Pardus Future Uncertain, Fork Probable
Pardus, a TUBITAK sponsored Turkish distribution, has long been respected in Linux circles for its stability, simplicity, and polish. But news coming from a former developer has led a group of community developers and volunteers to speak of a fork.
In a lengthy explanation Pardus developer Bahadır Kandemir said, "They are not shutting down the project, they are killing it very slowly." He's speaking of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey and their recent decisions that spell nothing less than the abandonment of this wonderful Linux distribution. Political climates are volatile and evolving by the day in the Middle East and it appears this little project may be yet another casualty. Kandemir explains that many of those in management who cared and supported the project were reassigned or given early retirement. Boards were manned with "non-academic and non-talented people who has nothing to do with science, research and development." Despite TUBITAK denials, developers have been resigning on a daily bases according to Kandemir. He said that Pardus had about 35 developers last year and now only five remain.
Perhaps there is a shred of good news though. Kandemir mentions plans for a fork, but holds out little hope of success. His opinion seems to be in contrast to a motivated group of users on the Pardus Worldforum. A discussion emerged soon after Kandemir's letter hit the Pardus developers mailing list and the thread continues to grow. At this time discussions of project home, communication methods, and duties are providing some hope to loyal users.
Pardus 2011 is over a year old and due to be replaced, but no roadmap or plan is in place for the next release. If the worst comes to pass, Pardus as it was will be missed, but many community projects turn out rather well. Perhaps we've not seen the last of Pardus after all.