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Re: ATI video comes out of the closet

On Sat, Sep 08, 2007 at 10:52:15AM -0500, Les Mikesell wrote:
> The problem is that the only way to get current applications which are 
> evolving rapidly and have the cool stuff you want is to get them bundled 
> with a wildly experimental kernel and device drivers that will regularly 
> die underneath them.

Ah...well, as has been noted, you can selectively accept or reject updates.

And remember--*everything* can be built from source.  If there's a particular
package you want to have the latest'n'greatest, and they're not moving it
fast enough to suit in the test and repository cycle, you _can_ just build
that one for yourself.

> I don't see the point of changing the kernel or drivers in a machine
> _ever_ once they work correctly except perhaps for security updates
> or when adding new hardware.  The semantics of what the kernel is
> supposed to be doing was established pretty well 30 years or so ago.

Hm.  The original concept of the kernel in Unix was to strip off
everything that wasn't critical to the OS and put it in user space.
(How do you know what that is?  Kinda like the way the Michelangelo knew
how to carve a horse; look at it, and remove everything that doesn't look
like a horse.)  Critical services; resource contention; scheduling; etc.

Now, some things--actually, many things--have crept back into the kernel.
(I wasn't thrilled with Ritchie Streams, and argued against them when
first proposed.  He actually called me--I was on contract at the Labs
at the time--on my internal extension to tell me he agreed with some of
my arguments, and to discuss the matter.  Those were heady days.)

I don't know that everything they want to try belongs in the kernel;
but I'm something of a purist.  I do know that, if they're going to
experiment with a distribution, that's what Fedora is supposed to be.

Because of that, I won't run Fedora as a server; I don't want to have
to monitor my server closely to make sure wonky updates don't bring it
down, and I don't want to be forced to upgrade to the next--possibly
very wonky-- release as they push the older version of Fedora out.

OTOH, it's on my dual-boot laptop, and I enjoy poking at the new stuff.

> I realize that fedora isn't the distribution I wish it were, but I think 
> everyone would be better off it there were a way to have Red Hat style 
> administration, a stable kernel and device drivers, and up to date apps 
> all in one distribution.

Frankly, this was the argument that was held back when RedHat stopped
their normal distribution and went to Fedora.  They deliberately pushed
it right to the bleedin' edge, while pulling back and offering "stable"
business releases.  Unfortunately, their business offerings are too
expensive for the very small business or hobbyist.  Where simple pricing
was a differentiator before, the current supported price is so close
to that of Windows that you have to find some other differentiator,
such as FOSS applications that meet the client's needs.

I think there's probably a niched for something between Fedora and RHE
Server or Workstation.  But RedHat already *had* something that fit
there and clearly decided it didn't fit their business model.  Ok, so
that means if I need something cheaper than RHE, and more stable than
Fedora, I go to CentOS, or SuSE, or Ubuntu, or--well, pick your distro.

	Dave Ihnat
	President, DMINET Consulting, Inc.
	dihnat dminet com

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