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Re: Fedora Project: Announcing New Direction



On Mon, Sep 22, 2003 at 01:35:11PM -0400, MJang wrote:
> [ To Havoc: ]
> If I'm hearing you correctly, Red Hat is no longer going to release
> a Linux distribution every (approx) 6 months. Red Hat will be a part
> of the Fedora project that will take over this function. And the
> Fedora project is sponsored as a separate organization under the Red
> Hat umbrella.

Here's my take on it: (I'm not a RedHat employee, so I can invent what
I want, and you can choose to disregard my conclusions as hand waving... :-) )

RedHat isn't breaking even ($$$) by producing RedHat Linux. Not enough
people are buying it, and the value of being able to release earlier
to allow for a sort of gamma-testing before introducing the releases (or
backported patches?) has not been considered valuable enough to make up
the difference.

Something had to change. Either RedHat would stop producing RedHat
Linux, and focus entirely on RedHat Enterprise Linux (noooo!), or
RedHat would have to reduce the expense of maintaining RedHat Linux.

Since RedHat Linux is used by developers and enthusiasts, and these
developers and enthusiasts are not paying for RedHat Linux (as a whole),
why not allow these developers and enthusiasts to play a more active
part, giving them the chance to get changes that they want in, while
allowing RedHat to reduce its expenses related to RedHat Linux? This,
it appears, was the birth of rhl.redhat.com. Sure, you could look at it
as RedHat trying to offload work so that it can be more profitable, but
you could also look at it as RedHat choosing to continue under a more
open and profitable model, rather than closing down.

In the end, I don't see a problem with this model. We should all be honest
about our expectations, and then critical of these expectations. Do we
really expect RedHat to continue to operate at a deficit to offer us their
product, without having to provide anything in return? Here is our chance
to return the favour to RedHat, and at the same time, increase the input
we have into the direction of RedHat Linux, which will have a greater chance
of determining the direction that RedHat Enterprise Linux takes.

I didn't finish my take though: It looks as if Fedora approach RedHat and
made a business case of some sort that resulted in an agreement that Fedora
was already working similar to how RedHat Linux was going to work, and that
the duplicated effort from the community would hurt both communities. Members
would choose a community, rather than merging their efforts. By merging the
products, the two communities are joined, allowing much more efficiency
integration of work.

Personally, I like this a lot. I have been looking at Fedora as an
alternative to RedHat for quite some time, as I prefer to use very
recently released packages. The only reason I never switched, is because
I have strong personal and business (my employer) reasons for staying with
RedHat. Now, I get the best of both worlds.

So all in all, I'm quite happy with all of the recent events relating to
RedHat/Fedora Linux. I think if we analyze our expectations without bias,
this is the only conclusion we can draw (or least, that I can draw).

I look forward to doing my part...

Cheers,
mark

-- 
mark mielke cc/markm ncf ca/markm nortelnetworks com __________________________
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  One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all
                       and in the darkness bind them...

                           http://mark.mielke.cc/




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