Colin.Guthr.ie Illegitimi non carborundum

22Mar/112

Desktop Summit

Desktop Summit LogoThis is just a quick reminder that the Call for Papers for the Desktop Summit ends on Friday. So get your thinking caps on and write some abstracts! I've submitted my own proposal which would discuss the UI layers which expose PulseAudio in both KDE and GNOME, how they differ and what is missing (hopefully a lot less will be missing by the time the summit comes around in August!!).

I've included my abstract below just in case you are interested.

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15Feb/111

The Magic is Back!

As many users in the community know, the Mandriva Linux distribution was forked a few months ago to form Mageia. This is a community driven effort to setup a properly organised and people-powered version of our favourite distro. I've personally not had nearly as much time to concentrate on helping the efforts here as I'd have like (various work and real life things getting in the way), but I've been stunned by the amount of time, effort and good will piling into the project from all corners. Various Mandriva contributors, both past and present have helped set things up and today I was able to update and reboot into my new operating system!

[colin@jimmy ~]$ uname -a
Linux jimmy 2.6.37-desktop-3.mga #1 SMP Tue Jan 25 14:16:42 UTC 2011 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
[colin@jimmy ~]$ cat /etc/mageia-release
Mageia release 1 (Cauldron) for x86_64

Yay! Now I should be able to step up the pace of my contributions as I find it much easier and more natural to work and test as I go on my own computer rather than in a virtualised environment.

Personally I upgraded my computer from Cooker which I had frozen in a pre-rpm5 state, diligently not doing any updates despite wanting several newer packages (esp the latest Firefox 4 beta). The upgrade itself went fairly smoothly, but had some hiccups. These were mostly solved when I realised I still had a bunch of stuff in my urpmi skip.list and cleaned it out (I had various rpm things in there to prevent rpm5 being accidentally installed - I'm sure it'll be good eventually, but I'll hold off for a little while :)).

So now I can update my computer again, the magic can return! Mageia has arrived!!!

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18Sep/1016

There is no spoon (but there is a fork)

As many followers of the Linux ecosystem will already be aware, Mandriva Linux (my personal distro of choice) has been through some turbulent times of late. Financial troubles meant that Edge IT (a subsidiary of Mandriva SA) was liquidated and all employees made redundant as a result. While it was not widely known, many of the core developers were technically employees of Edge IT rather than Mandriva SA, so this lay off was actually quite drastic.

Those of us involved in the community surrounding Mandriva have obviously been worried that the future of our favourite distro is in doubt, so it is with great pleasure that I pass on news of the upcoming fork of Mandriva Linux: Mageia

Obviously the obligatory slashdot story only really draws comments on the choice of name. Personally, I quite like it (more so than the name "Mandriva" (which itself was a contraction of Mandrake and Conectiva - partly due to the use of the name Mandrake drawing some legal issues)). And choosing a name is no easy business: there are trademark issues to consider and domain names to secure: this can seriously limit your choice. Regardless of the practicalities, "that which we call a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet". In other words, the name doesn't matter, what really matters is the work done and the contributions to be made to the wider Linux ecosystem.

Mandriva has long been regarded as a good participant in upstream projects, contributing to the Kernel, Graphic and Audio subsystems as well as being a very active contributor to higher level desktop environments such as KDE (and GNOME and XFCE and others too). With so many of the key contributors following this fork and contributing to Mageia, I feel this tradition will continue and grow with time.

So, as I said in one of the many "goodbye" emails I've had to write following the lay offs: The future is unwritten. Let's write it!

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