MEPIS Linux Loses Another Support Site

It seems that MEPIS is having trouble again. Some of you may recall a few bumps in the road in the past for MEPIS and the MEPIS community. Dotmepis.org, set out to fill a niche for the MEPIS community by providing community developed packages and kernels for advanced users. However, according to Josh, webmaster of dotmepis.org, “it has become increasingly clear that the Mepis development team, reasons that are still unexplained to me, is not a fan of what we have been doing.”

He went on to state, “I personally cannot say exactly why, or what specifically has caused this rift. What is obvious to me, and the rest of the admin team here at dotMepis, is that a true technical community, with our combined insight and experience does not fit within the current framework of Mepis. We have contributed untold amounts of time and effort in making debs to enhance Mepis, providing support for all types of issues, and building friendships among each other. For some reason, that has apparently angered some within Mepis to the point that they will no longer support our efforts. Rather than continuing on in a more censored fashion, and with no hope of any inputs into improving Mepis, we have decided it is simply time to move on.”

Therefore, dotmepis.org will be closing its doors on all 333 of its community members. How is it that a distrowatch #4 distro can have NO developer community? Your guess is as good as mine.

This announcement comes on the coat tails of a release of Professional Quality Sound Applications that were developed by dotmepis and its team. Even Debian proper didn’t have the applications that went into this release. Odd that you would feel a release such as this to be a hinderance to your community, but it is obvious by the announcement that this must have been what took place.

The question remains to be answered: Will MEPIS ever be a true Community driven open source flavor of Linux? It could have been what Ubuntu IS, had it allowed a community of developers in. I am confused about how a community of package developers (developing according to Debian package standards) and kernel hackers (developing kernels according to Debian kernel standards) could NOT BE CONSIDERED A WELCOME ASSET TO MEPIS? With the loss of this site, Warren Woodford, the creator of MEPIS, has a lot of explaining to do. He and his official community website, mepislovers.org, have now caused over 500 users and 2 major support websites go down without so much as a WORD. How many lost users will it take before a reply will come out of Morgantown, WV? Is the microphone on? Perhaps time will tell.

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  • Joby

    Mepis has always been its own worst enemy. Warren continues to do these things and alienate his most loyal following.

    Back to Ubuntu.

  • Anonymous

    The strange thing is that they don’t even attempt to explain it.

  • helios

    Stangely unmentioned is the recent move Mepis made to the corporate world and this incident…come on guys…did we get too big for our britches…Josh and I may have had our differences in the past, and often times they were a bit brash and vocal, but no one can deny what this site has done for Mepis…Ya gotta remember…it was those “britches” that covered your ass for so long.

    helios

  • mdl

    Strange indeed. It would appear that Warren does not like to share. I wonder if he has the right attitude for open source.

    Ths kind of thing is the reason I switched to Kanotix months ago.

  • helios

    I am shameless…if you are a kde fan at all, by far the best distro for the desktop is PCLinuxOS. (ahem), I believe that may have been mentioned a time or two. come see us at pclinuxonline.com.

    I really like kano’s work but once I realized that pclos package management with apt get and synaptic was every bit as good as the “debian way”…I switched over and have not looked back. I do however use Kanotix for a superb rescue disk when my clueless windows friends hose their system.

    helios

    helios

  • DigitaLink

    Okay, seriously, where is it written that Warren MUST reply to anything? If he doesn’t want or need the extra support, that’s his right, isn’t it? Besides, if the loss of these volunteer developer efforts causes Mepis to go to hell in a handbasket, Warren only really has himself to blame for it, these devs will move on and help make another distro even greater, and there are a couple hundred other distros out there for you to play with if you don’t like the way Warren’s efforts turn out, right? That’s the beauty of open source my friends.

  • http://www.mepis.linuxkiosken.dk muttix

    Bahhh !!.. stupid gossip :-/

  • index.php devnet

    Seriously man,

    If it is your project, an issue comes up, and you do nothing…you kill your project. Any project manager knows this…I project managed for the Air Force for around 5 years and if I did what he did, my arse would be toast.

    The part that irks me the most is the fact that these devs were ENRICHING MEPIS. They took a bunch of audio apps that many people (if you saw the thread, many, many people were in on the development or in support of the development of it) wanted and ADDED to MEPIS. How cool is that? Imagine if Debian pure did what warren did! Debian wouldn’t have SQUAT for packages. That’s what really T’s me off. MEPIS may be 99.9% Debian compatible but that’s where the comparison ends. Because it isn’t 100% for the community at all. I know it never was claimed as such…but when a community sprang up around it, Warren has a duty to communicate with that community. Otherwise, he’s just allowing these people who beta test his distro to think that they are doing good when they aren’t. Kind of like watching a person beat their head against a wall and not doing anything about it.

  • Jimf

    One of the things that is very disturbing to me is the fact that one of the mepis team is now spreading rumors on the mepislovers IRC channel and site that the dotmepis team was formerly in the pay of mepis or wanted to be. They are telling people that this is just all sour grapes and jealousy that caused the departure of dotmepis.

    Believe me that nothing could be farther from the truth. None of the dotmepis team ever worked for Warren or mepislovers and anything produced there was only for the use of the general users. dotmepis was a totally independent and volunteer effort.

    Warren Woodford’s absolute refusal to even communicate, no less cooperate, with the advanced user segment of the community made it impossible for dotmepis to continue to participate in any meaningfully way. The continuing FUD that is being spread on mepislovers IRC and site are examples of how dysfunctional some members of the mepis ‘team’ have made this community.

    Plans by the dotmepis team are in the works to serve the Linux community in another capacity, but obviously, mepis has lost a highly skilled and dedicated group of people who will no longer support that Distro. Most in fact will be happy if they never hear the name mepis again.

  • calvin

    A long time back when Mepis was still relatively young, I read some really negative, hostile comments Warren had made about the GPL. I immediately steered clear of the distribution, though I hoped that someday he would adjust and become a good open source community member.

    But it sounds like Warren is still a traditional control-oriented business person out of his element.

    This just confirms again for me that it doesn’t matter how polished a distro is if the community isn’t strong. My heart belongs to Debian & Ubuntu, they both have a true open source soul.

  • http://www.cadytech.com/dumas/ Conrad

    Where can we find those comments? I googled a bit but did not find them.

  • http://debian.org dotmil

    If you’re asking about my comments from the closing, they’re not online any more; they were part of the site’s closing announcement. But devnet’s posting is 100% correct; the only parts missing are the parts where I thanked our members for such great support and involvement, and expressed my sincere wishes for the best for all of them.

    I would like to say that I have, since the closing was announced, received threats, lies, and cureses of all types in my inbox. I also have seen the vicious and sometimes just plain silly lies being spread about myself and my former admin team. To me, these all add up to perfect examples of why we decided to leave Mepis immediately. Those examples are sadly, mainly coming from the “community” leaders of Mepis. The users, for the most part, have been very supportive and understanding.

    I cannot for the life of me understand why so much hatred has been directed towards me by the Mepis community leaders. Anyone who knows me or ever visited our site for more than a few moments would know these lies and attacks are just plain untrue and vicious. Anyway, if you’re a business thinking of using Mepis, be prepared for very hostile treatment of you ever disagree with the all mighty Mepis leadership. Be smart, avoid Mepis like the plague.

  • http://osunix.com/?p=14 Josh’s .life

    Yet Another Linux Blog posted a decent news style summary of the dotmepis closing. Please read that if you’re interested. I have to go direct a few more addresses to /dev/null in my procmail rules. Boy, almost makes on want to take out a nice fat insur…

  • helios

    dotmil – I lurked extensively at most all mepis related sites and I know your work and have seen your commitmnent. Having looked at all the poison on the different sites and irc chats, I am having trouble understanding why there is such animosity toward you and some of the other developers. I also realize that your heart is with debian, as I also enjoy debian. However, there is a member-rich community that would absolutlely treasure your participation and you would be welcomed with open arms. Please come see us at PCLinuxOS. I can personally assure you that your mere presence there would be not only valued but sincerely appreciated. I do hope that you think seriously about joining us as we are poised to do some pretty remarkable things. Again, thank you for your contributions to the Mepis community and I hope we can look forward to your working with us at PCLinuxOS. You guys deserved much more recognition and thanx than you got.

    Helios

  • http://osunix.com Josh

    Thanks Helios.

    I would be thrilled to work with PCLOS, but I was under the impression it’s also a one-man show under texstar? Anyway, I promise I will check it out and take it into serious consideration. yes Debian is, and likely always will be, where my heart is. However, circumstances over there are somewhat frustrating too and I’m waiting to see what happens with the new DPL.

    Either way, I think I’m taking a few days off from everything to recover from this. my heart just isn’t into doing much of anything at the moment.

  • Guest

    So where to go from here? What distro now?

  • helios

    Josh, While I am not a part of the “Golden Circle”, I am active in the proliferation of PCLOS with the blessing of Texstar et al. There IS a loose-knit DevTeam behind Texstar but his mystic and persona lead most folks to believe he is the only member doing development. While he does a great deal of the work, there are many who contribute in their specialized way…mine is simply PR. Email me at helios17 at gmail dot kom We can go from there. You bet you need some time off…this has been a beating for all you guys over there.

    helios

  • slayerboy

    My question to you dotmil, is how were you and your team treated before things went downhill with Warren?

    After swearing at RH in the early years for dependency hell, I went to Debian off and on. The thing that bothers me with Debian is how slow they are to update. It almost seems like there are too many cooks in the kitchen there. When Mepis came out, I gave it a try and I wasn’t impressed, but it was better than Debian pure.

    I want, in my heart, to love Debian, but I just get a weird feeling lately with them. Ever since I found PCLinuxOS, based off of Mandrake (RPM system), I’m in love. I hate the RPM system, but with Debian’s best feature, apt, included in PCLinuxOS, there are virtually no signs of dependency hell that RPM has attached to it, unless I have the rare time when I need to install an RPM outside of Synaptic.

    Like helios said, I think the PCLinuxOS camp would love to have help from the community, especially your team. Not trying to start any wars, but PCLOS is really the only Linux distro that JUST WORKS! I’ve been on it for about a month, and I feel more confident than ever that this is my distro of choice for a LONG time. :)

  • crinklestein

    I think alot of things are changing for Mepis. I used to sell it on Ebay which, at the time, was completely legal to do so according to their GPL. A few days ago they contacted Ebay and told them to remove all of my auctions because it violated their copyright. I was like WTF?! I contacted Mepis through Technalign and they tell me that it was NEVER legal to sell it for a profit but the GPL says differently. GPL says it doesn’t matter HOW much you charge. They tell me that in order to sell it I have to BUY IT FROM THEM and sell it for free. Who the hell would do that?!

  • skbarr

    A few days ago they contacted Ebay and told them to remove all of my auctions because it violated their copyright.–
    Crinklestein,
    I don’t get it. What copyright would that be? According to the GPL, you can sell for however much you want.
    Ironically, this morning, I was going to install MEPIS, but, when I read here how Warren violates the GPL and kicks developers around as described here, the install is off, and I’m looking for another distro that follows the GPL. Reg Linux User: 385247
    Reg Linux Machine: 285369

  • kuza

    I had no idea. This is not (IMHO) in the open source spirit. I always saw open source a sort of technological democracy. In fact, this sort of ‘do it my way or no way at all’ mentality is what I was hoping to get away from when switching to linux. For the most part, I have not been disappointed. For the most part… goodbye, Mepis, it was nice while it lasted. Hmmm… distrowatch, here I come!

  • crinklestein

    They claim that the installer is under their trademark as well as the control center and several pieces of software built into Mepis and that, if I removed those things, then I could do what I want with it. But I seem to remember, though can’t find anymore, that on the Mepis.org site there was a FAW section that discussed the selling of Mepis and it said that you COULD sell it if you followed certain guidelines. That you label it as Mepis with the correct version #. That you not make yourself out to be a representative of Mepis, that you give them your email address and where you plan to sell Mepis from. No where did it ever say that you couldn’t make a profit from it. And no where do they current tell you what they define as a profit.

  • Someone who likes Arch

    dotmil.
    Don’t be discouraged by Mepis attitude. If they choose to go down the hill. Let them do that.

    You can join in Archlinux. It has PKGBUILD help them to maintain the user contributions. The developers currently do not have enough bandwidth to endorse too many user contributed packages.

    It is so easy to build with PKGBUILD and pacman does the rest with the dependencies.

    All the user needs to do is to try to compile and check the dependencies.

    There are less than 2000 packages in arch and it is growing fast.

    One thing I like about arch, it is fast, as fast as slackware or gentoo. And it has the greatest and latest major software.

  • http://anotherloon.wordpress.com madcap

    Aye, I was googling for this very humble description of the PCLOS dev team posted in a forum site by a ripper gang member to send as a quote to a friend and chanced upon here. Guess I’m one year too late!!

    Even tho I’ve never tried Mepis, I guess I dislike this Mepis founder more than Steve Balmer maybe ever since I read his GPL compliance FUD comments after v6 was released in the distro site itself. Maybe GPL should put in a clause to ban ppl like him to base stuff on GPLed software? You know like RMS said back in 2001 or somethin, the msg that Free Software tries to spead isn’t spreading as fast as the userbase it’s pulling in that the Freedom and the Community thing is the most import part of Free Software. It’s such a shame that we now have ppl like the Mepis founder a part of it unfortunately.

    Maybe Texstar is too freakin humble that we’re all so spoiled? I just can’t get enough of Tex and the team!!