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Re: Oracle and RedHat

On Mon, 23 Feb 2004, Ravi Verma wrote:

> 1. Is it appropriate for vendors like Oracle to certify their product for
> distribution from one particular Linux distributor?
> This gives the impression that there is Linux and then there is RedHat
> Linux as opposed to being a mere distribution of it. I abhor the idea of
> forking. We have already paid a heavy price as a result of forking of
> Unix.

As a personal opinion, I believe it is "Appropriate" but decidedly not 
"Optimal". However, keeping in mind that many vendors such as Oracle are 
unused to dealing in an Open Source environment I also believe it is 
understandable that this is the approach they are taking. It is also our 
job as consumers to point out (nicely) to people such as Oracle that you 
as a customer of theirs - believe this tactic to be sub-optimal and would 
like them to invest time and effort into finding a solution that is more 
"Open" in that the product becomes reasonably vendor independant as the 
direction things are headed toward is an open OS platform where 
applications tend to be non OS specific. There should be nothing stopping 
Oracle from simply having a list of dependancies that need to be filled 
before Oracle can be installed and possibly listing a number of vendor 
distributions of linux that fulfil these and leave it up to the customer 
to choose a distribution.

> 2. Oracle's marketing claims that RedHat has certain code as part of RHEL
> which is not public yet. If that is true and that private code is still
> called Linux, would Red Hat Linux still be in compliance with GPL?

If they make such claims then surely they can back this up with details - as 
RedHat are extremely open about what their OS contains, where the changes 
are and what licences they fall under. (the sources are freely 
downloadable after all)

It is a rather serious accusation to make and you may find that it is 
simply a marketing persons way of saying "he's asking stuff I have no idea 
about, we'll make something up and hope he goes away"

An interesting Tactic would be to get the marketing person to send this to 
you in writing and then ask RedHat to comment on this, tho some may view 
this as slightly underhand it could prove to be ammusing :-)


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