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Red Hat Software Businesses Software Linux

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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  • Why use fedora? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 03, 2005 @01:34PM (#12715794)
    What advantages does it have over other distros (Debian, por ejemplo)?
  • As of yet... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ImaLamer ( 260199 ) <john.lamarNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday June 03, 2005 @01:36PM (#12715812) Homepage Journal
    I see nothing on Redhat's site or the Fedora site about this.

    Wouldn't that be the first place I should be looking?
  • Ubuntu ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by anandpur ( 303114 ) on Friday June 03, 2005 @01:38PM (#12715832)
    Is this because ubuntu [ubuntulinux.org] is gaining popularity and large number of GNOME developres are in ubuntu camp?
  • what about KDE? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Karma Sucks ( 127136 ) on Friday June 03, 2005 @01:39PM (#12715850)
    Will this finally put KDE development on an equal footing with GNOME in Fedora? Will KDE improvements from KDE developers to the RPM packages in Fedora now be accepted?

    Right now KDE suffers a big disadvantage vs GNOME. It is held crippled by "desktop" rules but not in the same way as GNOME. The GNOME desktop is seeing development, but the KDE desktop in Fedora is stagnating because it is not seeing any new development and it is even not taking new stuff from the KDE upstream like PlastiK defaults.

    So, I say again, will this be an opportunity for true improvement of KDE in Fedora? And if not, why not?
  • by georgep77 ( 97111 ) on Friday June 03, 2005 @01:40PM (#12715855) Homepage Journal
    It seems to me that the rise in popularity of Ubuntu has caused "ripples" of concern amoung some of the more established (read older) distributions. As in the commercial world open source projects live and die by "mindshare" almost as much as technical merit. The spinning off of Fedora sounds like an attempt to recapture some lost mindshare.

  • Change of Direction (Score:4, Interesting)

    by geomon ( 78680 ) on Friday June 03, 2005 @01:41PM (#12715871) Homepage Journal
    I see that they are willing to support "new Fedora" with engineering and financial assistance, but I wonder how long they will continue to help if the disto takes a turn that they do not support.

    What if Fedora begins to look, over time, more like Debian? Would they continue to provide engineering and financial support for that?

    An earlier article [slashdot.org] about Redhat developers wanting to dump old platforms may indicate how tolerant they are in supporting ideals that do not fit into their business model.
  • Thats good (Score:4, Interesting)

    by brickballs ( 839527 ) <brickballsNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday June 03, 2005 @01:41PM (#12715873) Homepage
    Fedoras a decent operating system, I'v used it at times before. but what I'm really interested in is the patent reform.

    From the article:

    "Red Hat also promises to bolster its work on patent reform. After his discussion on open source licensing on Thursday, Webbink told CRN that many vendors including Red Hat and Nokia are pushing for is patent and copyright reforms because current laws presents obstacles to the open source movement. For its part, Red Hat is working with the European Parliament to modify the Computer-Implemented Inventions directive, Red Hat said. In the U.S., Red Hat has called for reform of the patent system to ensure better patent quality."

    It looks to me linke Europs really doing better on patent reform than the US. I'm really hoping that we can get our stuff together here stateside before its too late.
  • Re:Why use fedora? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mogrify ( 828588 ) on Friday June 03, 2005 @01:42PM (#12715891) Homepage
    Off the top of my head...
    • Association with the Redhat brand, and therefore similar tools, look & feel, etc.
    • More recently released packages (this can go both ways)
    • Pretty GUI installer, if you like that kind of thing
  • umbilical (Score:1, Interesting)

    by hotdiggitydawg ( 881316 ) on Friday June 03, 2005 @01:44PM (#12715915)
    Sounds like Red Hat is cutting the cord, if you ask me. Still, support in principle is better than no support at all. And they'd never give up on it completely - thousands of developers working for free so they can "add value" and make a bundle?
  • by Skiron ( 735617 ) on Friday June 03, 2005 @02:02PM (#12716123) Homepage
    I disagree. Redhat make their money from support and the support of the code - all the code is released under GPL, and you can download it.

    I think they are gearing up to become a fully supportive company for businesses - where you can't afford to produce mainline code that isn't up to scratch - and let the Fedora code (their off-spring) take it's first tentative steps away from the nest.
  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Friday June 03, 2005 @02:03PM (#12716125)
    " It seems to me that the rise in popularity of Ubuntu has caused "ripples" of concern amoung some of the more established (read older) distributions."

    I don't think so. The people who go for Ubuntu seem to be in large part the same people who went for Gentoo a year ago (and were making these sorts of comments then as well) - and they'll go for the next du jour in 2006. They're a very vocal group - especially in places like /. - but the actual installed base is pretty inconsequential.
  • I should clarify...

    Red Hat pissed a lot of people off by killing off their "junior" releases (Red Hat 8.0, 9.0, etc.) and I know a lot of businesses that dumped them in favor of other distros.

    I like Fedora, but what I am wondering is if they would have gone about killing off the other versions like they did the same way, or would they have gently migrated people over to Fedora.

    Just curious...that's all.
  • Maybe, Maybe Not (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jpowers ( 32595 ) on Friday June 03, 2005 @02:27PM (#12716363) Homepage
    It's certainly possible that they choose to do this, but everything they've done recently has made what you're describing more difficult. The next version of Red Hat ES is Fedora, and not just the kernel, but pretty much throughout. Their major new "innovations" which I guess would be GFS or this rebuilt Directory Server are open source (GFS is built on the LVM code).

    Redhat's developers see Fedora and Redhat as the same OS. They've been open and direct with the community, even when parts of their company have not. From talking to both their devs and some of their community relations (ie marketing) people face to face, I got the impression that they had been focused so much on getting the ES distros and future projects in order that they'd left community development in the wrong hands internally.

    We run Fedora 3 servers here (we're a US Gov-funded nonprofit, so I will never pay a license fee for support I'll never use. No $400 screwdrivers up this way.) and with one exception, I get all the functionality I require:

    So far the major issue we have run into is that what little proprietary software my users need requires Redhat 7.2 or a set of compat-libs that are not available as part of Fedora. This does make some sense for Redhat: If you want an Oracle, SAS or Splus support plan, they expect you to have a support plan for your OS, too, at which point you may as well be paying for Redhat.

    If your company, unlike mine, has the sense to avoid expensive proprietary software like this, there's no reason not to use Fedora. FC3 is much faster on Intel hardware than FC2 was, and the FC4 prerelease I've been running on amd64 has been realy impressive - though the package changes they've made in the extras repo seems to lean towards more Sun java support, much like the recent OpenOffice 2 Beta. This suits my dev group just fine, but I think the python devs might be gettign short shrift.
  • Re:Why use fedora? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by BlogPope ( 886961 ) on Friday June 03, 2005 @02:41PM (#12716494)
    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.

    Thats a really bad reason. Run Whitebox/ in you Dev environment, but run RHEL in your Test environment. What kind of QA environment runs a different OS than the Production Environment?

    Fedora is QUITE different from RHEL.

  • Why use XXXX? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bogie ( 31020 ) on Friday June 03, 2005 @02:41PM (#12716495) Journal
    What advantages does it have over distro X? Different strokes for different folks my friend. Why ask why and invite the flames?

    btw what's with all the Ubuntu posts claiming that it somehow has something to do with this decision. How arrogant can you get?
  • Re:Ubuntu ? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by EnronHaliburton2004 ( 815366 ) * on Friday June 03, 2005 @02:53PM (#12716597) Homepage Journal
    Do you have any sources for those numbers? Just curious.

    Your numbers talk about servers for Fedora, Debian, SuSE and RedHat; but my experience is that Ubuntu & Gentoo is mostly used for workstations (including individual development servers), RHEL & Debian is mostly production & shared development servers, Fedora & SuSE are popular in both places-- so you're almost comparing apples to oranges to bananas.

    Most of the Ubuntu users are previous Debian testing and unstable users and previous Gentoo users.

    Not sure that I agree. While I'm sure that Ubuntu is attracting many Debian Testing & Unstable users, it's also attracting many new users from all other areas.

    I know a number of people who are starting to use Ubuntu, and none of us were big fans of Debian at all because it's always so far behind the times & hard to use. We're especially not big fans of Debian Testing or Stable, because they are hard to use and buggy.

    Ubuntu looks & feels very different from Debian, but it's
  • Re:Ubuntu ? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Uber Banker ( 655221 ) on Friday June 03, 2005 @03:04PM (#12716703)
    There is a difference between a growth rate and an amount grown. You said growth rate but only quoted numbers.

    If A grows faster than B, it will eventually over take it (given this faster growth is sustained), while B can still grow by a greater absolute amount than A.

    Also, do you have a source for those numbers?
  • by Jason Earl ( 1894 ) on Friday June 03, 2005 @03:10PM (#12716753) Homepage Journal

    The folks at Red Hat have been doing this for a while. They know that when push comes to shove the folks doing the development control the direction of the project, and since Red Hat is going to be paying for piles of engineering time then they will have most of the control. It's possible that a few highly motivated outsiders might make a splash, but that's what Red Hat is *trying* to accomplish by opening up the process. Don't be surprised if Red Hat makes a habit of hiring (or "sponsoring") prominent non-Red Hat Fedora contributors.

    Red Hat's goal with Fedora is to give its customers a chance to help influence (and pay for) development more directly than they could ever hope to with a commercial software company. So there will be plenty of chances to coax Fedora in interesting diretions. However, Red Hat will have plenty of experienced Free Software developers riding herd on Fedora so that it is guaranteed to go in a direction that will be beneficial to everyone involved. There will be disputes of course, and there might even be another fork (like the Mandrake schism that happened when Red Hat decided to develop Gnome instead of using KDE). However, it's not particularly likely that it will come to that. Red Hat has a long history of making fairly good choices, and so there is little chance that forks of Fedora will gain enough developer mind share to really gain traction.

    The Fedora developer test bed was working out fine for Red Hat. Fedora simply was facing a lot of competition from organizations like Debian and Ubuntu that many developers saw as being less influenced by corporations. Red Hat is making it more obvious that they want Fedora to become a stand alone distribution, and not just Red Hat lite. Red Hat's execs know that the more development work that goes into Fedora the more Red Hat licenses they sell as Fedora pilot programs turn into serious production environments. Hooking developers with Free Software has been Red Hat's modus operandi from day one, and it's why Red Hat dominates the Linux game despite the fact that SuSE and Caldera generally had better distributions. SuSE and Caldera were too busy trying to lure Linux users with shiny bits of proprietary software, and that never really worked.

  • by benjamindees ( 441808 ) on Friday June 03, 2005 @03:39PM (#12716964) Homepage
    Heh. Maybe you're thinking of Fedora Extras, which never really was "split off" but was always separate. It was recently moved from the old fedora.us project to a RedHat-controlled server.

    But, even if you're not, I wouldn't be suprised. RedHat is the most schizophrenic company ever to have existed. Look at their various experimental offerings in Linux support over the past ten years. Just as one of them starts gaining traction, it's killed off and replaced with a completely different business model.

    It's like they don't employ actual "business" people there, just a bunch of engineers going "I know what would be cool! Subscriptions for .iso downloads and updates at faster speeds!" So they roll it out, piss off customers who are used to downloading the isos for free (who immediately start work on creating bittorrent), sell a bunch of subscriptions to noobs, *bam* bittorrent is released, the RH engineers go "oh shit" and cancel the whole thing. Meanwhile the noobs are going "WTF? Where's my faster .isos?" because they won't have realized what bittorrent is for another six months, by which time they'll have moved on to paying for SuSE or just said "Screw this, Linux sucks."

    RedHat management says "We don't want another bittorrent debacle" and realize "Look, people are independently supporting our releases" so they decide to cooperate with "the community" instead of making them customers and decide to take control of the Fedora project. Of course, Fedora has had it's own growing pains, because "the community" doesn't really want to use RedHat, they just want a version of Debian with more frequent releases. Oops, did I say "Ubuntu"?

    And, I haven't even begun to get started on RedHat's various ideas and prices of the "Linux desktop". That's a whole other rant...
  • Fedora vs Ubuntu (Score:2, Interesting)

    by 9mind ( 702505 ) on Friday June 03, 2005 @04:03PM (#12717195)
    I currently run both at home and at work. The biggest reason I think Fedora is being released into the wild by RedHat is.... Fedora users want a server where they can get that xmms with MP3 functionality, or get those w32codecs to use in MPlayer.

    The reason RedHat sees so much commercial support is that they uphold people's patents by not including functionality to certain apps that would violate it.

    However, their Fedora users could care less about that, and will quickly jump ship to Ubuntu to be able to add that repo and get all that functionality, patents be damned!

    So in order to not lose their commercial support, but keep their FC users happy (aka RHEL Beta Testers) they need to release FC to the wind, so that they can go Ubuntu wild (patents be damned!).

    I think it makes since.... as I use APT-RPM on my FC boxes using ATrpms.net as my base, this will allow the FC team to put that illicit MP3 support in, and not be connected OFFICIALLY to the upstanding RedHat corporation. ;)

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!