Mandriva 2011 RC 1 Available - Quick Look
Almost as if Eugeni Dodonov read my post last night, he answered earlier this evening that the ISOs are now on the mirrors. I had found a copy a couple of hours before his post, so I was already burning. I had been looking forward to seeing the newer Mandriva, but in the end I'm afraid I was slightly disappointed.
I was expecting something I thought would be really pretty. Although beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I wasn't all that impressed with the appearance. To be fair though, Mandriva usually hides its final wallpaper until the Final is released. So, I think this tired ole generic wispy blue is just a placeholder. In fact, the installed system gives you their old purply penguin outlines from last release.
The boot screens and splashes appear changed to a powder blue background with Mandriva with their logo almost appearing etched or chiseled into stone. The login manager was new as well. It was interesting. Your users are depicted graphically and all are lined up for the choosing. One you select one by mouse-click, it enlarges and a textarea for the password appears. The only other elements were two large buttons - one for Reboot and one for Shutdown.
It did sport some new icons, and in Linux icon sets are a hot commodity. These new ones were okay, though they didn't make me go "ooo" and "ah." The "plasma-applet-stackfolder application" was preset and working fine. I suppose those could be handy. But that menu... I know someone has put a whole lot of work into that new Rosa menu, but it's just not my cup of tea. It reminds me of the older GNOME "more applications" menu or the new GNOME Shell. I don't like a large screen-size application launcher that closes automatically upon clicking something. At least with Rosa you can get back in with one click of the menu button and another click of the "applications" button. Fortunately, as I mentioned in the early stages, a regular menu is in Add Widgets and it can be set to open the classic menu or the newer Launcher style.
All that looks stuff aside, I was really looking forward to seeing the new Mandriva Control Center that was alluded to in Dodonov's post last night. But it just looked like the same ole same ole to me. They could have and probably did do some work under the hood, but there was no changes to the appearance. And the issue of setting up graphical drivers mentioned in an earlier post still exists. I looked in the software manager and NVIDIA proprietary drivers were included, but the configuration just seemed broken. Everything else seemed to function correctly as far as I tested. The installer hasn't changed to the naked eye either except for the main image.
It appears Mandriva did go ahead and migrate to RPM 5 as planned. Some other version numbers include:
** Linux 22.214.171.124
** X.Org X Server 1.10.2
** GCC 4.6.1
** LibreOffice 3.3.2
** Firefox 5.0
** Opera 11.50
** KDE 4.6.4
** QT 4.7.3
** Python 2.7.2
** Perl 5.12.3
Adjusted release dates are now July 27 for Release Candidate 2 and August 29 for Mandriva 2011 Final. Check back in two months for a final assessment.