[TriLUG] different versions of 7.2 for sale]
Paul D. Boyle
Wed, 24 Oct 2001 10:18:20 -0400 (EDT)
Brent Verner wrote:
> On 23 Oct 2001 at 10:58 (-0400), Paul D. Boyle wrote:
> | 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 understand things fine, and I also think there are a variety of valid
ways to look at this situation. We all come from our own perspectives.
I come as a scientist wanting a usable compute platform; you come as a
> 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.
Well, that may be, but I am not in a position to have that perspective.
When I was setting up my laboratory at NCSU in 1994, I wanted to have a
powerful, stable, and flexible computing environment. For me the choices
were between SGI's running IRIX, DEC Alpha's running OSF/1 or whatever they
were calling it, *BSD's or Linux. Windows really didn't seriously enter
the equation at all. So, my experience doesn't match yours.
> 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
Well, I'll grant that my view is definately a lot jaded and maybe a little
> 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 >:=)
Good point, but it has never been my focus to convert Windows users
to Linux. It has been my experience that Linux will naturally sell
itself into its niches for those who have the willingness to try it.
> | 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.
> 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?"
I'm not a business person, so I don't give business advice.
> 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.
Don't get me wrong; I appreciate greatly the things RedHat has done.
I do what I can to contribute, which is mostly in the realm of scientific
software. I have made a number of bugfixes and enhancements to the
crystallographic program packages I use (and I even send patches back
to the authors). I also make rpms of the software I write and/or use
to promote others using RedHat Linux.
>  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.
I think diversity of opinion can only strengthen the community. Look at
the MS world if you want to see weakness borne of a monolithic culture.
> 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.
What is success? I would contend that Linux was a success even before
RedHat. It allowed people who wanted to use Unix but who could not
afford to pay through the nose for proprietary hardware/software to
use a Unix-like OS on commodity i386 hardware. Not only that, that it
allowed people to hack their own OS if they were so inclined. Even if
every Linux company went belly up now, Linux would still exist and be
extremely useful to quite a number of people.
I appreciate your comments, it was informative to me to read your views.
Paul D. Boyle | email@example.com
Director, X-ray Structural Facility | phone: (919) 515-7362
Department of Chemistry - Box 8204 | FAX: (919) 515-5079
North Carolina State University |
Raleigh, NC, 27695-8204