Tuesday, November 27, 2007

No. DistroWatch was wrong.

Lately there have been a lot of commentaries made about Distrowatch declining to list the news that Mepis 7 Series had entered a Release Candidate stage. Some of the commentaries contained lines that the Distrowatch controllers "righteously" responded to the Mepis Community.

Sorry. Wrong. That line ends here, and it ends now. One of the major factual errors that Mepis has been fighting over the years is that it is a spin-off of Ubuntu or other distributions. I see countless articles, editorials, and posts go up that place Mepis after Ubuntu. Sorry, that isn't true. Mepis came before Ubuntu and is the grand-daddy of the Linux Desktop as a LiveCD. Yes, Knoppix came first, but Knoppix has always been a tech demonstration, a proof-of-concept over what could be done with Linux. Knoppix was not, and as far as I am aware, never, built as a usable Linux Desktop.


Edit: I was going somewhere with that train of thought and completely forgot to conclude it. One of the reasons why Mepis has been fighting the perception that Mepis is a spin-off is repeated attempts by Distrowatch posters and controllers to classify Mepis as a spin-off and remove the distribution from the list of separate Linux Distributions, placing it under Debian(pure) or Ubuntu. Distrowatch has shown a disturbing trend in the past to minimize or decrease the attention paid to Mepis, and from what I have read and heard, to other distributions as well. I find it disconcerting on a personal level that many of the same posters and controllers who argued that Mepis was a Spin-off worked to include legitimate spin-offs such as Kubuntu and Xubuntu as their own separate distributions. I think such is called a a double-standard.

I've also brought up before in the post titled It Just Works? that many of the known Distrowatch ratings exploits had been developed by Ubuntu members. Someone else raised the question of this: How did the Ubuntu Forums know what to look for to exploit the ratings system? I don't have a clear answer, and any answer I could give is merely speculation, hearsay, and conjecture.

Other posts I've seen around indicate that some controllers of Distrowatch have personal vendettas against certain distributions. I somewhat touched on that topic as well in It Just Works? when going over the F.U.D. that was and is being launched against Mepis, as well as how Mepis stepped on the toes of various reporters and analysts. Distrowatch Controllers have never explicitly said anything bad about the Mepis Community before, but there are recorded postings made by the controllers that contain attacks against the Mepis Developers.


Fact is, Distrowatch claims that Mepis never announced any change logs , it's primary defense against having not posted any information about Mepis: Wrong.


All of the ISO's released by Mepis are simply rollups of all the existing changes made through Synaptic, as well as modifications to the startup process. While the status of what makes up a Mepis release has come up multiple times before in the Mepis.org and Mepislovers.org forums, many legitimate news sites refuse to accept forum souces as factual information. The Mepis (Un)Official FAQ has been updated to clearly describe what makes up a release ISO.

As far as I can determine, rather than doing a little bit of research, or appearently even bothering to contact anybody within Mepis, Distowatch willingly chose to ignore Mepis.

Sorry. There was nothing righteous about Distrowatch's response, and nothing righteous about it's emailed responses to Mepis Community Members who had the guts to out the Distrowatch controllers. Distrowatch owes the Mepis Community a huge Front Page apology, and all of Distrowatch's defenders need to get their act together. I'm not saying they need to apologize, but some such as Debian-News? Might want to think real hard about what they post.

Personally? All this event does is prove just how out of touch Distrowatch really is with Linux Communities. It's just another reason why Distrowatch is rapidly being removed from the list of sites to visit when learning about Linux.
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