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Re: An Open Letter to Red Hat: Guidelines for Fedora Core Releases

On Thu, 2005-03-24 at 16:18 -0600, Dean Henrichsmeyer wrote:
> I agree it was, but they made the transition wrong.

I used to defend Red Hat on that, but at this point, given all the
questions I still have (even after reading _all_ pages I can find
anywhere at Red Hat, Fedora.US, etc...), I have to agree at this point.

> I know where you're coming from but that's really an impossible 
> statement to qualify. I would disagree with you, but my statement about 
> another distribution wouldn't be anymore qualifiable.

Well, I see no other distro that had over 6 solid years of 0-1-2 (and
one 3), and supposed no less than 6-7 revisions simultaneously at one
point.  No one has really matched them.

9 out of 10 application-specific, Linux "black boxes" -- I'm talking
major, enterprise-level application-specific systems (storage, network,
etc...) -- I have seen over the last 3 years have been and are still Red
Hat Linux 7.3-based.

System integrators love a Community Linux they can control in their
"black boxes," while selling Enterprise Linux for servers and desktops.
This was Red Hat Linux / Red Hat Enterprise Linux.  I thought it was
continuing with Fedora Core / Red Hat Enterprise Linux.  I guess not.

> I agree with a lot of this above, however I do think something 
> fundamental has been overlooked. The wrong people at Red Hat are making 
> the decisions.

Red Hat is no different today in management than it was 6 years ago.
They still play cut-throat business, just as they did 6 years ago.
That's always been Bob Young's vision -- a company of 2 complementary
philosophies -- one that makes money with one that protects the

As far as the products, the second SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES)
was introduced, Red Hat's hand was forced.  And no distro has been
modified but had it's trademarks unchanged to the point where it was a
serious issue with the USPTO, so Red Hat's hand was forced on that.

What I have a problem with is the reality that I'm beginning to realize
that almost every Fedora Core release is going to be like a Red Hat
Linux ".0" revision.  That has *0* to do with management, and 100% to do
with technically alienating integrators and developers like myself.

> Talk with some of the many folks who've left Red Hat.

I know several.  Some are bitter that their projects were shut down.
Sorry, reality is that some projects just aren't feasible.  It happens.

> The problems you're talking about right now stem from the same thing
> that made the transition from Red Hat Linux to Fedora a PR nightmare.
> That is that Red Hat is a publicly traded company who in the last few
> years ended up in a corner and the wrong people were able to influence
> decisions too much.

Again, Red Hat remains unchanged.  The market and IP has forced them to
change some of their marketing, but that's all.

> I agree. It's too bad that small segment of Red Hat that fits the 
> proliferation has as much influence within Red Hat as they do.

I believe in Red Hat, 100%, in how it operates.  It's the perfect
balance.  It is no different today than 6 years ago.

The problem I have is that this "latest'n greatest" is going to destroy
the model many trust.  RHEL will not survive if people cannot complement
it with FC, like RHL before it.  And using a forked or SRPM rebuild
isn't going to solve the problem, because they are still based on RHEL
and FC.

> I agree again. Competition is good. The Linux world can benefit from the 
> same thing every other free market benefits from. If Novell keeps going, 
> they will incite Red Hat to change. Also, vice versa. Innovation will 
> only get better and filter right back into Linux in general. *That* is 
> what will frustrate Sun, and Microsoft for that matter, to no end.
> Thanks for the read, it was good stuff. I'd also be happy to get it 
> published for you if you're interested. I guarantee you your voice will 
> be heard.

If you're referring to OTSG, forget it.  I refuse to write for them.  I
don't feel like my articles being picked apart by the ignorant masses.

I'd rather debate with people like yourself who have been around since
Red Hat Linux 4.x on-ward.

Bryan J. Smith                                  b.j.smith@ieee.org 
Community software is all about choice, choice of technology.
Unfortunately, too many Linux advocates port over the so-called
"choice" from the commercial software world, brand name marketing.
The result is false assumptions, failure to focus on the real
technical similarities, but loyalty to blind vendor alignments.

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