September 14th, 2007
Lenovo is running a poll to see which distribution people would prefer to see pre-installed on future Lenovo systems. A few days back we were languishing in 8th place or so with under 1,000 votes. Guillaume (who’s in charge of the press department now) suggested we post about the poll in a few places and try and get the vote out. In my infinite wisdom I said nah, it’ll never work, too much trouble. Fortunately Guillaume and Francois over-ruled me, so we posted little articles to the Club, the company blog, and via email to our subscriber list. Of course, I was completely wrong, and the response has been great: we’re now running a clear third behind Ubuntu and Debian (whose strong showing surprises me a bit, but is fairly irrelevant, as there’s no chance in hell Lenovo would go with Debian anyway) but ahead of SUSE (even if you tot up the votes for SLED, SUSE and OpenSUSE) and Fedora, with over 2,800 votes. So thanks to everyone, it’s great to see the Mandriva community out in force once more
Work on 2008 continues at a relentless pace. We’ve zapped probably a couple hundred bugs since RC1 came out, including some pretty big ones, and the release_critical bug list is starting to look pretty small and manageable. Olivier seems to be on top of the new system for ensuring we don’t have problems with DKMS modules (like NVIDIA and ATI) after kernel updates any more, which is great. There’ve been some really nice improvements to urpmi and rpmdrake, including some noticeable speedups in rpmdrake in particular. There’s been a *lot* of fixes for the new menu system, which is starting to look far more organized than in RC1.
Personally I finished rebuilding 2007.0 packages in main and started on 2007.1. Mostly just straight rebuilds, but had to do some significant work on xcdroast – with much thanks to the Fedora maintainers, from whom I took a large amount of patches to make it buildable and functional with modern GTK+ and cdrkit – and chromium, for which I thank the Debian maintainer equally for much the same reasons. So if you are for some reason struck with a desire to indulge in nostalgia for 2001 and try to write a disc with xcdroast’s hilariously counter-intuitive interface rather than with modern k3b or nautilus, you’ll be able to do so fine in 2008, but I recommend you check into the nearest asylum straight afterwards.
Interesting stuff in progress at the moment – we’re getting a lot of reports of sound issues with the seven zillion slightly different variants of Intel’s high definition audio chipsets, many of which are fixed in ALSA 1.0.15rc1 or latest hg (the revision control system ALSA uses). We’re considering whether to just do safe backports to 1.0.14 or whether it would be overall better to upgrade to 1.0.15rc1 or hg. It’s a bit of a tough judgment call.
We’re also looking at the ATI driver situation. Anssi (who is now maintaining the ATI and NVIDIA proprietary drivers) is trying to package the new proprietary driver using /etc/alternatives , as we do for NVIDIA, which would allow us to use the new version of the driver for HD 2xxx cards only, and the old version for older cards. I’m keeping an eye on the work taking place on the new open source driver, to see whether it may be better than avivo early enough to include in 2008, though I don’t expect it will be. We will also be shipping two alternate packages of the old free driver in 2008 – the stable 6.6 release and the current 6.7 development series. Each one has advantages and drawbacks. 6.6 will be the default, but you’ll be able to switch to 6.7 just by swapping packages.