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Red Hat Software Businesses

Re: The Charity Case for Red Hat 148

knarf noted a story linked from LinuxToday about Red Hat's IPO called Red Hat's Charity Case at Andover News. Several people noted that the story has many errors. Fortunately knarf has written a pretty good summary of what he considers wrong about the article. Several of them are a bit extreme, but many are good points. If you read the original, this is a good rebuttal worth reading.

The following was written by Slashdot Reader knarf

Hi Jack,

Being a former journalist myself, I was rather disappointed at your recent column about the upcoming RedHat IPO. To be quite frank, there were more faulty facts in this short column than I thought possible. A quick summary:

1: Unix has been, and still is a money-maker for a lot of companies. Look aroud large datacenters, network hubs, computer centers ad financial institutions and you'll find a lot of big, expensive Unix-based systems doing all the heavy work.

2: Unix was not thrown in the `public domain' as you suggest. AT&T fought long and hard just to try to prevent others from making something which resembled Unix. The mere mentioning of the name `Unix' in connection to something not from AT&T was enough to be sued, hence the frequent use of words like `Un*x'. This also led to names like XENIX, AIX, SINIX, ULTRIX, DG/UX, etc. The rights to Unix have moved from company to company for a while, currently the Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) is the `owner' of the System V code. The Berkeley code was `cleaned' and released as BSD 4.3 lite (the `lite' stands for `without AT&T proprietary code'), and serves as the code base for some commercial and a lot of open Unix varieties. It is the Berkeley version which is in the public domain (under the BSD license), not AT&T's `original'. The BSD license has nothing to do with the GPL license, under which Linux is licensed.

3: The differences between all those Unix varieties have been greatly exaggerated, mostly due to marketing and media forces. Unix is not a perfect operating system, but at it's core it is rather clean and consistent. Any user of any Unix will have little trouble moving to another variety. That is not to say they'll like the experience, but THAT is something completely different. For some reason people tend to get religious about their choice of operating system, be it Unix version X of Windows version Y. For software developers, there are several ways the differences between the Unix versions can be solved. the GNU auto* tools are a prime example of this. Writing software for several varieties of Unix is no different from writing software for several varieties of Microsoft Windows, but at least the Unix developers have the benefit of the GNU tools and the often much better documented API's. In case of the free Unix versions, there ARE no `undocumented' API's since you have access to all source code.

4: Linux Torvalds did not create the `command set' for the kernel which got to be called `Linux'. He initiated development on the kernel, and has been managing the development effort ever since. What is generally called `Linux' is actually a distribution containing the Linux kernel combined with the GNU tools (which provide most basic user commands) and a lot of other software. From very early versions onward the X window system has been part of those distributions, making it possible to run GUI command interfaces on top of the kernel. Most early distributions contained the XView toolkit and the ol(v)wm window manager, giving Linux users access to the well-known `Open Look' style of user interface which has been available to Sun Microsystems users for a long time. Open Look eventually got replaced by CDE on Sun systems, while other toolkits (Motif, Qt, GTK) took over the Linux `desktop'. But early Linux users had access to a GUI interface as well.

5: Linux distributions all use the same kernel (give or take a patchlevel number, eg. 2.2.5 versus 2.2.9). They all use the same GNU tools (the `command set'). They all use the same X window environment. They all use the same basic toolkits and language interpreters (Perl, Tcl/Tk, etc.). The differences between distributions are mainly in the locations of these tools (`where are they installed'), and in the extra stuff they deliver (`what more comes with this thing?'. There are some cases where some distributors are quick in picking up on the latest developments, while others wait for stuff to calm down before moving to the `latest and greatest' version of some basic component. An example of this is the choice of C library (leading to incompatibilities between distributions) or the choice of loader format (a.out, ELF). There are all temporary problems though. The move from the a.out format to the ELF format is all but forgotten by most Linux users. The move to the GNU C libary will probably fare likewise.

6: There is nothing to be gained for Linux distributors in making their version of `Linux' incompatible with others. They rely on both open source developers as well as commercial vendors to supply them with software to run on their version of `Linux'. If they behave like you foretell, they'll loose support from the hard-core open source developers, and the commercial vendors will probably follow. Commercial vendors would rather support one or two basic varieties of an operating system, not a whole bunch of them. If a Linux distributor wants those applications to run on his distribution, he'll make sure it does. Now of course there is the question *which* distribution a commercial vendor will support. If they are smart, they'll support one or two (say RedHat and Caldera), but make sure their software runs on the `official' (not finished yet) `Linux Standard Base' or `File System Base' based distributions. That way, everybody wins, and they'll sell more software.

7: Sure, the Linux desktop user interface can be `improved'. But those improvements are probably not what you think they are. The command line will not disappear. It is a much to capable and valuable tool in the hands of even lesser Unix gods to be done away with. If RedHat is hiring people to make their Linux distribution more palpable to the Windows user community, that's fine. It will still be Linux. Until now, RedHat has licensed all their developments under the GPL (GNU Public License), and they are likely to continue doing this. If they don', they'll loose support from the open source developers (look at what happened to the KDE initiative, although that rift has been mended by making the Qt toolkit open source `compliant'). So they will most likely remain smart and keep the GPL flag flying.

8: RedHat is not losing $130.000.000, they lost $130.000 dollars. This is pure disinformation, and might be cause for RedHat to sue you. Please make sure you know what you write about before starting.

9: There is no such thing as `VA Linux'. VA Linux Systems is a hardware vendor in support of Linux. They support several distributions. They may have their preferences (on their website it says `...caldera is quite close to Redhat, but i've found I prefer RH's gui over caldera...'), but they point anyone interested to both RedHat as well as Caldera and SuSE and cdrom.com (Slackware, others) and linuxmall.com (all distributions, $1.89 per CD-ROM, also FreeBSD by the way).

10: I do not remember Microsoft being a proponent for open source software, not them being a beneficiary. On the contrary, Microsoft has from the very start supported a closed, `business-like' approach to software development. They have from time to time thrown some goodies at the developer crowd to get them aquainted with Microsoft tools, but that has nothing to do with `supporting volunteerism'.

11: Netscape did not create a `potential operating system', they created a browser with and API which was seen by Microsoft as a threat to their operating environments. The browser would commoditize Windows, since it would not matter anymore which platform was used to run the interface to whatever applications were used. Microsoft has done it's best to counter this move by embracing and extending Java and the `WWW protocol set', and Sun Microsystems has helped by being too tight-minded with regard to Java extensions. IBM has indeed helped the Java `platform', and is still doing so. They seem to be on a quest to keep Microsoft out of the higher-end application service market. Of course they are not benevolent gods, but they are much less malign than you portray them. Sun Microsystems HAS given access to the Java source code (throug htheir `community licensing scheme'), IBM HAS given and still gives a lot of software to the community (take a look at their AlphaWorks site, www.alphaworks.ibm.com).

12: Your comments about Microsoft flirting with Linux border the ridiculous. What do you think would happen if/when Microsoft embeds Linux in their products? What system would run Linux software better? A Microsoft operating system with embedded Linux, or Linux? You might want to compare this with running Windows software on Unix systems (which is possible by using products like WABI, or toolkits like WINE). Remember, when IBM called OS/2 `a better Windows than Windows'? What did you think when they said that? Did you try it? Now, Microsoft would come along and call their Windows 2001 `a better Linux than Linux'. What would you think when they say that? Would you try it? Even more important, what would you write about it?

13: My final comment, number thirteen. About your final comments. Why do you insist that people have to want to use `Microsoft Linux' to make it a viable proposition? I can very well do without Microsoft, and so can a lot of other people. This has nothing to do with ideology, but everything with stability, choice, and performance. I get more work done in less time using non-Microsoft products, and time (as you should know) is money, especially for the people who pay me to do my work. And why do you think the future and viability of Linux is dependent on the future of RedHat? If RedHat disappears of the face of the earth, there is still SusE (rather popular here in Europe), TurboLinux (rather popular in the Far East), Debian (rather popular amongst developers anywhere and everywhere), Slackware (with a dedicated crowd of followers), Caldera (rather popular in a lot of businesses), etc. Should I go on?

I won't. Linux has the marks of becoming an important player in a lot of markets, with or without RedHat. You may be right (or you may be wrong) when you say an investment in RedHat is not the best way to make money. But you are dead wrong in your reasoning against RedHat in particular or Linux in general. The IT market is not dependent on Microsoft, it can survive without them. So can Linux. Unix is not dead, and it does not seem to be dying either. There is a lot of money to be made in all thing Unix, and Linux is one of those things.

Linus did not start Linux to `kill Microsoft', and most Linux users use Linux because it fits their needs in a way that Microsoft Windows can not. If Microsoft embeds Linux within their own stuff, that's fine with me (as long as they abide to the licensing terms). Since Linux withoug any Microsoft-extensions fits my needs, I do not see what I would gain from such a development, so I will refrain from using `Microsoft Linux'. If they do produce some useful extension (and release it under the GPL) I will use it. If they embrace and extend Linux in the way they embraced and extended other `standards' I will not use their extensions, because I do not want to be tied to a single vendor. Such ties cost money, as experience has taught me. And I;ve got better things to do with my (or rather my employers) money than give it to some company because I am locked in their embrace.

My parting comment? Please do some more research the next time, or ask a knowledgeable person to proof-read your column. It may `only be a column', but a lot of people tend to trust the media a little too much for their own good. As you probably know...

With kind regards,

Frank de Lange

/* Former editor in chief, Unix Info magazine
* now full-time developer... mostly Unix, some Windows
* speaking for himself, not his employer

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Re: The Charity Case for Red Hat

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "Only hold Red Hat as long as open source is fashionable. Those who go long on it will be burnt. Open source stocks are hot concept - as in hot potato. Hold it and sell it to the day traders when they see the article in Forbes."

    Is there any evidence supporting this statement? Is RedHat a hot IPO because of their prior work or merely because open source is fashionable? Would open source be fashionable if it did not produce the goods at the right price?

    A correction to your math 64 (original arguement) - 64 (no basis in fact) = 0

    Your 0 + 128 (the state of the open source movement) = 128 which has no connection to your original 64
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If a company or individual publishes blatantly false financial information about a company when they have filed for an IPO, is it fraud ?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    In all this excitement I thought someone ought to point out that Red Hat has been really good about sending several folks to our installfests in the Washington DC area a couple of times a year. Imagine. A company helps the promoters of the installfest get their distribution onto the server and then spends the day helping everyone else download it onto their systems. Including some of the more difficult "off-the-wall" systems. For FREE! Not once have they pressured me to buy the distro. In fact, I've won it as a "door prize".
    Imagine this from "the other" vendor.
  • That's all this is. You'll note that Robin Miller submitted the article to linuxtoday. It just so happens that he _works_ for Andover. What better way to increase the amount you can charge for advertising than to increase viewership. What better way to increase viewership by encouraging the /. effect.

    Leave this one alone, people, or consider yourself duped.

    /. account holder who is AC by choice for this post.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    well i dont know about everybody else but i learned that an effective argument is always best presented in and intellegent and calm manner. knowing what not to say is often more important than knowing what to say.

    since we now how a comment moderation system maybe it is time we need a posted article moderation system too. diatribes like this dont do anyone much of any good regardless of how factual their basis is.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If Unix/Linux is so bad, then why isn't andovernews.com using NT ?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Here follows a list of confusing grammatical cases:

    • You lose your keys. A knot is loose.

    • It's a wonderful day. (It is = It's).
      My cat lost its mittens. (Rare: a possessive without an apostrophe).

    • You're in trouble. (contraction)
      Your check arrived. (ownership)

    • I accept this award. Everyone except Bill was there.

    • etc. etc.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    One error that was missed was a typo:

    It's tough to bet against an operating system that has won the hearts of geeks across the world (damn few of whom actually have the software on their computer).

    Should read:

    It's tough to write about an operating system that has won the hearts of geeks across the world (when I don't actually have the software on my computer).

    Actually Jack had an article on May 12 origianlly titled "AT&T - An American Zairetsu?" where he said (first line):
    "If you've never heard the word before, learn it."

    Uhh, Jack, that might be 'Keiretsu' or maybe 'Zaibatsu'. I guess it isn't a big deal, unless you are Japanese and see someone trying to teach everyone the wrong word. This article isn't a big deal either, unless of course you actually have Linux/Unix/BSD installed and you see...

    That all being said, I actually get Andover in the mail, and Jack is generally a pretty good 'lets get some feathers ruffled' writer. I guess the budget doesn't allow for a ton of proofing/verification...

    All opinions expressed are also the opionions of IBM, Microsoft, AT&T, the US gov't, and Maxwell Smart.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, 1999 @08:51AM (#1856921)
    It's not the problem that he is arguing against the profitability of RedHat. Most of us don't even care about that. The problem is that he's done it in such an unprofessional way. This article shows no signs of research at all and as such does not qualify as a valid technical piece or as an investment piece. In addition, he states that RedHat lost millions of dollars last year - a gross piece of fiction. As for his "well researched historical perspectives and in-depth investigative notes on the tech industry." I can only marvel for he has demonstrated no knowledge of the history of the high tech industry especially that of the Unix world.
    Will he get flamed? Yes, I'm sure. And what will his defense be? "Those Linux people are so rude . . ." I am sure there will no mention of the gross untrue statements he made in his column.
  • That original articel was sucha piece of crap I don't know how to begin. I thought these kinda articles disappeared in late 1998. If this guy is getting money writing sucha obvious flamebait it makes you wonder how hard it can to be a journalist nowadays. Apparently you can write any piece of crap and get away with it. This is a sad day for serious journalists. I'm sure this guy will get his mailbox slashdotted into the ground.
  • It's ok. You wrote a very good rebuttal. You merely made the mistake of associating with (and defending) a bunch of perfectionists ;). Think of the complaining as a sign of personal respect since you have said something worthy of nitpicking.

    Oh, and I'm sorry to say that my Dutch is quite horrible but that's US public education for you (sigh).
  • There's a difference between news produced by a
    publication's in-house staffers and an OPINION
    column written by an outsider. Astute readers know this. They also know that, by definition, a columnist gets editorial control over what he or she writes -- and takes responsibility for it.

    There's a big difference between reporting and opinion writing. But don't worry. They'll explain all this to you next year in the fifth grade. At least, that's when *I* learned it. :)

  • Dude, answering you is like responding to a guy who believes Art Bell's "black helicopter" conspiracy theories so strongly that every time he hears whirring blades over his head he runs for cover.
  • I've been reading and submitting articles to Linux Today since it went online. Believe me, Dave Whittinger, who runs Linux Today, knows who I am no matter what e-mail address I use. ;-)

    I even used to read (and enjoy) Three Point's Linux News, the online publication Dave ran before he started Linux Today. In fact, I reviewed Three Point's favorably in TechSightings last September [techsightings.com], which is how I originally started corresponding with him.

    As far as Jack Bryar, his opinions are his own. I don't always agree with him (or with other Andover columnists, either). The great thing about writing for Andover is that the people who run it give all columnists complete editorial freedom, including the freedom to screw up now and then.

    Perhaps you'd like Andover better if its owners forced all their writers to spout a Microsoft-style corporate party line?

    Kurt Gray and I are both writing here as ourselves, not as corporate flacks. Kurt is a programmer. I'm a writer. We live and work 400 miles apart. We both use Linux. We both read and like Slashdot. Other than that, we hardly have anything in common -- except respect for our bosses at Andover, who let columnists write what they want, right or wrong, without censoring their words, even when they're a little, um, embarassing.

  • Since we're nitpicking the original article, I felt I should nitpick the rebuttal as well. FWIW, "$130.000 dollars" is incorrect. "130.000 dollars" or "$130.000" would be correct.
  • Here's a very common one that always bugs me:

    • If you had told me earlier, I would have known.

  • Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    First off, I agree with much of what you say.

    Secondly, I wasn't going to say anything until I saw you are the former editor-in-chief of Unix Info, BUT this essay shares a great deal with other essays posted on Slashdot: no proofreading.
    Worse, this essay wasn't just for Slashdot's consumption--you emailed it out as a rebuttal to a columnist.

    And this isn't just idle "you mean 'lose' not 'loose'" complaints. There are many areas where I had to back up and re-read (and re-re-read) sentences until I understood how you meant to put them. Examples:

    The line about Netscape creating a browser "with and API". I finally realized you meant "with an API".

    "I do not remember Microsoft being a proponent for open source software, not them being a beneficiary." I must have read this 4 times before I realized that you meant "...nor them being a...".

    Yes, I realize that the meaning is of utmost importance, but spelling and grammar are the road on which your message travels and potholes can slow or stop your progress.
    "Please remember that how you say something is often more important than what you say." - Rob Malda
  • Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    Are you trying to say "it doesn't matter how he got there, he just got there"?

    Because that translates pretty easily to "the ends justify the means".
    "Please remember that how you say something is often more important than what you say." - Rob Malda
  • Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    1) The author is supposedly the former editor of a magazine. He surely should know how important basic spelling and grammar are.

    2) By posting on Slashot and LinuxToday (as well as emailing the original author), this person is representing (infinitesimally, perhaps) the Linux community and therefore me as well. I am not an "illiterate hacker" and I don't want to be made to look like one through guilt by association.

    3) Accuracy in spelling and grammar in written language is directly comparable to accuracy of syntax and semantics in a programming environment. Typos, especially those that are correctly spelled wrong words, are bugs that can cause all kinds of problems. Sure, many errors can be fixed with context. But a) that's inefficient not to mention annoying and b) what about those that aren't?
    "Please remember that how you say something is often more important than what you say." - Rob Malda
  • Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    Which is why I would have someone proofread.

    I'm not saying Frank is an idiot because he can't spell and he got a lot of grammar wrong. I'm saying his rebuttal would be more effective if it had been written correctly.

    Compare and contrast:

    "if he would of profered it might of ben easyer to read and uderstand"

    "If he would have proofread it might have been easier to read and understand"
    "Please remember that how you say something is often more important than what you say." - Rob Malda
  • Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    "You can use the wrong methods, and STILL arrive at the right conclusion."

    No, you can STATE at a TRUE conclusion. You cannot ARRIVE anywhere valid.

    "The fact that the origional writer's arguments are bogus, does not mean that his conclusion is therefore false."

    No, just invalid.

    If you then want to take his (invalid) conclusion and say, "No, I think he's right" you'll have to provide something to back it up. Which you did not.
    "Please remember that how you say something is often more important than what you say." - Rob Malda
  • otherwise agreed, though I'm not sure that it was actually illegal for AT&T to sell Sys[i]r[j].

  • Did you read the filing? or any of the summaries? I'll assume you didn't....because they all say the same thing: Red Hat won't try to use their OS as their primary revenue generator. They're looking to be a portal site (dumb idea IMHO) and expand their service division (good idea IMHO).
  • how's that different from people putting millions into other ventures? THere are cases all over the stockmarket of vapourware.....
  • While I'm not planning on any long term Red Hat investments, if I had the money, I'd toss some their way.

    It's possible (IMHO) that the Open Source business model WILL take off, and Red Hat will be wildly profitable. If that happens, it won't be the Open Source Fad that drives people to invest in Red Hat...it'll just be sound business practice. Who knows? ...not me, that's for sure.

  • by Suydam ( 881 ) on Thursday June 10, 1999 @08:25AM (#1856939) Homepage
    The article is inflamatory from the start. If that were posted on Slashdot as someone's comment, it would be immediately scored down as "Flaimbait". We can hope that the average reader will notice the tone of the article and realize the author is doing nothing more than try to stir up controversy (or at least "look cool for his friends").

    It's a shame they allow people to be journalists who make "mistakes" like multiplying a company's losses by $1,000,000 (oops! sorry!) under the guise of reporting. I wish my employer made that mistake with my salary. :-)

    I hope someone at that site reads Slashdot... because I'm sure the author of that article will be mercilessly picked apart.

    So here's a question: Can we, the Linux community, respond to this guy without sounding like zealots? Because that's what he's trying to tempt us to do. The angrier we sound to him, the more he'll prove one of his points (that Linux is best suited for enthusiasts), and the more our comments will be disregarded.

  • Yes, Robin Miller (who sent the article
    to LinuxToday) is also a columnist for
    AndoverNews but he didn't write this column.

    Robin does not have an @andovernews email
    address -- his @home address is his only actual
    email address (that I know of).

    A tactic to boost readership??? I'm sure Robin
    was hoping to draw some attention/discussion
    to Jack's Linux rantings but unfortunately he
    picked the wrong column to draw attention to!

    The Slashdot effect is one thing, but the
    angry Slashdot effect is not something to be

  • Maybe we need a disclaimer that our columnist's
    opinions are not the opinions of everyone at

    Believe me, we're big on Linux, sour on NT.

    BTW: The DB backend of andovernews runs on
    Windows NT -- and we hate it!
  • by Kurt Gray ( 935 ) on Thursday June 10, 1999 @08:35AM (#1856942) Homepage Journal
    Full Dislosure: I work for AndoverNews as a Sys
    Admin, I don't know Jack personally, but as far
    as columnists go, I'm glad we have him.

    In defense of Jack Bryar, his usual columns are
    very well written and well researched historical
    perspectives and in-depth investigative notes
    on the tech industry.

    This week's column I can't agree with.

    I just had to get this word in before the
    usual zealots sound off the usual accusations
    that any writer who questions the profitability
    of a Linux company is being paid by Microsoft
    to make such remarks. Please.
  • I suspect you would have faired rather poorer if you had been required to write an article in French (Frank's native tounge).


  • He really doesn't understand what is going on all around the network. I feel sorry for him. It's his job to write columns about this stuff, yet he doesn't understand the subject material.

    I wonder how many shares in M$ he owns, or how many shares in competing *nixes?

  • BTW, Knarf... The only vendor who has actually made real money on Unix is SCO. The rest of the vendors you find in the data centers made money on hardware running Unix. Sun, Digital, SGI, HP, etc.

    As far as the complaints regarding the articles technical merits. I haven't seen anybody answer his question...

    If Linux were sold by Microsoft, would you be using it?

    From a financial analyst position, RedHat doesn't look like a very good stock. But then the same is also true of Amazon, Yahoo, Netscape and many of the other internet tech stocks that flew high on hype for a while.

    That's really his whole point.
  • by manitee ( 2974 ) on Thursday June 10, 1999 @09:03AM (#1856946)
    "It's tough to bet against an operating system that has won the hearts of geeks across the world (damn few of whom actually have the software on their computer)."

    What was that? I dont have any statistics handy, but I think that more than a "damn few" people are running Red Hat.

    The author's tone and phrasing are meant to inspire anger and trigger immature responses. We must treat this the same as a Jesse Berst article, and simply shrug.

    It would'nt hurt to drop him a note, though.
  • by Toast ( 3221 ) on Thursday June 10, 1999 @08:47AM (#1856947) Homepage
    OK, this is going to sound so nit-picky, but I think it's an important point. This is a good rebuttal, and things like this tend to pick up coverage by the media who just loves a good war, be it physical, or ideological. Due to this high visibility, and the fact that documents like this tend to be taken as a representation of the entire Linux community, we should attempt to sound as professional as possible. I am of course getting all riled up about the use of the word 'to' instead of 'too.' Small potatoes, sure, but the last thing we (the Linux community) needs is more FUD about how we're all illiterate teenage "hackers" or whatnot.
  • I'm from Europe as well. English is not my native tongue, but I've learned the language pretty well. I pride myself on speaking properly, both in English and my native language, Icelandic.

    My knowledge of English comes from many sources (television, books, the web, irc, etc.) and I may have picked up some errors along the way. If I were mixing "its" and "it's", or "to" and "too", I'd prefer it if someone told me about it. Correcting someone's grammar and spelling usually isn't intended as an attack on them. It's not hate for the person, it's love for the language.

    I don't think I'll ever understand people who, when corrected, respond with "so?", "I don't care", or "what business of yours is it how I speak?". Don't these people want to better themselves? Are they proud to be... (I don't want to say "stupid", but it's something like that)?

  • How's your Dutch today, folks? Not so good? Well, then maybe you'll excuse me for not speaking Oxford English by the book...

    Hey Frank - don't sweat it; most Americans neither speak nor write "Oxford" English, either. 8-)

    It's an excellent rebuttal, and I note with interest that the website has put up a comment box pointing at slashdot, as well as a footnote:

    Hey, don't yell at us! Yell at Jack Bryar. Reach him at Vermontel.com or harass him at work.

    ...with a hyperlink to a rather amusing WAV file, from the film "Time Bandits".

    - alec (in the UK, lately resident of Oxford).

  • I thought about investing in Red Hat. After, I have used their distribution both at home and at work for about 3 years, so I believe in their product.

    But I thought better of it.

    Any of the distribution makers are really just selling a "feel good" attitude about using their distribution. Anyone, at any time could change to another distribution. I did. I am trying out SuSE Linux just because I wanted to see how another company packaged Linux.

    Also, I never bought Official Red Hat Linux (tm). I have always bought the $1.89 cheapie CD's at LinuxMall. Being an old Slackware man, installing without a net does not scare me.

    Red Hat's greatest potential for profits is in the services business, and I am not convinced that they can be successful. To the extent IBM is serious about using Linux in their business, Rad Hat will have a tough time competing against the Big Blue army of field application engineers and technicians.

    If I invest in any company making money with Linux I would put my money on VA Linux Systems. They are a company with a much more tangible product: selling the service of assembling a PC whose components have been verified to work well with Linux, pre-intalling Linux, and then supporting the system after the sale. To the extent that Linux itself become successful, VA will reaps a fraction of the reward.

  • I doubt whether he'll publish an apology, but at least his mail seems to have been screwed. I just tried to mail a comment on the technical innacuracies in his article, but the mailservers refused it ...

    Chris Wareham
  • Too bad that the author did not read "A Quarter Century of Unix" by Peter Salus, or watched my RealVideo show The Many Falvors of Unix [thesync.com] to find out about the "Unix Wars" and why Microsoft had the chance to make Windows into the dominant OS.
  • I had to.

    Would you care to comment on the viability of Microsoft stock, king tech stock of them all, yes the one that splits every cursed full moon?

    I realize that it's almost balanced out though by Amazon, the worlds most well publicised "scam" in the world. All I ever hear about em is how "They lose money on every book" and "didn't make a dime last year" and yet the stock climbs higher and higher.

    Perhaps it has occured to some people that a lasting and entrenched position in the market assured by long time standing in that market is slightly valuable, even if current profits are less than optimal.


  • of course MS can sell their own linux distro just like Redhat and Caldera. There's no clause in the GPL that excludes MS. They can also take the kernel, completely change around the directory structure (which would be a good idea btw), dump xwindows (not bad either), add their own GUI and make MS Office for that distro. And forget about the LSB. Maybe they could call it Linux 2000 or something. You'd have an OS with a better kernel than NT but the GUI would be easier and much more reliable. Of course I still think that MS would just attack linux instead but if redhat really started to do ok in the corporate sector they just might do this
  • Dear /. ers, I wrote the following note to Metrowerks regarding CodeWarrior for Redhat Linux.
    Hope more of you write to them and get them to get over this stupid notion that Redhat is Linux.



    I'm a GNU/Linux Debian user and we recently replaced all our RedHat based servers with debian. I'm real worried about the fact that you wish to market your product (one that I respect a lot), only for a certain Linux Distribution. Most of us do not use Redhat, redhat is usually used by people starting out with Linux, I dont think your product would be used by this so called "linux newbies", I would appericate it if you could rename the product for Linux. Instead of RedHat Linux. Linux is not owned by Redhat, redhat is a distribution, just like Caldera, Debian GNU/Linux, SUSE, Stampede GNU/Linux and a number of others. If the requrements are a glibc 2.1 based system, say so instead of stating that this is just for RedHat. My Debian system was a glibc2.1 based system a lot time before redhat came out with RH6.0.

    Also, it would alinate more than 70% of the Linux community if you just shipped this product as RPMs. My suggestion is to market them similar to how Netscape markets it's products for Linux. Put them out in tar balls, let the User install it. Put various compiled versions of your software on your commerical CD. and so on..

    To sum up, Redhat is not Linux. Your release of CodeWarrior for Linux is not appericated in the Linux community with your current stipulation, this would lead to a massive anti-metrowerks/codewarrior champagn (which has already started, check major linux online magazines and news sites, Like LinuxToday, Linux.com and Slashdot), Our community is as devoted and as powerful the Mac Community, and if we see someone threatning the fabrics of what holds our community, we would strike back. Possibly boycotting all your products.

    Thank you.

    M. Ishan
  • i have to agree with the quality of investment comment - red hat will have to augment their business with other things in order to make money. i think they could be somewhat successful with tech support (they do that already), and more so with a consulting group. either way, i don't think selling a $50 distro will do it. but i do wish them luck.

  • i hadn't read that, my apologies.
  • perhaps if RH can establish a legit consulting practice, they can make some money. isn't that the primary OSS business model? otherwise, i'd have to agree that they will have a tough time giving their shareholders the returns they are expecting.

  • To respond in the simplest manner: everybody makes mistakes. Every operating system has mistakes.

    Unless somebody can make a (good) case for him acting with malice towards the linux community, or redhat, I really don't see the problem here. Send him an e-mail stating the factual errors... and leave it at that.

    And I would like to point out that linux still IS mainly for enthusiasts. Duh. But look at it another way: who will you approach when you choose, say, a new car: a mechanic, or a guy off the street? The mechanic can tell you everything you want to know about that model of car, give you his advice on related models that might not have that problem, and even suggest dealers that can give you the best deal. That mechanic will also know what models have the most problems (high maintenance).

    Make sure to bring that point up the next time somebody claims linux is "just for enthusiasts". You bet we are.

  • Well, if spelling and grammar become less and less important, so will understanding each other... The human brain's parser is quite fault tolerant but has its limits... :-}

    See also: Euro-English [bairnet.org] for the extreme... ;-)

    Argathin (who's European, too)
  • Indeed!

    Most "journalists" seem to miss the central theme about Linux: there is no splintering to be done - Linux is so splintered already who would notice the difference?

    I truly believe that 90% of all industry journalists out there that write about Linux, FreeBSD, OpenSource, et al have no concept of what these technologies are about, where they came from, and what was the reason why they occured in the first place.

    But that's OK. I fear the day that any of the free OSes make the transition to mainstream. Things are just peachy the way they are.
  • Sounds like everything I readed on books about UNIX and his history is absolutely wrong!
    I will check Jack's column more often.
    Now I will uninstall my Linux API and I will install my NETSCAPE OS 4.6.
    And I'll install a command set like Norton Commander to run in top of my Mozilla GUI in order to use it's amazing SUN emulation system...

    I'm ready to have my own opinion column at the andover!
  • Doesn't Robin Miller, the guy who submitted the article to LinuxToday work for Andover? This wouldn't be just a tactic to increase readership numbers would it?

    Hmmmm.... How can we increase this months readhership? I know, write a stupid FUD article about Linux and then post it from an @home account to the Linux community. Then just sit back and wait for the /. effect. Sounds good to me!!
  • I don't care if you use Linux or not, if Andover has a giant love in with Microsoft, or what characteristics make up your persona. What I'm questioning (and has yet to be answered) is the/your motive in posting the article to the Linux community. I simply don't believe that it was to inform the Linux community of a graven stupidity attack that seized an editor of that publication. Simply stating "Hey, I'm cool, I code and use Linux" doesn't defend my accusation. Let me state it simply: Why did you post the article to Linuxtoday?
  • Big Fricken' whoop. See the "Defense of" thread above and tell me this isn't just a ploy to tame the /. effect for the purposes of viewership.
  • >>
    I even used to read (and enjoy) Three Point's Linux News, the online publication Dave ran before he started Linux Today.

    Whoopie, I'm so lazy I've still got it bookmarked. I guess that means I'm cool, too.

    As far as Jack Bryar, his opinions are his own. I don't always agree with him (or with other Andover columnists, either). The great thing about writing for Andover is that the people who run it give all columnists complete editorial freedom, including the freedom to screw up now and then.

    Hooray!! My post didn't question whether or not you wrote for a totalitarian regime, it only questioned your motives in publishing it.

    Perhaps you'd like Andover better if its owners forced all their writers to spout a Microsoft-style corporate party line?

    Huh? I'm not sure where you read all this in my post that questioned why you posted the above, please let me know why this is a logical defense.

    We live and work 400 miles apart.

    Wow! Geography means so much these days.

    We both use Linux. We both read and like Slashdot.

    Oh Yeah, well I use an abacus as a CPU and smoke signals as my network protocol. So there!

    I like traffic lights, but only when they're green.


  • Dudette,

    I hate those helicopters, they ruin my network connection!

    Have fun Robin, email Kurt and tell him not to get so worked up -it's just a bit of fun to waste time and make money.


  • to that article how?

  • > My cat lost its mittens. (Rare: a possessive without an apostrophe).

    but not in any way an exception:

    he - his
    she - her
    it - its

    it's only confusing because there does exist an (it's) with an apostrophe, not because it's some sort of exception to a rule or trend. i don't think any of the possessive pronouns use apostrophes.

    heheheheheheheheh... of course, i'm not an english major, nor have i had much in the way of formal education in english.

  • From what I remember, RH sold around 3-400,000 units last year. These are good, but not stellar numbers. Their sales growth over the past 3 years has been very stellar (don't know off the top). But I know it is pretty good, double digit growth at least... While RH may not be a strong stock out of the gate, I think over the next 5 years it will be damn good. Even if open source is just a fad (which a simple analysis of the total technology used on the internet will show that it isn't), but if we assume it is, we can still conclude that from RH's growth compared to the total growth of Linux systems we will find that in the next 5 yrs the stock will grow significantly.

    My personal feeling on the long-term linux outlook is not good profit wise. Imagine over the next 5 years every computer desktop has Linux of some version, and RH's is a significant fraction. At that point, every one of those desktops could be upgraded directly over the internet from free servers. In fact, this is the easiest way to upgrade (or burn free cds). Even if most people don't upgrade this way, a downward trend for linux will be in the making. But in 5 years, I suspect an entirely new OS will emerge based on the incredible advances in technology that will inevitably occur within the next 5 years. If the new tech is open source, then RH can benefit.

    But Linux itself will have a limited life. Even Linus has said that the 2.2.x tree pretty much has all the features a kernel could have (give or take a few). His view is that Linux will progress significantly in the userland stuff (not kernel stuff). M$ also knows that W2000 and Office 2000 will pretty much max out the potential utility of PC and Office software (Which is why BG bought a little boy genius to design M$ "AGENT" (my name) a face and voice recognition interface.

    Linux is a good investment in the short-term, and M$ is way to rich to die. (I use Debian/GNU Linux, OpenBSD, and FreeBSD so don't call me a M$ advocate; I'm just realistic). Finally, the wrong-headed opinion writer was right about one thing: Linux is not the object of total loyalty. However, Open Source IS and WILL BE. I remember reading the article about M$'s next gen kiddie and his work describing a usenet that M$ killed b/c M$ employees were trying to convince the child to license his work under the GPL. THE SAGA CONTINUES...
  • Andover News said, "Hey, don't yell at us! Yell at Jack Bryar." [andovernews.com] So why shouldn't we send Mr. Bryar a note?

    Send your thoughtful yet polite comments to:
    bryar@vermontel.com [mailto] or
    jack.bryar@newsedge.com [mailto]

    I think some one should send him knarf's response.

  • I don't know of any Linux users who reboot into Windows to use the Windows GUI. They /do/ reboot into Windows to use windows applications, and nowhere in his article did he mention the lack of solid GUI applications as a weakness of Linux. Personally, I think that's the worst problem Linux has.

    For many years, it was actually illegal for AT&T to attempt to sell Linux at a profit. That might have something to do with their failure to do so. Even if we skip forward a few years to where AT&T did in fact make the effort, you have to remember that AT&T has always been a big, clumsy bureaucratic company. You can't expect them to be an entrepenurial powerhouse just because they're big; the reverse is most often the case.

    I've moved C programs between SunOS, Linux and SGI Irix without incident. If you stay within a fairly simple set of parameters - quite easy in this web-based world - even C programs are very easy to port.

    I think the idea that people are going to stop developing for Linux because Red Hat exists is pretty specious. People develop for Linux to solve their own problems, to scratch their own itches, and to help others scratch theirs. I don't see that vanishing from the Linux world any time soon.


  • Firstly, I hope knarf's response really was sent off to Jack. It does a good job of pointing out the errors. I also hope it was sent off to the editor at andover news, so that they know what kind of response the article has churned up.

    I also want to make a call to all those in the Linux community: Articles like this are posted all too frequently. Journalists don't seem to care about the crap they're spreading. Please take it upon yourself to reply to the writers of these articles, explain to them what they've said that is incorrect. Also, write their editors! If that web site gets thousands of emails that point out the errors, I'm fairly certain that they'd pay attention.
  • While I agree that, in an ideal world, grammatical, spelling, and other, similar errors, would be caught prior to publication, I think it is worth pointing out that the author is from Europe. There is a fairly high probability that English is not his native toung. A spell checker or proof reader might have been useful, but if Linus Torvalds and Linux have been added to his dictionary (as they have mine), I doubt it would have caught "Linux Torvalds" or similar errors.

    The man posted his opinions in a very well thought out manner, in an electronic forum. Unless someone wants to pay slashdot to hire an English major to proofread all of its articles, I don't think we can be too picky about these things. This is particularly true when the author is not a native speaker of the English language. And frankly, employing an English major may involve a philisophical compromise which the folks at /. may find a little too repugnant. (As an aside, and in the interest of disclosing my own biases, I never cared much for "Language Nazis" -- as we used to call them -- when I was growing up, and those feelings persist even today.)

    Rather than nit-picking the inevitable grammatical errors, perhaps a more constructive way to address these sorts of issues is to emphesize both the grass-roots and international base of support and collective intellect upon which the Free Software movement is based. In that context, judging the veracity of the Linux movement on the basis of some grammatical or spelling errors by opponents of Free Software will be exposed as uninformed and baseless at best, and ethnocentric at worst.
  • I suspect you would have faired rather poorer if you had been required to write an article in French (Frank's native tounge).

    Actually, Dutch is Frank's native tounge.


  • You or your company linked to the slashdot postings in a disclaimer above the article and thereby made a little history. I never saw a mainstream media outlet connecting so fast with it's own critics.

    Well, it looks OK right now, but I don't think Jack Bryar has had a chance to respond, yet. It would be far more effective if he would aknowledge the factual errors in his column, or if he would publish a response to Franks' article. Now it just looks like Andover is leaving him hanging.

    Misinformation and FUD - intentional or not - shouldn't be countered with flames; reasoned argument works much better, and maybe, just maybe, it might convince Jack and others like him. One at a time.


  • AT&T didn't try to make profits selling Unix ( back in the 70's ) because they couldn't. Don't know the complete case, but It was illegal for them trying to do that. Something to do with their own Antimonopolic-case.
  • Availability of Java sources is not like Sun would like everyone to believe. If you happens to live in a country where IP legislation is weak or there's evidence that's difficult or next to impossible to sue you using them, they WON'T allow you to download the source. That was my case, I'm afraid. Of course, you can manage to get them anyway ( that's the net way, isn't it? ), but obviously, illegally.
    Anyway, the source of the non-native classes of Java ( that part IS distributed ), are so poorly engineered ( look the source! ), so low quality IMNSHO that, who cares?
  • I expect Red Hat's share price in twelve months time, and the number of linux systems deployed in all segments of the field will suffice as editorial to that column.

    I will just keep learning and sharing and supporting GNU/Linux and the ideals and institutions of the Community and reality will take care of that sillyness.

    "If a man spits at the face of the Sun, what effect upon the Sun?"
  • I expect Red Hat's share price in twelve months time, and the number of linux systems deployed in all segments of the field will suffice as editorial to that column.

    I will just keep learning and sharing and supporting GNU/Linux and the ideals and institutions of the Community and reality will take care of that silliness.

    "If a man spits at the face of the Sun, what effect upon the Sun?"
  • OK people I'm reading alot of postings and stories here where people cannot distinguish between "lose" and "loose". Looz versus Loos
    A screw that is not done tightly is loose, if I go to the casino, it is likely that I will lose some money. Please adjust your proofreading skills accordingly.

    Linux is not RedHat.
  • A well thought response, like the one above, is an effective means of countering a poor piece of journalism.

    Unfortunately, its author's credibility becomes strained when it contains spelling and grammar errors.

    Please, I must urge those who elect to take a high profile stand in any cause to ask somebody to review your writing for errors. A well crafted, well thought response will always be better received than just a well thought response.

    You might even use a computerized grammar/spell checker.
  • In fiscal years '97 and '98, Red Hat actually made a profit. Even in FY'99 (according to their S-1), they had a net loss of about $91K on a total revenue of about $10,013K. (Their fiscal year ends on February 28.)

    By comparison, Amazon.com, the poster child for the high-flying net.stock, has lost money every year since its inception. In 1999, according to their most recent 10-K, they had net sales of about $610M and a net loss of about $125M. Every year before that, their losses-to-sales ratio has been even higher.

    Asides: (1) You can look up this kind of data at www.freedgar.com; they get their information from the electronic filings at the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the government agency that regulates the stock market. (2) Since the Bryar column now has a link to Slashdot, and since people are claiming that the author's mail server is slashdotted, I'll just respond here. (3) High-tech stocks in general seem too overvalued for my taste, so I'm not planning to buy any Red Hat stock.

  • To the idiot moderator who marked this offtopic:

    READ the original article before you moderate. If you had done this, you would have noticed that Jack Bryar misquoted this quote and misattributed it to Oliver Wendall Holmes.

    Therefore this posting is not offtopic, as it is a response to the original article being discussed.

  • It was RALPH WALDO EMERSON who said:

    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of LITTLE minds, adored by little statesmen, philosophers and divines.
    With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do..."
  • I don't know who this guy is? Nor do I care. He obviously knows nothing about Linux or RedHat or anything related to computer OS's. He is most likely some old fart stuck in his ways that is trying desperatly to keep hold of his old-fashioned way of doing business. There are a lot of people that don't want a company like RedHat to succeed because that means that the way they have been doing business for the last 20 years is not the way anymore, for software companies. People don't want change. Businesses don't want to have to change the way they do business. You have seen it in the past when companies don't change with the times, they die. And the reporters that report on them only adapt with the new way of doing things or they find themselves standing all by themselves wondering, "What happened, yesterday I was writing articles about how great Microsoft is. Now I am writing my own obituary."

    Well I may be going off the deep end but what the hell it's Thursday.
  • I know of at least two - I'm helping 'em install Linux on their computers, but they haven't actually gotten to use it yet...

    Maybe that's what he meant? (I doubt it - I think he was smoking crack, too)
  • It was RALPH WALDO EMERSON who said: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of LITTLE minds, adored by little statesmen, philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do..."

    I thought it was Emerson when I read that quote, but it has been so long since I have taken a lit. class i couldn't be sure.

    So not only doesn't this "jouranlist" know anything about Linux, computers, or the history there-of, he is also a shoddy English student, which I would hope is his area of "expertise."

    And who says us geeks aren't cultured...

  • by Gumber ( 17306 ) on Thursday June 10, 1999 @08:42AM (#1856989) Homepage
    My own take:

    1. a) First, AT&T opened UNIX because if they tried to make money off of it, the feds would have raised anti-trust issues. b) I believe SCO has been profitable. Their entire business is UNIX. c) A lot of hardware companies have made money off of UNIX because UNIX has helped them move lots of boxes.

    2. Hard to comment, the guy knows so little about OS architecture that his thoughts have melted into mush. I really don't want to try to educate him. Clearly, he is confusing APIs with userinterfaces, that much is easy to say.

    3. VA Linux, loosing $130mill, can we substitute some facts here? Beyond that, RedHat is very deliberate about contributing back to the core. I am not sure what he means by "breaking UNIX" but RedHat is doing a lot more than other commercial distributors to avoid forking of the collective codebase.

    4. Redhat isn't like AOL or Microsoft. They may be benifitting from volunteerism, but they also give back free stuff that other people, volunteers or not, can use without paying RedHat a dime, ever. Microsoft & AOL take volunteer effort and sell it back to the volunteers and the rest of their customers. RedHat is clearly engendering some ill will, but there is less justification for it than that which led to lawsuits against AOL.

    5. Oracle & IBM, at least, make a lot of their money off of services & support. Sun makes it off of hardware. Service, support & hardware is nothing like software. The incremental cost of software is vanishingly small, which means the price can be set just about anywhere, including free. These other things have large incremental costs. Know what else, none of these companies make much, if any, money off of selling OS licenses. Linux makes little or no difference to their bottom line, while creating the opportunity to sell more of the things that do.

  • You agree that this guy is totally off base with all of his arguments but go on to agree with his conclusion. How off-base is that logic?

    OK, class, today we will be studying division. Our first example is dividing 64 by 16.


    We cross out 6 both on top and on the bottom, which leaves us with 4/1, which is the correct answer! And this, children, is how you do division...


  • Are you trying to say "it doesn't matter how he got there, he just got there"?

    You know, I am sometimes amazed by the sheer literal-mindedness and ignorance of the people out there, by their inability to grasp even the simple metaphors, or to comprehend even simple points about logic (present company excluded, of course ;)

    My point was very simple: You can use the wrong methods, and STILL arrive at the right conclusion. There is nothing in faulty argument to say that the conclusion is incorrect -- the only thing you can infer from argument's invalidity, is that that particular argument does not support that particular conclusion.

    The fact that the origional writer's arguments are bogus, does not mean that his conclusion is therefore false.


  • I'm not more English than you (I'm French and i can't speak a word of Dutch) but i can say you didn't speak oxford English...or Oxford English have new words like ";^]" ;)

  • If I had a nickel for everytime I've heard the arguments "Linux might splinter" and "Linux has no roadmap", my pants would fall off because of all the change in my pockets. These cliches are so tired and worthless, I'm not even going to bother arguing about them. Now I'm going to create my own personal version of Linux and doom you all to hideous consequences. All Linux users will bow before me! Muhahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!

    (Warning: The Surgeon General has determined that this message contains sarcasm.)

  • >In defense of Jack Bryar, his usual columns are
    >very well written and well researched historical
    >perspectives and in-depth investigative notes on
    >the tech industry.
    >This week's column I can't agree with.

    I hate to be cynical, but could it be that his columns *appear* to be well researched and this is the first one where you have enough knowledge of the subject to see beneath the facade.

    An important skill for a columnist is the ability to come across as an expert on just about any subject. If they're willing to pretend to knowledge they don't have in one column then there's a good chance they do it routinely.

  • Hi Jack,

    I think that although your article was pretty unthoughfull you did something great.

    You or your company linked to the slashdot postings in a disclaimer above the article and thereby made a little history. I never saw a mainstream media outlet connecting so fast with it's own critics. There could be a future where we didn't have to post on Slashdot to give you public feedback. Maybe one day an open discussion forum would exist under every (digital) article.

    You brought that day a little closer, thanks allot.

    Sytse Sijbrandij
  • well, I dobut he'd have any money in other *nixs, considerin he seemed to say that Unix was never profitable... witch is laughable. I mean god, this guy *uses* windows, and he donsn't even know it still has a (somewhat usefull) CLI!!
    Chad Okere
  • Yes, the the whole thing is understandable. There are a few small problems that make it a little hard to read. No real problem for /.'ers, to be sure.

    The point isn't to nit pick for the sake of nit picking, but there is valid (IMO) point in ensuring that a well-though out response like this one doesn't get notched down because it contains simple typos, and other errors.

    Unfortunately, stuff like this *does* matter to (some of) the professional audience that might see this response. It would be unfortunate for the message not to ring-out loud and clear because of a little 'noise' in some word-smithing errors.

    One of the FUD elements that keep coming out is that Linux is supported by a bunch of teen-age hacker doodz. Sending such a well-though-out response that could be more well-written could play into the hands of those who would demean us. That is the unfortunate reality.

    (god I hope I didn't make any typo's in this) :-)

  • That's a really good point. If there is little hope of a retraction/correction of this entire article, I bet at least andover.net would want to make a prominent disclaimer that RedHat DID NOT loose $130 million last year, seeing as how they have filed an IPO and everything. Nothing motivates 'journalistic integrity' like the possibility of legal trouble.

    Here's a link to andover.net's feedback page [andover.net]

    Be a good little slashdotter and go point out this little mis-deed!

  • ...I got a nice email from an editor over at Andover. Go back to the site and see the semi-disclaimer that is now posted at the top of the article. A link to this thread is also there. Not too shabby.

    I also got an e-mail for an editor over there that expressed some of the sentiment of people over there. Here's a snippet:

    "When you offer columnists total editorial freedom, sometimes they say things with which you don't agree. I happen to like Jack a lot. I wouldn't want to *be* him right now, but he's a big grown-up writer and long-time industry consultant who can take his lumps the same as you and I take ours. :)"

    That kinda makes sense. Be interesting to see of old Jack-o has anything to say for himself, tho.

    Apparently there a few /. readers over there and they are around 80% *nix.
  • and while you're at it, drop a line at the feedback page [andover.net] at andover.net. I'm sure they are interested in the accuracy and credibility of the reporting being published at their site. :-)

    As always, polite, constructive criticizm will more likely be listened to than a bunch of hostile flamage (although, if you are inclined to do both...)

  • Sure, there have been differences among us since we learned we were all using different flavors of Linux.

    And sure, we should expect -- and acknowledge, perhaps even welcome -- the dissenters of one distribution (in this case RedHat) when the words appear in an oft-reputable form (in this case, LinuxToday).

    But our little wars are PRECISELY what Bill Gates has been waiting for. Given the opportunity to borrow a tactic from our current U.S. president (that is, focus on the diversion and make an example out of it), Gates will take and run with that opportunity.

    Perhaps we can criticize RedHat for their decision to go public. Personally, I was not against RH for doing this, and I still am not.

    I just wish journalists could be more responsible.
  • Jack got the word hacker right...

    Okay, so I tend to look on the bright side.


  • From the Linux Weekly Newsa analysis of the IPO documents: [lwn.net]

    Nowhere in the filing is anything about "make more money selling our distribution." Red Hat clearly sees its future elsewhere.

  • From the Linux Weekly News [lwn.net] analysis of the IPO documents:

    Nowhere in the filing is anything about "make more money selling our distribution." Red Hat clearly sees its future elsewhere.

  • I can't believe you attached your name to this.
    Why not? It's one of the funnier things I've seen today!
  • And this is different from the rest of the $500M 'Our buisness idea is to sell get-them-yourself tuna sandwiches, but over the I-n-t-e-r-n-e-t' tech stocks on Nasdaq in what way?

    Tech stocks have long since gone from serious investment to pyramid scheme anyway, and no serious investor would recommend any tech stocks. In the even of a crash, there isnt any solidity in the companies, most is just overhyped expectations of a rosy future, 'value' that will just disappear without any assets to sell off. They'll even lose most of their human capital since being paid in stock options useful for wallpaper isnt what keeps people around.

    Compared to most, Redhat would actually be a good choice. They dont make a huge loss, they have employees who may be motivated by other than stock options, they're fairly knowledgable about their market and they've thought through the buisness model.

    But either way, if you're into tech stocks you're into gambling and pyramid schemes. And in that context, Redhat's a good choice.
  • by knarf ( 34928 ) on Thursday June 10, 1999 @10:57AM (#1857008) Homepage

    Hey folks,

    I'm the original author of the grammatical riddle which got posted to /.

    It's the content, not the container which counts in this case. As some readers have noticed, the English language is not my native tongue. I'm from the Netherlands, so Dutch is my native tongue. I also speak German and a bit of French, as well as a few lines of Russian. Now I know I make mistakes, and I know my spelling checker does not catch them, but I can live with that. If this were a book or a serious dissertation, I'd have someone else read it before publication. Since it is `just' a email to a misguided soul, getting the last remaining nits out of it was not my most important goal.

    Oh and by the way, I did send this message yo Jack. It is only afterwards that I sent it to /., one of my stated reasons for that being that I'd let some others have a go at finding fault in my reasoning. Since most of you only found some spelling and grammatical problems, I think I passed my own test :-)

    And I was a journalist, but I wrote in the Dutch language. How's your Dutch today, folks? Not so good? Well, then maybe you'll excuse me for not speaking Oxford English by the book... A lot of native English speakers who post to these fora (since forum is a latin word, the plural should be fora, right?) mistreat their own language in a much worse way than I do, so there...


    [Oh, and there may be errors in this piece as well. Sorry 'bout that... ;^]

  • that had to hurt... is hard when you are kicked with the shoe of knowledge.. hehehe
  • "It's tough to bet against an operating system that has won the hearts of geeks across the world (damn few of whom actually have the software on their computer)."

    Yeah, what the hell did he mean by that? He couldn't have meant that the way he said it... Maybe he was smoking crack or something... I don't know any geeks who have embraced linux without actually having it installed on their machine...

    What a wacko crack head!

  • My co-worker/friend and I went to the ApacheCon conference, RedHat was there... We walked to their booth, they were just about the only people there who didn't try to get us to buy anything...

    On top of that, they said "hey, take this"... Free RedHat 5.1 CDs. They had a whole bunch, so we asked if we could have a few more. They said, "sure!"

    They never in any way said that RedHat was the best distro or anything... but the SUSE guys did.

  • Are you trying to say that the rest of us have turned to the dark side?

  • You know, one thing the inaccuracies in the column demonstrate is how hard it is for people to grasp what Linux is and what OSS is about. They read some things, or hear some things, and they try to fit it into their model of the world. It doesn't fit, so they think it's crazy, or it's a guaranteed money loser, or whatever. But they don't grasp it. Jack's a good example of this.

    It's easy to forget that Linux and OSS just don't fit into most people's view of how things work.

"For a male and female to live continuously together is... biologically speaking, an extremely unnatural condition." -- Robert Briffault