First, thank you all very much for your answers. I can't believe the
response... a lot of great ideas in less than 24 hours. If anyone else
has ideas, please let me know, as the project is far from over. The
developers' mailing list at Mandrake is buzzing with audio talk now.
Here are the major complaints about Mandrake 9.0 in general, with
comments. Where applicable, I will forward the suggestions or problems
to the appropriate developers at Mandrake.
1. Supermount problems in 9.0
This is well known. This month a few people have been patching up
supermount for 9.1. As for 9.0, most people find the problems
tolerable, but you can easily disable supermount on afflicted drives by
editing 'supermount' out of your /etc/mtab and /etc/fstab files.
2. Desire for unpatched kernel
Mandrake has always included an unpatched version of the kernel. It is
called kernel-linus rather than kernel, and is not installed by
default. You can install it with
# urpmi kernel-linus
3. Problems with alsa sound quality on certain devices
If these are alsa-specific problems (occur on other distros), please
report them to alsa-project.org
. If they are Mandrake specific, it
would be nice if you could test the 9.1beta2 release to see if we have
fixed it yet. If not, please report to http://qa.mandrakesoft.com
4. Drakx (our installer) too simplistic
With most new distros tending toward MORE simplistic installers, I have
a hard time understanding this. Try expert mode first. If that's still
too simple for you, you're welcome to make suggestions at
mailto:email@example.com our developers' mailing list. We have
added a rudimentary sound card and sound system (alsa/oss) configurator
in the Mandrake Control Panel, so you can change sound system and card
quite easily at any time.
5a. Drakx doesn't detect/configure USB audio
Pixel, the mastermind behind our installer was very surprised by this.
He says if you send him your /proc/bus/usb/devices list, he will fix the
problem. The exception is the Extigy. Currently it's not detected, and
they're not sure if we can include the drivers for it.
6. Drakx installs too much by default
I assume this is to help new users get a semi-complete distro in one
step. As you mentioned, the alternative is to select no "categories" of
packages, and select packages individually. We offer both methods.
7. No low latency patch
Currently we have a mini-low latency patch in our main kernel. I
'think' we are waiting for the rest to be officially incorporated into
the main kernel, but I'm not sure. I'll ask. A fully patched
low-latency kernel has been available on the Mandrake Club website for
8.2 and 9.0 for some time now though. Not sure if it will be default in
9.1 or not. I hope so.
8. Libraries and header files are in separate RPMs and must be installed
We do this because the average user doesn't need header files and they
take up extra space. It is not true that they must be installed
separately though. If you urpmi the -devel package, the library package
will be installed automatically, but not vice versa.
9. Can't run jack unless root
I don't know much about this, or whether it's true or not in 9.1. I've
asked some people to look into it. Could someone tell me what commands
they would like to execute but can't?
Now for requested applications. To my surprise, most of these we do not
include. I will do my best to get most of them included in 9.1. Some
others we already include, or can't include. I'll comment below.
Requested that we include already:
Requested that we can't include:
cinelerra (includes mp3 encoder)
both may be available at plf.zarb.org
, a site run by outlaws :-)
realplay (proprietary, available at www.mandrakeclub.com
Requested that we don't plan to include:
broadcast 2000 (obsolete, hard to maintian)
Requested that I know Tobbe is working on currently:
all are available for Mandrake 9.0 at:
but are completely unsupported
They will be in 9.1 for sure.
Requested that I will personally look into:
spiral* (won't compile with gcc 3.2.1, will need to ask author to fix)
Finally for favorite apps. I wanted to know what apps we should focus
on, as well as estimate how well we are doing at including popular apps.
Favorite apps we include: 56% of votes
Favorite apps we don't include (yet): 38% of votes
Favorite apps we can't/won't include: 6% of votes
So it looks like we're not doing too bad! Looks like 9.1 could include
94% of your favorite apps.
I really want to thank you all again for your help.
Mandrake 9.1 should be released in April. Until then feel free to ask
questions, pose suggestions, and submit bug reports. I will be on this
list indefinitely I hope, as I'm a heavy Audacity user. :-)
Austin Acton Hon.B.Sc.
Synthetic Organic Chemist, Teaching Assistant
Department of Chemistry, York University, Toronto
MandrakeClub Volunteer (www.mandrakeclub.com