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Re: Fate of RedHat

On Sun, Feb 22, 2004 at 02:04:03PM -0500, Reuben D. Budiardja wrote:
> Redhat does not have to give away the source, they just have to provide them 
> with the binary, or provide a written offer of the sourse, or online, which 
> what you get if you buy RHEL and/or subscribes to RHN.

As a practical matter, they don't have to provide access to the source
for packages not shipped with a distro--so, for instance if you buy RHPW
and want LDAP, they don't really have to make the SRPM available to you
for DL under the Open Source license, because they didn't distribute
it to *you*.

> But infact Redhat do better than that by providing the SRPMS in their
> FTP sites. So yes, if you want to download the source RPMs from their
> FTP and build them yourself, I think you can. It's already been done
> (I don't remember the website / URL address but I've seen it). You
> just won't get support from Redhat.

If they *do* currently allow unrestricted access to the SRPMs, it may be
an oversight, and  I can't count on it in the future.  Blocking access
to customers who didn't buy the version with that particular package
bundled into the distro would be very much in line with their attempt to
add to the revenue stream to support the cost of testing, integration,
and RPM packaging.

And, as I've commented elsewhere, requiring a client to D/L and build SRPMs
isn't really a viable installation option for most production sites.

The following are for the record for all of my posts:

1.) I've been a RedHat user since around '94 or '95.  I use it on my own
    network, and have bought versions from RH that I knew I were not going
    to be installed--that I was going to skip--to support the company.  I
    don't *want* to change.

2.) I'm not against RedHat making a profit.  Profit is good, profit is
    necessary to survive.  But you have to make it while still providing
    value above and beyond the Linux competition; AND enough beyond
    Microsoft that clients/users will accept a certain amount of risk
    and pain (from unfamiliarity, package incompatibility, etc.)

The problem is they've left out a piece of the solution set:  RHPW +
access to RPMs not included with the distro.  Charge something for that
access, as long as it's much less than RHEWS, and don't support me.
	Dave Ihnat
	ignatz dminet com

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