Mandriva, the company behind the GNU/Linux based distribution with same name, recently announced that they are giving the control of the distribution to the community. CEO of Mandriva SA, Jean-Manuel Croset, wrote, "After reviewing all your messages, suggestions, ideas and comments, Mandriva SA took the decision to transfer the responsibility of the Mandriva Linux distribution to an independent entity."
The development raised questions about the role Mandriva fork Mageia will play in this community controlled Mandriva. Mandriva clarifies that there will be active collaboration between the two teams. For their server product, Mandriva will collaborate with the Mageia community.
We approached the Mageia team for their inputs but have not heard anything from them yet. However, my thinking was right. The Mageia team has posted a blog about their role in the new Mandriva.
When Mandriva made that decision they contacted the Mageia board to discuss the opportunity to have Mageia representatives joining their working group. We don't know the details of the discussion as it was kept private by Mandriva. It seems that the two teams did not agree on issues and the Mageia board declined the offer.
What was the reason Mageia team declined the offer? The Mageia team has been as transparent as possible in this matter. It seems Mandriva did not agree to the governance model of Mageia. The Mageia blog says, "The Mageia.org governance model is good and has been defined for very specific reasons: independence of the Mageia project from commercial constraints, democratic elections, meritocratic inclusion, no appointed or reserved positions.It would have been, in our view, an excellent open platform for Mandriva to join. We do not yet know the reasons why Mandriva ultimately felt this was not a good fit for them at this time.
Other reasons the Mageia team cited for declining Mandriva offer are:
We have invested a lot of time and energy over many conversations and discussions to define Mageia on several levels. And we continue to release updates and the betas and RCs for Mageia 2, and we regularly put our contributions back into the Linux ecosystem.
- We do not have much information about the directions in which this future entity might go, nor about the goals of each of the potential participants.
- We do not wish to dilute our (small) resources further on a new thing to define and build; we think our priorities are elsewhere right now.
- All our work is free software, so we can already share code and collaborate with other distributions when needed, without joining a new entity.
It will be interesting to see how the two communities will work together. Since the base of Mandriva and Mageia is same if the teams decide not to work together it will be wastage of resources. Mandriva was once the 'Ubuntu' of the Linux world, but declined gradually. Will Mandriva/Mageia regain their glory if the two projects continue to work separately?