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Re: Fedora Core == Linux?

These are just my thoughts on the whole issue here, based on observations
the FreeBSD project.

If a release is deemed stable enough to be used by a group for a period of
time in a production enviroment, the packages will not change much beyond
bugfixes and security updates. FreeBSD has a 1 year lifecycle on each
-RELEASE from a branch marked stable. FreeBSD provides updates for that year
and at the end of the year, has provided (usually by way of another -RELEASE)
an upgrade/migration path to something that will be supported.

Granted FreeBSD has a much better system update/migration mechanism via:
"cvsup supfile && make world && reboot" and then run "portupgrade -a" after
reboot, but Linux distributions, specifically redhat/fedora, provide a
relatively painfree method of moving to a new, supported version.

If you are deploying desktops or servers in a production setting, there is a
good chance that you will not be needing, or more likely, wanting to update
to new versions of software; and thus, will not do a transition to a new
FreeBSD -RELEASE or a new RedHat/Fedora version. This would mean retraining
workers on new versions of software, updating any site-specific software or
scripts, and generally a lot of headaches. You will be looking for a way to
maintain the current software until you absolutely must move away for new
features, security reasons, hardware requirements, etc. This is where Progeny
seems to be comming in to the RedHat/Fedora picture.

Many people have perfectly stable boxes that do just what they want and
see no
reason to upgrade beyond security and stability issues. Progeny can provide
minor updates due to security or stability issues by either fixing them
inhouse or backporting fixes from a newer version of a package to this legacy

I see a lot of this on FreeBSD systems. Although FreeBSD does not officially
support a product beyond 1-year, critical updates find a way into the tree as
interested persons (usually someone who runs a legacy -RELEASE) weigh the
cost of migrating to a new release versus backporting a particular fix. This
is why FreeBSD still sees updates to officially non-supported versions like
3.x and older versions of 4.x today.

RedHat and SuSE are making a guarantee about updates and fixes for a certain
number of years with their offerings now, so one does not rely on community
support, which is no support as far as many corporations are concerned. Many
people, including myself and most people on this list, consider community
support to be excellent, though.


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