Fedora Project: Announcing New Direction

Tom "spot" Callaway tcallawa at redhat.com
Tue Sep 23 21:15:27 UTC 2003

On Tue, 2003-09-23 at 15:45, Paul Gear wrote:

> Here's my explanation of what i'm looking for:
> http://paulgear.webhop.net/the_page_formerly_known_as_rhel.html

The costs of producing your distribution would cause Red Hat to lose
money on every box set produced. The Red Hat Linux box set model was not
profitable. Red Hat is a corporate entity, and we are in this to make

That means that we might not have a product that fits your needs, and
yes, that sucks. But we put source code for everything in the
distribution out there for you to use under a license that lets you do
whatever you want with it. Most corporations would be horrified at the
thought of such a thing.

Red Hat doesn't have to do a Fedora Core. We could focus all our efforts
on RHEL and tell everyone who doesn't want to pay us $$$ to stop
bothering us. We are doing a Fedora Core. We're trying to make the
developers and the open source community happy. We're trying to give
them a chance to make a really good Linux distribution in the spirit and
style of Red Hat Linux.

And undoubtedly, this is going to piss off a lot of people who were
quite happily taking advantage of Red Hat Linux with 3 years of errata
without paying a cent. We can't do that anymore. It's too expensive,
we'd cease to exist. Fedora Core is the compromise. We spent a long time
trying to make the most people happy, we listened to all the complaints
(yes, even the most irrational ones), and we came up with the best
option we could.

If you don't want to pay for RHN, Fedora Core will support multiple
types of package repositories. If you do, we'll have that available to
you. If you want updates beyond what Red Hat builds for the Fedora
project, volunteer to maintain it yourself. If you want to build an RPM
that violates 14 patent laws and the Geneva convention, we can't support
you or link to you, but we can't stop you either.

We've put a lot of skin in the game, not to mention engineering time and
money, because we believe that Open Source works. But we can't go under
for Open Source.

Simply put: Fedora Core is what you make it. I could elaborate on that
point endlessly, but the point of it is to give the control back to the
community. Red Hat is going to help, we're going to oversee, but we're
not going to restrict it.

I agree wholeheartedly that we need to do something special for the
unique needs of educational institutions, and we're working on
something. If your educational institution would like to talk about
finding a way to meet your Linux needs through Red Hat, I would be happy
to arrange such a discussion.
Tom "spot" Callaway <tcallawa(a)redhat*com> LCA, RHCE 
Red Hat Sales Engineer || Aurora SPARC Linux Project Leader

"The author's mathematical treatment of the conception of purpose is
novel and highly ingenious, but heretical and, so far as the present
social order is concerned, dangerous and potentially subversive. Not to
be published." -- Aldous Huxley

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