The virtues of Mandrake are well known to most: easy to install,
up-to-the-minute packages, well-optimized, and generally solid.
Brian Proffitt says Mandrake 8.0 continues that tradition, but
notes that the distribution is attempting to straddle a line
between bleeding-edge software and the need of newbies for
stability that may prove harmful to the distribution's long-term
"MandrakeSoft, bless their souls, just doesn't seem to
be content unless they release a Linux distribution that rides
right up to the bleeding edge.
If you will recall from last fall, there was a minor hubbub
afoot regarding the release of KDE 2.0 in the L-M 7.2 distribution.
The boxes said KDE 2.0 beta, if you paid attention, but many users
thought MandrakeSoft had released this environment way too early.
This was most likely an argument based on principle than anything
else, because I noted at the time that MandrakeSoft had clearly put
some effort into their version of KDE 2.0 and had made it very
MandrakeSoft, an apparent stickler for tradition, has done it
again by releasing some GNOME products before their official gold
releases. I find this both an exciting and disturbing phenomenon,
which I will address later in this review.