Fred Lepied had a chat about our new roadmap with Club members a few days ago. I have edited up a list of questions and answers from the log, and it's included here. EDIT 2013The original log was previously linked here but has been lost. Where I have something to add or clarify, I've inserted editor's notes. Some of the questions were actually answered by Warly, as you can see from the original log. The questions are pretty much verbatim, I just fixed the spelling on a few, but the answers are paraphrased from what Fred actually wrote, in better English (it was a very rushed chat).
Q1. Will the "Limited Edition 2005" distro be split into several flavors, like Discovery and PowerPack? A download Edition (3CD available on public mirrors) will be released?
A1. There will be only one version available through the Mandrakestore. Club members will have access to several different versions, and there will be a Download edition as before.
Q2. Will the Club Members get the ISO in advance?
A2. Yes, as usual.
Q3. Will there be a "Community" and "Official" version of LE 2005?
A3. No, there will only be one release of Limited Edition 2005.
Q4. In sept/oct 2005, will both the x86-32 and x86-64 flavors be released for Club Members at the same date?
A4. If the development planning makes it possible, yes.
Q5. One year is a good time frame for people who want a stable distro. But for those who want a cutting-edge distro, does Mdk plan to release some Preview releases' (a cutting-edge distro with KDE4.0beta/RC for instance in Q1 2006) for Club Members?
A5. Yes, we plan to have interim releases for Club members. The details of this scheme have not yet been finalised.
Q6. Will it support dual-core dual processor?
A6. Limited Edition 2005 already supports dual-core Opterons, including support for two dual-core processors on one motherboard.
Q7. Will 64 bits become the default arch or not?
A7. Not yet.
Q8. What are the so-famous Conectiva technologies which will be included in Mandrakelinux? 2006 edition should include 'connectiva technology'... What does it means exactly? Isn't everything GPLed and avalaible since a long time? Now MDK is acquiring Conetiva, is there any plan to merge urpmi and apt-rpm? Are you keeping urpmi?
A8. We are evaluating several Conectiva technologies with the Conectiva developers, especially the smart package manager and some of Conectiva's kernel technology. We are studying how to combine urpmi and smart. (ed. note: smart's dependency resolving techniques are generally superior to urpmi's, while urpmi's supplementary features are more developed than smart's, so we need to find some way of combining the strengths of the two.)
Q9. Is Mdk going to maintain its focus on being a desktop OS .. or is it aiming more for the server crowd?
A9. We're going to try and continue to be both!
Q10. If i have understand, for the same MandrakeClub price we have no more Two distribution in one year, but only one in one year?
A10. We will provide extra material for the Club to compensate for the longer release cycle. We will try and find the best things we can to satisfy Club members.
Q11. What will be the names of the different flavors and how many CD's will be?
A11. There will be no special names. The download edition will be 3 CDs, the Club standard edition 4 CDs including proprietary plugins and drivers, and the edition for Club silver and above members will be 6 CDs or 1 DVD.
Q12. Will you still support many languages?
A12. Yes, nothing has changed in that respect.
Q13. Are you guys working on better integration between the MDKclub, MDKonline and MDK expert?
A13. We are working to improve the Club right now.
Q14. Where can we provide input and see what is coming up on the club improvements?
A14. A robust method for communication between Mandrakesoft and Club members is being developed. (ed. note: for now, you can email email@example.com).
Q15. What is the usa market penetration of connectiva, now? Near future with mandiva? Is business is really winner?
A15. Conectiva's business is mainly in South America. (ed. note: AFAIK, Conectiva have no sales or support presence outside South America. However, the U.S.A. is certainly a big target market for growth at the moment for the combined company.)
Q16. What is the priority target for MandrekLinux : the entreprise user or the house user?
A16. The enterprise in France, and retail / home users everywhere else.
Q17. So 64 bits will continue to be only manage by GB? no contibutors?
A17. We are going to have a 64bit system for the compilation cluster, so it will be better soon. However, you can already contribute to the x86-64 edition. (ed. note: GB is Gwenole Beauchesne, who oversees the x86-64 port of Mandrakelinux. Currently, building of that edition is done separately from the 32 bit edition, and the packages are synced manually between the two, so this is why having a 64-bit system in the main compilation cluster will aid development.)
Q18. Is hardware support going to be same or better (webcam, raid, etc)?
A18. That's one of our major goals.
Q19. Will mandrake 10.2 official be available for members soon?
A19. It's a matter of weeks now. (ed. note: Limited Edition 2005 is currently targeted for release to Club members and FTP mirrors on April 6th).
Q20. Will you support iPod?
A20. I think we already support USB part but not software. (ed. note: iPods interface as regular USB storage devices, but have a special database of music files which needs to be built for music to be played. There are several Linux applications to do this, and some of them are available for Mandrakelinux already, for example gtkpod).
Q21. Is any work being done to smoothen the upgrade process from release to release?
A21. We always try to put emphasis on upgrades but it's a hard test job.
Q22. Do you feel that linux interest really more Hardware-constructors than some years ago?
A22. Some yes, others no.
Q23. With the European software patent directive, are you afraid for MDK and free software's future?
A23. Yes, it's a big threat against free software.
Q24. Only one release a year instead of two. Will the price of the boxes be twice more expensive?
Q25. I hope all the i18n packages be packed in the first 3 CDs. Will you?
A25. We can't include them all, especially OpenOffice-org-help and aspell. But we try our best to have the most possible. (ed. note: i18n means 'internationalization' - i18n packages provide translations for non-English speaking users).
Q26. Is the limited edition 2005 a stable release? Will it be availiable on DVD for members?
A26. Yes and yes.
Q27. I see there are new free Japanese / Chinese fonts in open source. Will these be incorporated in a future MDK release?
A27. I think we have already some, Pablo is following this closely. (ed. note: yes, with the help of our Chinese and Japanese-speaking users, support for Asian languages and script has improved considerably in recent versions. LE 2005 includes several new Chinese and Japanese fonts, refinements to the font rendering in these languages, and updated input methods.)
Q28. On official servers, there is no version changes for software. For the community, new versions of software appears sometimes. Official is more reliable, community more cutting edge, isn't it? Will it be something equivalent with 2005 LE?
A28. Yes, same principle.
Q29. Will you plan to make a kind of cooker snapshot between 2 mdk releases?
A29. Yes, that's probably what the interim releases will be.
Q30. Mandrakelinux's new desktop theme is ugly comparing to SuSE and LinSpire, your competitors. Will you make a change?
A30. (ed. note: this refers to the new background and boot image in Limited Edition 2005. Warly's answer follows.) I love this wallpaper! The others were so boring.
Q31. How many not official versions will there be between each version for user of mandrakelinux as members or not members? For exemple between mandrakelinux 2006 and mandrakelinux 2007.
A31. The planning isn't complete yet, so we can't give a definitive answer.
Q32. Will you make more effort for kde integration? espacially fonts... like suse do
A32. We always try our best for KDE integration.
Q33. How about a theme contest for every release?
A33. That sounds like a good idea.
Q34. What about the Mandrakelinux Control Center? more options from conectiva tech, near future? some examples?
A34. We'll use the experience of Conectiva to improve our tools.
Q35. What is the status of SATA/RAID support now? I have experienced issues with this in the past.
A35. It's improving. We've tried to improve it in RC2, especially in stage1 of the installer. (ed. note: the stock kernel is getting better with each 2.6 series release, which helps. Limited Edition 2005 should work with almost all SATA controllers, and can install from SATA optical devices).
Q36. Will new nvidia package will package instantly for current kernel?
A36. With dkms? (ed. note: we actually have DKMS nvidia packages in Club for 10.1 already).
Q37. I think there must be a robot which compiles those drivers automatically.
A37. yes that's definitively something we need to do. (ed. note: this is referring to kernel modules outside the main kernel)
Q38. Not members of mandrakeclub will be able to connect on the mandrakeForum one day, in order to meet there more users than at the moment?
A38. I think there is already open forums. (ed. note: yes, there are a couple of forums open to all).
Q39. Any collaboration between mdk and hardware manufactures? We need more certified hardware and (binary) drivers, even if they are not open source.
A39. Yes we are working hard in this area.
Q40. Hardware manufactures are not enjoy to develop certified mandrake hardware?
A40. Yes we do certifications.