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Red Hat Software Businesses IT

Red Hat Exec Takes Over Open Source Initiative 144

njcoder writes "CNet reports that Michael Tiemann, vice president of open-source affairs at Linux seller Red Hat and an OSI board member, has taken over from Russell Nelson as president pro tem. 'We thought that Michael would be a better president' Nelson said of the change, declining to share further details. Nelson will remain a board member and active in the group, he said."
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Red Hat Exec Takes Over Open Source Initiative

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  • I suppose (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 05, 2005 @03:14PM (#11853958)
    this is good news. Red Hat has been instrumental in much of the open source movement but they are very corporate these days. I will be attending a RHEL 4 pitch/SE Linux pitch soon, atypical for Linux.
    • I don't think that it has anything with redhat - point is on Michael Tiemann. And I don't what could be changed much, both were board members already.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 05, 2005 @03:15PM (#11853965)
    Does Michael Tiemann have the right trollish credentials? I'm not sure I've ever seen him post to Slashdot at all, let alone start a flamewar.
  • w00t (Score:2, Funny)

    There is a god. This guy was a bad slashdot troll, I'm telling you...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "Take over"? I like the sound of that.

    After all, Red Hat is the de facto standard of all open source. Intel's compilers, Oracle and everything corporate is designed for it. Good luck installing not to mention running anything like that on other distributions.

    • by LnxAddct ( 679316 ) <> on Saturday March 05, 2005 @03:53PM (#11854155)
      I'm not sure if that was a compliment or an insult to Red Hat, but regardless, Michael is a good guy with a good head on his shoulders. If you've ever seen his writings or hear him talk you'd know what I mean. Afterall, he did write the first GNU C++ compiler. He recently also did a little video thing for Red Hat magazine showing the benefits of open source. He truly is an innovative and important guy in the community. Congratulations to him. For those who don't know, Red Hat has many individuals like this that are just as influential and important in the OSS world (i.e. Alan Cox), don't let one bad marketing decision make you hate Red Hat. Without them, who knows where we'd be, even OSS programmers have to eat.


      P.S. For a little blurb on Michael, read this [].
    • I've been running Oracle on Slackware since 8.0.5. No problems. Software that comes packaged in RPMs and depends on Red Hat RPMs can be very annoying, for example HP Insight Manager. Spent several frustrating hours trying to install it on Debian the other day.
      • All binary packages are annoying in the same way (library requirements), regardless of the package format. What's in RPM that people see flaws general to binary packages and attribute it specifically to RPM?
        • Nope. Binary packages that don't require RPM are happy as long as the libraries or other required components are there. RPM doesn't handle the case where required software components have been installed from .deb or .tgz packages, or from source. Or, for that matter, from an rpm from another vendor or even the same vendor but a newer version.

          RPM has the added problem that it doesn't handle overlapping packages, i.e. files that exist in more than one package. That is a problem RPM shares with other package

    • >After all, Red Hat is the de facto standard of all open source. Intel's compilers, Oracle and everything corporate is designed for it. Good luck installing not to mention running anything like that on other distributions.

      If it were the defacto standard of all open source like you assert then we'd have problems running all sorts of OSS on anything other than red hat but that is not the case. I may have problems running soem closed source db, or a closed source compiler but that makes redhat teh defacto
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Russ made some statements on slashdot where he admitted that "Open Source" was not a trademark but for whatever reason was just as good as one and could be defended in court by OSI.

    Then there was discussion that the "definition" fo Open Source would be reduced to exclude certain Free Software licences.

    For someone in charge of a branding effort all of this seemed a little rash. Perhaps internal dissent is what was going on behind the scenes.
  • Better fedora? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by caryw ( 131578 )
    Redhat alienated much of their loyal userbase with the introduction of Fedora Core. This is a step in the right direction for Redhat to get back to their roots and stop concentrating so hard on their commercial offerings that they leave their grassroots projects underdevloped and insufficient. Short bio. [] Interview from a few years ago []
    - Cary
    --Fairfax Underground []: Where Fairfax County comes out to play
    • by ajs ( 35943 )
      Red Hat GAINED a much larger loyal user base in releasing Fedora than they EVER had with Red Hat Linux. Let's not try to paint events to match your hurt feelings (presuming that that's why you're upset, I could be wrong).
      • Just following up because the mod of "troll" seemed kind of shocking to me. I want to make it clear here that I firmly believe in what I said. Fedora has a much larger audience than RHL ever did, and many of its users are very loyal. Red Hat may have pissed some people off by EOLing RHL, but that is no reason to ignore the fact that they also PLEASED a lot of people by releasing Fedora.
    • Re:Better fedora? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bogie ( 31020 ) on Saturday March 05, 2005 @04:17PM (#11854326) Journal
      " stop concentrating so hard on their commercial offerings "

      Their commercial offerings are what allow them to finance Fedora, Gnome, people like Alan Cox, and many other OSS initiatives. Plus they give away the source to that commercial offering.

      "they leave their grassroots projects underdevloped and insufficient"

      Says you. Fedora from the start has been in many users and reviewers opinions one of the better desktop linux distros available.

      People need to get over the "Red Hat owes the community something" bullshit. Yes they moved away from the $79 one-size-fits-all model that everyone loved and many miss but they still contine to be a positive force in OSS.
      • I've been a happy fedora user since FC1 was released, and never understood why everybody bitches about Red Hat.
    • Fedora at this point is the best distro out there. It has the best installer, it has SELinux, it even has decent i18n support (Ubuntu, are you listening?). You install it and it "just works" (tm) and that's about all I want from a Linux distro. I run a personal web server off of my DSL connection and I don't have time and desire to spend my nights and weekends recompiling the kernel, putting in SELinux and trying to set up non-US locale. I can do all of this, but why should I in year 2005?
  • Many non-profit projects out in the world begin as independant projects, but as they grow, are later staffed and controlled by a board and a board chairman all comprised of the powerful ones who bring in profits, the business owners and such, who are the ones capable of further expanding and funding the operation.

    For most of the 1990s, OSS was by programmers for programmers (and to an extent their non-programmer friends), but gradually those in the OSS field have been coopted by the business practices of

    • "Dictatorial Corporations of the Past"

      That is very ominous sounding of you. A corporation is a collection of people. A corporation requires people to buy their products and services. A community requires people to volunteer and contribute. Everyone in the chain must produce value to continue.

      A dictatorship requires guns.

      Do you see the difference?

      Has the entire world gone mad?
    • by ajs ( 35943 ) <> on Saturday March 05, 2005 @03:56PM (#11854177) Homepage Journal
      Oh please, just stop. If you have no appreciation for the history involved, then you're not going to be able to contribute to this in an informed way.

      Michael Tiemann is the founder of Cygnus Software (which was bought by Red Hat). If you want his OSS credentials, go to any copy of the GCC source and use grep. He's not heading this group because he's a corporate drone for Red Hat, he's heading this group because he's a better choice than ANY OF US!
    • If you were, you would realize the potential of anyone to "control" an OSS project. All it takes is work. Evidently these big corporations have a stake and are willing to put in the work to improve this software. That doesn't mean you or I cannot take their improvements and use them however we want, including throwing them out. No one can truly control an OSS project. Their control is tenuous and based on the acceptance of the users of their software. If they screw it up, somebody takes the good bits,
    • I understand your fears, but Michael has devoted his life to open source first at Cygnus and later during the good old days when Red Hat before Fedora.

      He has been a great proponant and advocate or OSS all this time. I think he is probably one of the best choices for this post and I am comfortable with it.
    • There was a lot of talk about cutting down on the number of OSI approved licenses after Sun's CDDL was approved. There was a little talk last year but nothing as big as what's been happening now. Is there any conflict of interest now that an exec of RedHat runs OSI with regards to what OSI stamps as OpenSource and what licenses they decide to trim? There has been a lot of bad mouthing back and forth between Red Hat and Sun lately. Could they use their position to cut out the CDDL?

      I agree with you on h

  • by bhsx ( 458600 ) on Saturday March 05, 2005 @03:37PM (#11854071)
    I wonder if this petition [] has anything to do with this decision? For the uninitiated, Russ wrote on his blog (and since removed it []) about corporate black culture, in an article titled "Blacks are Lazy."
    Here's the google cache of the withdrawn article. []
    • Russ himself signed the petition; acording to the petition's author, tomhudson, he emailed to confirm his signature.

    • That article is poorly written with a sensationalist title -- but not inherently rascist. At the base of it, he's advocating equal pay for equal work regardless of race, not calling black people lazy.

      • he's advocating equal pay for equal work regardless of race, not calling black people lazy.

        Um, yes he is. You can't spin away the title of the goddamned post.

        • Not that I agree with Russ's opinions or in any way am sad that he won't be leading the OSI, but if you actually read what he wrote [] it's clear that he meant the title to be provocative, but not racist as in "black people are lazy because of their genetics".

          Of course, it was still a stupid and insensitive title. As a public figure you always have to think about what you say and write and expect people to interpret things the wrong way.

          • A fundamental problem with the article was that the entire thing relied upon the title being fundamentally correct. This is something those trying to explain it away have tended to ignore. I don't see any evidence that blacks, as a group, actually are lazy. But Nelson's column goes into detail as to why they're lazy without actually backing up the assertion that they actually are to begin with. The headline is an underlying accusation that's implied by the argument, not contradicted by it.

            You don't explai

        • You can't spin away the title of the goddamned post.

          I guess that makes Bow, Nigger [] racist too, even though it's been twice linked to in a front page Slashdot article and held up as an example of excellent games journalism. Yes, let's judge on the title rather than the content.

          To Russ Nelson's credit he realized that the post wasn't a good idea, pulled it, and then posted a public apology. The man has already admitted that he was wrong. What more do you want?

        • Please, can you forgive people for being incidentally blunt or do you always expect & pretend sterilized politically correct statements? Listen, the guy worded it a bit backwards, but he's just saying that in a heavily discriminated community only the most determined folks will have "success" while most will drop the towel and seek fulfillment in other aspects of life. Objectively, a middle class, good family (9/10 times, white) male (there's that detail too) really has to try hard to screw his life int
      • I simply laid out the facts to allow people to draw their own conclusions. The fact is, he has been getting a lot of heat about the article. I simply questioned whether the two incidents are possibly related.
        No need to be so knee-jerk.
    • by ajs ( 35943 ) <> on Saturday March 05, 2005 @03:52PM (#11854153) Homepage Journal
      It's an interesting article with a fairly cogent -- if subjective -- thought about socio-economic origins of prejudice... and yet it's said with all the tact of a true geek. Heh.

      Well, at least he understood that people were not taking it as intended, and took it down. Quite a few people around here would have left it up, saying, "what's the big deal?"
      • I think the main problem people had with the essay (other than the inflammitory title) were these two sentences:

        Actually, come to think about it, we had about 150 years of black slavery, and it hasn't even been 150 years since the Civil War. It wouldn't surprise me to find that blacks are still taught to value their leisure time more highly than whites.

        Not only does this show a lack of understanding of history (slave ships had begun British colony trade at Jamestown by 1620, and were involved with Spanish

    • This reminds me a little of Philip Greenspun's memo [] comparing software development to a Nazi concentration camp.

      Nelson seems to be saying that if you're paid less, there is less incentive to give up leisure time for work. But the flaw in this argument is that if you have less money you need it more, so you may have to work harder and for longer simply _because_ you are paid less. This also applies to taxation: some argue that high income taxes hurt the economy by reducing the incentive to work, but other
      • And, the flaw in YOUR argument is you're stating that by simply working harder, you'll get paid more.

        That might happen over time, through raises and bonuses, etc., but if one percerives one is ALWAYS going to get paid less for the same work, the natural response is to say "fuck it, I'm just going to work as much as my remuneration suggests."
    • I signed it, too. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Russ Nelson ( 33911 ) <> on Saturday March 05, 2005 @05:36PM (#11854796) Homepage
      For what it's worth, I signed the petition also, and the sponsor withdrew his accusation of racism.
      • I'm glad you joined in the conversation. I hope that you noticed that I didn't have anything negative to say, just providing some info and posing a question.
        Can you comment on the relation of the two incidents (if there is any)? Have you been getting internal pressures from Bruce and company to stand down? I'm not trying to drag anyone through the mud or anything, I'm honestly just very curious.
        By the way, I think the only mistake that was made was taking down the original article. Sometimes you nee
    • I don't know if it had anything directly to do with the decision, but I know I felt, and a lot of people felt, coming on top of remarks Nelson had made in the original Slashdot thread announcing his appointment, that it demonstrated a lack of the diplomatic skills needed for the figurehead representing a major advocacy group. FWIW, I was one of the people who drew attention to this particular posting, via my journal. (I may have been the first to do so publicly, I'm not sure)

      Regardless of whether Nelson t

    • Here is the counter petition

      Do yourself a favour and make a statement supporting freedom of speech by signing this petition, please.
  • I am a fan of Michael Tiemann. []

    While focusing on open source and Red Hat's take on it, the main concepts can be used so many places -- OSS or not. Watch it a couple times to really have it sink in; it's deceptively simple though the 'common wisdom' is to discard these ideas when 'reality' shows up (aka resistant managers who have gotten used to the status quo.).

  • by MichaelCrawford ( 610140 ) on Saturday March 05, 2005 @04:13PM (#11854299) Homepage Journal
    His brother Bruce was a classman in Ricketts house at caltech. Bruce majored in chemistry, and had an interest in laser dyes. I'd visit Bruce at home during vacations, when their father was a visiting professor at Stanford, and got to know Michael that way.

    You could tell early on he was going to go far. He had a microcomputer he had soldered together himself from components, and ran a prolog interpreter on. It was the first I ever saw prolog.

    Funny little anecdote, I decided to try out photography after dropping out of Caltech, so Bruce lent me Michael's very expensive Canon A-1 SLR camera. It would accurately meter a thirty second exposure at night.

    The photos on this page [] of my article Living with Schizoaffective Disorder [] were taken with Michael Tiemann's camera.

    I've lost touch with them over the years though.

    • Funny little anecdote, I decided to try out photography after dropping out of Caltech, so Bruce lent me Michael's very expensive Canon A-1 SLR camera. It would accurately meter a thirty second exposure at night.

      This is incredibly off-topic, I know, but I'm drooling over that statement.

      Sounds like a cool guy, though.
  • It's about time they upgraded Michael to president, he's been in the deal long enough to deserve the promotion and I think it will lend a lot to the open source movement. Since OSI is taking on more work these days they're expanding their board. Only specualtion can tell us who they're going to bring in next, will it be Bob Rose? Hopefully, but we'll see how it plays out. Go Open Source!
  • G++ bugs (Score:2, Interesting)

    by norwoodites ( 226775 )
    Really Tiemann needs to fix more G++ bugs which he introduced when he wrote the code. The code has many slow places where he used a crapy O(n^2) algorithm instead of an O(n) one.
    • If you are so sure about the design errors and what would be the best way to correct them, why are you posting flames on slashdot instead of submitting patches to the g++ project?

      Leave Tiemann alone. His contributions may not be the best (at your eyes, at least) but he is contributing *a lot* to the community. Let's praise what he did/does and not bad-mouth his effords.
      • I do contribute to GCC, look for my name in ChangeLog. I am also a GCC bug master who goes through each and every new bug which is opened so I know where the problems are usually.

        And my first comments were supposed to be taken as a joke and not seriously.
        • And my first comments were supposed to be taken as a joke and not seriously.

          Reading your first comment, I assumed you were som 14 year old kid just trolling. There was no way to tell from your post that you were joking.
  • NOT a good idea. Has anyone else here heard of the term "conflict of interests" before?

    The OSI IMHO should most certainly NOT be either directly commercial, or allow any commercial entity to use it in order to advance their own cause. I'm not sure how they're meant to avoid that happening if they start putting corporate staff in leadership positions.
  • hypoxia (Score:2, Interesting)

    After the last Red Hat article, I did a bit of studying on Fedora and Red Hat (represented by Centos 4.0). The results were quite interesting.

    Fedora is pitched as the beta testing project for Red Hat. Stuff that gets into Red Hat Enterprise is supposed to be proven in Fedora. If you look at the actual packages in each distribution, however, it is interesting to note that RHEL 4.0 actually has newer stuff than Fedora core 3. If Fedora leads to RHEL, how can this be? Has Red Hat, having jettisoned its
    • RHEL4 has plenty of its packages based off those in FC3 but my understanding is that is that the packages for both FC and RHEL come from rawhide. Now because FC3 isn't a rolling distro (in the same way as something like Gentoo or Debian unstable) there are things in rawhide that MAY never make their way into FC3 because they came out after FC3 was released. However those packages (or some future version) will turn up in FC4.

      So if one assumes that RHEL4 was based off rawhide and rawhide had progressed past
      • So if one assumes that RHEL4 was based off rawhide and rawhide had progressed past FC3 then you would wind up with later packages in RHEL4. No conspiracy I'm afraid (try a different studying technique next time ;).

        If RHEL draws its lineage from rawhide rather than Fedora, then what exactly is Fedora?
        • I am answering this from a package only point of view and this is MY understanding - it may not be correct (ask someone from Red Hat, it might be that RHEL really is branched from a Fedora). Since you mentioned RHEL we can turn it round and say what is RHEL? RHEL is mostly a branch of rawhide + non Red Hat packages. Fedora Core (note the Core) is completely a branch of rawhide (as in "all Fedora Core packages are/were in rawhide", not "all of rawhide is in Fedora Core") and the RHEL branch is often taken at

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell