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Mandrake Shakeup

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the shaken-but-not-stirred dept.

Mandriva 221

An AC submitted this sad news: "NewsForge has a couple of articles on a management shakeup and more at French Linux distribution Mandrake. The CEO, CIO, CTO and others, including most of the IS team, have been let go. Others have taken voluntary pay cuts or cuts in their work hours. Ouch!" Several of the slashdot staff are big Mandrake fans; I hope they can keep going in the face of adversity.

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221 comments

Re:sigh (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#206880)

Seeing how Red Hat is the basis for many Linux distro's, including Mandrake, lets hope RH never goes under, or Linux really might begin to die.

Re:It was Distribution (2)

sjames (1099) | more than 13 years ago | (#206882)

Money and distribution is important, but its also not fair to be charging for other people's work, and essentially making them pay for it. No one would help on any of their projects if they did that, and it would be essentially like stepping back to a closed source model.

Think of charging for a distro as charging for the work that went into putting the distro together and creating whatever glue it took to make it all work. If you consider what it would cost to get the same things from MS, you will see that $70 really is more like charging for putting it together (>$$$ for OS, >$$$$$ for various compilers, $$$ for web server, $$$$$$$$$$$ for unlimited no questions asked site license).

Re:sigh (3)

sjames (1099) | more than 13 years ago | (#206883)

Is it the way some of these companies market themselves, which is close to zero when it comes to mainstream magazines

I think that is close to the mark. Potential users just don't know what Linux has to offer them. If they will listen, I find that a few minutes of education and evaluation of their current usage is enough to get them to try Linux.

Personally, I like Debian, but I recommend Mandrake to beginners. It is easier to install than windows, and comes with decent defaults for a workstation. The GUI config tools are pretty good as GUI config tools go.

Re:What can we do to stop this from happening agai (2)

Gregg M (2076) | more than 13 years ago | (#206885)

You mean that keeping the source code locked up and secret would save us from this apocalypse? Maybe you should tell those BSD people. They give the code away too!

Re:What can we do to stop this from happening agai (2)

Mr. Frilly (6570) | more than 13 years ago | (#206894)

Ah, but Mandrake would have never existed if Redhat wasn't, in turn, GPL! I actually used Mandrake 5.3, and as many people here know, it was just Redhat 5.2 (same installer, same everything) with KDE added in and a couple of updates.

Granted, the fact that Mandrake could just take Redhat 5.2 and sell a better version of it speaks against the GPL from the business standpoint, but that frame of thinking is the wrong way to look at the GPL. The GPL isn't about protecting business rights, it's about protecting the consumers.

Try to think of the United States Bill of Rights as a metaphor for the GPL. The Bill of Rights is stupid from a governmental perspective. Citizens who can speak out against the government? Citizens who can't be coerced into testifying against themselves? Citizens who can carry their own weapons? (allright, that one's pretty stupid today, but it made a lot of sense in the 1700's). The Bill of Rights isn't for the government, it's for the people. It helps keeps government honest, open, and democratic, and it assures citizens of their rights and freedoms.

In turn, we shouldn't expect business to have to justify the use of the GPL, rather, it should be consumers that demand the use of the GPL, and business in turn respecting their customer's wishes and needs.

who makes the decision to fire all of these people (1)

dfelznic (8812) | more than 13 years ago | (#206903)

Who makes the decision to fire all of these people? It seems like the firings would need to come from below if the CEO, CIO, CTO, COO are fired...
I must be missing something obvious about corporate chain of command.

Re:Is the shakeup for financial reasons ? (2)

llywrch (9023) | more than 13 years ago | (#206904)

> Nowhere in the article does it mention why Mandrake did the shakeup.

Note: one of the weaknesses of any online community is the fact many believe themselves to be poorly connected & that everyone else either knows -- or doesn't know -- what they have heard. That is why I haven't shared the following bit of news.

At the last PLUG (==Portland Linux/UNIX Group) meeting (3 May 2001), one of the members mentioned that he had just been laid off from Mandrake, shortly after returning from a business trip to Vietnam. In effect, about 3 weeks ago Mandrake was cutting back headcount of their US division.

This latest move merely has brought to wider attention convulsions already going on in their company.

Personal note: it's going to be hard to find work as a Linux guy when so many Linux experts are already out of work.

Geoff

Re:"Mandrake beats win2k" MCSE (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 13 years ago | (#206906)

At work I've been able to get some of our MCSE Gates clones to switch to Linux and Gnome using Mandrake. They tried RedHat but complained about it being too difficult. I hope Mandrake can solve their problems and get some product on the shelf, and developers on the keyboards soon.

I have a couple of Linus fans at work and I've tried to convince them to use and program for Windows 2000, but everytime they throw up their hands: "This ATL is too hard! COM is too hard! MTS gives me a headache! ISAPI modules are too difficult for me to comprehend! ActiveDirectory is too complex!" Eventually, after spouting anti-MS rhetoric to whoever would listen (to justify their failures) they rebooted their Linux which they could understand easier. I suppose they just couldn't handle the hard world of Windows. I plan on trying again in a couple of years.

Re:What can we do to stop this from happening agai (5)

banky (9941) | more than 13 years ago | (#206909)

I'm just another zealot, but...

How many proprietary companies went down in the past year? How many closed-source/non-[F|f]ree companies slashed their staff, killed off the management team, and "refocused"?

Does it even enter the realm of remote possiblity that perhaps many of these companies weren't focusing on a business model that generates income?

Yes, Mandrake can be had for free. I tend to buy the boxed set - because waiting to download a few ISOs is a pain in the ass, and because it is indeed the point of this whole thing.

It is probably more that they don't offer much of anything else beyond a nice distro: and that's where they're screwed. It has nothing to do with the GPL.

RH has certification, consultants, and a varied business (with Cygnus, etc). They've got partnerships. They've got industry recognition. If you were to ask Ballmer which Linux company they fear (or are concerned with), I'd bet dollars to donuts his answer would be Red Hat.

Mandrake made a great product - I'm using Mandrake 7.2 right now, and intend to buy 8 RSN - but they didn't have the varied model RH has. They aren't getting preinstalled on Dell or IBM. They aren't the 'gold standard' of compatibility.

I'll be sad to see them go, if they do. OTOH, I can always use Debian, Red Hat, or Slackware.

Who's actually leaving... (5)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 13 years ago | (#206910)

I have friends who worked for Mandrake up til the middle part of last month. They told me all about this when they got laid off. Apparently Mandrake is getting rid of their entire North American staff, including their support staff.

There is talk of Mandrake hiring a lot of their support staff back on a contract basis, to provide tech support here in the NA.

Support Mandrake if you use their distribution (2)

G Money (12364) | more than 13 years ago | (#206913)

For those of you who use Mandrake or even those who don't, if you want to see them continue to create a great distribution (as well as contribute to many other free software projects), either buy the distribution or contribute directly to them at Mandrake donations [linux-mandrake.com]

Re:It was Distribution (1)

Zico (14255) | more than 13 years ago | (#206914)

Download a copy, try it, and if it is worth it, support the people that made it happen. Code, money, whatever. Communities are a two-way street and if we don't support developers how can they support us?

After having heard the refrain over and over that Linux is great for the end user because it's free as in beer, I think it would be a pretty shitty thing for its advocates to start trying to lay a guilt trip on people who chose it for that very reason.

I'd hope that won't eventually become a future Info World review dot-point. Good: Free for the cost of download. Bad: Communities are a two way street, so you owe the developers (you lazy ass!).


Cheers,

Re:Possible Outcomes (1)

Zico (14255) | more than 13 years ago | (#206915)

Why does it seem more and more that Linux advocates see IBM as some savior on a par with Linus himself?


Cheers,

Re:Damn... (3)

Arandir (19206) | more than 13 years ago | (#206927)

Check the slackware-current changelog. It's BETA time!

Ambiguous sentence. (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 13 years ago | (#206928)

> Several of the slashdot staff are big Mandrake fans; I hope they can keep going in the face of adversity.

Hopefully you didn't mean that the way it sounds.

--

Re:Look at the bottom line - not so fast (4)

Brento (26177) | more than 13 years ago | (#206930)

but it is a simply matter of a simple budget.

When executives are let go in groups, it is very, very rarely an issue of budget cuts.

For example, when you hear companies taking hits, and they need to drop staff, who do they drop first? The visionaries? The guys at the top? Why would they can themselves? If they knew of severe budget problems, they'd stand up in front of the press, talk about it, and either quit or find other jobs to get into. People who know about really tough budgets usually find a graceful way out, or else they start canning the low-level staff.

On the other hand, when there's personal disputes, the low-level staff keep their jobs. For example, if there was a battle between the Yanks and the French, with major disagreements, that's when you see the kind of executive bloodbath that Roblimo talks about in the article. You see people get sacked en masse without a chance to talk to the press first, or to spin it their way. Executives never get sacked en masse as a result of budget problems, because they're the ones making the budget. The only way that happens is if you have dissatisfied funders or shareholders - which of course, could still be the case here.

Re:"Mandrake beats win2k" MCSE (4)

Brento (26177) | more than 13 years ago | (#206931)

At work I've been able to get some of our MCSE Gates clones to switch to Linux and Gnome using Mandrake.

I rarely make book recommendations, but when you said that, you caught my eye. I'm an MCSE in the process of switching over to Mandrake, and I've got the perfect tool for your conversions: "Linux for Windows NT/2000 Administrators, The Secret Decoder Ring" by Mark Minasi with Dan York and Craig Hunt. It's put out by Sybex, and you can find it at your local big bookstores on the shelves. The book is outstanding. I tried to make the leap several times, but I couldn't do it until I got this book.

It explains everything in terms Windows admins can understand, and it's even honest about the advantages of both platforms. It's the first book I've seen that really makes the transformation easy.

Re:It was Distribution (3)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 13 years ago | (#206933)

It'd not just the free FTP access, it's the cheapbytes sales too, from which Mandrake get nothing.

You never see people complaining about not being able to download SuSE ISO's, or about SuSE being $29.95 (official version) rather than Mandrake's $3.49 at cheapbytes.

Linux many be free software, and none of us need a distribution, but we all recognise the value of them and use them. It's a pretty odd business model for Mandrake to create a product that people clearly want and then give it away! Sure if they stop providing free downloads or allowing ISO distribution people will whine, but as long as they provide a product we want and do so at a reasonable price (they do - it's 29.95 same as SuSE), then we'll buy it.

Nooooooooooo! (2)

Trifthen (40989) | more than 13 years ago | (#206936)

Damn.

I love Mandrake. Redhat is nice, but do a search on
rpmfind.net and see what comes up most. Mandrake
has more recent builds on almost all packages than
Redhat ever has. Nicer bootup system, more recent
kernel builds, better desktop configuration tools, it
would be a shame to lose it! Especially since the 8.0
release was so highly acclaimed!

::sob::

Say it ain't so, Mandrake! Say it ain't so!
--
Shaun Thomas: INN Programmer

Re:What can we do to stop this from happening agai (1)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 13 years ago | (#206938)

You confuse manufacturing and service industries.

Re:It was Distribution (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 13 years ago | (#206941)

Why cant you understand this? You're a geek. Obviously you're just gunna go download it. You are not the target audience. Mandrake has specifically set up their distribution for end users who probably dont even have a decent internet connection (yes, please do remember that minimum download of Mandrake is 1 gig).

Re:good/bad (1)

eric17 (53263) | more than 13 years ago | (#206942)

Ummm, who said they are going bankrupt/biting the dust? Sounds like a drastic restructuring so they can go back to french-only at "le lunch"....

Re:Cutesy (1)

eric17 (53263) | more than 13 years ago | (#206943)

Dunno dude. I would think a super serious fellow like yourself would never dye your hair white, or get in a goofy cowboy outfit, but the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming. So I have to ask, re your antagonism to penguins in an install, what's up with that?

Mandrake Update (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 13 years ago | (#206944)

There's no need for newbies to even touch rpms in Mandrake 8. They've got a nice little GUI tool, which is, IMNSHO, much better than Windows Update.

Correction (wrong prices) (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 13 years ago | (#206945)

For the standard Mandrake 8 distro, its $5 a cd, plus $10 shipping. I assume they are selling the single disk for $15, and the 2 disk set for $20.

The "PowerPack" is $69 + $20 shipping for 7 cds. You can see what's in that here [mandrakesoft.com] .

sigh (3)

joq (63625) | more than 13 years ago | (#206949)


Not even a nicely GUI-filled, easy to use distribution as Mandrake made a difference to people who love the ease of MS based products. I've never used Mandrake, but have seen co-workers use it, and claim it to be the easiest to use of all the Linux distributions.

If this is the case, then why haven't many MS users switched over to something so easy. Is it the way some of these companies market themselves, which is close to zero when it comes to mainstream magazines, or is it that too many distributions add to the confusion or something.

So far so good for Redhat however who is managing to keep in the game, and for all the Linux users, just hope this is the last distribution to go under, else your going to have some massive "Linux is dying" trolls. Not to mention (which is most important) a sad showing of the possible overall outcome for Linux, should they not hurry and capture a large portion of the home pc segment.


Re:sigh (2)

phutureboy (70690) | more than 13 years ago | (#206951)

I installed StarOffice (I guess it's OpenOffice now) and found that it's able to open most anything my MS-using colleagues send my way.

Also note that Bynari [bynari.com] now ships an Outlook/Exchange compatible mail client that makes fitting into an MS network a lot easier. I think it may be closed source, though, not sure.

--

Mandrake IS helping me quit MS (1)

Caractacus Potts (74726) | more than 13 years ago | (#206952)

Actually, Mandrake's ease of distribution does make a difference. I'd given up on learning Linux several times in the past mainly because of installation and documentation frustrations. Mandrake was the first distro that made these issues managable for me. I doubt that I will give up my easy MS products any time soon, but I will certainly reinstall them many times.

Mandrake has the right vision (1)

Vicegrip (82853) | more than 13 years ago | (#206953)

I'm getting previous Windows only people to try out Linux because of Mandrake. The enhancements Mandrake has made that put their distribution well ahead of the others in terms of usability.

The control panel, for example, is a godsend to users who have no clue about where to begin to look. Mandrake shows that Linux can be an OS for the masses.

*grumbles about the stock market in general ... then stops because its pointless*

Hold on Mandrake, you've got the right idea... stick it out and you'll do splendidly.

Random thoughts about layoffs, Mandrake (2)

Speare (84249) | more than 13 years ago | (#206954)

Thought 1: when the seniors are cut and the line employees kept, it's usually due to a shareholder/board decision, for serious business-plan shifts or no-confidence votes. Conversely, when the line employees are cut, it's a decision within the company to reduce complexity but keep the same basic direction.

Thought 2: as a Linux newbie, I tried fresh Mandrake 8.0 iso's first. Tried to get it to work for a Toshiba 1715XCDS crappy laptop. The installer seemed to work okay, but once the installer quit, the actual system was flaky, especially the way Toshiba's lcd/crt switch worked. That, combined with the sugary cute penguin mascot junk EVERYWHERE, I decided to back-step to Red Hat 7.1 which worked much more reliably (though still a couple gotchas). Mandrake was much too cutesy and maybe too bleeding-edge untested.

Thought 3: another poster made this observation but I thought I'd amplify it. I downloaded ISOs because I wanted more recent versions than were available at Wal*Mart and Best Buy. I would have paid the money either way, to support the companies involved. I'd support modest premium fees for not-yet-boxed ISO images from a fastish FTP site.

Look at the bottom line (2)

_ZorKa_ (86716) | more than 13 years ago | (#206956)

I am not sure how they are structured and how many employees they are using but it is a simply matter of a simple budget. If they sell 100,000.00 of Mandrake a month, and their expenses are 110,000.00, they need to cut back, restructure and not be so wasteful. Sometimes companies try to do to much to fast and forget to look at the bottom line about how to pay the bills.

Re:It was Distribution (1)

Courier (91998) | more than 13 years ago | (#206958)

Must as we get "flat rate" cable or DSL here in North America... it still cost you money for bandwidth with leased lines. I do not mind paying a few dollars for the right to download at all. If it wasn't for loki and their delicious tribes 2 I would even buy a copy of mandrake and a copy of redhat. But as i want ot get the game i sort of need to buget... SO prehaps that can be the next step micro payments for ftp use. I don't mind..

Re:sigh (3)

jmv (93421) | more than 13 years ago | (#206959)

I think the number one reason MS is able to keep its monopoly with Windows is because of Word and the fact that most companies exchange word documents.

I use Mandrake (7.2) in a mostly MS-only workplace and I find it quite annoying to recieve all those Word Excel and Powerpoint documents by e-mail. For some of them, abiword or kword is OK, gnumeric is sometimes OK, but it's far from being optimal.

Re:sounds like Eazel to me (4)

teg (97890) | more than 13 years ago | (#206960)

Uh... you seem rather misinformed:
  1. Red Hat, Inc. is not profitable - we're break even. True, we are looking for profits in the not too distant future, but no announcements have been made.
  2. Caldera has huge profits? They have no market share, a huge loss - $10 million [yahoo.com] . On revenue of $1 million. And I don't see the SCO purchase as a good move - SCO wasn't exactly a growing business. And if you want to move off SCO (as many do) and go to Linux, Caldera isn't exactly the place you'd look: It has no mind share. You'd go with the company who has the people to make your company be successful, and that is Red Hat.

(I work for Red Hat as a developer)

Re:What can we do to stop this from happening agai (1)

Brett Glass (98525) | more than 13 years ago | (#206963)

You write:
You're half right. Everybody knows that the GPL makes Linux a pretty tough sell for most business, but the notion that it hurts the programmers is just moronic.
In that case, I guess that Mr. Richard Stallman, the author of the GPL, is moronic, since he stated that the intent of the GPL was to hurt programmers by preventing them from earning good wages. As he writes in The GNU Manifesto:
For more than ten years, many of the world's best programmers worked at the Artificial Intelligence Lab for far less money than they could have had anywhere else. They got many kinds of non-monetary rewards: fame and appreciation, for example. And creativity is also fun, a reward in itself.

Then most of them left when offered a chance to do the same interesting work for a lot of money.

What the facts show is that people will program for reasons other than riches; but if given a chance to make a lot of money as well, they will come to expect and demand it.

Low-paying organizations do poorly in competition with high-paying ones, but they do not have to do badly if the high-paying ones are banned.

You write:

For all intents and purposes, the BSD license is no better than closed source.
Absolutely the opposite is true. BSD-licensed code is the most open kind of open source, and next to the public domain the freest kind of free software.

You write:

There is nothing about the BSD license to keep a company from improving on BSD code and not releasing their source.
Absolutely true. Which means that it is truly free. It can be used for any purpose without strings attached. Or a penalty. Or a "poison pill." This is true freedom.

--Brett Glass

Re:Will the same thing happen to BSD (1)

Brett Glass (98525) | more than 13 years ago | (#206964)

You write:
I noticed that you've never posted the SEC filings of any BSD companies. Afraid of what you'll find?
Not at all. Wind River Systems just acquired BSDi. Their report is at http://edgar.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/833829/00 0091205701511908/a2046174z10-k.htm [sec.gov] . Notice that their report is cautious but nonetheless much more upbeat. The only risk factors they cite are those that would be due to a failure to compete vigorously. While they face many challenges, they need not face the overwhelming (and, I believe, insurmountable) hurdle of the GPL.

--Brett Glass

FreeBSD lives; Walnut Creek and BSDi were bought (3)

Brett Glass (98525) | more than 13 years ago | (#206973)

FreeBSD not only lives on but is a better no-cost OS than any Linux distribution I've used. As for Walnut Creek and BSDi: they were bought for big bucks by Wind River Systems. They're doing well.

--Brett Glass

Re:What can we do to stop this from happening agai (1)

TwizzlerMan (121662) | more than 13 years ago | (#206978)

The person who moderated this as a troll needs to be taken out back and put out of our misery.

Hopefully they'll stick it out. (2)

AMuse (121806) | more than 13 years ago | (#206979)

Mandrake's a great distro. A friend of mine has a copy and his business doesn't use Linux at all. He keeps it around because it's the best way to reformat hard disks on Winblows systems without destroying the data.

My work, on the other hand, standardized on Mandrake long ago.
-------------------------------------------- ------

Re:It was Distribution (2)

donglekey (124433) | more than 13 years ago | (#206982)

Money and distribution is important, but its also not fair to be charging for other people's work, and essentially making them pay for it. No one would help on any of their projects if they did that, and it would be essentially like stepping back to a closed source model.

Re:Nooooooooooo! (1)

gengee (124713) | more than 13 years ago | (#206983)

Now goto http://www.debian.org/distrib/packages and search for anything your heart desires:) If bleeding edge is what your heart desires, Woody is your friend. If leading-edge stability is what you want, Potato is your friend. Either way, you won't find a distribution with faster updates (Security and otherwise) Or more packages than Debian. This is by no means meant to impugn Mandrake, I'm just pointing something out:)
signature smigmature

Hope they can hold on. . . (1)

oudeis (125092) | more than 13 years ago | (#206984)

for another couple of years. Mandrake 8.0 is a wonderful product that has a good chance of getting a toe-hold on the desktops of Microsoft/America. But all of the whinging about the failure of GPL is really getting a little too much. The problem is that the product isn't really ready for the herd yet (not the hurd). There isn't a fully operational office suite with all of the bells and whistles necessary for everyday use. I do everything in Mandrake, but I come back to Windows for serious writing. Also, Gnome 2.0 later this year should help the situation. Maybe a little bit of austerity and if Mandrake can ride out this storm they should be poised for some serious microsoft-fscking. You can buy this thing anywhere!

Re:What can we do to stop this from happening agai (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 13 years ago | (#206989)

the notion that it hurts the programmers is just moronic.

you just don't get it.

No, but if he joined the GPL collective then he would get it. I'm to polite to say exactly *where* he would get it.

GPL has to be the worst deal in IP *ever*. At least musicians signed by labels get *something*, and if they can manage to put out a decent 2nd album they usually get quite wealthy. Book authors--same deal. Write one best seller and maybe your royalties may not be so hot, but after that the advances are sweeeeet. The best deal any GPL programmer gets is a job with some company that might lay him off in 6 months.

Sure, you say, the GPL programmer can sell his work proprietary if he wants; but the instant he does that he loses the entire community of support and respect that gave him what little marketability he had in the first place.

To date, authors under non-copyleft licenses (of which the BSD is just one example) don't do much better but if they like they can fork and/or merge with proprietaries and still remain respected members of the community. Also, they don't have to worship at the altar of the FSF and its "ideals".

The GPL ensures that bright ideas don't die in some company's software vault.

No, they die in the middle of the street. Death is death no matter how you slice it.

The real problem here isn't the GPL specificly. It's copyleft. The only way I see to end this jihad is to go with what I like to call copyforward. That's where the source can be used by both Open Source and closed source programs, everybody knows that, and nobody is allowed to tell you otherwise. No more stuff like readline and getopt being kidnapped by copylefters so that they can trick people into thinking that the GPL is unavoidable when writing *NIX software. <RANT>Got MSVC? Just go to your help and search for getopt. Well, whaddya know! There's a getopt that's as free as BSD, but you'd never know it when some newbie asks how to parse the command-line and the GNU people point him to GNU stuff and nobody else says anything. There's a lot of stuff like this.</RANT>

Re:What can we do to stop this from happening agai (5)

The Pim (140414) | more than 13 years ago | (#206992)

Perhaps the answer is to finally admit that the GPL is designed to hurt businesses and programmers -- and is doing it.

Oddly, the founder of a wildly successful free company doesn't agree. "I saw [in the GNU Manifesto] a business plan in disguise." Michael Tiemann, Future of Cygnus Solutions: An Entrepreneur's Account [oreilly.com] .

Why tools and solutions companies like Cygnus (and Ars Digita, and Ada Core Technologies, and CodeSourcery) have had more success with free software than retail and support companies is an interesting question. Perhaps you should look into it instead of making wild and inflammatory claims.

In other news (2)

Faux_Pseudo (141152) | more than 13 years ago | (#206993)

Slackware is being cut loose from there parent company even though Slackware does something unheard of in the distro game, they make money.
So we have unprofitable easy to use distros like Mandrake cutting back and we have profitable difficult ones like Slackware being cast adrift.

Will some one wake me when this starts to make sense?

Discloser: I have slack on one box and mandrake on the other because faux-wife should not be made to use slack and i should not have to use mandrake.

Re:What can we do to stop this from happening agai (1)

jault (147271) | more than 13 years ago | (#206995)

Why do you think Mandrake's problems have anything to do with the GPL?

Re:Damn... (1)

KidSock (150684) | more than 13 years ago | (#206996)


I use Slackware now, and hope that they don't close down, because Salck and Debian ...

Slackware and Debian are not "companies" with CEO's that try to sell their distro at Walmart ... etc. Quite the opposite in fact. They're "old school". So I wouldn't worry about it. It ain't gonna happen.

Re:sigh (1)

KidSock (150684) | more than 13 years ago | (#206997)


...why haven't many MS users switched over to something so easy [as Mandrake]?

Because all the nice GUIs and bells and whistles in the world do not compensate for a severe lack of serious business applications. Long live Open Office [openoffice.org] :~P

Not to mention (which is most important) a sad showing of the possible overall outcome for Linux, ...

This does not matter. Linux does not have an "overall outcome". It's evolution and evolution is a slow process. All the Linux roadkill and MS speeches will not change that.

keep going in the face of adversity (3)

Fishstick (150821) | more than 13 years ago | (#206998)

We can only pray that the /. staff can keep going in the face of this adversity!

*yes I know he meant the Mandrake team, but I wasn't able to resist.

---

Re:sigh (3)

DeeKayWon (155842) | more than 13 years ago | (#207000)

I got started with Mandrake. The distro I successfully used was Mandrake 7.0, and I was pleased enough with it that I went out and bought a boxed copy, even though I already had the CD from a Maximum Linux Magazine. It turned out to be a pretty good deal. Between the included PartitionMagic and BootMagic limited editions, the five e-books, the RPM'ed StarOffice 5.1 install, and the 400-page manual, I feel I got quite a bit for my money.

My point with that is that I think it should be encouraged that once people settle on a distribution that works right for them, that they go out and buy a boxed copy off the shelf. In most cases, what you get for your money is a lot more than what you get for the download time.

Second, I'd like to vent about the number one thing that irritated me about Mandrake: the ridiculous RPM dependencies. For example, a program I'm installing tells me it requires gtk+-1.2.6-14, where I have gtk+-1.2.6-12. Or another program requires some PDA-related package, where I don't have a PDA. Sure, I could just use --nodeps and it'll probably work, but I didn't know that at first and newbies won't either. Seeing those warning messages will only make them afraid that something might break if they don't get all of the required packages. And having to find and download those packages will only frustrate them. That's not newbie-friendly in my opinion. Serious improvements need to be made to RPM's dependency system in order to fix this, IMO.

Re:*BSD is dying (1)

Mr Skreet Nite (158271) | more than 13 years ago | (#207002)

hmm, I seem to remember an identical posting a couple of months ago. You are the laziest troll I've ever come across if you have to copy and paste your contributions.

Desktop Development still going strong (1)

iplayfast (166447) | more than 13 years ago | (#207007)

Companies normally go through this type of stuff, to start bemoaning the death of Mandrake is very premature. It looks upper managment to me. Which means the core developers haven't left, so the distro is still going strong.

The president, CIO, and "other executives" have been fired "as a group." CTO Jean-Loup Gailly is out. All the IS team except one is bye-bye. Some engineers and other "random troops" have either been laid off, taken "voluntary" pay cuts, or have gone from full-time to part-time status. But the team responsible for developing Mandrake for the desktop, contrary to the rumors, is supposedly going to remain (mostly) intact for the moment. As one Mandrake insider put it, the desktop developers "are still the people who make the product Macmillan [Mandrake's shrink-wrap product distributor] sells that generates income."

Re:It was Distribution (1)

the-banker (169258) | more than 13 years ago | (#207010)

The point is, they aren't charging for the work of others. The GPL defines it as charging for the distribution of the work. It is no different than Fed-Ex charging me $14 to overnight a report I write. My work, their distribution. When we release code under the GPL, these are the rules we sign up for.

It was Distribution (4)

the-banker (169258) | more than 13 years ago | (#207011)

Sadly, Mandrake did what many Free Software companies have done (free distribution), and it contributed to problems. The thing is, Free Software allows for making money off the venture, but in specific ways: distribution and service. Mandrake was making strides in distribution (I even saw a copy of Mandrake 7.2 in Wal-Mart) but it always seemed easier to just download a copy.

An interesting point - the GPL does not require providing FTP access to the distribution free of charge, particularly before a boxed version of the product is available. I was no huge fan of what Libranet did by charging for the download, but in a moment of rare clarity I realized if the choice is to have a fee based download or boxed purchase versus losing a distribution, I would gladly pay. I have purchased 2 versions of RedHat (5.2 and 7.1) solely because I believe in supporting companies that have empowered me. not everyone can create a Debian - it is a special group of people that make things like Debian happen.

I don't think I am alone when I say I don't mind paying for Free Software. As oxymoronic as that sounds, developers need to eat. Companies need to make money. Hopefully Mandrake will rebound and solve their issues. In the interim - for those of us with the means - we should consider buying a single copy of our favorite distro, or donate to Free Software projects we value. Download a copy, try it, and if it is worth it, support the people that made it happen. Code, money, whatever. Communities are a two-way street and if we don't support developers how can they support us?

Re:Mandrake Woe (2)

danheskett (178529) | more than 13 years ago | (#207015)

Can you be sure? Mandrake targets newbies. How many mandrake users are capable of working on a complex oss project? How many know what a compiler is? Or how to use it? Or how to understand the finer points of writing a multithreaded multiuser operating system?

No, chances are, that with this project, when Mandrake company dies, the distro will slowly fade in obscurity, to finally be abandoneded when the amount of work to keep it up exceeds the value gained from the handful of users and contributors.

[OT] All Your Base Grammar (1)

mizhi (186984) | more than 13 years ago | (#207016)

original phrase that your sig was generated from was "All your bases are belong to us"

Shouldn't that be "... base ..." If you're gonna do it, do it right!

Where is grammar_nazi when we need him most?

The correct badly translated Japanese is: "ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US!"

Re:sigh (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 13 years ago | (#207021)

Solution : Have the best of both (OS) worlds, Use Wine! Office2k works quite well under the latest Wine builds. Or if you want to be a whore, have your manager buy VMware for your workstation and have a blast (in slow-motion of course).

sounds like Eazel to me (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 13 years ago | (#207022)

Mandrake can market the hell out of a pretty good product, but without support services or a solid revinue model it will fail. I believe Mandrake is losing money because of the lack of support revunue.

An example is Caldera. Caldera owns %2 of the linux market but has huge profits that may even be greater then redhat. The money mainly comes from professional services, consulting and having guys from Caldera come to your company to fix something or give a recommendation. Personal one to one service and sales.

I am aware mandrake lacks this, but you can't cut support! Especially this early in the game. It took years for Sco and Sun to esculate their services to their current level but they beat off Ultrix, Irix, AT&T in the process by doing so.

Its all about charging for support and providing software for free as in speech but not beer. The installer in mandrake is close to this but there is alot of competition from yast2 and Anaconda.

They need to increase their support, cut marketing, and try to develop some unique application and over time it will gain profits and mindshare. Remember alot of phb and CIO's get their mindshare for a product based on company performance and not on product quality. This is why NT took off by storm and why sco is still around. The phb's only looked at how much money ms was worth and based their server solutions mostly on that. Most of them blindly confused product quality with corporate revenue. Also they want to make sure the company does not go under for obvious reasons.

Is the shakeup for financial reasons ? (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 13 years ago | (#207023)

Nowhere in the article does it mention why Mandrake did the shakeup.

I assume it was obvisouly for finicial reasons. I am quie supprised. Mandrake is a very popular distro. I admit they do not have much support services but it seems to be more aimed at the linux newbie market then server market due to its bleeding edgeness. I wonder how much profit a professional distro like Caldera or Redhat make on services for bussinesses vs profits on the sale.

I noticed SuSE is gaining alot of market share and may be close to toppling redhat in the US. The link [suse.com] is at there website so it may be biased.

Its also one of the most easiest install's I have ever seen. Easy installations is one of mandrakes main strengths and selling points. It also is very solid and bugfree and still has a unix flavor.

Perhaps the rise of SuSE and support profits for redhat have eaten mandrakes profit margins. I also noticed that alot of geeks who are angry at bugs in redhat and mandrake have switched to debian. Debian probably is the most solid distro non commercial distro out there. I believe its just competition thats hurting them.

Re:sigh (1)

jchristopher (198929) | more than 13 years ago | (#207024)

and claim it to be the easiest to use of all the Linux distributions.

If this is the case, then why haven't many MS users switched over to something so easy?

That's just the problem. It isn't as easy. Anyone who tells you otherwise must be blind or just deluding themselves.

Re:What can we do to stop this from happening agai (1)

jchristopher (198929) | more than 13 years ago | (#207025)

Case in point of the "religous" modding down those who dare to say the emperor is naked - the parent post is modded down as "troll" for suggesting that perhaps the GPL might have flaws.

Re:big whoop (1)

jchristopher (198929) | more than 13 years ago | (#207026)

See what I mean? Dare to suggest that Linux isn't easy enough, and you're a "troll".

Perfect example of the *nix elitist high horse.

Hey, don't worry, if it gets easier, I'm sure you'll still be able to tweak it to hell. But wake up and realize that more users (even newbies!) means more useful software for the Linux platform.

If you build it, they will come. But as of now, no one wants to build it.

Not them too! (2)

jchristopher (198929) | more than 13 years ago | (#207027)

Mandrake, in my opinion, is the only company that has bothered to address the needs of the "entry level" Linux user. (It's still too hard, but that's another issue)

I sincerely hope they don't go under, who would take up the slack? They've contributed a lot in the way of GUI setup and configuration tools.

Re:*BSD is dying (1)

karma kameleon (222035) | more than 13 years ago | (#207032)

The BSD troll gets +1, Interesting? Look, I have two OpenBSD boxes to my left, and a Mandrake dual-cpu box in front of me; they are all excellent quality OS's that help me get my work done. Can't you just give it a rest already? ;-)

Seriously, though, I get asked why I use such a user-friendly distro like Mandrake, but the fact is, it's a very high quality distro that installs most of the dev stuff I need quickly and easily. I know it's not exactly Slack or Debian, but it gets the job done, and I don't mind not setting up every little source package myself. I hope Mandrake finds a way to restructure, so they can continue their fine work.

In related news, TUX the penguin received (2)

eclectro (227083) | more than 13 years ago | (#207034)


news that he was being let go effective immediately. When asked about it he said "It was difficult for them to keep me on posing for pictures and drawings, because it just looks like that I sit around all the time."

"Perhaps things would be better if there was a more viable business model or something" he continued, "but I hope to continue on in a voluntary role."

Re:What can we do to stop this from happening agai (1)

Alatar (227876) | more than 13 years ago | (#207035)

Excellent troll. I look forward to the responses.

Re:Will the same thing happen to RHAT? (1)

Alatar (227876) | more than 13 years ago | (#207036)

Nobody has done it before, therefore it can't be done...been there, heard that, got the T-shirt...snore...zzz...next

What's wrong with Mandrake? I'll tell you (2)

BroadbandBradley (237267) | more than 13 years ago | (#207038)

first off, the software is great, very little to complain about. Mandrake has done a nice job of providing forums and such as well as making it easy to work on developing via the 'cooker' version.
MANDRAKE EXPERT, that's what's wrong. when you have an issue, you go to some 'expert' forum and they are pay schemes to get people to answer questions. this shifted focus away from some other community areas and created a 'FORK' in the community. now you don't just go to mandrake forum to discuss the OS and ask questions, those posts go to mandrakeexpert.com and to 'be an expert' is to register and ask to get questions sent your way.
let's just help each other, and be a community like we always have and scrap this mandrake expert concept, in Linux, we're all experts, that's what makes this a special place to be, there are no end users in an open world, and no-one should be thought of as an end user vs an expert.

that's just my twisted view on things, no-body will listen anyhow.

tough climate out there (1)

defunc (238921) | more than 13 years ago | (#207039)

let's face it, it's already tough out there running a business off propriety software, let alone with open source. i have no doubt of the quality of code that comes out of oss, but how many will actually be able to build a profitable business on that? so far i see only one redhat (but then again they are a little bit more diversified too) ...

just a thought
----

Re:Mandrake Woe (1)

Cyph (240321) | more than 13 years ago | (#207040)

Your sig should read "All your music are belong to us", not "All your music are belongs to us", because the original phrase that your sig was generated from was "All your bases are belong to us"

Re:Mandrake Woe (1)

Cyph (240321) | more than 13 years ago | (#207041)

Oh, yeah, good point... I got confused with the overusage of "s" in that sig.

Re:What can we do to stop this from happening agai (1)

ryanvm (247662) | more than 13 years ago | (#207042)

Perhaps the answer is to finally admit that the GPL is designed to hurt businesses and programmers.

You're half right. Everybody knows that the GPL makes Linux a pretty tough sell for most business, but the notion that it hurts the programmers is just moronic.

For all intents and purposes, the BSD license is no better than closed source. There is nothing about the BSD license to keep a company from improving on BSD code and not releasing their source. Fuck - if it weren't for the government intervening with AT&T, BSD wouldn't even exist today!

I see a few other voices on Slashdot pointing out that the Emperor (Penguin?) has no clothes.

The Emperor isn't naked - you just don't get it. Most Linux advocates aren't about burying Microsoft and Friends, they're about having an OS that does exactly what they want. The goal has never been to be the biggest commercial distribution - the goal is to be the best. The GPL ensures that bright ideas don't die in some company's software vault.

Re:*BSD is dying (1)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 13 years ago | (#207043)

You don't need to be Kreskin [amdest.com] to predict your future. The handwriting is on the wall: You face a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for you because you are brain dead. Things are looking very bad for you. As many of us are already aware, you continue to lose readers. Your anti-BSD spam flows like a sewer of human waste.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

Slashdot readers stated that there are 7000 nearly identical posts of your anti-BSD spam. How many people actually believe it? Let's see. The number of intelligent Slashdot posts versus your anti-BSD spam is roughly in ratio of 500 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000*500 = 3,500,000 Slashdot users who are annoyed by your idiotic spam. A recent article put your spam at about 80 percent on the nonsense scale. Therefore there are many thousands of Slashdot readers who know that you are full of crap. This is consistent with the number of Slashdot posts stating so.

Due to the trouble you have thinking, abysmal IQ test scores and so on, you will be lucky to go out into the business world and land a job at McDonalds.

All major surveys show that your anti-BSD spam has steadily gotten more annoying. You are very sick and your long term survival prospects are very dim -- especially if your identity becomes known. If you are to survive at all it will be among other idiots, trolls, and the mentally ill. Interest in your anti-BSD spam continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could revive it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, you are completely brain dead.

No, you are brain-dead... (3)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 13 years ago | (#207045)

You don't need to be Kreskin to predict your future. The handwriting is on the wall: You face a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for you because you are brain dead. Things are looking very bad for you. As many of us are already aware, you continue to lose readers. Your anti-BSD spam flows like a sewer of human waste. Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

Slashdot readers stated that there are 7000 nearly identical posts of your anti-BSD spam. How many people actually believe it? Let's see. The number of intelligent Slashdot posts versus your anti-BSD spam is roughly in ratio of 500 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000*500 = 3,500,000 Slashdot users who are annoyed by your idiotic spam. A recent article put your spam at about 80 percent on the nonsense scale. Therefore there are many thousands of Slashdot readers who know that you are full of crap. This is consistent with the number of Slashdot posts stating so.

Due to the trouble you have thinking, abysmal IQ test scores and so on, you will be lucky to go out into the business world and land a job at McDonalds.

All major surveys show that your anti-BSD spam has steadily gotten more annoying. You are very sick and your long term survival prospects are very dim -- especially if your identity becomes known. If you are to survive at all it will be among other idiots, trolls, and the mentally ill. Interest in your anti-BSD spam continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could revive it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, you are completely brain dead.

Re:*BSD is dying (3)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 13 years ago | (#207046)

This is the same cut & paste troll that he (and his little friends?) post every time the name BSD appears in a posting. I have to wonder if he is some pissed-off janitor that got let go from Walnut Creek or BSDi. Why else would he be that interested in bad-mouthing an OS? I mean, either you use *BSD or you don't, but if you don't, why would you get your panties that twisted every time it is mentioned? I just hope that he gets moderated down like usual.

"Mandrake beats win2k" MCSE (1)

kireK (254264) | more than 13 years ago | (#207048)

At work I've been able to get some of our MCSE Gates clones to switch to Linux and Gnome using Mandrake. They tried RedHat but complained about it being too difficult. I hope Mandrake can solve their problems and get some product on the shelf, and developers on the keyboards soon.

Re:I'm an OpenBSD user, but... (2)

mikethegeek (257172) | more than 13 years ago | (#207051)

"Mandrake is an excellent distro, especially for beginners who are looking for something less scattered than RedHat. Mandrake has continued to set the standard for ease of use and functionality. I hope they stay around for the sake of the linux community."

I agree. Mandrake is by far the best distro for ease of installation and use. And at the moment, it is a better desktop OS than Red Hat, without losing compatibility with Red Hat...

The best of both worlds.

This is why I use Mandrake 8.0 on my desktop, and Red Hat 7.1 on my server, though Mandrake 8.0 has some VERY interesting, and easy GUI based setups for several of the server apps that is making me consider trying it out as a server.

This is what I do: I ALWAYS go buy a copy of the latest Red Hat or Mandrake (Have since 6.2 and 7.0 respectively). Why? Because I feel I should give something to the people who are giving me this software that costs FAR less than it's worth. $30-40 for a Linux distro is a far better deal than `Doze.

Re:Mandrake Woe (1)

Husaria (262766) | more than 13 years ago | (#207055)

I didn't even know where Mandrake was based lol.
But if Mandrake does fall, (the company) it will still survive, (the OS), because it is an OSS and will be worked on.

Re:sigh (1)

Husaria (262766) | more than 13 years ago | (#207056)

Well, its because of:
1. Games
2. Hardware Issues
3. Learning Unix
Non-techs aren't going to have the desire to learn Unix and put up with problems of 1 and 2. Its sad really. There is VMware, (which I can't get going on my Linux box) and WinLin, but once again: you need to know Unix. A few years ago, it was you had to know MS-DOS, but it was a few simple commands. I learned DOS at an early age since my father saw into what the computer was going to be, later came Unix. Although learning them is not complicated, you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
But Linux not in mainstream magazines? Its been in Time and Newsweek, those are pretty mainstream. Every major news website has touched upon Linux. It is something on the map now, now it just reaching out to non-techs and is doing a fantastic job. My ten year old sister can use Mandrake.

Re:Mandrake Woe (1)

Husaria (262766) | more than 13 years ago | (#207057)

RH could take it over, but then there'd be that faction accusing RH of becoming Linux's MS.

Mandrake Woe (2)

Husaria (262766) | more than 13 years ago | (#207058)

Well, its not as bad as it sounds. They're laying off mainly high priced American managers on the reasoning that they can't do a US IPO right now, so get rid of the Americans. Fine, get rid of the Frenchies because their wine sucks..pfft
Mandrake is doing though, what most tech companies are doing, laying off and firing people, although not as high level and drastic as Mandrake has done. I hope this doesn't affect their distro, (yes it will). Mandrake is such a high quality OS. I had RH first and get Mandrake later and stuck with Mandrake.

What nonsense. (1)

glrotate (300695) | more than 13 years ago | (#207060)

From the Newsforge article:

Sales and marketing staff were supposedly affected least by the cuts.

So they fire the tech staff and keep the marketing droids who can't sell their free product.

Sounds like quite a plan.

Possible Outcomes (2)

Rockin' Az (315143) | more than 13 years ago | (#207063)

I see three possible outcomes to this

1) Mandrake keeps on doing what it does best - produce a desktop friendly distribution. This is my preferred outcome, and is not unreasonable. Mandrake are still one of the more popular distributions and their Macmillan publishing deal probably brings in more than a few bucks.

2) Mandrakesoft goes under - but the distribution keeps on going as a community project (a bit like Debian). Not unimagineable given the strong community involvement in the development of distribution releases through Cooker.

3) Mandrakesoft gets bought out by a big hardware company that can see a benefit in developing its own distribution. Imagine IBM buying up Mandrakesoft. So long as they maintain community involvement through Cooker, and partner this with the QA IBM could provide (especially with their own hardware) you could end up with a very good hardware/software combination indeed. Keeping a community involvement would be good for IBM (PR anyway) - they can move into the distribution game without antagonising community developers Given the work Mandrake have put into user-friendliness, if they wanted a desktop distribution, Mandrake is probably a good starting point.

Just a few wildly uninspiring thoughts....

Re:What can we do to stop this from happening agai (1)

kalleanka2 (318385) | more than 13 years ago | (#207067)

Business is built on ownership in different forms like property, trading, trademarks and patents.

The GPL is aimed at removing ownership (read, "why software should not have owners" on the GNU homepage if you haven't got that), of cause it hurts businesses! That's its core goal! You, who suggest it doesn't, listen to yourself for Christ sake!

However, it doesn't hurt business as much as it hurts programmers. Programmers should _give_ their work away for free.

Don't suggest that programmers should move towards service&support instead. Try to spend $1 million dollars on development and then try to make that up on support when _anyone_ who hasn't spent the money can compete with you without the costs. Don't work...

A business can actually be successful by building pseudo-ownership like trademark. An example of this is Redhat that most people associate Linux with. For them the Linux developers are free labour really. That it's technically service&support really doesn't mean anything. People go to Redhat because they want Linux solutions, not because they think it's a service.

Re:What can we do to stop this from happening agai (1)

kalleanka2 (318385) | more than 13 years ago | (#207068)

They all get much work done by volunteers for free. Free labour.

If you split the total income from free software on all the people developing it you will find that there is _no way_ people can live on it.

What kind of solution is that? Most programmers should give their work away for free so that others with strong trademarks can sell it instead (call it support if you think that's more fun).

Re:What can we do to stop this from happening agai (1)

kalleanka2 (318385) | more than 13 years ago | (#207069)

Do Volvo and Toyota give their blueprints away?

How come people think business secrets are something exclusive to software?

IP is a huge part of ANY business.

Re:Excellent (1)

kalleanka2 (318385) | more than 13 years ago | (#207070)

How come that each and every time some person post an observation that companies the must give their work away gives them financial problems they get modded down as trolls?

Re:Mandrake Woe (1)

Gsus2 (319650) | more than 13 years ago | (#207072)

All your bass are belong to us- RiAA

Re:Will the same thing happen to RHAT? (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 13 years ago | (#207077)

This SEC filing is no more pessimistic than any SEC filing from any publicly traded company. All companies issue doom and gloom SEC filings to cover their collective asses in case the stock value drops for any reason.

I still remember the first one of these I read years ago... there was a coupon on the side of a 6-pack of Samuel Adams beer announcing their upcoming IPO. I sent away for the prospectus. After reading the warnings in their filings, I concluded that the beer industry is a terrible business to be in; no beer stock for me.

It looks like too many tipsy consumers bought into the IPO, though. The stock dropped alot the first year, then has been flat. However, they're still in business, and the P/E is only 14. It didn't turn out as bad as it could have.

Re:Mandrake Woe (2)

jsprat (442568) | more than 13 years ago | (#207083)

original phrase that your sig was generated from was "All your bases are belong to us"

Shouldn't that be "... base ..." If you're gonna do it, do it right!

Re:Not them too! (2)

Snodgrass (446409) | more than 13 years ago | (#207085)

That's my fear, too. I'm a linux "newbie" and I freely admit it. So, am I going to be stranded now? I've tried a couple of other distros (Red Hat and Corel)...and before I get any snide remarks about that, read the first line again.

I know that Mandrake came from Red Hat, but they're different now, are they not? So am I going to have to start my 'education' over? I really like Mandrake and I hope these are temporary setbacks, but if they're not I really hope somebody steps up and helps out us new guys.

Whether or not you like to admit it, Linux has a steep learning curve. Especially for those of us who haven't had college courses in C and Unix. Personally I have no desire to spend forever learning every tweak and command to get my OS to work right...I want minimal hassle between install and "up and running"...and I think that's what the 'masses' (read: MS drones ready to jump ship) want, too.

We can preach all day about the superiority of Linux, but what does it matter if the only ones who believe it are the ones who are preaching? Mandrake went a long way (IMHO) toward reaching out a hand to those of us wanting to escape Microsoft (especially before XP comes out and gets rammed down our throats *shudder*) who were afraid of the complexity of Linux.

I'm not saying Mandrake was perfect, but they were easy enough to get even me online! If they go, I sure hope someone else moves into their place.

I really like Linux, and I'd like to see it take off as a desktop OS, but without people catering to the new guys, then I can't see that many people will be enticed away from their comfy little Microshelters.



Caring Employees! (1)

kypper (446750) | more than 13 years ago | (#207086)

Others have taken voluntary pay cuts or cuts in their work hours.

That's what I call team spirit! Good for Mandrake!

Mandrake is a good product. (1)

kypper (446750) | more than 13 years ago | (#207087)

I can't blame their employees for supporting it.

good/bad (1)

zoombah (447772) | more than 13 years ago | (#207088)

Of course, seeing a company with good intentions (and, in my opinion, a good product) bite the dust is a sad thing -- not uncommon in our times. But maybe this is all for the better. To put it harshly, the bankruptcies of many companies - isps and linux distributions to name a couple - may be part of a "weeding" process, in the darwinistic sense of the word. Yes, it means adversity for actual people, but Linux may benefit. The consolidation of Linux distributions into a strong few, each commanding a sizable chunk of the linux market share, seems like a good future. I'd love to see a BSD-style distribution setup for linux - each distro targeted (and excelling at) a specific purpose. Of course, they'd all be based on the same kernel, so there would be more collaboration than between the BSDs. It would certainly make porting easier :)

Right on you are right (1)

Kerra (449212) | more than 13 years ago | (#207089)

I was just laid off from a dot.com that was shut down by the VCs because they did not think we would make money on account of the GPL. They stopped development right in the middle. We had a good product but the VCs were scared to pay for development because they thought that someone like Eazel would come along and do the same thing for free. Yes they might fail like Eazel did but they would take us down with them. They used Eazel as an example because Mandrake had not announced layoffs yet. I am one of the voices on Slashdot that agrees with you.

CopyCenter (1)

Kerra (449212) | more than 13 years ago | (#207090)

I just found a speech online by a guy named Kirk McKusick who calls what you call copyforward "copycenter." You just take the code down to the copy center and make all of the copies you want for any reason you want, no questions asked. If you want to make a better product out of it then that is cool. This sounds as if it is better for businesses 'cause it doesn't force them to give away what they do. Maybe Mandrake would have made it if they used that code instead.

There ARE other ways to support them financially (1)

bollucks (450288) | more than 13 years ago | (#207091)

People have been complaining about not being able to support them in financial ways other than buying the full priced boxed set. Actually there are two other ways.

You can buy GPL'd cd's [mandrakesoft.com] .

You can make a donation to the development area of your choice [linux-mandrake.com] .

Wake-up call (2)

doc4 (453279) | more than 13 years ago | (#207092)

I think the linux community should use this as a wake up call. Most linux users buy their distributions from on-line retailers like Cheapbytes or download from the net. It is time for the users to put their money where their mouth is. If you like a distribution, buy the boxed set. Continue to support that distribution by buying every release, even if you don't need it.

It is a shame to see Mandrake take the hit. They really helped but Linux on the desktop and promote KDE as a viable desktop.

PS> I don't use Mandrake or KDE but I recognize their acheivments. And yes evevry distribution I own is an "official" boxed set and I have bought boxed sets that I don't use on a regular basis to support those companies. They make great gifts.

I'm an OpenBSD user, but... (1)

InjuredLabMonkey (453692) | more than 13 years ago | (#207093)

Mandrake is an excellent distro, especially for beginners who are looking for something less scattered than RedHat. Mandrake has continued to set the standard for ease of use and functionality. I hope they stay around for the sake of the linux community.

Mandrake is NOT! out of money... (1)

shadash (454043) | more than 13 years ago | (#207094)

I am a full time user of Mandrake on my home computer. I use it quite simply because it works... Fast and Easy.

If you're like me and use Mandrake you probably know about Mandrake Forum.It is a place where developers and users share their experiences using the product. Over the last 6 months users have been going out of their way trying to find a way to support Mandrakesoft. I probably saw over 30-40 posts asking for some type of at home subscription service users could throw money at. But nothing happened!

What we did receive was a simple donations page where you could dump a few bucks. (Which I Did)

To me this is crazy, users have been asking for subscription baised distributions for a long time. If Mandrake would just put out a magazine that included periodic updates they'd have a userbase they could count and direct market other products. Which would drive up the stock price before the IPO.

Simply stupid, Instead let's fire the Americans give out our shit for free and Piss everyone off.
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