Before you start reading this post, let me say upfront that you will not find any complaints about technical flaws of Linux here. I want to write about events related to the human side of distributions, OK?
For people who enjoy tinkering with their computers, or those who like to see their systems perform actions that they never thought were possible, the freedom of Linux provides satisfactions, amazement, and joy. For example, KDE developers have a legitimate reason to celebrate because their efforts were acknowledged with the award of Best Desktop of 2011.
However, not everything is happiness in the world of Linux. Preceding KDE's award, the first trimester of this year was hit by three sad incidents concerning some notorious KDE distros: PCLinuxOS, Pardus, and Mandriva.
Although you can use other DEs with PCLOS, it is eminently a KDE system that you can rely on. I have been using it both in a desktop and a laptop computer since version 2011.6 and I am completely satisfied by its performance.
User satisfaction is not a coincidence. Texstar, the founder of PCLinuxOS, puts a lot of effort in addressing bugs, polishing the distribution and, in short, making a Linux distro that you can count on for every possible task you want a computer to perform. In fact, he has worked so passionately that right now he is on a sick leave: he posted an announcement saying that doctors told him to rest.
This sad news, however, is not stopping PCLinuxOS. Wisely, while Texstar recovers, other prominent members of the community have taken the wheel.
Let us all wish Texstar a speedy recovery and a good ride to Old-Polack, Neal, and the others who are now in charge.
It seems that Pardus was also hit during the first months of the year. Apparently, some developers are no longer with the project and Pardus 2011.2 was the last desktop version of the distribution. It is hard to confirm the information because the posts come in languages other than English.
So far, we know that there will be a Pardus workshop (March 23 &24) to decide on a roadmap. I hope everything goes well.
Mandriva's woes have not been new: the distro's year opened with a short post on Jan 17th stating the grim future of the Mandriva S.A. (the company), which was followed by a shorter post 10 days later.
There was a third post on the 30th promising more news to come in mid-February. Unfortunately, it is March 7th already and the company has not disclosed any information about its immediate future.
The common denominator here is that, in the world of Linux, developers and communities become more visible as they are: humans and groups of people who laugh, sweat, suffer, fight, succeed, and fail sometimes. Somehow, I feel honored to use an OS that reminds me of the people behind it instead of being used simply as a market good.
Let us see what news March brings...