[linux] Re: RedHat and The Future of Linux...

Doug McLean dougmc at u.washington.edu
Wed Sep 24 13:36:55 PDT 2003

Hi Evan and others,

A number of people have written back to me on this subject, and there's
a defnite consensus that Mr Callaway is right. A lot of people replied
back to me and make some good arguments about RedHat needing to bring
Linux into the mainstream, and thus needing to adopt a more traditional
business model.

My rant yesterday I think had more to do with the feeling that RH is
turning its back on the ver people who made it big. RedHat wouldn't be
the company it is if people hadn't been using it, and kept using it.
Its a drain on RH (for the record, I DID buy my RH cds...some of them),
but if they hadn't adopted a "free" model in the first place, no one
would have used RH, and it wouldn't be where it is.

So I wish RH would show a little more gratitude to those who gave it
word-of-mouth recognition in the first place. I suppose Fedora is their
way of showing gratitude.

In any case, if they intend to step further into the wider IT market,
then people are right in that they will need to adopt a more traditional
business model and be prepared to make money.

As for other OSs, I haven't had the chance to try Debian. I don't like
burning 6 CDs just to install an OS (even 3 CDs kinda sucks in my
opinion). However, maybe I should try it.... :)


Evan Martin wrote:

> On Tue, Sep 23, 2003 at 04:56:02PM -0700, Doug McLean wrote:


>>I think this Tom Callaway fellow from RedHat is a little rude, or at

>>least, he seems to think that Linux users are all blood-sucking




> Aww, I wouldn't go that far. I actually sorta know Tom; he makes RH

> packages for some of my software, and is generally helpful, patient, and

> intelligent in all of my interactions with him.


> As for Fedora, well... though I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that Tom

> is speaking for RH overall, his general point seems pretty obvious.



>>I can certainly understand the rationale of needing to make money, but

>>I get the impression that the Fedora thing is just a way of keeping

>>the Linux diehards quiet.


>>RedHat may one day dominate the market the way MS does now, but how many

>>people does it have screw over in the name of profit (just like MS did...)?



> RedHat funds a whole lot of Linux development way beyond their own

> products. Look at the developers of GTK, or GNOME, or tons of kernel

> hackers, and you'll see many of them have @redhat.com email addresses.


> I neither like nor use RH, but I'm pretty sure they're the good guys.


> The fact that they need to make money is no surprise to me, and if they

> need to change their business model to suit that, it's pretty acceptable

> as well. Even if they went to an exclusively-enterprise business model,

> we lose nothing and I still get a lot of good from their company through

> the free software they create.



>>In any case, I for one am starting to think BSD is looking pretty good

>>(if only I can get the darn thing to work with any of my video cards on

>>any of my systems). I always liked the idea of the BSD license anyhow.



> This is an entirely separate issue, but yeah, I don't really understand

> why anybody would choose Linux over BSD when they're using a Linux

> distro with distribution/policy similar to BSD (like: why Gentoo portage

> when you have BSD ports? If anyone could answer that, I really would

> appreciate it because I honestly don't know why).


> I think I would've switched to BSD ages ago if they were as good as

> Debian.




> PS: Sorry for the long mail, but I work/worked for an open-source

> company that also needed to pay their employees and we also got a lot of

> flak for the business side of things; I haven't really followed this

> Fedora deal, but from this email I see a lot of similarities between

> their position and ours.


Doug McLean
Department of Microbiology
PGP Public Key ID# 0xB9142AD7

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