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David Batson

Public Statement of MandrivaUser.de

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The following repercussions stem from Mandriva SA's last minute pullout from LinuxTag and virtual cutoff of communication with wobo (Admin. MandrivaUser.de) with whom they were collaborating with.

 

I must say that IMO, Mandriva SA really dropped the ball here.

 

Public Statement of MandrivaUser.de

Statement of MandrivaUser.de about Mandriva's behavior concerning German Linuxtag 2009

 

The behavior of Mandriva (the company) towards the German user community MandrivaUser.de (short: MU.de) and the administrator of this community has caused us to compile and publish this statement. In this statement you will read the sequence of actions to understand the consequential measures from our side.

 

Timeline of the events:

 

Nov. 2008 --> Mandriva (Vanessa Wall) asks wobo for help in organizing and operating a company stand at the Linuxtag 2009 in Berlin.

Jan 2009 - March 2009 --> wobo compiles a calculation, advises on options. MandrivaUser.de decides to do without their own stand at the event to be able to help Mandriva. Mandriva is informed about this decision and appreciates it.

Early April 2009 --> wobo talks to Anne Nicolas and Vanessa Wall in person (at the Linux Solution in Paris). Both Mandriva employees agree on the necessitiy of the community's help. Both agree to pay for wobo's expenses. They state that Mandriva will do the hotel bookings.

Early April - Mandriva sends the application form for a stand to Messe Berlin

 

April - Mid June 2009 --> repeated mails from wobo to Vanessa Wall and Anne Nicolas, asking for information about the procedings. Most of these mails were not answered at all, others were answered with the promise to get back to wobo the other day - which never happened.

June 15th --> 8 days before the event Mandriva has not given any information to wobo about their plans for the stand nor about the status of the hotel reservation. Upon another mail from wobo he received an angry reply from Vanessa Wall, telling him to stop sending annoying mails, she will tell him when there are any news. Nothing more after this.

 

June 19th --> Mélody, an assistent to Vanessa Wall, sends a mail with 2 lines to wobo and Messe Berlin, Mandriva has to cancel their participation because the CEO has broken his leg. Nino Gruettke from Messe Berlin confirmed this.

June 19th --> wobo calls Anne Nicolas on the phone and offers to operate the stand in case no Mandriva employee is available. Anne promises to inquire and call/mail back the next day.

June 20th - 21st --> no contact at all

June 22nd --> Messe Berlin gives Mandriva a deadline for 2 pm the same day. wobo sends another mail to Amme Nicolas and Hervé Yahi.

June 22nd --> Messe Berlin sends a mail to Mandriva and asks for an official statement for the press

June 22nd, 3pm --> Nino Gruettke informs me that Mandriva has not replied to his mails and the exhibition space will be given to free projects.

June 22nd, 4pm -- > Vanessa Wall sends an official statement to Messe Berlin with the same words as before: Mandriva can not come because the CEO had an accident, nothing else.

June 22nd, 4pm -- > Vanessa Wall sends a mail to wobo, complaing about him being unfair to Mandriva, making all that noise about the cancellation of Mandriva's participation in Berlin.

 

After this there has not been any communication between Mandriva, wobo and/or Messe Berlin.

 

Some details:

 

During the preparation (early 2009) Mandriva repeatedly told wobo how much they appreciate his help and the necessity of his participation at the stand as well as the participation of other helpers from the community. They were also aware that MandrivaUser.de did not apply for their own booth but focussed on helping Mandriva. This proves that these facts were well understood and there were no misunderstandings because of a language barrier.

 

During all that time from the first mails to the last (cancellation of the stand) nobody ever mentioned that the CEO planned to come to Berlin. As the main German contact one should believe they would tell wobo if that was planned.

 

Also one should assume that a company who is going to participate in a major European exhibition would do some planning and discuss this with the assisting community. Instead of communicating they complained about getting "annoying mails". More annoying still was the fact that not one single promise to reply a mail was held - not one.

 

Even the offer by the German community to "save" Mandriva by operating the stand in this situation was simply ignored, not even commented. the result was that Mandriva has to pay 4,200 Euros and does not even show their name at the exhibition - which had a special focus on french Linux companies!

 

 

Measures

 

At first we want to make clear that this reaction is not caused by the cancellation of Mandriva's participation in Berlin. This may have reasons which were/are not to be disclosed yet, we are not in a position to judge Mandriva's business decisions. This statement and all consequences from our side are our reaction to the way Mandriva, namely the persons in charge, treated a well known community leader and the whole German community.

 

The discussions about our reaction were ruled by the following criterae:

 

- our measures must not hurt the German users

We turned down all suggestions like quit working in the i18n team, translating Mandriva wiki pages or even closing MandrivaUser.de for good and turning our help and commitment to another user community.

 

- our measures must be visible to Mandriva

 

- our measures must be published in a way that Mandriva and the public understand that they are not aimed at the community nor the distribution but only against the company Mandriva.

 

We, the community MU.de as well as single users of our community will continue to

 

- operate and expand the independent project MandrivaUser.de, including our RPM repositories, the Mandriva Linux mirror, the release of a community magazine and our other activities for the German users.

- promote Mandriva Linux in Germany by showing up at events (FrOSCon, Chemnitzer Linuxtage, Linuxtag in Berlin)

- contribute our translation work (i18n, Mandriva Wiki).

 

We will

- not be visible as German Mandriva community by the link in the header of the official Mandriva forum.

We ask the webmaster of http://forum.mandriva.com to immediately remove the link on said website. By this measure we show that we do not regard MandrivaUser.de as part of those regions of the Mandriva universe where the company has any influence

 

- not be a part of the Mandriva Assembly any more. As of today wobo resign from his position as representative of the German community in the MUGs group, there will no successor to this position.

Unrelated to the issue of this statement we came to the conclusion that Mandriva did not show any interest in suggestions or actions of the MUGs if those suggestions were not Mandriva's suggestions. Mandriva seems not to be interested in a bilateral communication on equal terms but is rather interested in having an instrument for a better steering of the community's work. Therefore we believe that the German users do not lose anything by this withdrawal.

 

- not plan any more actions with Mandriva nor offer our help for any Mandriva actions in Germany.

We will, as said above, continue to participate in events but only as MandrivaUser.de, not related to Mandriva. If Mandriva plans to come to the Linuxtag 2010 we will only help if we have more manpower than we need to operate our own stand.

 

- limit our communication with Mandriva to the normal cases where a user has to communicate with the distributor of his distribution.

If Mandriva contacts us we will listen and discuss the issue at hand. But we do not promise to reply.

 

In short:

Mandriva Linux (the distribution) and the support for the German users - yes, with all the commitment as during the previous years!

Collaboration with Mandriva (the company) - no.

 

About this statement

 

This statement and the measures listed will be immediately effective after publication/sending. The text of this statement and all measures were discussed in public in the MandrivaUser.de forum. This forum is readable for everybody and all registered users were invited to participate in the discussion. This is to show that this statement was compiled under complete transparency.

 

On behalf of the independant German user community

MandrivaUser.de

 

wobo

Founder & Administrator MandrivaUser.de

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The following repercussions stem from Mandriva SA's last minute pullout from LinuxTag and virtual cutoff of communication with Wobo (Admin. mandriva.de) with whom they were collaborating with.

Thx David for taking this here, may I correct a small but itching mistake? The community I have the privilege to lead is MandrivaUser.de not "mandriva.de" (which was the URL for the official Mandriva partner in Germany.

 

It would have been nice when you had quoted not only what we will not do but also the things we will continue to do, as written in the statement:

 

We, the community MU.de as well as single users of our community will continue to

 

- operate and expand the independent project MandrivaUser.de, including our RPM repositories, the Mandriva Linux mirror, the release of a community magazine and our other activities for the German users.

- promote Mandriva Linux in Germany by showing up at events (FrOSCon, Chemnitzer Linuxtage, Linuxtag in Berlin)

- contribute our translation work (i18n, Mandriva Wiki).

 

wobo

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It only reaffirms my thoughts that Mandriva don't give a toss about the community and only care about themselves.

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Sorry to hear about the soured relations, wobo :sad:

I hope Mandriva reacts to your statement and smooths the waters. Then again, I'm not holding my breath.

 

If it helps, mandrivausers.org isn't listed on the mandriva forum either and that has never seemed to be a problem here.... I think?

Good luck keeping positive! :thumbs:

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Sorry for the typo, wobo. I edited my initial post to correct it.

Thx David.

 

This is gaining some momentum. linux-community.de published an article (the online portal of LinuxNewMedia, publisher of Linux Magazin and LinuxUser. Even heise.de who seldom publish such community things and who were not on the list of addresses I sent the statement to, published an article. I wonder where they learned about it - this internet is really something big and fast! :)

 

We know, we are well known in Germany and we can do without Mandriva S.A..

 

wobo

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Thanks David for posting this here. I've edited your post to include the complete public statement, because I thought that all the information should be available here for our members to read. I hope that's OK with you and Wobo.

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Wow... just wow. What a mess.

Glad that Vanessa and Anne didn't accuse wobo for sexual harassment.

I'm sorry, but this is totally ridiculous. Any serious company cannot treat its voluntary collaborators like that.

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This is gaining some momentum. linux-community.de published an article (the online portal of LinuxNewMedia, publisher of Linux Magazin and LinuxUser. Even heise.de who seldom publish such community things and who were not on the list of addresses I sent the statement to, published an article. I wonder where they learned about it - this internet is really something big and fast! :)

 

While I can understand that you are upset and that you wanted to cut your links with Mandriva, this is going way to far.

IMHO this is very childish revenge behaviour that doesn't benefit anyone other than your ego.

If I was a member of mandrivauser.de I would give up my membership after reading this.

 

What do you aim to achieve by doing this?

 

Think about how this reflects on you too, if I was a recruiter for a job and you applied for it, I wouldn't hire you, knowing this.

 

Revenge always leaves a bitter taste after the first feel-good effect has passed...

Edited by tux99

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tux99 maybe so - but also look at Mandriva. They ask for the community to help translating things or whatever, and ask the community to do this that and the other - for free - they don't pay and if they do you're very lucky. And then, they turn around and say "thanks for all the fish" rather than embrace the community and thank them for their efforts. All they clearly seem to do is look after their own and use the community for their own ill-gotten gains.

 

I don't blame wobo, or anyone in the community for taking such a step if they shaft you like that. I'm sorry, but that's not how you treat people and if you do, then expect to be treated the same way. What goes around, comes around.

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While I can understand that you are upset and that you wanted to cut your links with Mandriva, this is going way to far.

IMHO this is very childish revenge behaviour that doesn't benefit anyone other than your ego.

If I was a member of mandrivauser.de I would give up my membership after reading this.

 

Wobo did not make a lone decision here. This a consensus statement of MandrivaUser.de forum members discussed in a 6-page forum thread.

 

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=e...3D25899%26p%3D6

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look at Mandriva. They ask for the community to help translating things or whatever, and ask the community to do this that and the other - for free - they don't pay and if they do you're very lucky. And then, they turn around and say "thanks for all the fish" rather than embrace the community and thank them for their efforts. All they clearly seem to do is look after their own and use the community for their own ill-gotten gains.

Certainly but noone is forced to help them and in exchange everyone gets a great, well put together distro for free. Mandriva doesn't get any "fish" from anyone as all the help that they get from the volunteers benefits directly and first of all the users, not so much Mandriva (given that they don't have an effective solution to make profit out of the distro...).

Mandriva has no obligations to the users, same as users have no obligations to Mandriva.

 

But I don't think this is relevant here, the issue here is very specific about the events around LinuxTag.

 

I don't blame wobo, or anyone in the community for taking such a step if they shaft you like that. I'm sorry, but that's not how you treat people and if you do, then expect to be treated the same way. What goes around, comes around.

 

My comment was specifically about the last post from wobo, which to me looks like over-the-top childish revenge, the move of the mandrivauser.de communitiy to distance themselves from Mandriva is not what I criticised and is perfectly legitimate IMHO.

Edited by tux99

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Wobo did not make a lone decision here. This a consensus statement of MandrivaUser.de forum members discussed in a 6-page forum thread.

 

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=e...3D25899%26p%3D6

 

Wobo is driving it and not in a very mature way, IMHO, and even in that thread there are many comments that don't completely agree with what he wanted to do.

Edited by tux99

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My comment was specifically about the last post from wobo, which to me looks like over-the-top childish revenge, the move of the mandrivauser.de communitiy to distance themselves from Mandriva is not what I criticised and is perfectly legitimate IMHO.

Wobo did attend the LinuxTag event at his own expense. Featured this year at LinuxTag were French Linux companies. Wobo states that many of their products were running on Mandriva at the event. Mandriva S.A. had paid 4200 Euros for a booth at LinuxTag and were on the program to be there. Mandriva put up on The Official Mandriva Blog, the day before, on June 18th, that they would be at LinuxTag and would be happy to answer questions. They pulled out the next day on Friday, June 19th, only stating that they would not attend because the CEO had broken his leg. They also removed their blog post on Friday. Wobo (aided by MandrivaUser.de forum members) offered to fill in and man the booth in their steed. Mandriva S.A. said they would decide the next day, but wobo never heard again from them about it. Wobo had been manning a MandrivaUser.de booth at LinuxTag for the last several years, so he knows the drill. Unfortunately, these events transpired too late to arrange for a MandrivaUser.de booth this year.

 

LinuxTag attendees who were not privy to the above news expected Mandriva to be at the event. When they discovered the booth Mandriva had paid for being occupied by other sponsors, naturally questions were raised. Wobo along with some others from MandrivaUser.de were at the facility wearing their shirts with the MandrivaUser.de logo on it. Many asked wobo directly why Mandriva was a no show. He gave the official answer that the CEO had broken his leg, so Mandriva decided to cancel. Many (including myself) find this answer a bit thin. Sure, the CEO might have broken his leg (which apparently is true), but why couldn't Mandriva use other employees man the booth and answer questions. As wobo said, no one knew the CEO was slated to attend until he cancelled.

 

Of course questions abound with "what really happened". Many, especially the reporters, are waiting for an update on this hot story. Many asked wobo personally to fill them in on any developments. He told them he would, so he obliged. Wobo is operating in the open, not behind closed doors. If anyone at Mandriva S.A. gave a care, they would have been communicating with wobo. Mandriva S.A. should have been on the lookout for any fallout from the sudden decision to withdraw from LinuxTag at the last minute. Mandriva really needs a PR person. I honestly believe if Adam W. was still at Mandriva, events would have unfolded differently. Adam W. understands PR. Apparently no one else at Mandriva S.A. does.

 

Mandriva S.A. has had more than a week to "set the record straight", but they are playing the ostrich, and waiting for the tempest to blow over. I also find it oddly coincidental that Mandriva decides to do website maintenance today. Hmmm.

 

MandrivaUser.de of opinion about the events at the German Linux Day 2009

 

The behavior of the company to the German Mandriva user community, as well as against its MandrivaUser.de administrator us to publish this opinion. This opinion goes to the following recipients:

International Mandriva Forum (in English)

DistroWatch (English, upon request of the operator)

Linux users (at the request of editor)

ProLinux (on request of the operator)

free magazine (at the request of the editor)

 

The following persons are those comments received by mail:

Hervé Yahi (Mandriva CEO)

Anne Nicolas (Technical Director Mandriva)

Vanessa Wall (Communications Manager Mandriva)

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=e...3D25899%26p%3D6

 

Sorry, Mandriva S.A. shot themselves in the leg. Wobo did not pull the trigger.

Edited by David Batson

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Behaviour like this is symptomatic of corporate failure. This, along with Mandriva's poor financial position and the current economic climate may indicate troubles ahead. You might argue that Mandriva's financial position has been improving, but that was on the back of a stable and growing macro-environment, I do not see Mandriva's management as having the skills necessary to maintain this through a recession nor ensure survival. I could be wrong, only time will tell.

 

I would have liked to have explored this further, looking at any other messages I could see from their site but that appears to be down for me.

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