As every body knows, Mandriva‘s situation ever since the first signs of the company being in serious financial difficulties started resurfacing earlier this year. But apart from occasional rumours and overoptimistic statements by the company’s CEO, there has been very little to settle the nerves of those who love the popular distribution. If anything, the rumour mill of the people connected with the company and the distribution has grown ever more pessimistic in recent weeks. Augusto Campos, the founder of BR-Linux.org, has written a lengthy post on the subject, evoking such terms as Liquidação judicial (article in Portuguese). Frédéric Cuif, co-founder of the French Linux Users Group, also expresses a feeling of disenchantment over the growing alienation between the company and the community in an article entitled Le divorce est consommé… (in French).
In a separate story, Bruno Cornec articulates his worries about the future of Mandriva (the distribution) even if the company survives: “So it seems that the orientation that will be taken is to favour the activity of software selling to the detriment of open-source activities. Anyway, without Olivier, Anne, Fred, Nicolas, our Brazilian friends of Cooker, and all the people who have recently left, I have no hope that the new Mandriva firm will be interested in maintaining a distribution any more.” This follows a recent departure of a large number of Mandriva developers and contributors, including Anne Nicolas, Mandriva’s Director of Engineering. As a result, a rather humorous bug report, number 60936, was filed with the distribution’s bug tracking system early last week: “Description of problem: After I installed the most recent version of Mandriva Linux, staff started to leave the company. How reproducible: Install Mandriva Linux and wait for people to leave the company.” In the meantime, LinuxFR.org, a popular French Linux web site, also takes a stab at Mandriva in Une distribution Mandriva Linux 2011 pour quoi ? (in French).
The only good news is that “Cooker”, the distribution’s development branch, continues to receive updates – at least for now. But whether we’ll ever see another release of Mandriva Linux, that’s far from assured….