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if this is what IT managers want then the distros will use it as a discriminator. The problem is to get this to business decision makers before they get the FUD from MS.


So correct, do not underestimate this, I was in an open environment until mid-2001, then new management walked in and pretty much banned all discussion of non-MS alternatives. It took a while to find a new job in this economy, but even now I find lots of managers afraid of Open Source and Standards because they don't know what it means. While I am annoyed with some of the stuff Mandrake did (like not putting all the KDE files in their proper dirs) I won't give up on them yet. But I do agree we need to find a good medium to contact them on this and really be insistent. Let's face it, Mdk 10 is doing well overall so they aren't going to be very open to someone calling it garbage (which it isn't, but does have issues).


The whole I.T. landscape is changing, it's slowly become IBM/HP/Linux/Everybody else vs. Microsoft/Dell. This is a good thing, but corporate acceptance of Linux will be the tipping point, and Mandrake is getting a reputation as being the most "friendly" LInux distro, so now is the time to work with them, not walk away.


I don't think we should bemoan the commercial distributions, in all reality we really need them. Suse, Mandrake and RH all have some stuff to answer for, but if we just throw our hands up and switch to Debian I doubt they'll change their ways, probably only get worse. Linux became something different the day someone decided to make money off of it, and I'm all for keeping it pure/standardized/Free/free but I also seriously want to see it suceed becuase it is such a great thing.

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After watching this thread for a while, I understand the original point about standardizing configuration tools and their file placements. But in the overall scheme of things I don't think this is a really serious problem, just pretty annoying. I don't think linuxconf can be considered the solution for standardizing anymore, it just hasn't been kept up to date. Maybe Webmin, but many IT admins won't consider running a webserver to use Webmin, not that I can blame them. But WTF, different tools, different distros - sure, it's a hassle for casusal users to learn or for admins with mixed systems, but one with decent skills can deal with that stuff. For a Linux IT admin, as long as they can use the same simple tools for the whole network, like vi (vim) they can deal with everything else.


The root problem is HOW these different tools are being implemented. File placement is a problem, but it gets worse than that. For example, Suse is now using XML instead of plain text for some config files, requiring use of their GUI tools or for one to learn XML to manually edit the friggin' things. Yeah, I know XML is "text" and can be hand edited, but why go through all the extra verbage of XML, and the increased possibilty of typos, even if you do know how? Most users, home or pros, will say "screw that" and use the Suse GUI tools so they can get things done. Fine, I guess that works (in a M$-kinda way) but to me, this is the start of Suse trying for M$-style vendor lock-in. Make it so that you *have* to use their GUI crap to do simple tasks. I can only see this getting worse now that Novell owns Suse. Bigger companies need bigger sales. At least Mandrake has resisted crap like that, and I believe (or hope) they will continue to. But it's scary to think where this may lead with other commercial distros like RedHat, Xandros or Lindows.

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Im not saying we all go over to Debian... I for one value the diversity of linux... but on the other hand its a question of how to tell suse/mandrake et al we are displeased and also educating people as to why.


A few linux noobies made very good points, why should they care?


Well its like politics..(p.s. lets not drift into that but the analogy is very strong - this is completely non-country and non-party specific) . if you dont vote or have any interest and start to beleive you cant change it then your ability to change/control dissapears!


Indeed, you can do this and in the short term the consequences might seem better. This is typified by the pre-election promises of cutting taxes whilst providing more <insert here> .. of course its not sustainable in the long term but it can be done for a short time to get into power. However cutting taxes whilst increasing spending is bad in the long term.... and bad for the country <insert here>


It occurs to me a few distro's are playing the same game.

what they are doing is basically trying to win votes...

most popular/professional/etc. etc.


There is doubtless a large portion of 'we can do it better' attached too but this seems to be being lost. There are a lot of people out there with PC's.... and there is more than enough market for everyone.... however the distro's seem to be taking votes from each other not from Microsoft.


Time and again I see reviews of distro's yet the rarely test the package manager or intergration into a linux environment. Now (for instance) Im trying suse for the 64 bit support but URPMI seems like a distant dream ....however its rock solid as an enterprise class distro but a pain to add software to (so far)


More and more they are measuring each other against MS...

for instance the number of reviews that test linux networking by how easy it is to connect to a windows network ??


what is being missed is its getting harder and harder to connect to a UNIX network...I have even seen some people trying to network two linux PC's using samba.. etc. :screwy:


What I think bvc means or at least I think about the CE .. vs OE is that the CE is a 'testing' development version and OE is the stable version. OK good but they released and sold CE ... and continue to give away for free OE....


The whole idea of a stable MDK distro seems great... but they then seem to have sabotaged their own plans.. ??

They doubtless made a short term gain from selling CE and didn't even make it clear that OE would be released later and that no discounts would be available to switch... that is its either full price or free. :screwy: no thanks for paying to help us in testing here's a discount to OE .. CE continues being a release candidate of types and as such should not be charged for except perhaps media ... but OE is the saleable product...


Once again they screw up.... (IMHO) on the 64 bit version... its the same crap... you get no credits no upgrades its full price or nothing....


this leaves me with a dilemna .... do i pay for the OE (x2 including 64 bit and x4 if I need DVD and CD ) or do I buy one and DLoad the other or .... (or do I buy suse pro which is cheaper and comes with 64 bit and 32 bit and DVD and CD)


Now Im surely not the only one who thinks this is going to ramp up revenue in the short term and then piss-off customers in the longer term?? especially those who bought CE from Mandrake only to find the 'stable' version is now available if they pay again!


everytime i open my wallet I vote.... yet sometimes im voting for the short term gain over longer term viability ....


So i have lots of gripes but I also think MDK is technically great!

I dont mind paying for my distro's, in fact I want to ... but I refuse point blank to pay for a RC whatever its called.


Same goes for Mandrake club.... if I purchase Silver memebership im endorsing their rip-off scheme for bronze members...


However my main worry isnt over mandrake its over Linux and opensource as a whole. Mandrake can come and go and ill be sad but its just another distro at the end of the day... however when I see Mandrake alientating some of its customers against linux I get pissed.


They can screw their own market up but its unfair to leave people with a bitter taste over linux...


too many of those IT managers just want an excuse not to use Linux (as xbob points out) ... whether its false TCO reports or false security FUD ..they will be more than happy to say hey we tried and its all hype...


But I do agree we need to find a good medium to contact them on this and really be insistent. Let's face it, Mdk 10 is doing well overall so they aren't going to be very open to someone calling it garbage (which it isn't, but does have issues).


So yep it comes down to this.....

Mandrake seem to have isolated themselves from constructive criticism and I get the feeling the marketers are running the show right now.

I moan most about Mandy becuase it is the closest commercial distro to actually achieving the grail..... but at the same time I cant supprt them while they set about shooting the other distro's (esp free ones) in the foot.



Maybe Webmin, but many IT admins won't consider running a webserver to use Webmin, not that I can blame them.

Why not its a seperate secure server...??

but more important for a professional situation is remote support/management.


Webmin gives one remote solution but ssh equally...

however I support Solaris stuff in Africa 6 seconds away !

sometimes i wanna just

vi /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf

blah blah

esc :wq!

/etc/init.d/apache restart


I might actually do all that without seeing my keystrokes come back...

that the files are in the same place etc. is incredibly important.... I do similar stuff in oracle and this is why I cant have a French keyb.(which is really annoying trying to type an email to support - my french is bad enough to start with!).. I need (not want need) the same response 6 seconds away else I could make a big mess!


now to my mind apache have done a great job!

distro's should respect their wishes ... that way configuring apache/iptables/dhcp will be the same on every linux distro....


for instance at home right now I have


1x debian unstable

1x mdk 10CE

1x sme server based on RH 7.2


I'd like to think that with the exception of the strange SME beast the config of important stuff like where the XF86Config is and what its called should be the same... given the switch to X.org then even X.org are keeping the conf file in /etc/X11 ... but if distro's start renaming it or moving it or whatever life will become more complex....


crashdamage is spot on with the XML lockin....

(unless of course suse make a generic XML config editor) but doubtless this will be one of those they are doing it for the lockin but will reply its for technical reasons (like XML provides a richer .....)

Mandrake did this in 9.0 with the MCC and inparticular the RPM drake stuff.


Many RC testers hated the current add programs/remove programs and preferred the old add/remove progs.

However MSK said this was becuase it was being changed to perl....

of course the language is irrelevant thwey just deiced to change it and provide a quasi technical reason.

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"Mandrake seem to have isolated themselves from constructive criticism and I get the feeling the marketers are running the show right now."


Obviously I am new around here, someone care to elaborate on this statement, might clear up some of these feeling some of you have toward Mdk for us noobs?

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Well simply try finding a contact or whatever to email.


In the past certain problems occured with say distribution from Mandrake boxsets etc. and well...




So say my boxset is delayed or arrives with bad media... who do i contact... Im soooo happy with mdk (all comments read but dont expect a reply) etc. (try and imagine you are in this situaiton - because superficially the page looks like it has lots of contact info! )


thus my choice of "isolated themselves from contructive criticism...."

"hey I dont like the ..... " .. just which contact to I use!


In the past issues have ranged from boxsets delayed for 6 months after billing to people having the decimal point in the wrong place. ($6000) (the latter was a prob of mandrakes bank apparently)


however forget who's problem it is.... Mandrake or their bank, Mandrake or the shippers etc. the point is you purchase this from Mandrake and when you try and find a contact you are lost.


Now I have stuck around, I happen to know Mandrake havent deliberately done any of these and that they are down to incompetence not maliceousness ... but Im sure thousands just give up on them.


At one point I was in the situaiton of paying for a powerpack which had faulty CD's but getitng the first 3 CD's from a magazine. In all this who do I wrote to...

well eventually outa the choiceof emails I sent it to sales.... (I figured it would at least be read and passed on)

instead I got a reply that I should post the question on mandrake expert. (bear in mind these CD's are visibly damaged) .....or perhaps I should join mandrake club!


So my answer was basically we havent read your mail, we are not interested in you as a customer unless you wish to spend more money and if you do here are two places you can give us more money!


I gotta say if you look at it like that it smells like redmond!

(except it isnt, they are just incompetent at business practice)

noone has thought that by sending the stock email and not giving anywhere to ask questions what the effect will be on paying customers....



well its simple... that was the last Mandrake CD set I paid for.

Since then Ive purchsed other distro's from Linspire to suse last week but I am not paying an organisation who send me insulting emails!


which is my favorite technically ? - Mandrake ...

(although Im leaning more and more towards deb)


but I seperate my negaitve feelings about their business planning (which seems to be an oxymoron to them) and their technical distro which is brilliant.







just figured out one reason I get annoyed by this!

Its a parody of my job!

We often get software from vendors who tell us we must use Oracle version x.x.x and RH x.x or solaris x.x ....and install it using their installer and .....


.... and of course we dont, we think we know better and time after time we wrechk the software.... then instead of learning we start getting them to patch the SW until it hardly remains ....

...then we build in more and nmore customisations until just as it actually works as we want the vendor releases a new verson.... our users demand a new feature and the whole process starts afresh....


Hey here's KDE (could be Gnome).... we wanna use it in our distro...

Ahh but i wanna put these files somewhere else and these somewhere else and ....

blah blah...and take out this part of control centre becuase its duplicated in our wizard/Yast etc.

until they get it to fit round the distro....and then KDE release a new version ... and everyone can update except those who moved the thing around!

Edited by Gowator
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I haven't really read most of this thread, and I'm sure most things have been thoroughly covered, but I'd like to tell you what -I- think is wrong with Linux...


1) Not enough people use it. The more people that use it, the more support it will receive, and the less problems it will have - especially concerning hardware support.


2) Those who do use it tend to end up being elitist. This is something we've managed to avoid on this board, for the most part. But the really knowledgeable users have a tendency to look down on those who are struggling with the learning curve.


3) Not enough people use it. Oh wait, I said that already...


That's about it. The lack of standardization (which seems to be the biggest complaint) is just how Linux is. What people need to do is find a distribution they like and stick with that distribution.

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" Well simply try finding a contact or whatever to email.


In the past certain problems occured with say distribution from Mandrake boxsets etc. and well...




Gowator, you are correct, I looked at this page and it is awful. There is little possibility that anyone can get through that morass to get their problem to the right person. Let's hope they read this board, that needs to be addressed.


One thing I have read more than once (stated by more than one Mandrake employee, the last MandrakeMag for example) is that 90% of thier cusotmers download the free ISOs instead of making a purchase, so that might explain why they put so little emphasis on the sales portion of the web site, still not excusable but maybe a little more understandable.


So what is the answer, obvsioulsy most of us have some level of affection for Mdk, what do we do, just jumping ship is not a solution. Mandrake has a reputation for ease of use so it's unlikely a few hardcore Linux users defecting will make them sweat, so what action do we take?

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One thing I have read more than once (stated by more than one Mandrake employee, the last MandrakeMag for example) is that 90% of thier cusotmers download the free ISOs instead of making a purchase, so that might explain why they put so little emphasis on the sales portion of the web site, still not excusable but maybe a little more understandable.

I won't buy online, and can't find Mandrake on the self, anywhere. I live in Houston Texas. No wonder 90% dload for free....it's the easiest way to obtain it ;)


elitism isn't a linux problem, it's a world problem. You find it with all os's......especially mac. JMO


linuxconf doesn't have to be the solution, but something does. If it's just how linux is then linux will stay just how it is.....ever so slowly growing....slowly (better than nothing, I guess) JMO


What do we do? Enjoy the ride while you can. :zzz: cause either the one world will embrace OpenSource or stop it. ;) We don't have a say in that.

Edited by bvc
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elitism isn't a linux problem, it's a world problem. You find it with all os's......especially mac. JMO

I've never had the problem with mac users being elitist, but then again I've only interacted with a very few of them (like...2). Either way, if we want people to like Linux better we should avoid being "elitist" - if nothing else it'll give us an edge over the others ;) . (IMHO, of course)

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I agree, of course. Despite using all the other distros I/we am/have, we've stuck around here and I've kept mdk on my hd to help n00bs with an easy linux. The board has received countless praises for not being like the other boards/mailing list. Hope it stays that way.

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Well bvc, not that it means anything yet as I 've only been around here for a few days, but I think the attitude on this board is pretty amazing and it's the only Linux board I am aware of where there isn't a strong "anti-noob" attitude. I actively used Red Hat 7.x and 8, but between my job and a lot of the hostility that some of the Linux community can carry, I gave up for a while. I'm back because I believe Linux and OSS are a better way of doing things and I actively want to help promote these ideas. I think Open Source is slowly gaining more converts and momentum but we know there are several large corporations who would like to see that end. It's places like this that will stave off MS FUD and baseless attacks. So while Mdk isn't perfect we should keep having disucssions like this, try to find a way to ensure someone from the company is hearing us, and keep actively supporting the ideas and the distros.

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Hear here.. I have not read all the post yet, but just enough.


Example: Installing/Compiling Gambas from source...



In MDK, its just ./configure make make install.

Bingo, everything works.



In SuSe 9.1pro however, you have to tell ./configure where

everything is and where you want it.

./configure \

--with-kde-libs=/opt/kde/libs \

--with-kde-incl=/opt/kde/incl \ << I know this is not right, just and example...

--with-blahblah about 6 more times for postgrsql, mysql, ect,ect...




Note: Gambas that comes with SuSe 9.1 Pro is broke from start, obviously was not tested

before hand.


And to top it off, you have to dig for days to find that




Although Yast works pretty good, I don't see what all the fuss is

about it. I haven't had problems with anaconda or mcc on initial installs or Yast

for that matter. But Yast is terribly slow, and they all do have problems after

the initial install. Especially, Yast and MCC.



All these, although little things to us, are big things to new comers and

people that want things to work from the start. I thought thats why I bought SuSe.




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nice post technoid :D

On the issue of elitism I dont think thats whatr this post is about. Its almost the opposite....


The point being made by technoid is compiling from source isnt or shouldnt be elitist. Its something noobies should be able to do if they want, Im not saying force em but it should be made as easy as possible!


Lots of Mac/Win users are eliteist too, but personally I find this thread (well OK I started it Im biased) anti elitist.


I always think different distro's have different things to offer. Even Linspire if you dont wanna learn/understand and so I think its good to have distro's like that!


We also need LFS for its baseness and Debian for purity and .... Mandrake is great for noobies who want a bit more than just a working internet access and word processor....


Many Mandrake users evolve from Mandrake (tyme your one of them) but like bvc keep a copy to help noobies...


Now what I wanna see is noobies being able to try different distros and at least feeling at home when they need to use a CLI or config tool. these skills should be transferable across distro's and not just for experts.....


For instance going back to technoid's post I find Suse a very stable base .... but Im finding it hell to get further things installed.

If I did a review of Suse 9.1-64 vs my RC of MDK 10-64 then Suse would win hands down on a clean install......


many reviews are like this... they review the included software but thats a very shallow review, indeed it is almost an insult to review Mandrake or Debian that way because their packaging systems are so much more.


Since were on MUB, lets talk Mandy! :D

Mandy as it installs is just a shell. After that you can make it what you want very easily once someone tells you about urpmi sources and easy urpmi (LOL - come here for that)


If I want DVD playback i urpmi libdvdcss

If I want XXX chance is i can just urpmi it....and all its deps :D

same goes for Debian and APT...


So any review of Distro's should involve a noobie installing some new software...


once again if users have to compile with --kdelibs and if a non distro specific RPM will put the files in the wrong place then the noobie will be lost...


I really think this is anti-elitism.... a experieced user could install them anyway and if necassary move the files or symlink them but thats not the point!


tyme hit it on the head with his points 1 and 3 :D linux needs more users....

but this is a circular argument becuase it also needs more/better/easier HW support ...


and IMHO the thing holding this back is lack of standard for the developers to make installers against....

As pointed out Linux has more desktop users (lets ignore the elitist server market for now) than Macs yet macs have far more hardware 'certified'

not only that but when linux stuff is certified (like my printer) its often distro specific (my printer works with RedHat)


wouldnt it be better for the HW manufactuerers to say works with all LSB certified distro's? Just think you can walk into the computer mart and everything is certified or not... just like Windows users have the choice!


Lets quickly look for proof of this! We are going to drift into the elitist servwer market so fasted seatbelts and put your chair in the upright position.


Just look at real high end stuff like hardware raidcontrollers (Mylex, Adaptec) server quality NIC's etc. etc.

all of these are supported under linux! :D so why not webcams or tv tuners etc. the joe average hardware ???

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Why not, you say? That is easy. There is a snobbery that says Linux is for Business NOT Home users. Even Desktop Linux is focused on Business usage.


Home use is Entertainment, either as games or as streaming media, or, controlling your entertainment center (XP Media Center). Home users do not use a computer for anything else (except email and an occasional letter).


BULL!! (I could add the other part of that, but, I won't)


I am a Home User, and I happen to be disabled. My interests are in 3D CGI, and I certainly can't afford things like Maya or Houdini which come in a linux version (only for certain versions of Redhat). Sure, there is Blender. However, what I have to use only comes in Windows and Macintosh versions. This forces me to use either 2000 Pro or XP Pro.


What I use Linux for, is the Internet. Much safer that way. Though I need to spend less time in Linux surfing the Net, and more time working on my art (and learning the programs). :rolleyes:


Attitudes about Linux, is what is wrong with Linux, since they drive the development focus.

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