traducción por miembros de mdktrans de lo publicado en el Blog de Bruno Cornec, colaborador de Mandriva, en donde hace un análisis de la situación presente y a futuro de esta [...]

  7. Juan Luis Baptiste Says:

    I think the best option for Mandriva users in the worst case would be PCLinuxOS. Is the most similar distro that you can find to Mandriva.

    I was a contrib packager with the before than Mandriva and probably will go back in the worst case scenario.

  8. Mandriva otra vez en la cuerda floja | El Blog de Rigo Says:

    [...] artículo es una traducción por miembros de mdktrans de lo publicado en el Blog de Bruno Cornec, colaborador de Mandriva, en donde hace un análisis de la situación presente y a futuro de esta [...]

  9. Which Mandriva is in trouble ? « Linux Geek Planet Says:

    [...] Cornec’s Blog [...]

  10. tks Says:

    You guys, please don’t forget the WONDERFUL things Unity Linux is doing right now. Not only are they driving mklivecd (livecd) on Mandriva, but they are also using rpm5 which means that the entire repository for them is based on Mandriva but can stand alone.

    They’re setup with a build server for both x86 and x86_64 and they are more than happy to continue on making a distribution.

    Hopefully, both users and developers will go there because it really is the only true Mandriva compatible distribution out there right now.

  11. Space Blog from Arca Technologies » 3rd Sep :: Weekly Newsletter on Open Source Says:

    [...] divorce est consommé… (in French). In a separate story, Bruno Cornec articulates his worries about the future of Mandriva (the distribution) even if the company survives: “So it seems that the orientation that will [...]

  12. ¿Está Mandriva en apuros? Says:

    [...] ¿Está Mandriva en apuros? brunocornec.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/which-mandriva-is-in-tr…  por tnt80 hace 3 segundos [...]

  13. Meneame: ¿Está Mandriva en apuros? [ENG] | Superlinux Says:

    [...] » noticia original [...]

  14. Mandrake-Mandriva-Mageia « Hackob# Says:

    [...] final “Mandriva Linux” ha tenido problemas y recientemente vuelven los problemas cuenta a caer a tal grado que ya se está trabajando en una fork de la distribución Mandriva llamada Mageia en [...]

  15. Mageia: End of trouble for the Mandriva community ? « Bruno Cornec’s Blog Says:

    [...] least the Mandriva community doesn’t seem to be in trouble anymore. Mageia, a Mandriva fork has been made by an impressive list of former Mandriva [...]

  16. Mageia – La magia al poder « FILOGRANA Says:

    [...] http://brunocornec.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/which-mandriva-is-in-trouble/ [...]

  17. Locksmith Knoxville TN Says:

    For reasons uknown i’m ending up with a blank page whenever i make an effort to post a comment,do you know as to why its occurring?i’m applying oprea web-browser

    • brunocornec Says:

      Sorry no idea. I use in general FireFox, but I don’t see good reason why it wouldn’t work with Opera. At least that comment was readable.

  18. locksmith Says:

    When I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I recieve four emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks!

    • brunocornec Says:

      Hello,

      I look around the admin interface of the blog without finding anuthing
      related to people following my blog sorry :-(

      Your best approach is probably to look at your profile and find where
      your have refs to blogs you follow.

      Bruno

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