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Mandriva Fires Founder Gael Duval, Who Plans to Sue

Roblimo posted more than 8 years ago | from the commercialism-trumps-community-once-again dept.

267

Otter writes "Mandrake Linux founder Gael Duval has confirmed that Mandriva has let him go." A few hours later, Newsforge (owned by the same company that owns Slashdot) did an exclusive IRC interview with Gael in which he said he plans to sue his former employer for "abusive layoff." This is a sad day for Mandriva -- and for GNU/Linux in general. Gael was the founder and heart of the original Mandrake (now Mandriva) project, which was the first Linux distribution designed to be easy for non-technical users to install and administer. There is plenty of consternation in the Mandriva Club Forums about whether the company will go on supporting individual desktop users as strongly as it has in the past.

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OSS immunity (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14927939)

Well of course being open source. We're immune from situations like this.

Re:OSS immunity (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928419)

Well of course being open source. We're immune from situations like this.

Well, if not immune, at least less vulnerable.

After all, suppose you spend ten years creating your Magnum Opus, the thing that's going to change the world. Then the managers you originally hired to handle the boring business stuff turn around and fire you. If your work is proprietary, that's it. Find a new life's work.

Within open source, you go to the spare bedroom, pop the source CD's, and open up a new sourceforge project. Your employment agreement might be a bit of a hurdle, but with any luck it's written with proprietary software in mind. "Uh, your honor, I'm not selling any products that compete with my former employer."

This is truly a sad day (4, Interesting)

Winckle (870180) | more than 8 years ago | (#14927943)

I sincerely hope this does not affect the course of the distro, and that it continues to remain as user-friendly and true to it's founding values, but I'm beginning to think Ubuntu has replaced Mandrake/riva as the No 1 user-friendly distro.

Re:This is truly a sad day (1)

vivek7006 (585218) | more than 8 years ago | (#14927991)

"but I'm beginning to think Ubuntu has replaced Mandrake/riva as the No 1 user-friendly distro"

s/Ubuntu/Kubutu/g since Mandrake defaulted to KDE.

Re:This is truly a sad day (1)

vondo (303621) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928005)

I've been using Mandr* for probably 5 years now. I've looked at other things, but never really given them a fair shake. I'm thinking of trying it again. Should I look at Ubuntu or Kanotix? One thing I really like about Mandr* is the PLF packages that add MP3 playing/encoding, DVD playing, proprietary codecs for VLC etc. Is there something similar for one of these friendly Debian based distros?

Re:This is truly a sad day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928035)

For ubuntu you just have to install the codes, for that any one of the guides out there can do it. No clue about Kanotix.

Re:This is truly a sad day (5, Informative)

ryants (310088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928090)

Should I look at Ubuntu or Kanotix? One thing I really like about Mandr* is the PLF packages
I'm a soon-to-be former Mandriva Silver Club member, and I'm looking at Ubuntu.

I believe the Ubuntu equivalent to PLF is the Multiverse [ubuntu.com] .

Re:This is truly a sad day (2, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928128)

I like both Ubuntu (in Xubuntu form) and Kanotix, so I suggest you burn the live CDs of each and check them out.
Kanos Script Page has some useful install scripts for handling what you want, and the people on the forums are helpful.

Re:This is truly a sad day (5, Funny)

madaxe42 (690151) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928007)

What about Gentoo? Wonderful community. And you end up with plenty of time to get to know them all, while you wait for it to build!

Re:This is truly a sad day (2, Interesting)

ryants (310088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928048)

I sincerely hope this does not affect the course of the distro, and that it continues to remain as user-friendly and true to it's founding values, but I'm beginning to think Ubuntu has replaced Mandrake/riva as the No 1 user-friendly distro.
I've been a Mandriva Club silver-level member for 2.5 years now, and I'm going to let my membership lapse in a few weeks. I downloaded the Ubuntu appliance [vmware.com] from VMWare a while ago, and it is far superior to Mandriva for ease-of-use, ease-of-administration. I'm just waiting for the next version of Ubuntu in April to dump Mandriva from my desktop.

When I moved from Slackware to Mandrake, it was great, but Mandrake/Mandriva have not really kept up, IMHO.

Re:This is truly a sad day (4, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928093)

I've tried out Mandrake/Mandriva a number of times in the past. (I even did a review on version 10 here [intelligentblogger.com] .) While they gained a lot of good will for being "user friendly", I always found them to be not worth the effort. The desktop feels nice and all, but the system always had some sort of problems that could never quite be resolved. It's hard to say why Mandrake always was so difficult to work with, but if I were to take a guess, I'd point a finger at their bleeding edge software. They are infamous for always packing in the latest and greatest. That same bleeding edge mentality is what got them in trouble with version 9.2.

Bye bye, CD Drive. [theregister.co.uk]

An opportunity (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928137)

I sincerely hope this does not affect the course of the distro


I sincerely hope this *does* affect the course severely. I hope Gael Duval forks the project and starts up a competitor and successfully competes with Mandriva who know longer has any idea what a community is.

Re:An opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928278)

That'd be great. Yet another Linux distro to add to the list.

I can't wait.

Re:This is truly a sad day (3, Interesting)

Vrejakti (729758) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928155)

This isn't the first time that a founder of a Linux distribution has left the project or taken a lessor role, but it certainly is surprising how the founder of the distribution was forced to leave.

Back in 2003 when I bought my cutting edge PC hardware, I was having little luck getting into the Linux world. I was a noob, with poorly supported hardware in Linux. Specifically a ICHR5 S-ATA controller on my ASUS motherboard. Slackware failed to boot, Fedora Core failed to boot, as did Debian. One distro did work however, and that was Mandrake. To this day Mandrake has had the best support for my hardware, with a consistently easy set up process. However, it was never the right distro for me.

When I finally got Fedora Core working I noticed many improvements over Mandrake. It just had a feel like it was more polished, more professional. Shortly after getting used to Fedora, I dropped it for Gentoo, and I've never looked back. ^_^

Any who, I hope Gael Duval gets things settled with Mandrake. It was his company, surely they should let him go on far better terms!

PS. This post doesn't have a point, but please feel free to mod me Underrated or Interesting. :-D

Re:This is truly a sad day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928260)

I used Mandrake from 7.2 up to 10.1. When the switch to Mandriva happened, I was having problems installing on my laptop. I started looking at other distributions, and found Kubuntu to be almost as painless to set up as Mandrake. Ocasionally I miss some of Mandrake's admin tooks, but Kubuntu is pretty complete and the user forums are as good as Mandrakes. No going back for me.

Re:This is truly a sad day (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928365)

Mandrake was the first distro I ever managed to get working. Now I'm using Ubuntu on my desktop. As I see it, Ubuntu and Debian have the advantage of making it really easy and convenient to install software. Yeah, I know, because this is a Mandrive story, a gazillion Mandriva users will flame me, and say that RPM is just a file format, apt-get isn't really easier, etc. Well, all I can say is that apt-get seems easier to me.

The disadvantages of Ubuntu, as I see them, are:

  1. It's a bleeding-edge distro. Every release ships with some broken stuff. For instance, one of the most important apps I need to use every day is a Perl/Tk app, and it turns out that Perl/Tk is broken in breezy badger [cpan.org] (Perl/Tk apps crash when run alongside GTK2 apps).
  2. For people (not me) who really care a lot about doing audio and video, I can see how it might be convenient to have a commercial distro, where some of the proprietary codecs, etc., would be easier to install.
  3. For people (not me) who want commecial support, a commercial distro might be better.

Re:This is truly a sad day (1)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928427)

I tried to run mandrake. I put it on my brother's laptop etc, and it worked well for a few years. But, damnit, it's rpm and not .deb - what's with that? I too have switched to ubuntu, and the number one reason is because it uses .deb

Re:This is truly a sad day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928474)

Aw. Po po widdle winux. Haha, looks like the animosity is open sourced too.

His own fault (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14927976)

If you start the company, you dictate the policies. If he gave up his power to someone else (and for profit, likely), he should have expected this possibility. Still a dick thing to do, though.

YAUF (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14927993)

Yet another unemployed Frenchman. Tell me what else is fucking new!

Many have bailed on them already though. (4, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 8 years ago | (#14927995)

at the local LUG many users bailed on t hem after the mess that was Mandriva 2006. It is buggy and has problems compared to the Mandrake version just before it. That started a flocking to Ubuntu and Gentoo at the LUG (A 100 pack of Ubuntu Cd's coming in that month did not help matters either.

They really dropped the QC on the distro they released right after the Mandriva change and that really hurt them.

Now the management is making changes inside as well.

Re:Many have bailed on them already though. (1)

Joe Enduser (527199) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928272)

Quality control was never the strongest point of this otherwise very fine and amazingly user friendly distro. Too bad they kept Openoffice.org 2 out of their latest free release, saving it for the club members. That made me switch my customers and myself to Kubuntu.

In contrib (1)

lbbros (900904) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928364)

OO.org 2 was in contrib, as far as I recall.

Re:In contrib (1)

Joe Enduser (527199) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928550)

True. But contrib means no support, no updates. OOO is just too important to rely on that.

Re:Many have bailed on them already though. (3, Interesting)

johnlenin1 (140093) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928289)

To add another anecdote: I've used Mandr[ake|iva] since v. 7, and was just about to bail on them after the "2005 LE" version. I even let my club membership lapse. I put Kubuntu "Hoary Hedgehog" on my work desktops and found it to be superior in many respects, and "Breezy" even more so.

However, I recently tried Mandriva 2006 Free on my MythTV box at home, and it was a breeze in every respect. I was up and running hours quicker than with Kubuntu on the same machine. Mandriva also seemed more polished and stable for me, the first Mandriva distro in years that didn't regularly crash inexplicably on this computer.

Still, too bad about Gael, though.

Re:Many have bailed on them already though. (2, Informative)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928543)

And on the other hand, I have a minimal install of Ubuntu that's the only distro I found that will detect and use my HD3000 card right out of the box, and works wonderfully with MythTV 0.19. Anecdotes prove nothing.

Re:Many have bailed on them already though. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928480)

QC isn't exactly Ubuntu's strong point either:
http://it.slashdot.org/it/06/03/13/0525254.shtml [slashdot.org]

Re:Many have bailed on them already though. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928637)

I am another Madrake-bailer circa the release of 2005LE. At the time, Mandrake 9.1 was the most stable and user-friendly ever produced in Linux history AFAIC. The decision to buy Connectiva didn't give them much benefit and the new name was (and is) beyond terrible. I moved to Fedora when my Silver-level club membership expired and haven't looked back.

The company had great momentum building at the time they emerged from bankruptcy protection and different decisions might have made things very different today.

Reminds me of Caldera (3, Interesting)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#14927997)

Caldera had a semi-decent mostly commerical OS out there, and then when they were bought up they slowly but certainly dropped any pretense of being interested in the home/enthusiast market. Of course, Mandrake had much more of a tie with the community; but it seems their tie to the community just walked out the door, didn't it?

Let's hope Mandriva doesn't suddenly decide that its' IP is in the linus kernel!

He should fork it... (4, Interesting)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14927998)

Call it TruMandriva or somesuch, and all his adherents will follow him.

Let the legal goodness commence!

Re:He should fork it... (3, Interesting)

weierstrass (669421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928452)

He should call it Mandrake.

Re:He should fork it... (3, Informative)

jejones (115979) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928600)

Why bother when there's already PCLinuxOS [pclinuxos.com] ? texstar does very good work...

Re:He should fork it... (1)

paulthomas (685756) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928623)

I suspect he wouldn't be allowed to call it anything like Mandrake or Mandriva due to trademark issues.

Re:He should fork it... (1)

Rudeboy777 (214749) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928654)

If it's a non-commercial OS I'm not so sure. IIRC the legal case against the name Mandrake wasn't tremendously strong in the first place.

What really happened (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928023)

I'm a developer working for Mandriva (which is why I'm posting under Anonymous Coward) and the real reason that he was fired was because he was caught stealing computer equipment from the workplace. I think he stole a laptop and a CISCO router...

Re:What really happened (1)

butterwise (862336) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928069)

We have your IP and you are soooo gone!

Re:What really happened (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928565)

From his blog...

I looked for a laptop for my wife who is studying neurosciences and basically needs it for ImageJ, and office applications. [snip] After spending hours looking for the best model, we finally choose the Acer 3003 wlmi which can be found for around 800 euro/1000 USD with either 512 or 1024 MB RAM, a nice wide-screen, DVD Dual layer burner and a Ultra ATA hard-disk.

Maybe it was much less than 800 euro.

It is unfortunate... (0, Offtopic)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928047)

... that everyone needs to concentrate on litigation and legal battles instead of making a difference by doing something constructive. Before seeing this story, I was just thinking about an article where someone said businesses in the U.S. need to stop whining about everything foreign business competition and they need to start competing with those foreign businesses instead. The trouble is that the government, meaning federal, state, county, city, and otherwise, is and has been abusing businesses for a long time with all kinds of taxes, fees, and administrative overhead that does nothing for anybody. So of course American products must cost more to cover the costs.

Re:It is unfortunate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928094)

wow. American businesses are abused by the government. Thats a funny one. *GASP* you mean an artifical construct with legal rights has to pay TAXES?! unbelievable!

DIE LIBERTARIAN DIE! (1, Flamebait)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928244)

Nice way to work in a completely inappropriate reference to libertarian ideals on what is essentially a spat between a company and its founder.

Re:DIE LIBERTARIAN DIE! (1)

orson_of_fort_worth (871181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928355)

Flamebait and insightful. What's a mod to do?

Re:DIE LIBERTARIAN DIE! (1)

2short (466733) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928476)

"Concentrate more on promoting than on demoting" quoth the moderator guidelines...

Re:It is unfortunate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928411)

what the hell does that have to do with this article or thread?

Maybe not bad (3, Interesting)

Life700MB (930032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928057)


Mandrake was my distro of choice before seeing the Light and converting to Debian, and I remember that it was a great distribution... but somewhere they lost the path and starting falling to the ground: the LG drives fiasco, the name change, the bloat, the battle with Ubuntu for the easy-to-use-linux crown...

Maybe Gael has now the oportunity to create from zero a great new distribution without the inherents problems of Mandrake/Mandriva!

I sincerely hope so.


--
Superb hosting [tinyurl.com] 20GB Storage, 1_TB_ bandwidth, ssh, $7.95

Re:Maybe not bad (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928208)

Debians model looks better and better as distros based on a less-idealistic scheme run into trouble. If one wants a better-for-their-purpose Debian, they make a Kanotix, Ubuntu, Mepis, or whatever. Meanwhile the Debian folks concentrate on their competencies and keep Debian going.

Re:Maybe not bad (3, Interesting)

dabigpaybackski (772131) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928279)

Maybe Gael has now the oportunity to create from zero a great new distribution without the inherents problems of Mandrake/Mandriva!

Maybe Canonical (Ubuntu) can hire him.

Re:Maybe not bad (1)

ashSlash (96551) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928506)

You read my mind!

Potentially good (4, Insightful)

cheinz (714431) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928068)

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say that this may not be such a bad thing. Mr. Duval may now start another project, and build something good again. Mandrake(driva) had really started to fall off a few releases ago in my opinion. Many people I know are using Fedora now that used Mandrake in the past. I certainly feel bad that Mr. Duval is now unemployed, but perhaps we can build something positive out of this. Mandrake used to be the distro I told people to start with, lately it's been Ubuntu. Perhaps this can be a day remembered as the day a new distro was born, and it was also today that Mandriva lost a great asset. Just trying to remain positive.

Re:Potentially good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928502)

Hmm... Didn't a similar thing happen to Steve Jobs? And where does he stand now? Let's hope Gael keeps a positive attitude about the situation and pursues other avenues that might benefit us all yet again.

Penguin Suit (1, Funny)

dotslashdot (694478) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928074)

It was only a matter of time before someone brought a Penguin suit.

You gotta be kidding me. (3, Interesting)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928076)

What is happening to the right to fire? We're not even talking non-union workers here. A company, public and private too, ought to be able to fire in accordance with that sole law of maximizing shareholder wealth for public companies -- If the given employee is not helping an organization pursue that goal, that should be cause enough.

Re:You gotta be kidding me. (1)

HeavyMS (820705) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928111)

WoW your american ... we can tell.

Re:You gotta be kidding me. (2, Informative)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928205)

Which makes the USA the best place in the world to start a small business as well as wealth creation.

Small business and startups have an insane near %90 failure rate 2 years after they open. Bad employees will make it much higher. If your retirement savings and home were used as equilateral for the loan for your business then you lose that too and perhaps your marriage if it fails due to a couple of bad apples that you need to fire.

Capitalism is the most efficient system around and this is coming from someone who is considered a liberal and left wing nut by those in US.

Re:You gotta be kidding me. (2, Funny)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928309)

I usually don't bother people much over typos and whatnot, but this one kinda caught my eye:

If your retirement savings and home were used as equilateral

Presumably collateral?

I'd work up something funny based off of what you said, but it just doesn't jive in any way I can think of.

Re:You gotta be kidding me. (3, Funny)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928415)

>>If your retirement savings and home were used as equilateral

>Presumably collateral?

>I'd work up something funny based off of what you said, but it just doesn't jive in any way I can think of.

You're just not coming up with the right _angle_. _Try_ harder, you'll get there by degrees. Or just make an acute observation.

Re:You gotta be kidding me. (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928607)

You're just not coming up with the right _angle_. _Try_ harder, you'll get there by degrees. Or just make an acute observation.

Yeah, how obtuse can he be?

Re:You gotta be kidding me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928341)

Is "equilateral" another term for collateral?

Re:You gotta be kidding me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928145)

I like how we live in a society where the greedy desires of a few are more important than the quality of life of the whole.

Society is progressing.

Re:You gotta be kidding me. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928261)

Empirically, indulging the greedy desires of the few appears to be the best guarantee of quality of life for the rest.

Or do you have any better systems to propose? (Difficulty: if you have to stick a gun in peoples' backs to get them to adopt your system, your system sucks.)

Re:You gotta be kidding me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928426)

Traditionalism?

Oh, you were only thinking of societies that are obsessed with wealth and materlism as a "goal".

Re:You gotta be kidding me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928537)

Oh, you were only thinking of societies that are obsessed with wealth and materlism as a "goal".

Like I said, if your system requires a wholesale rewiring of human nature, then... well, ya know, we all wanna change the world.

Re:You gotta be kidding me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928164)

Not taking the bait.

Re:You gotta be kidding me. (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928181)

You're absolutely right. Anything else is an inefficiency, and bad for everyone.

Re:You gotta be kidding me. (2, Informative)

Varitek (210013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928200)

At-will employment maybe the norm in the USA, but that isn't the case everywhere.

Re:You gotta be kidding me. (3, Insightful)

Jason Hood (721277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928325)

To me, that is a scary thought.

If I own a business, I have the right as theowner to discontinue paying them for their services at anytime for any reason unless I have signed a contract with them stipulating otherwise. To think that I cannot fire an employee for poor performance or bad decision making sounds absolutely insane.

Mandriva has every right to terminate his employment for _nearly_ any reason.

Re:You gotta be kidding me. (2, Insightful)

OppressiveGiant (558743) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928382)

I agree. The company is more than one person there are probably hundreds of people working there. As management it is your job to make sure that the people there continue to get paid. If one person is making it impossible(or harder) to do that then you're doing a disservice to those hundreds of other people by not letting that person go. If your options are Paying 501 people for a couple more months or paying 500 indefinately the decision is simple. That's more than likely a gross exageration of the situation, but we don't know the details at all. It's silly for us to be arguing without knowing anything and if he really feels he was wronged, it will be settled in court.

Re:You gotta be kidding me. (2, Interesting)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928599)

Well, no, not actually...you also have to abide by the Laws of the United States, and the State in which you do business. Firing someone for "poor performance or bad decision making" isn't so much a problem, though, as firing people because they are brown or black, or firing people who don't go to the "right" church.

I believe it is true (or so they taught in International Business) that in Europe it is much more difficult to fire someone, including applying for permission with the government prior to firing the person.

Re:You gotta be kidding me. (4, Insightful)

stinerman (812158) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928217)

Many places in Europe, IIRC, you can't just fire anyone for any reason.

While there may be a legal right to terminate employees, one I certainly don't agree with, for any reason in the USA, it is ultimately counterproductive due to decreased worker morale. I know I'd think twice about working for a company who fires their employees on whims. I'd also do poor work if I had to continuously worry that today might be my last day.

Re:You gotta be kidding me. (2, Insightful)

Jason Hood (721277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928372)


I know I'd think twice about working for a company who fires their employees on whims. I'd also do poor work if I had to continuously worry that today might be my last day.


And thus the system self regulates. Due to the deep complexity of the US economy, this model works. Employees can quit and move on to another company. In smaller markets, this may not work since there may not be acceptable substitutes but in the US economy, it works very well.

Just look at EDS, its a shadow of what it once was because of firing on a whim management policy (Dick Brown you suck). Morale dropped, good employees left, then many of their customers left. Microsoft, may suffer the same fate. Their current policies and environment are very similar to EDS 4 years ago. As long as the economy has the ability to normalize itself, At-Will employment works and works well.

Re:You gotta be kidding me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928441)

... it is ultimately counterproductive due to decreased worker morale. I know I'd think twice about working for a company who fires their employees on whims. I'd also do poor work if I had to continuously worry that today might be my last day.

Fortunately I work in Europe so I am safe. That's why my morale is high, my employer can not fire me for reading slashdot and my productivity ... err, nevermind. Two more hours to the end of my working day, going to read new slashdot topic.

Re:You gotta be kidding me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928305)

While you're completely right with that, it's still a very unusual decision to fire the person that's probably best known in the community and in the press when talking about Mandriva Linux.
You need a very good reason for that decision to make sense from a business point of view ... and so far I'm not seeing that reason.
That's why many people are curious/worried about the future direction of the company.

How is it abusive? He shouldn't sue at all (1, Informative)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928120)

I have been fired only 48 hours after working for one place with no reason at all other than the manager didn't like me.

Most states are right to work so they can do that.

Employers have the right to fire people on spot for any reason at all. The reason why I am agaisnt suing is because its unfair that blue collar workers such as myself have no right at all and get paid 1/5th what the upper middle class white collar workers do which do sue for wrongfull termination. We have no rights at all and have to sign contracts making us employed at will.

And most states even the CEO can be fired for no reason at all if its a right to work state.

Also the shareholders own the company and yes if the CEO owns less then %50 of the company then he can be fired. Its just part of business. ANd if you owned a company I think most people would have a different opinion as bad workers can make or break your company and take your dreams down with it when you go under.

Re:How is it abusive? He shouldn't sue at all (2, Insightful)

manifoldronin (827401) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928231)

Employers have the right to fire people on spot for any reason at all. The reason why I am agaisnt suing is because its unfair that blue collar workers such as myself have no right at all and get paid 1/5th what the upper middle class white collar workers do which do sue for wrongfull termination. We have no rights at all and have to sign contracts making us employed at will.
I'm confused by your reasoning there. It seems to me that, if you don't have any right to sue while some others do, you should strive for your right to sue, rather than asking others not to.

Re:How is it abusive? He shouldn't sue at all (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928243)

Most states are right to work so they can do that.

France, where Mandrake was based and where his employment contract was signed, is not a state of the United States of America.

Re:How is it abusive? He shouldn't sue at all (1)

OppressiveGiant (558743) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928310)

Of course we don't have the whole story. You don't fire people just because it's fun and games. It's entirely possible that he broke the contract first somehow.

Re:How is it abusive? He shouldn't sue at all (4, Funny)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928391)

France, where Mandrake was based and where his employment contract was signed, is not a state of the United States of America.

A regrettable oversight. We'll get to you guys once we're done with Iran.

Re:How is it abusive? He shouldn't sue at all (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928423)

we don't want that land anyway, it's lousy with frenchmen.

Re:How is it abusive? He shouldn't sue at all (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928265)

Here's a hint: Mandriva is not based in the USA.

Re:How is it abusive? He shouldn't sue at all (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928497)

Bullshit! EVERYWHERE is the USA, goddammit!

Using the traditional naming style, The US hereby declares that Japan will be called "Now THAT is West" Virginia and Chile is hereafter to be referred to as "REALLY Fucking South Dakota."

That is all.

Re:How is it abusive? He shouldn't sue at all (4, Informative)

A.K.A_Magnet (860822) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928322)

As you may be aware, there are other countries with their own laws. Mandriva being based in France, which has laws to protect employees against abusive (ie, not motivated by repetitive mistakes of the employee, and a bunch of other factors) layoffs, Gael can sue Mandriva. Then some particular kind of judges (called "juges des prud'hommes") will decide if it's ok or not, and of course, if it's not, they won't force him back into Mandriva, but Mandriva may have to give some indemnities.

Re:How is it abusive? He shouldn't sue at all (2, Insightful)

jgc7 (910200) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928381)

Most states are right to work so they can do that.

"Right to work" has nothing to do with termination rules. It basically means that a worker isn't required to join a union. Many union factories require that all blue collar workers are part of the union, but in "right to work" states, these policies are outlawed. Hence the term "right to work(without joining the union)".

Re:How is it abusive? He shouldn't sue at all (1)

Theatetus (521747) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928532)

Many union factories require that all blue collar workers are part of the union, but in "right to work" states, these policies are outlawed. Hence the term "right to work(without joining the union)".

Ha! I bet you think the "Patriot Act" encourages "Patriotism" too, huh? That may have been the basis of right to work laws a few decades ago, but as far as I've seen every "right to work" law now means "at-will employment". So you might as well call them "right to be fired for no reason" states.

Re:How is it abusive? He shouldn't sue at all (1)

Trillan (597339) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928488)

Considering how much spin I've seen on articles lately from the original text, I wouldn't put too much value on the "goine to sue!" claim until it goes up on Duval's personal site or before the courts.

PCLinuxOS seems to have arrived ... (1)

Jerry (6400) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928123)

just in time.

Mandrake 8.2 was that distro's best release, IMO. I left it when they had that "burn your CDROM up" problem. Not for that, but because I felt it was going down hill. Now I run SimplyMEPIS.

A few weeks ago I booted a LiveCD of PCLinuxOS. It is, IMO, much better than Mandriva, from which it is derived. They have cleaned many of the bugs out. For those who run Mandriva I hope that PCLinuxOS has the horsepower to keep that distro alive on their own. I prefer distros that use *.deb packages so I won't be leaving SimplyMEPIS anytime soon.

Re:PCLinuxOS seems to have arrived ... (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928449)

Try ubuntu then. They've got LiveCD's, use .deb, have a huge community and it's all centered around the user. I don't know how good SimplyMEPIS is, but it's worth a try if you want to look at something else.

Re:PCLinuxOS seems to have arrived ... (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928556)

I was a 9.1 fan myself, though I also liked 2005LE.

10.0 and 10.1 had problems with my mobo (VIA KT266A) -- I kept getting USB bulk_timeout errors on install.

2005 installed with no problem.

Please.....'abusive layoff'?? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928175)

Suing for "abusive layoff."

wtf? Is there such thing as a 'feel-good' layoff? If you're going to sue for wrongful dismaissal, at least get the wording right if you bitch publicly

'abusive layoff' (3, Funny)

weierstrass (669421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928517)

In France, a country in Western Europe (near Belgium), they have such a thing as 'licenciement abusif'. This is a standard term of employment law.

'Licenciement' is French (the language spoken in France, and other countries such as Belgium) for layoff. 'Abusif' is French for 'abusive'.

HTH. HAND.

Help me out here. (1, Insightful)

AnonymousPrick (956548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928187)

This is a just business transaction. It happens all the time. If Gael Duval wants to, he can just create (yet) another distro that will abide by his Linux philosophy. How is this a tragedy or something bad - other than for him - maybe?

When will the Duvaliva iso's be ready? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928213)

I used to be a hardcore Mandrake user, but since the merger the QC has totally sucked. I couldn't ever get a 2005 or 2006 install to work quite right and I've dropped my subscription. Getting fired sucks, but please Mr. Duval, bring us another great distro instead of spending years in court.

WHAT?! ON EARTH?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928233)

He's a strong contributor? But he happens to be in job they have to lay off?

Bean counter alert.

Say what, now? (5, Funny)

DysenteryInTheRanks (902824) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928254)

The "exclusive IRC interview?" Not exactly Mike Wallace or Sam Donaldson, is it?

Seriously, though, the White House press corps should pick this up. "Next on NBC Nightly News, our exclusive IRC interview with the president."

* PublicistLackey has joined #whouse
* StonezzzPhilipsNBC has joined #whouse
* W has joined #whouse

[StonezzzPhilipsNBC] Prez, why r u h8ing on detainees @ Gitmo + Abu?
* StonezzzPhilips kicked from #whouse
[W] Next question?

MOD UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928400)

Just plain LOL... All my imaginary mod point are belong to you!

but the product declined (5, Informative)

b17bmbr (608864) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928356)

I was a dedicated drake user for years. And yes, I bought their product. I bought 7.0, 7.2, and 9.2. It always recognized all my hardware, was easy to upgrade, and had all the necessary tools, etc. Then 10.x kinda sucked, and the latest incarnations were poor. Hardware recognition slacked, it didn't install on the same system that 9.x installed on, and now, they have subscriber support only for some wifi cards.

I installed ubuntu and never looked back. it recognized all my hardware (even the USB wifi), and apt-get is far superior. It's a sad day for sure, but they only have themselves to blame. They made poor financial decisions and it hurt their product. Now, I do confess to having been an iBook user for a few years and haven't used linux nearly as much. Most of my development is LAMP, java, python, etc., and it's all the same on OS X or linux. OO.org runs great, and so does GIMP, and with fink/darwinports, I don't "need" linux. So, I haven't used a "PC" in quite some time, but that doesn't diminsh the fact that my one remianing PC at homeruns ubuntu not mandriva.

Re:but the product declined (1)

ReinoutS (1919) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928659)

and now, they have subscriber support only for some wifi cards.

It is possible that Ubuntu recognized your wifi card out of the box and Mandriva didn't, but that certainly isn't because of "subscriber support only". All Free drivers are included with the download edition, proprietary stuff is either in the boxed set or available with a Mandriva Club membership.

Come on Kids! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14928374)

Come on kids, don't be like Microsoft.

Looks like the founder got unfounded. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928447)

I guess, he is now layed off, the question is this, who owns the company now? Can we trust them?

Ouch. (4, Informative)

ninjaz (1202) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928519)

I've been using Mandrake since 2001, when I switched from Debian to get a version of X that would support my new video card. At the time, it was was flourishing, engaged the community surrounding it, and was hiring developers who were working on projects that were making crucial advances for Linux. One that comes to mind was the developer of a partition resizer that would work on NTFS back when when all the other distros were instructing their users to use Partition Magic.

Of course, all that great work had a price tag attached to it, so when Mandrake Club was announced, I was first in line to join. The idea back then was that it was a voluntary donation with no extra benefits other than supporting continued development.

Unfortunately, once the club started to take off, they started closing things off to the public one by one to drive membership numbers higher. Now it's to the point where standard members can't even download the full set of CD images for their $60 yearly membership fees.

Something seems to have really changed in a big way since the Connectiva merger, though. With the release of Mandriva 2006, they've been focusing on marketing deals like that with Skype. Then, there was the worldwide Mandriva party, where the locations weren't announced until the night before... until then, there was just a form to fill out for organizations to get corporate schwag.

Also, I was reading on the Mandriva forums earlier that the reason their cut of X.org doesn't work with my ATI Radeon 7500 is that they "chose the wrong X.org" and are staying with it due to an Intel marketing agreement. Luckily, seerofsouls.org has working RPM's, but needing to depend on a third party to provide core components of the distribution is not exactly ideal.

Anyway, it looks like their management has decided that it wants to be Red Hat or Novell. I wish them good luck with that. I've seen it mentioned that PCLinuxOS is trying to be what Mandrake was, so hopefully they will provide a good upgrade path from Mandriva so I can get off this sinking ship without getting my clothes too wet.

Re:Ouch. (2, Informative)

ReinoutS (1919) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928633)

Now it's to the point where standard members can't even download the full set of CD images for their $60 yearly membership fees.

Of course, the fact that you can download any missing packages by adding a random public FTP mirror to your urpmi media makes that a non-issue.

Luckily, seerofsouls.org has working RPM's, but needing to depend on a third party to provide core components of the distribution is not exactly ideal.

A version of X.org that works with your graphics card, too, is included in the distro updates that are downloaded right during the installation procedure. Have you tried running MandrivaUpdate?

Give me a break (-1, Flamebait)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 8 years ago | (#14928593)

Duval said that last year Mandriva CEO Francois Bancilhon asked him to leave the company. Instead, Duval agreed to move from his long-time position as vice president of communication to head a new "community department" intended "to improve Mandriva's image in the open source arena." Now the company has terminated that effort.

What the hell do you do everyday as head of the "community department"? Post on bulletin boards? No wonder the guy was let go. He was moved from one pretty fluffy department ("communication") to an even lighter weight position. It seems pretty apparent he wasn't exactly a mainspring of the operation.

"Abusive layoff"? Sheesh. Get over yourself. Maybe it would be a better strategy to do something crucial for an organization so you're not part of the layoffs.

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