[TriLUG] different versions of 7.2 for sale]
Tue, 23 Oct 2001 21:54:35 -0400
On 23 Oct 2001 at 10:58 (-0400), Paul D. Boyle wrote:
| Matt Jezorek quoted Beth Ellison writing:
| > > Damn. Yep. There is no longer a $30 box set. I hate that. And I was told
| > > that it's because "we aren't focusing on the desktop market" and the $30
| > set
| > > "wasn't creating revenue." I shudder at phrases like that. They sound so
| > > much like the exact things that free, open-source software was built to
| > work
| > > against.
| This idea of that RedHat isn't focusing on the desktop market is a
| little schizoid on RedHat's part and smacks of intellectual dishonesty.
In defense of Redhat, I can only think that you do not understand the
difference between "focusing on the desktop" and "being aware that not
every Redhat admin in the business world is a long time *nix user." I
consult for people who use Redhat only as server machines, and I can assure
you that these installs would not exist if Redhat required a *nix guru to
install/maintain. You must remember that Redhat is, in practice, taking server
positions where a Windows machine would have been used. There is no way this
would even be /possible/ without the "bloat(ing)" you refer to, so I wrap up
by suggesting you think about what kind of user is running many of the Redhat
(server) installs, and reconsider your view that they are lying about
not 'focusing on the desktop'. Also, remember that to cleanse those "unwashed
masses" of their Windows filth, we've gotta get them in the /near/ a shower >:=)
| If this is so, then why are they bloating there distribution with desktops
| like GNOME or KDE, when for a server any old (and I do mean old) window
| manager would do. If RedHat was really only catering to the server
| market I would think that the RedHat distribution would look more like a
| *BSD distribution.
Being a FBSD user/fan, I can say that *BSD only meets the needs of experienced
*nix users, and I'm quite certain that all competent *nix admins are already
stuck to their tool/OS of choice. There is no /new market/ in that status quo,
which is antithetical to a business' attempts at growth. Would you suggest that
redhat try to convert the handful of experienced *nix users, or that they try
to get a chunk of the "unwashed masses?"
| They have spent a lot time and effort dumbing down
| linux installation and adminstration chores so the "unwashed masses"
| of Windows users would feel more comfortable.
| > > bought the cheap box set just to support the cause. And I bet we'll lose
| > > many of them now.
There are /many/ ways of supprorting the cause. If you are capable of
fixing bugs, send patches. If you notice bugs, send comprehensive bug reports.
The number of man hours that you can save a company like redhat is more valuable
than the $2.50 profit they'd make on selling the $30 boxed set. Your time and
expertise are the most valuable thing you can bring to the open source community
in small chunks.
 Personally, I agree with you on the bloat issue(s), but I keep in mind that
the target audience is not me. I choose to 'pay' for my free software with
time, by contributing to projects whose work I benefit from.
 To this simple mind, your euphemism of "intellectual dishonesty" was not
very effective :-\. While I'm no fan of Redhat's distro, I do realize the
great benefit they have been to this community. I may frequently criticize
their product, but to speak badly of them is only doing the community harm,
and undermining strides we have taken in the past two years. Open source
is finally :) making inroads into large corporations, and it bothers me that
comments like yours may be (mis)construed and cast a negative light on one
of the major forces behind the success of linux. If the choice is between
Redhat or $non_linux, Redhat always gets my vote, though I try my best to
sneak debian or FBSD in ;-)
"Develop your talent, man, and leave the world something. Records are
really gifts from people. To think that an artist would love you enough
to share his music with anyone is a beautiful thing." -- Duane Allman