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arctic

Your vision of Mandriva 2007/2008/2009/...

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I would like to see Mandriva tightening up their GUI tools. While they are arguably the best on the market, there's always an instance when they don't work 100% in a particular area and involve manual corrections! This in my opinion is Mandriva's strong point, and they should focus on perfecting this, IMHO this is Mandriva's niche, and a powerful one at that!

 

On a side note: Read page 15, the "comment" to KDE and Gnome. Awful. Simply awful... :wall:

 

Yeah, the gnome bashing is getting petty, IMHO!

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Technical:

use the appropriate hal/udev/{ivman,gvm,media://} for automounting.

use a usplash equivalent or fbsplash

update mcc and it's UI's.

fix bugs

clean the hell up /etc/ it's a dump

 

Usability:

Make mcc more usable

Tidy the desktop

Rename menu icons.

 

Aesthetic:

new wallpaper without text and penguins on crack

new theme

 

Service:

Discover that they have customers, who are humans that dont eat whatever crap is fed to them

 

Wish:

Do something noice, different, unusual

 

Expected:

None of the above.

 

James

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My, friends, I have some news. I have collected ALL your wishes and decided to give it a try, thus I have sent a nice mail that lists everything you asked for (27 detailed wishes) to Mandriva and François Bancilhon, the CEO, promply answered (The mail went to some Mandriva-developers as well).

 

Fabian, thanks for taking the time to collect all this and send it to us. We will work on it.

 

regards,

françois

Will they really include those things we asked for? Do they finally listen to us? We will see, however, I have some hope now. :)

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Sure. Here it is:

 

>>Message : I am a long-time Mandriva user and the

> > distro is admittedly very good. However,

> > there are some things that can be

> > improved. We have a discussion on that

> > on mandrivausers.org and here are some

> > points that we, the users, think are

> > important for the future success of

> > Mandriva.

> >

> > If some of those features/fixes will

> > make it into the Mandriva-distro, it

> > would be more than great. We, the users,

> > would be very glad and thankful if you

> > respect our concerns and accept our

> > suggestions and our help in making this

> > distro even better.

> >

> > Here is a summary of the user-wishes:

> >

> > 1. Redesigning of the MCC. Some areas

> > are great and easy to use, some however

> > are less than optimal. Especially the

> > networking wizard in the MCC seems to

> > confuse many users. This is mainly due

> > to lacking information. Include the new

> > NetworkManager as an addon tool. It

> > might make life easier for newcomers to

> > Linux.

> >

> > 2. Redesign the Bootsplash and use e.g.

> > usplash. The boot-process can look

> > better. Take a look at Ubuntu, SUSE and

> > Fedora.

> >

> > 3. Do not write in big letters „FREE“ or

> > "ONE" on a users desktop and don't ship

> > a desktop with a penguin on LSD. A

> > wallpaper should ideally have absolutely

> > no text. Example: Mac OSX.

> >

> > 4. Redesign the whole desktop design. A

> > simplistic approach is good, but

> > simplicity does not mean that it needs

> > to look dated/ugly. Galaxy is way past

> > its prime and needs a real overhaul.

> > First impressions are important on any

> > operating system. A desktop that looks

> > the same for years will not show that

> > you are innovative in any way. On the

> > other hand, do not throw something

> > completely different at the user. Make

> > some soft changes. Keep a familiar,

> > distinctive look but do not shy away

> > from improving the look either.

> >

> > 5. Laptop and Multimedia Keyboards often

> > have lots of extra keys. Make them work

> > by default. Ubuntu has shown that it is

> > possible to enable support for Laptop

> > extra keys by default. Mandriva should

> > follow that path, just like almost every

> > other distro.

> >

> > 6. Set up a default webpage that is

> > actually useful. The one available right

> > now is not informative in any way.

> >

> > 7. Place at least a link to some

> > beginners documentation on the desktop

> > or ship a full .pdf or .txt

> > documentation for the user to read, so

> > he will know where he can find more help

> > and what steps he should take next (e.g.

> > for setting up a wireless network).

> >

> > 8. Make use of easyurpmi or

> > smart-mirrors to their best. It is

> > unlogical that Mandriva does not have

> > links to some mirrors or at least some

> > information on how to set up update

> > mirrors included by default. Fedora,

> > Yoper and other distros are by default

> > equipped with online repositories for

> > smart / yum that allow easy installation

> > and updating right from the start.

> >

> > 9. Improve the bootloader. It should by

> > default find other Linux/BSD/Solaris

> > distros and add them to the bootloader.

> > Debian is very good at it already. Many

> > distros fail in this area, which is sad.

> >

> > 10. If some packages are clearly broken

> > and need to be fixed, then please fix

> > them! A good example is e.g. the Gnome

> > cd-player. The package is broken and has

> > never been fixed. If e.g. users buy a

> > powerpack edition, then they expect that

> > application to work or at least they

> > expect that there will be a patched

> > package someday. It is those little

> > things that make users angry.

> >

> > 11. Clean up the menus a bit. It is

> > somehow unlogical that Games are placed

> > in an „other applications“ section and

> > that Gimp, Inkscape, etc. are defined as

> > multimedia apps instead of graphic-tools.

> >

> > 12. Include KAT (for KDE) and beagle

> > (Gnome) by default only if they are stable.

> >

> > 13. Include SELinux. For those who want

> > to run a server, this is a nice addon.

> >

> > 14.Set up a working firewall by default.

> > The average users does not know what

> > this is and how to activate/deactivate

> > it. An activated Firewall is preferrable

> > imho.

> >

> > 15. Let "geeks" play with the latest and

> > greatest, even if it breaks (If

> > necessary, set up a "pre-cooker"

> > repository for that or some community

> > driven experimental repository)

> >

> > 16. And bugtesting, bugtesting, bugtesting

> >

> > 17. If we want to install Openoffice 2.0

> > on Mandriva, then we have to install

> > also NVU or Thunderbird or Mozilla

> > spellchecker, blowing the installation

> > process up to a whopping minimal 429 MB.

> > Other distros solved this dependency

> > problem. If Mandriva could find a

> > solution, this would be nice, as not

> > everyone has broadband available.

> >

> > 18. Drop the star in the tab or redesign

> > it. Properly redesign it.

> >

> > 19. The package manager(s) in the MCC

> > needs to be gathered in one instead of

> > seperated into 3 or seperated. Make a

> > tab system if needed.

> >

> > 20. Also doing something about the

> > speed. It's too slow for many users.

> >

> > 21. Add newer kernels to the mirrors to

> > support additional hardware. Some time

> > ago, every six month, a new kernel was

> > available. Now users might have to wait

> > one year (or use another distro) for

> > gaining support for certain hardware

> > (not everyone is able to compile kernels).

> >

> > 22. Some very easy to use Bluetooth

> > connection to mobiles/PDA's.

> >

> > 23. Improve the communication with the Mandriva-support forums that

> > are not

> > directly tied to the Club, but offering

> > free support service to a considerable

> > number of users. Mandriva-users outside

> > the club don't like to feel treated as

> > an "inferior community" or 2nd class

> > citizens. liberté, égalité, fraternité. :)

> >

> > 24. Use the appropriate

> > hal/udev/{ivman,gvm,media://} for

> > automounting.

> >

> > 25. Clean up the /etc directory. Some

> > information is hidden in obscure

> > places/cluttered in several sub-directories.

> >

> > 26. Do something novice, different, unusual.

> >

> > Final Note: We know that not everything

> > listed here will make it into Mandrivas

> > future releases, but these are the

> > things that would be highly welcomed,

> > add the final polish to Mandriva and

> > surely make it a real contender in all

> > areas of computing.

> >

> > Thank you for taking the time and

> > reading all this.

> > Sincerely,

> > F.M. Schindler

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Good letter, I hope Mandriva takes heart. I´m trying Ubuntu Dapper now but Mandriva still wins in many areas.

 

Most of these points/annoyences are actually quite easy to fix really. One thing I don´t get is why you have to be a member of the club to play with the cooker, wouldn´t you want as many people as possible to test a release?

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Umm... I used cooker for a while without being a club-member.

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Yeah, but for an install CD I think you need to be a member not for the cooker repos....

No you don't. You can even write to the cooker mailing list and this way take a part of the development process without being a club member.

 

RSBAC is part of the Mandriva kernels since 2005LE. The look already improved comparing to 2005LE and maybe they will make it even better, it's so easy now the web is full of beautiful icon sets, wallpapers etc and people who would be proud if Mandiva would use their theme as default.

 

But my wishes from Mandiva are not for the look or different kernels or any other technological thing. I don't wish anything unusual in fact I wish something that RedHat and Novell already did. I wish a new release policy. If they want to make annual releases for the official tree and this way concentrating on the corporate market then do it I have nothing against it I wish good luck. I'd like to see that Mandriva opens up the community tree and makes a real community driven tree which has the old 6 months release cycle or is a rolling releaese (which means the packages are permanently updated I heard it from tyme IIRC). Mandriva has already a lot of packagers among its fans just think about SOS, Thac and Ze and the dutch club. They only have to cooporate with those guys. This way that tree would always be fresh and stable since the community would never screw up its own distro which is already more than what Mandriva doing with it just think about Kat and the x.org issue. And let the community make package of the commercial stuff too e.g nvidia drivers, java etc. I myself met with what arctic wrote about the OpenOffice localization. The OpenOffice localization file is hardly bigger than 10M but it needed 411M in dependencies because they are always removing the Sun java dependencies. I think that's redicolous. And yes I heard they policy about "we belive in open source" so they are offering OSS only packages. But since they are offering those packages to paying club members which means their belief vanishes if they got money for it IMO that policy is crap.

 

Despite Mr.Bancilhon's answer I'm not so hopeful. No doubt he's a polite man but he's also the one who laid off\fired Gael Duval and has the full control now at Mandriva and IMO responsible the changes in the policy, turning fully to the corporate market despite his words. Time will tell if he's right or not but I doubt it.

 

For those who think Mandriva is still the most user friendly distro (e.g. fahd) : guys give PCLOS a try you'll be surprised. It's not perfect still has some issues with localization but at least it's advertised as English only. It has a link to the user guide on the desktop as well as to the IRC it's fresh and stable and has an appealing look and almost everything preset. Hell it makes me lazy. The fact that it's basically an improved Mandriva makes Mandriva look foolish. Mandriva could be so easily better. It's frustrating that a guy who is working in a computer store in Houston to earn money for living and a small community makes a better distro than a big multimillionaire company.

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Despite Mr.Bancilhon's answer I'm not so hopeful. No doubt he's a polite man but he's also the one who laid off\fired Gael Duval and has the full control now at Mandriva and IMO responsible the changes in the policy, turning fully to the corporate market despite his words. Time will tell if he's right or not but I doubt it.
I am not very hopeful, but my thought was simple: After all the critical comments and cursing that Mandriva was peppered with by almost all Linux users after firing Duval, maybe they were a little shocked at headquarters and might now do everything that will improve their image again. Even if this means listening to your userbase. :D

 

About PCLinuxOS: No doubt it is a fine distro, but the lack of localization makes the distro not the first choice for everyone. Mandriva still has a lot more language packages to offer. A sad fact unless this changed suddenly with their latest release.

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Thanks, Arctic :)

Would be really cool if just half of the list gets implemented. I for one like to to Mandriva back on the top with leading stuff etc.

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About PCLinuxOS: No doubt it is a fine distro, but the lack of localization makes the distro not the first choice for everyone. Mandriva still has a lot more language packages to offer. A sad fact unless this changed suddenly with their latest release.

No, localization is still the weakest side of PCLOS. You have to localize it but it's not worse than setting up Mandriva after installation like installing flash, java etc. since those are all present and preconfigured in PCLOS.

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