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Redhat Spins Off Fedora Project 300

Blahbooboo3 writes "In a bid to attract a larger following among developers, Red Hat has spun off its Fedora open source project into a more independent foundation. As part of the transition, the Fedora open source project will transfer development work and copyright ownership of contributed code to the foundation but Red Hat will continue to provide substantial financial and engineering support." From the article: "The proposed patents common, which mimics the Creative Commons licensing scheme for creative works including art and music, is designed to enable developers to exchange ideas with fewer concerns about patent infringement. and Red Hat's efforts to lobby for patent reform in the U.S. and Europe."
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Redhat Spins Off Fedora Project

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 03, 2005 @01:43PM (#12715907)
    oh you know .. no one big.

  • by birder ( 61402 ) on Friday June 03, 2005 @01:44PM (#12715920) Homepage
    Companies who want to use Linux but want a nice safe company to blame use Red Hat. $500-1750 per year per copy. They get around $25k a year from us. I've never once in 3 years called Red Hat for support but management is happy to pay that price to point the finger at someone to blame.

  • by winkydink ( 650484 ) * <> on Friday June 03, 2005 @01:56PM (#12716049) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, look how fast Debian has been able to move and adapt.

    IMHO, well-managed projects need a benevolent dictator at the top to keep things moving.
  • Re:Ubuntu ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LnxAddct ( 679316 ) <> on Friday June 03, 2005 @01:57PM (#12716070)
    Fedora's growth rate is 3 times that of the next fastest growing distro, Gentoo. In a little under 2 years Fedora has over 400,000 live servers on the net (yes a few were prior RH servers, but estimates show only about 10,000 - 20,000). Gentoo's growth rate is fast but they still are only around 63,000 servers. Fedora is overtaking Suse (they are about 25,000 servers apart). The two biggest distros are Red Hat Enterprise with 1.6 million servers and Debian with 760,000 servers. Most of the Ubuntu users are previous Debian testing and unstable users and previous Gentoo users. Red Hat is currently by far the biggest supporter of Gnome, the only company that ever claim close was Ximian. Red Hat dumps a ton of money into Gnome including developers, HIGs, user studies, quality assurance, and general advancement of the free desktop. Ubuntu is not even in the same ballpark as Fedora, its users just make a lot of noise and its founder has a lot of money for PR.
  • Re:what about KDE? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ArsonSmith ( 13997 ) on Friday June 03, 2005 @02:00PM (#12716098) Journal
    I know what you mean. I wish the look and feel guys from KDE would get together with the application guys of gnome. work together rather than seperately. right now we have competeing desktops that both suck. Picking and choosing and combining efforts would work much better.
  • Re:Why use fedora? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheLinuxWarrior ( 240496 ) <aaron.carr@aaRED ... com minus distro> on Friday June 03, 2005 @02:00PM (#12716101)
    One reason to use it is when you have split environments.

    Example: Production/Development/Test

    You want the same look and feel/packages installed the same way on ALL servers, but you only want to pay for premium support for the prod servers. So use RHEL on those, and Fedora on Dev/Test to save money on licensing.

  • Re:what about KDE? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jason Earl ( 1894 ) on Friday June 03, 2005 @02:01PM (#12716111) Homepage Journal

    My guess is that Red Hat will primarily be paying Red Hat engineers to work on Gnome, and I would also bet that the folks that work on FC will continue to work on making the Gnome and KDE stuff look similar. In other words the KDE stuff will continue to look like the Gnome stuff.

    For this to change then the KDE community would have to get a lot more involved with the FC community. In fact, they would have to get enough involved that they could change the course of the distribution. I am not part of the FC community, but I have watched enough Free Software projects that I would be very surprised if this signalled a big change. Red Hat is doing all it can to make Fedora as independent as possible, but it still is going to be providing the bulk of the actual development time.

  • by eviltypeguy ( 521224 ) on Friday June 03, 2005 @02:08PM (#12716174)
    One problem with that theory. You criticize Fedora for not being like Debian, even though Fedora's control structure is roughly the same as Ubuntu's. Yet, both Ubuntu and Fedora have none of the problems that Debian has. That isn't to say that Fedora and Ubuntu are equally successful, but they're both more successful than Debian. Tell me again why they should adopt Debian's approach, when it has failed and Fedora and Ubuntu are successful by comparison?
  • Translation (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 03, 2005 @02:12PM (#12716213)
    Red Hat can't make any money off of Fedora, so they're "freeing up its future". It's an admission that the services model only works when the services are a mandatory part of the package (if it works at all).
  • by Erwos ( 553607 ) on Friday June 03, 2005 @02:13PM (#12716219)
    "This, I believe, is Red Hat's plan. I don't know about you, but I'm putting on my tin-foil hat."

    Your conspiracy theory is contradicted by, well, everything.

    Red Hat bought Netscape Directory Server. They promptly released it as Free software.

    They had the cluster file system. They released it as Free software.

    RHEL3 and RHEL4 are _all_ Free software. Not some - all.

    Sorry, but there is still a very strong Free software sentiment going on over there, and you only need to read the blogs of the employees to find it out. They don't sell anything proprietary, unless you count RHN (which isn't distributed per se anyways).

    If you want to convince people, try presenting, I don't know, a coherent argument with some sort of evidence. "I think" is pretty crappy proof.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 03, 2005 @02:13PM (#12716222)
    The guy who started Ubuntu has:

    a) bucketloads of dosh
    b) a will to change the world
    c) a point of view that freedom of access to information is valuable
    d) a point of view that free software is a good way of giving back to the community
    e) a point of view (which meshes well with the free software community) that software should be [vry en nie net gratis nie]

    His money. His decision. Nice linux. I have no complaints.
  • by Eric Smith ( 4379 ) * on Friday June 03, 2005 @02:56PM (#12716619) Homepage Journal
    You may recall that Red Hat abandoned (read fscked!) their end user base by EOL'ing Red Hat Linux 9 and decided not to release another desktop version for the masses.
    When they first announced Fedora, that was sort of my take on it. I was unhappy about it, but willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. In my opinion time has shown that they have done exactly what they said, and not screwed anyone. The Fedore Core distributions have had the same degree of quality I had come to expect of the RHL distributions, on a more stable release schedule, with no official support. If you want paid support, or less frequent releases, you can use RHEL.

    Most of the people that criticize Fedora seem to be criticizing it over the very things that were done deliberately as project objectives.

    The only area in which they've failed to meet the stated objectives is in facilitating community participation, and this new foundation seems like a step in the right direction to improve that.

  • Re:Why use fedora? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WhiplashII ( 542766 ) on Friday June 03, 2005 @03:44PM (#12717009) Homepage Journal
    People (well, slashdot people) really underestimate the value of brand recognition. Red Hat will make money because for a large class of people when they think Linux the first two names are Red Hat and IBM. Most people do not go looking for all the variants to find the best one (or the cheapest), they choose based on name recognition - because that is easier, and there is an underlying assumption that if everyone else is using it, they must be doing something right.

    Red Hat and IBM own this space. (Of course, the sell to VERY different clients) Breaking in to an existing market is very difficult - and competing on price is a very bad idea, in general. (Among other things, it means that the clients you attract care only about price, which is the most difficult advantage to maintain!)
  • by smartfart ( 215944 ) * <joey AT joeykelly DOT net> on Friday June 03, 2005 @03:53PM (#12717092) Homepage Journal
    How did they abandon anyone? By no longer putting a RH desktop distro on store shelves? It wasn't profitable.

    We can argue about the profitablility aspect. I don't think it costs a lot to press a CD and print a box, though. If you're saying that they thought they could make more money focusing on the "enterprise" market, you're right.

    About the abandonment aspect, most Linux geeks were very much put out by Red Hat's decision to discontinue the non-enterprise product and to de-support it. They left everyone in a lurch by doing so, and not just the geeks. As elsewhere noted, when the suits think Linux they think Red Hat, and quite a number of smaller companies that would never consider buying or being forced to upgrade to an enterprise product were stuck with having to either run an unpatched server or pay for an expensive migration to another distro.

    After six months or so, if memory serves me, the project was started to provide patches for old Red Hat installations. Too little, too late, in my opinion. Perhaps this new foundation will in fact repair the damage done regarding geek opinion of Redhat/Fedora/whatever_is_next.

    ...Oh, and hi, Greg! Still gonna buy me lunch? Heh, heh.

  • by Kristoffer Lunden ( 800757 ) on Friday June 03, 2005 @04:25PM (#12717435) Homepage
    Maybe "technical support" is misleading? I can think of lots of other things to do apart from fixing bugs and problems, although I suspect providing some kind of commercial grade guarantees that any problems will be fixed would be a valid business model too, at least for some companies.

    For instance, you could very well charge money for developing certain, possibly quite specialized, features for the distribution that is otherwise lower on the general priorities list. Or for helping to migrate to it from other platforms. I'm sure there are other possibilities, but I am only guessing. I do think that larger companies have little problem paying for experts to do the grunt work, they just want something that works - like you say - whichever platform they have chosen.

    It also works the other way around, which is why many companies do put money or effort into projects that are free and open: they get a product they can use themselves, which might be better than anything else, and they get a say in how it will work. Many, many products out there that are shrinkwrapped may not do what companies want, and maybe they never will - as well as the risk that the product may be gone one day with no way to go forward without switching completely.

    Lets say a company builds products around Apache, PHP and MySQL - or whatever - if they have specialized needs enough, or even just make big enough business on it, it might make perfect sense to help make those products as good as possible. Maybe the guy(s) behind Canonical only really need a very good Linux distribution, for whatever reason.

    I don't claim to know how these people reason, I have a bit of a hard time seeing how the service model should work at times myself. But it seems that others do believe in it, and it's not only people who go bankrupt. ;-)

    I went for the CDs. I pay for them by giving them to friends and letting them try it out. After all, that is what they want me to do with them. Although, I might donate a bit too, it seems they need money for their servers at the moment...
  • Re:Why use fedora? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jhoger ( 519683 ) on Friday June 03, 2005 @06:59PM (#12718874) Homepage
    False comparison... if you want to compare apples to apples, you should really be comparing Fedora to Sid (Debian Unstable).

    Contrary to popular opinion, Debian Unstable is very, very stable. I'd like stable to release more often, but look at what we get in return: more packages, more architectures, and more freedom.

    -- John.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972