Issue #3 January 2005

Ask Shadowman

It's a new year, and time for a whole new set of resolutions for Shadowman. At the top of the list: get to the dry cleaners more often. Slinging mud at Shadowman and friends was a pretty popular pastime in 2004, and 2005 promises to be even muddier. It's already off to a roaring start; Bill Gates even implied that Shadowman and friends were a dirty bunch of commies.

Ouch, Bill. That hurts.

Shadowman was hoping to offer readers an insightful counterpoint from his uber-capitalist buddy, Investment Banker Guy — but ever since Banker Guy started taking Shadowman's advice, he's spent most of his free time rolling around naked in his piles of extra cash. I suppose that one man's communist is another man's capitalist. Didn't Marx say that? Was that in The Communist Manifesto or Duck Soup? Shadowman can never remember.

So, yeah. A good weekly cleaning of the ol' cape will definitely be in order. If anyone knows a good dry cleaner who works well with mud, tears and bile, drop Shadowman a line.

Got a question that you'd like Shadowman to answer? Ask him.

Candy asks:

I'm a Mandrake user that moved to Fedora Core 3. During my Mandraky years, I used mandrakeusers as a support forum. Does Fedora have a similar forum to mandrakeusers in terms of size and activity? I went to but it's like a dead forum.

Shadowman replies:

Ah, the Mandraky years. Some of Shadowman's best friends are Mandraky, and they do indeed have user forums to be proud of. Fedora's got plenty of forums as well, but they're not so neatly collected. There are some good ones, though:

And lots more. When in doubt, ask Uncle Google. That guy knows everything. At least, he pretends he does.

Ken B. says:

When I learned that Red Hat split its product between an Enterprise version and a development version, I was somewhat disappointed. What's wrong with being "all things to all people"? A while back I heard rumors that Microsoft had no intention of offering a "professional" version of its code named OS Longhorn. They simply did not want to produce multiple "flavors" of the same OS. Seems as if Microsoft has no problem with one operating system being all things to all people if they do indeed go down that path.

Shadowman replies:

Shadowman doesn't make it a habit to speculate about products that have been under development since Shadowman was Shadowboy. Also, Shadowman prefers to take the high road in these kinds of discussions. Lesser men might be inclined to observe that no product released by Microsoft really merits the label "professional" in the first place — but not Shadowman. No, sirree. Shadowman is too much of a gentleman to take that kind of juvenile potshot.

Your question about being "all things to all people," however, is a great question. A noble question. A probing and hard-hitting question. A question of considerable importance. In short, it's precisely the kind of question that Shadowman is far too much of a coward to answer directly.

Fortunately, Shadowman doesn't have to answer this kind of question, because Michael Tiemann answers this question for all of us in his Open Source Triple Play presentation. Want to know why RHEL and Fedora are fundamentally different? Curious as to how a company can provide the best of both worlds, delivering both cutting-edge innovation and enterprise-class stability? Then you should be looking to a brainiac like Tiemann for answers, and not some blowhard in a cape and a hat.

Will E. asks:

I am new to the Linux World, and I enjoy using Fedora Core. It seems to be the most professional looking Linux Distro out there. I have 2-question about the distro. Can I use an iPod with FC3? Also are there plans to include Scribus in future Fedora Core Version?

Shadowman replies:

Shadowman generally doesn't care for the greedy two-parters, but compliments will you get you everywhere, Will.

First, the iPod. Shadowman doesn't know much about iPods, as he's still waiting for audio drivers for his 8-Track. (The Starland Vocal Band just has so much more presence on 8-Track.) According to Jeremy's blog, though, the iPod works for FC3 if you have the latest kernel. (And who, exactly, is Jeremy? Wouldn't you like to know. But Shadowman trusts him implicitly regardless.)

As far as Scribus, Shadowman doesn't know of any plans to include it in Fedora Core anytime soon. But then again, sometimes smart people talk to Shadowman in the halls, and instead of listening intently, Shadowman daydreams about pie. So it's not always safe to go by what Shadowman says.

Seriously, Shadowman guesses that it's unlikely that Scribus will end up in Fedora Core. But that's okay; some of the aforementioned smart people are hard at work getting Fedora Extras ready for public contribution. There's still a lot of work to be done — but when it's ready, the folks who work on the Scribus project will be able to build Scribus packages in Fedora Extras, with full confidence that their packages will be fully compatible with Fedora Core. It'll be good for developers and great for users. That time is coming. Shadowman feels it in the wind.

In fact, Shadowman knows somebody who knows somebody whose brother's best friend from college is thinking about going to FUDCON next month, where interested users and developers can learn lots more about the inner workings of Fedora. And if you care about Fedora, you should go, too.

cduke says:

I want to thank you for being smart, funny and monthly.

Shadowman replies: