Wanna give me a hand debunking this?

Thomas Cameron thomas.cameron at camerontech.com
Fri Nov 23 17:39:14 UTC 2007

On Tue, 2007-11-20 at 17:43 -0500, Kelly Miller wrote:
> Although I imagine people don't want to spend too much time feeding the 
> trolls, I want to at least be able to post something showing that I was 
> trying to do the right thing before I write this off as a stupid troll 
> argument. So someone want to point me in the direction of some evidence 
> showing how much of a lie this is?
> "“My guess is that Novell tries to elevate levels of participation in 
> OpenSUSE because that’s the distribution Novell feeds on. It hopes that 
> it can hide in the fog while others do all the labour.”
> This describes exactly what Red Hat does with Fedora. 

Wrong.  Red Hat's engineers do most of their work in Fedora.  Red Hat
does not "hide in the fog while others do the labour."

> Not that it was a 
> bad thing, as everybody working on or using Fedora is conscious ofusing 
> a bleeding-edge distro.

Bleeding edge != unstable.  When Fedora is released every 6 months or
so, it is a full-featured, high quality distribution.  Granted, it is an
early adopter of new technologies and features, so there can be speed
bumps, but this whole myth that Fedora is some sort of perpetual beta
for RHEL is just flat wrong.

> So, to explain in more detail: Fedora was meant to help the development 
> of Red Hat’s codebase with the help of the community. Red Hat uses 
> Fedora (good as it may be) purely as a test-bed, where they can try out 
> new technologies that could prove to be too unstable for RHEL without 
> any risk. 

Bullshit.  Red Hat sponsors Fedora for the good of the community.  Now
don't think for a second that Red Hat doesn't also do it because it
benefits, but again, this myth that Fedora is some RHEL beta is bunk.

> Fixes from RHEL don’t go upstream to Fedora because the 
> codecase it too different. Not because of evil intent from Red Hat’s 
> side but just because the enterprise-distro and the 
> bleeding-edge-testing distro are too far apart.

Again, wrong.  When Red Hat builds fixes for RHEL, they are submitted
upstream to the parent project (i.e. the kernel, OpenSSH, Apache,
whatever).  Fedora is not an "upstream" in that respect.  So Red Hat
supplied patches benefit *everyone* - including Fedora and (Open)SUSE.

> The only part that is really negative about Fedora is that something 
> doesn’t happen before a release that happens before openSUSE-releases: A 
> decided corporate effort at bug-squashing. It doesn’t happen because Red 
> Hat cannot afford to put its complete ressources at de-bugging code that 
> they won’t use for their commercial product anytime soon (while for 
> Novell it makes sense because openSUSE’s code goes back into SLED, soon).

OK, this just takes the cake for bullshit quotient.  The Red Hat
developers do their development IN FEDORA.  So the notion that there is
no "corporate focus" on bug squashing is just ludicrous.

> The result is that Fedora is a fine distro but a bit rough around the 
> edges."

Now this, I won't argue too strongly with.  Fedora follows Linus's
"release early, release often" advice.  Because of that rapid rate of
new technology, there can absolutely be bugs.  

However, if Fedora 8 isn't a shining example of a beautiful distro, I
don't know what is.  Amazing eye-candy (wobbly windows, spinny
desktops), fully featured desktop functionality (office suite, Internet
tools, rich development environment), full featured server (GFS, HA
clustering, virtualization, etc.), then I just don't know what is.

To summarize, Fedora is an independent distribution from RHEL.  They
share many bits to be sure, and the Red Hat developers work on both, but
they really serve different purposes.  Fedora is community based and
community driven, with a very rapid rate of change.  It's not
appropriate for many large enterprise customers who don't want to
constantly chase the latest bits.  But anyone who says that it is not
ready for prime time is just smoking crack.

Having said all of this, I don't really give a crap about the SUSE
crowd's opinions.  They've sold their souls to the devil in staying with
Novell after the Microsoft sellout.  By supporting Novell, they've
pretty much completely blown any credibility they might have once had.

Novell has yet again done a "me too" play in buying SUSE just to try to
stay relevant in IT.  They *owned* the server market with NetWare and
lost their asses.  They had a golden desktop opportunity with Perfect
Office and once again blew it.  They bought an awesome desktop
management platform (Red Carpet) in Ximian and effectively killed it off
by closing it and making it part of the proprietary Zenworks platform.
Basically, Novell has pretty much screwed the pooch at everything
they've done since the mid 90s.  Not really even worth messing with 'em.


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