Mandriva Fork Mageia to See Alpha this December

by Ostatic Staff - Nov. 09, 2010

In light of continuing financial troubles, exiting developers and managers, and the uncertain future of desktop development, a group of former employees and developers--with community supporters--came together to fork Mandriva in order to preserve and further the beloved system. Things have been quiet since the initial announcement of Mageia, until recently. Some details of the plan and a roadmap have now emerged.

One of the first important aspects to be ironed out was the formation of the various development and management teams. Some of these teams include Packaging, Distro Developers, Translators, Documentation, and QA team, Triage team, and many others. Each of these teams are still accepting help, but many familiar names have already registered. In fact, development is underway and a new alpha is plannned for December.

According to the Mageia Blog, work has been progressing quite aggressively. The Buildsystem is in place based on Mandriva One and utilizing Puppet system administration software. Iurt is being used to recompile the SRPMS for the various architectures, languages, and package updates. LDAP is being used for login authentication and repsys will be activated to allow developer uploads. The Buildsystem is the very heart of any software project and its completion will mark a milestone for this new distribution.

Many online resources have found temporary homes with permanent hosting developments evolving daily. The blog and Website are being hosted on PLF until the move to Gandi is completed. The wiki is still in flux, but documents are being gathered here for now. Artwork and graphics are being ironed out as well. Work is underway to develop a unique Mageia logo and remove all the Mandriva specific icons and branding from Mageia codebase. A roadmap and technical specifications are located on the temporary wiki currently, again awaiting the move to their permanent home. A new package database is being written to allow users to peruse the list of software offered in Mageia and allow them to make requests, vote, and test packages. The Mageia Code of Conduct is posted as well.

The roadmap was posted a few days ago with several exciting entries and milestones listed. For October the roadmap was announced, policies were posted, and a Mageia Weekly News was initiated. The new logo submission deadline is slated for November 9, so hopefully it will be revealed soon. Work on the servers is also listed for November and is coming right along. The teams, board, and council were put in place.

The most exciting news will come in December when users should get their first glimpse of the new distribution. Goals for this release are to have the licensing components completed, new themes, icons, branding, and signatures to replace those owned by Mandriva, and double and triple check any retained Mandriva tools for terms of use. Things not completed will be backporting, a new release cycle, or new features. So, the initial alpha will just basically still be very much Mandriva without the branding.

A second alpha is scheduled for January, but no changes have been made to the goals as of yet. In February the board/council re-elections are scheduled. The final ISOs are planned for March or April, again with no further feature details given at this time. September 18 is Mageia's official birthday.

So, for those who were wondering, Mageia development is in full swing. The first release probably won't contain a lot of new features, but a new look is planned. The significance of the first release will be to establish Mageia as a distribution, introduce it to the public, and mainly to say "We are here!"