Developers fork Mandriva Linux - Welcome Mageia
Everyone knows Mandriva Linux is in trouble. At best the desktop version is being starved into oblivion and many expect the company to disappear completely. The exodus of developers has been recorded over the last few months and Frederick Himpe most recently described the situation as an "empty box" with "no more heads in charge of the direction of new releases." With the dawn of September 18 came hope for users of the dying distribution.
Many of Mandriva's exiting developers have joined together with others to fork the once popular distribution and have dubbed their new distribution Mageia, which translates to "Magic." It's a distribution, as explained on its Website, not "dependent on the economic fluctuations and erratic, unexplained strategic moves of the company." "Mageia is a community project. This organization will manage and coordinate the distribution: code & software hosting and distribution, build system, marketing, foster communication and events. Data, facts, roadmaps, designs will be shared, discussed through this organization."
Some of the early goals are stated as:
- make Linux and free software straightforward to use for everyone;
- provide integrated system configuration tools;
- keep a high-level of integration;
- target new architectures and form-factors;
- improve our understanding of computers and electronics devices users.
The list of contributers reads like an old employee roster from Mandriva. Some of the familiar names include Colin Guthrie, former Mandriva contributor who worked on Pulse Audio and packaging; Guillaume Rousse, another well-known packager; Olivier Blin and Thierry Vignaud, who coded Drakxtools, installer, and boot as well as packaged Perl and other fundamental developmental tools; and Wolfgang Bornath, a vocal proponent, community leader, and blogger. Even former Mandriva release manager, Anne Nicolas, has signed on. All together Mageia has gathered some 56 contributors so far and the list continues to grow.
There is no release to test at present, but hopefully one will be announced soon. Right now, the project is concentrating on securing hardware and hosting for development and distribution, financial and personal investors, and leaders and counselors to help organize the project. They are accepting help from those who wish to contribute. See their Website for ways you can join and more information in general.
Update: Mandriva said on their official blog that they have weathered the storm and not only are they still alive, but plan on producing the best KDE distribution available. But with no developers left, one wonders "how?"
Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of tuxmachines.org.