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Interviews: Ask Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst A Question (redhat.com) 167

Jim Whitehurst joined Red Hat in 2008, as its valuation rose past $10 billion and the company entered the S&P 500. He believes that leaders should engage people, and then provide context for self-organizing, and in 2015 even published The Open Organization: Igniting Passion and Performance (donating all proceeds to the Electronic Frontier Foundation). The book describes a post-bureaucratic world of community-centric companies led with transparency and collaboration, with chapters on igniting passion, building engagement, and choosing meritocracy over democracy.

Jim's argued that Red Hat exemplifies "digital disruption," and recently predicted a world of open source infrastructure running proprietary business software. Fortune has already called Red Hat "one of the geekiest firms in the business," and their open source cloud computing platform OpenStack now competes directly with Amazon Web Services. Red Hat also sponsors the Fedora Project and works with the One Laptop Per Child initiative.

So leave your best questions in the comments. (Ask as many questions as you'd like, but please, one per comment.) We'll pick out the very best questions, and then forward them on for answers from Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst.
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Interviews: Ask Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst A Question

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  • Systemd, WTF? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rknop ( 240417 ) on Sunday January 08, 2017 @07:40PM (#53630647) Homepage

    Systemd, WTF???

    As I understand it, one of the stated goals was to speed up boot times. It's had exactly the opposite effect on my Ubuntu system -- that is, when the boot doesn't die altogether when I try to mount NFS shares. (Also, thanks to systemd, I can't even *reboot* or shut down the machine when there's a hung NFS process. I am forced to hard-reset it.)

    For years, warning flags have been raised about systemd. It more or less seems that we're bringing all the disadvantages of the Windows architecture to Linux, without any of the advantages of running WIndows.

    So, again: systemd, wtf???

    • Re: Systemd, WTF? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 08, 2017 @08:07PM (#53630737)

      My question is related: is Red Hat, as an organization, at all concerned about the damage that systemd has done to Linux's usability, its reputation, and its community? Is Red Hat concerned with how systemd has driven so many Linux users to FreeBSD?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        And a follow up, why not spend some of RedHat's money on a sane init system?

        I'm sure you can put a few dollars and bright minds on a system that works reliably. The last thing I want my embedded system to do is get hung up on an init failure.

        • And a follow up, why not spend some of RedHat's money on a sane init system?

          Many many people have tried, many smart people have tried, and no one has ever come up with something satisfactory. Look at any of the many init systems, and there are always complaints. It's a tough problem.

          • It's a tough problem.

            Perhaps one that deserves some funding and thought into how it should work. Not something slapped together by a 30 year old that couldn't have had more than 10 years experience.

          • They weren't thinking big enough. They tried to replace an init system with an init system. Evolution, not revolution.

            The Glorious Lennart has vision! He has ambition! He's going to replace an init system with a combined init system, network controller, desktop environment & kitchen sink.

        • Because for every 1 vocal systemd opponent, there are 100 quiet satisfied systemd users. I was a vocal opponent until i had to actually use and rely on it. I wouldn't go back if you paid me. It has made my job a lot easier.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            And for every quiet satisfied systemd user, there are two quiet dissatisfied systemd users.

            You don't know how many quiet systemd users are out there, and by definition of them being quiet, you can't know if they are satisfied or not.

            Your argument is therefore bad.

          • I was a vocal opponent until i had to actually use and rely on it. I wouldn't go back if you paid me. It has made my job a lot easier.

            How nice for you. What a pity your experience and mine are not the same.

            We're seeing a.lot of flamage about the lack of security on IoT devices. One company I work with is making such a thing. The presence of systemd increases the expected scope of a security audit to the point that they expect to migrate the production version to another OS rather than absorb systemd by u

            • What a pity your experience and mine are not the same.

              Isn't this the core motto of the fragmented clusterfuck that is people's experience with opensource software in general? Or windows. Or mac.

              Systemd is being elevated to such unrealistic expectations that people blindly forget why multiple projects by multiple vendors were trying to change something in the first place.

          • Don't confuse quiet or content with satisfied.

            I moved all of my "This has to run when I press power" systems to FreeBSD. I still bit the bullet and run Ubuntu w/systemd the same as I run Windows 7 because that's the tool that is needed to get some jobs done. When systemd goes sideways it's easier for me to just re-install Ubuntu than deal with debugging systemd.

            • by Anonymous Coward

              This!

              When systemd works, it works... and in all honestly it mostly does for me under Fedora and RHEL. However when things do go pear-shaped it's ridiculously complicated to debug or figure out exactly what's going on.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The number of users driven to FreeBSD is equal to the number of celebrities who fled the USA as promised if Donald Trump won the election.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          So that means that systemd to Linux is the equivalent of Donald Trump?

          • by Anonymous Coward

            In other words, the damage is only just beginning.

      • Is Red Hat concerned with how systemd has driven so many Linux users to FreeBSD?

        Considering BSD has 0.7% server market share [w3techs.com] which actually declined by 0.2% over the past year, and unmeasurably microscopic desktop share [netmarketshare.com], your loaded question has a false premise.

      • Re: Systemd, WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo&world3,net> on Monday January 09, 2017 @07:34AM (#53632523) Homepage Journal

        This begs the question, so I'll just ask it: Have any customers ever moved away from Red Hat because of systemd?

        • I'll second this question. The anonymous coward trolls on Slashdot have long been proclaiming a mass exodus to FreeBSD. Any truth in that matter?
        • From RedHat (SystemD) to what - CentOS (RHEL clone built from RHEL sources, more recently with support from RHEL itself)? Ubuntu LTS (SystemD)? SLES (SystemD)? Oracle Linux (another RHEL clone, SystemD of course)? Mandriva (first, bwahahaha! second: also SystemD)? ClearOS (Based on CentOS, also SystemD)? Arch (SystemD)?

          All the distros that matter, and even the ones that don't (Mandriva), have gone or are going the SystemD route. Learn to love it, because for enterprise you're stuck with it as you migrate of

      • is Red Hat, as an organization, at all concerned about the damage that systemd has done to Linux's usability, its reputation, and its community? Is Red Hat concerned with how systemd has driven so many Linux users to FreeBSD?

        Ahem, Jim only cares about extending Red Hat's own power and influence, this trumps community interests every time, this is what he is paid to care about. So when Red Hat acts against the interests of the community and to its own benefit, it should be no great surprise. One thing in particular that is ingrained in Red Hat's corporate culture: hostile takeover of community projects. Fedora is a good example. There are many others. Expect nothing more than bland diversion on this question.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Actually if you just read up a tiny bit on the subject you would know for starters that Windows does not have anything remotely similar to systemd, it's has some overlap with macOS (but systemd does more).

      Dependency based loading does not only improve performance (as unnecessary modules and code won't launch just to quit immediately) it improves efficiency, power consumption etc.

      Now systemd isn't fool proof and probably not bugfree either, just like bad init scripts can cause issues so can a fucked up profi

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by wjcofkc ( 964165 )
      I use Linux extensively and have since 1996. I started off on the "boo systemD" bandwagon myself. It was all based on hearsay and my own purity out of zealotry. Eventually, I took plunge. At a point, there was little choice. I am the type of person who pushes systems and clusters of systems to the limit. I have not experienced any of the problems you cite. Perhaps you are holding your computer wrong? And don't even get started about binary log files. You can still use all your favorite utilities: sed, grep
      • I started out with Linux about 97-98 time frame. I was also a SystemD naysayer... unfortunately, I still am.

        Reasons:
        SystemD is brittle. any part that break appears to break the whole. I am used to Linux being quite robust and getting past many errors to a console and being able to fix the "box". That does not and can not happen with SystemD.

        SystemD keeps the EFI partition open and appears to either constantly write to the partition or just trashes the partition hard when a hard reboot is necessary (again, d

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Red Hat has been involved with Linux for a long time now. We've seen a lot of desktop/workstation-oriented contributions to projects like systemd, GNOME, Wayland, and so forth.

      Yet despite all of this effort, why do we see so little uptake of Linux within the desktop/workstation market? One Slashdot submission from July 2016 [slashdot.org] puts Linux's desktop market share at just over 2%. A similar submission from October 2016 [slashdot.org] puts it just over 2%, as well.

      Why is Linux's share of the desktop market so abysmally low, even

      • Why is Linux's share of the desktop market so abysmally low

        Application support. Lack of professional desktop applications, lack of unified development tool kits, lack of a unified desktop experience, and lack of ease of use in administering said applications. If you have to resort to a terminal to install or manage an application you have failed badly at easy of use. Desktop applications should be statically compiled objects like they are on the Mac. You double click on it and it just runs, you throw it in the trash can to delete it. The fact that the Linux crowed

      • One Slashdot submission from July 2016 [slashdot.org] puts Linux's desktop market share at just over 2%.

        Got to the same site [w3counter.com] now, it's 3.8%, catching up with MacOS and Windows 8. Not sure what's going on there, that's the fastest growth I've seen in a decade.

        A similar submission from October 2016 [slashdot.org] puts it just over 2%, as well.

        Why is Linux's share of the desktop market so abysmally low, even with several of the past releases of Windows (Vista, 8, and even 10) being widely disliked, and with Linux distributions typically being free, and after existing for over two decades now?

        The one-word answer for that is: Gnome. It's just needlessly unfamiliar to Windows users, and face it, clumsy for everybody. Plus keeps changing for no apparent reason. Just one random item off the top of a large stack: after all these years, GTK file open dialog still sucks.

        It's almost like Linux is most successful when the software that Red Hat is involved with is not used.

        To be fair, Red Hat is heavily involved in kernel development, and as we all know

      • What keeps me on Windows:

        Adobe CC (Lightroom and Photoshop primarily, although CS2 would run fine under crossover, or WINE with tweaking, for when I need Illustrator)
        Embroidery software
        Games (more and more games are available on Steam, but many are not)
        Label printer software
        PowerDVD and any games that work with 3D Vision (will 3D Vision ever get ported to Linux? Doubtful.. NVIDIA hasn't shifted focus away from 3D, unfortunately, just like everyone else has just as the tech matured to the point where 3D is n

    • Merits [debian.org] of [reddit.com] systemd [quora.com]
    • Add 'nofail' to your nfs mount options. Now your boot won't explode on failed NFS mounts.

      Or at least, that's what fixed it for me.

      Systemd as a concept isn't bad, but the current implementation (and the horrid naming of the command-line utilities) is barely tolerable, and strikes me as wholly untrustworthy. I'm also quite shocked that RedHat has let it consume so much (and especially non-init-related) tried and true functionality without giving previously consumed subsystems time to bake.

      I'm currently a bi

      • Add 'nofail' to your nfs mount options. Now your boot won't explode on failed NFS mounts.

        You're expecting a religious systemd opponent to read a manual. Don't do that, it only angers them.

        • > You're expecting a religious systemd opponent to read a manual. Don't do that, it only angers them.

          They're probably angry because they're naturally assuming, based on their past experience, that like most F/OSS projects that its official documentation sucks... and that assumption isn't wrong. However lots of third party documentation projects (including various distros' documentation sites) resolve that shortcoming.

    • by donaldm ( 919619 )

      Systemd, WTF???

      What a great way to ask a question. I hope you never have to front a board of directors with an outburst like that.

      As to systemd causing your NFS to fail. I call BS on that although to cover all bases turn off the NFS services that are controlled by systemd (look at the manual entry "systemctl" or even use the systemd GUI) and then find out if your NFS still hangs (most likey a combination of network and target machines) and if it does then it is your job to fix the problem or barring that get in someone

      • As to systemd causing your NFS to fail. I call BS on that

        I don't. What I do call is a useless system admin who won't read a manual to solve a problem, or wont read up on the documented and resolved cases of this problem occurring including the many workarounds.

      • What a great way to ask a question. I hope you never have to front a board of directors with an outburst like that.

        Go fuck a bollard, you pompous cunt.

    • by G00F ( 241765 )

      Systemd almost make sense, and at least stated by solving a problem. It's what they are doing on the network side that's more messed up. And of course NetworkManager that has no place in the server environment.

      Systemd at least started by solving a problem. What problem was being solved by changing the ethernet naming scheme?

    • I like systemd. I can write service scripts in seconds as opposed to hours. It supports dependencies.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 08, 2017 @07:43PM (#53630657)

    Now that CentOS has received a more official status in the RH world, what are the plans for the project?

  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Sunday January 08, 2017 @07:44PM (#53630663)
    is his choice, who decides what is "merit"?
  • Open source? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by martiniturbide ( 1203660 ) on Sunday January 08, 2017 @07:54PM (#53630687) Homepage Journal
    What is current commitment of Redhat with open source for 2017? Redhat may be the most profitable software company that endorse open source their products. What is the recommendation for other companies to be profitable and at the same time remain being good open source citizens?
  • Love open source.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/be... [forbes.com]

    Is Redhat aspiring to be the new Microsoft?

  • by adolf ( 21054 )

    It appears plain that Red Hat has spent plenty of money on virtualization with KVM and friends.

    It is plain to me that KVM and friends work fine on every other distribution.

    If my goal is a KVM host, why should I buy RHEL instead of just using it on some other distribution?

    • Re:KVM (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Richard W.M. Jones ( 591125 ) <rich@annexAAAia.org minus threevowels> on Monday January 09, 2017 @01:15AM (#53631751) Homepage

      (Disclaimer: I work for Red Hat on virtualization)

      Red Hat and Fedora have a strict "upstream first" policy [fedoraproject.org]. We also have a large team working on KVM and qemu. A natural consequence of this is that we implement many features and fix many bugs in KVM/qemu, and these go upstream, and every other distribution benefits. This is great for open source. But I think your question is How is it good for Red Hat? since your implication is you can free ride on Red Hat's efforts.

      There are three cases where you might benefit buying RHEL: Firstly if you call support with a serious bug, then eventually it'll get escalated likely to the person who actually wrote the original code. Secondly RHEL subscribers influence the future development direction (of course, the larger ones have a bit more influence). We really care about how our customers are using the tools. Third, you're probably not just using a single KVM host, you might want to try out OpenStack or oVirt [redhat.com], and we have systems architects who help customers with these larger deployments - the same architects who previously worked with large telco subscribers using OpenStack or huge bank deployments of oVirt, so they have loads of real world experience.

      However if you're happy to free-ride, then us developers are happy too, because at the end of the day we really care about Free software.

  • by ARos ( 1314459 ) on Sunday January 08, 2017 @08:22PM (#53630785)

    Hi Jim,

        Many proprietary hardware vendors continue not to take the Linux desktop and workstation markets seriously. Recall, e.g., Linus's rant against nvidia [slashdot.org]. As a leader in the Linux and FOSS communities, what will you do to persuade major vendors to write and maintain functional drivers for RHEL and Fedora?

    Thank you,

      - A.

  • by mykepredko ( 40154 ) on Sunday January 08, 2017 @09:16PM (#53630925) Homepage

    How would you recommend to somebody who feels they have a great application idea and is probably ready to go for Angel/1st round funding but feels that the application should be Open Source?

    Do you put in customization/support as the way to fund the endeavor long term or is there another approach for the OSS conscious entrepreneur?

  • by snooo53 ( 663796 ) on Sunday January 08, 2017 @11:18PM (#53631381) Journal

    I'm curious your thoughts on why Linux hasn't grabbed more laptop/desktop marketshare from Windows and MacOS over the years? It seems that with the privacy concerns around Windows 10 and Apple's lack of focus on MacOS there may be a huge opportunity in the near future. What things need to happen in the consumer marketplace and within the OSS community for it to really take off? Can 2017 be the year of the Linux desktop?

    • Why are you asking the obvious? Users don't want 10 desktop environments, 25 window managers, or a holy war about whatever shit runs when the computer starts. They want applications. They want their hardware to connect and 'just work' (including printers, video cards, and everything else they can currently buy for Windows without a care in the world). They want to never, ever open a shell and type a 'simple' command. And they want all of that, without having to deal with people that tell them they are stupi

      • by Shep03 ( 4831641 )
        Why do people have this outdated opinion of Linux on the Desktop? I use it one every single device that I own, it is fine with my GPU, my Printer, and anything else I connect. The Linux you're referring to is the Linux of 2005, not 2017.

        Windows 10 sent out updates that removed the wireless drivers from peoples PC's. They did that after shoving Windows 10 down everyone's throats whether they liked it or not. My parents run Fedora as a result of that stupidity, and everything does "just work". They don't
    • by donaldm ( 919619 )

      I'm curious your thoughts on why Linux hasn't grabbed more laptop/desktop marketshare from Windows and MacOS over the years? It seems that with the privacy concerns around Windows 10 and Apple's lack of focus on MacOS there may be a huge opportunity in the near future. What things need to happen in the consumer marketplace and within the OSS community for it to really take off? Can 2017 be the year of the Linux desktop?

      It's been Linux on the desktop for me for over 10 years and that is in the Professional and home market spaces.

      You've heard of the words "Microsoft Tax" haven't you? The usage of Linux has actually increased from 1.5% to 2.21% recently [netmarketshare.com] so a few million people are changing over. In addition the number of Steam games for Linux is over the 5,000 mark and gaming is another major reason why people aren't changing at least for the moment.

      Being forced into getting Windows 10 with its privacy issues has made

    • It seems that with the privacy concerns around Windows 10

      What privacy concerns? -Sincerely uncaring users all over the world.

      No seriously, if you think some quite deep technical privacy conversations that a few slashdot users have and get published on Stallman's blog is a catalyst for wide spread linux adoption then I would recommend a room with padded walls and nothing hard for you. The privacy issue has had close to zero impact.

  • More and more traditional application functionality is being offered by online services, meaning less and less of it is distributed and users can't change how they work. Companies can build proprietary services and create their own private forks and fixes without contributing back to the general community. Some open source licenses encourage this, others like the GPL discourages this. The Linux kernel and a great many other parts of Red Hat Linux is built on that user freedom and enforced sharing of code.

    We

  • by waveclaw ( 43274 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @12:14AM (#53631573) Homepage Journal
    Where do you see the configuration management market going in the next year or two?

    Orchestration is the hot topic right now for automation verses last year's configuration management tools. Ansible is more orchestration than configuration management. Puppet and Chef require tools like mCollective to pickup the orchestration piece. RedHat now runs Tower. And Tower now ships as part of the RedHat Ceph storage product. RedHat's Satellite product is based on the Foreman which includes Salt, Puppet, Chef and Ansible support.

    But where is this market heading? Are we likely to see consolidation? Integrations? Or even a flood of config management system tied products from vendors?

    • Red Hatter here (on the Ceph eng team). We do not ship Ansible Tower in the Red Hat Ceph Storage product at this time. It's my understanding that RH is still working to fully open-source it since the Ansible acquisition.
  • So who wins in a "code off" ?,
    Jim Whitehurst, Mark Shuttleworth, Tim Cook, Larry Page, or Satya Nadella.

  • by GioMac ( 862536 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @03:21AM (#53631919)

    I've asked this question several times but didn't get answer :)

    I am running > 250 of Linux desktops at the company and can get even more, but there is no centralized management solutions for that and that's an issue with customization and security too, KDE desktop is very good at some point with it's ability to have strict configuration files and immutable options, that does about 1/4 of what we can get with MS + GPO and we see that a little effort is required to make things work.

    Can we expect that RH will enter that market in the nearest (3-4 Y) future?
    Thanks

  • We use and love Ansible, but it still seems to be a separate product. Are there plans to integrate it more? Having it as an integrated deployment option for JBOSS Operations network (JON) would be good.
  • RHCA exams (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kamilyunis ( 4831511 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @03:51AM (#53631973)
    My question is about RHCA exams. It is very good and we are very happy about RedHat new subscriptions based trainigs. It is great. But when it comes about RHCA, it is limited for locations. RHCA level exams are very expensive, and travel and accomodations makes it more expensive. I am 2xRHCE, because of these exams is available in my location. Azerbaijan Baku. MIddle EAST, Caucasus does not have center to take exam. Pease take this into consideration. Vmware, Cisco, Microsoft, AWS, OpenStack makes their exams available in everywhere online, so it is easy for everyone to take it. Why open source company limits people passions to location. I believe that me and people like me can become multi level RHCA if they get chanse to take exam in their own location. And this will help recognition and value of RedHat in regions also. PLease make this available as Cisco for us. At least make it possible on Kiosk In Georgia or Azerbaijan so we can take exams also. I am from Azerbaijan, Baku. With Loves to best open source company in the world.
  • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @05:04AM (#53632175)
    Worked on SunOS, Solaris, MacOS, Red Hat, CentOS, and, more recently, Ubuntu. CIOs choose Red Hat mainly for support and reliability. Reliability is the word that comes to most engineers mind when the RH and CentOS OSes are mentioned (certainly for good reasons). Reliability mainly relies on using older kernels and features, that have been patched over and over ; sure, that works, reliability wise. But on a number of rather recent projects, comparing Ubuntu server and RH/CentOS, it appears settings services up (eg samba) was way easier on the newer Ubuntues than on the latest RH/Centos (not mentioning the many issues migrating from 6 to 7) . Also, using newer kernels, Ubuntu performs well, taking advantage of the newest internals, memory management and sharing, IPC etc ... and no specific reliability issue (IMHO, reliability wise, Ubuntu and the like are as solid as RH nowadays).

    Question: in 2017, does reliability still mean using long-tested, but older kernels and features?
    • by op00to ( 219949 )

      Reliability doesn't simply mean older kernels. In addition to the usual requirements of not having the thing throw a fit under normal conditions, reliability also means consistency and longevity of API and ABI. In other words, not only do you want the thing not to break itself, you don't want it to break other applications. Because of Red Hat's commitments to API and ABI stability, it requires them to backport newer features and fixes into older versions.

  • by olau ( 314197 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @09:56AM (#53633315) Homepage

    Red Hat is big and getting bigger. Where are you heading at the moment? Would Red Hat ever try to move into the the more consumer-focused places where Ubuntu has ventured, or is that just not profitable enough?

  • by mlts ( 1038732 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @10:09AM (#53633429)

    Are there any plans or products to help with IoT security?

    RedHat is one of the few companies that can step in and do something in regards to device security, even when device makers have little to no interest in this topic, as to them, security has no ROI, or as one IoT company exec told me, "the only person that has ever made money from a padlock is the lock maker."

    Being able to lure IoT vendors to use secure tools wouldn't just benefit them, but it would benefit the Internet in a whole. Even something like manifest lists that interact with FirewallD to ensure a device is only able to communicate with authorized devices and cannot take input/output from rogue sources would improve the IoT ecosystem tremendously.

  • Sir - One of the larger challenges facing the US Military is the recruitment / retention of skilled IT professionals into the military ranks, both officer and enlisted. Why do you think that is? - Gabe
  • by Danathar ( 267989 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @10:52AM (#53633823) Journal
    Given Ubuntu's success at providing a stable, developed and popular desktop environment for non-technical consumer users, why doesn't RedHat provide the same thing? Why is that right for Ubuntu but not RedHat?
  • I have found that RHEL is too stagnate / static to keep pace with the rate at which the kernel is now developed. The 3.10 kernel is four years old at this point and the fact that RHEL7 will be in production support until 2024 is disheartening because the enterprise industry will be a decade behind the latest kernel developments and updates from associated projects. Compared to other vendors Linux offerings, when I use RHEL I get the same feelings I got when I was force to use AIX, HP-UX, and Solaris. I hate

  • Hi Jim,

    Thank you for answering our questions! How do you view top-down product driven development vs bottom-up engineering driven development? Are there situations where one excels vs the other?

    Thanks,
    Mark

  • Artificial Intelligence, in particular Deep Learning, is exploding in popularity, with major companies like Salesforce, Microsoft, Google, and Nvidia openly shifting their entire strategy towards it. The technology is solving real problems, today, like cancer detection and image recognition. Many of the most important projects in AI, like TensorFlow and Theano, are open sourced. Yet it seems like Ubuntu is the lead platform for these new workloads. Many of these projects don't run on even Fedora. Is Re
  • How can we improve the future of OpenStack? The dominance of Amazon has challenged the relevance of well funded players like Microsoft, Google, and IBM. How can OpenStack compete? The network effects around a dominant cloud platform threaten to relegate OpenStack to be a long term niche player, like Linux on the desktop. How can we avoid this fate?
  • Red Hat has distinguished itself through its commitment to open source and its ability to remain profitable.

    Mike Olson famously said "you can't build a successful stand-alone company purely on open source."[1] He argues that you cannot scale an open source model that does not rely on selling proprietary components because it is too easy for competitors to undercut a vendor's services offerings when they don't have to pay for R&D.

    How do you feel about that assessment? Is Red Hat's success impossible to r

  • As Red Hat has scaled, it has to remain staffed with all types of non-technical business professionals. How do you help these professionals learn to "sell free software"? Has it been difficult to train these professionals on the open source business model?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Hi Jim.
    When I started in computing I had this notion that I was part of something that was making the world a better place. That was 40 years ago and probably based more on the science fiction of the time than reality. Somedays it doesn't feel that way anymore. Technology has come a long way and we have lots of shiny wonderful stuff, but we have a lot of downsides too. (Surveillance to name just one.)
    Do you think you are making the world a better place?

    Thanks for doing this.

  • You've embraced. You've extended. When are you going to extinguish?

  • >> He believes that leaders should engage people, and then provide context for self-organizing,

    Definately. The elephant in the room here is that benefit analysis has clearly shown the need for a lazer-focussed pushback. Leaders should be imagineering win-win solutions by doubling down on proactively facilitating a circling of the wagons in order to adopt deep-dive ecosystems that promote a sales-driven call to action.

If all the world's economists were laid end to end, we wouldn't reach a conclusion. -- William Baumol

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