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Re: Reason for the change

On Mon, Jul 21, 2003 at 11:34:05AM -0400, Simon Perreault wrote:
> First, thanks a lot for making Red Hat Linux more open and friendly to the 
> community! I'm sure you'll get tons of thanks in code and patches too.

Welcome!  :-)

> Anyone care to explain the reason for the change? Something other than "it was 
> the right thing to do", which we know it was. I mean, Red Hat is a business, 
> and it's not often we see businesses opening products for community input 
> this way. Where did the push come from? Was any particular person or group 
> more involved than others? Any big market factors? How long has it been in 
> the planning?

Right, this has just shown up in the new version of our FAQ:

    Why is there a Red Hat Linux project instead of a Red Hat Linux product?

    A global steering committee at Red Hat decided that Red Hat Linux
    should no longer be thought of as a "product" but would be more useful
    as a "project".  Rather than being run through product management as
    something that has to appear on retail shelves on a certain date,
    the Red Hat Linux project will be released based on schedules set
    by the engineers that will be open and accessible to the community,
    as well as influenced by community.

    What are the core benefits of this change?

    Changing the product to a project will:

    - Ensure that users can get the latest bits as quickly as possible.
    - Create new opportunities for developers and users to participate
      in Red Hat Linux development by opening up the full development
      process for anyone to see and join if they'd like.
    - Allow us to continue to use Red Hat Linux to develop and mature
      the latest, greatest technologies that may be incorporated
      later into products like Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
    - Speed up the development process, taking better advantage
      of the inherent strengths of the open source model.

So you can see that we believe that the changes we are making (I'm
sure we'll have some fine-tuning to do as after any change) will be
good for our business.  This was not a "coup" on the part of any
part of Red Hat; it was a business decision discussed and promoted
by various groups with different backgrounds.

I'd also like to quote a fragment of an answer to another question:

    The rapid development pace we expect for the Red Hat Linux project
    doesn't suit retail distribution--it is a lot of work to get a
    box product in and out of the channel, and retail isn't set up to
    efficiently handle software that is updated as often as every six
    months. Also, the creation of packaging and other materials that are
    necessary for retail significantly slows down the time to market,
    which means that users can't get the freshest bits when they are
    still truly fresh.

    Further information on the retail product line will be forthcoming
    closer to the product launch plan this fall.


 "He that composes himself is wiser than he that composes a book."
 Linux Application Development                     -- Ben Franklin

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