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Red Hat Software Businesses

Red Hat Deserves Award for ... Most Awards? 101

malacai pointed out a story on biz.yahoo.com about all the awards that Red Hat has been getting. Plus, their recent (pending) acquisition, Cygnus, also seems to be getting a wall's worth of plaques. Maybe we should think about giving Red Hat some kind of special award for "Most Awards Won by a Linux Company in 1999." One thing's for sure: Red Hat has done lots to promote Linux in general, and deserves strong applause for their efforts no matter which Linux distribution you personally prefer.
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Red Hat Deserves Award for ... Most Awards?

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  • Hopefully other companies will see Red Hat as a success not only as a software house, but one who exclusively does open-source work. Let others follow their lead and find there is indeed profitibility and praise in a commercial GPL'ed effort.

    Congratulations, Red Hat!

  • Additional applause due to Red Hat not only for their work to make Linux more visible, but for doing it in a way that really makes some sense - by making Linux a little easier to get running for people that would rather just having a working OS with no guilt. Ease of installation is important to the people.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    And do any of these awards matter? It seems to me that the world of technology awards is a lot like the world of web awards-- none of them really mean anything, and everybody is giving them out these days. Not to mention the number given out to crappy products due to the marketing department at StupidCo.

    Oh well. I'm just cynical, I guess.

  • You guys must be doing something right :] hehe
  • Red Hat may have won the most awards, and is difenatly the most publicized dist. of Linux, but is it the best? What really matters? Being known or being the best? That's a tough one....
  • It is important to understand that all of those awards Red Hat is (will be) getting is not only because of its strong dedication to the open source community, but also because it was the first big time IPO. The success of the Red Hat IPO has given them a great deal of money, prestige and most importantly credibility. In the long run, while the number of awards Red Hat is winning may not be the most important consideration of the success of this operating system, the credibility achieved through the process of building a business around open-source will.

    Please visit FreeDonation.com [freedonation.com] - You can donate Food and Medicine for FREE to Save Children (You can donate once EVERY DAY). The donation is fully paid by corporate sponsors with the money they would have spent anyway on advertising. There is no charge to you.

  • They:
    1. Produce a pretty good distribution.
    2. Pay several important kernel hackers to work on the kernel.
    3. Pay lots of people to work on GNOME, full time, and give the copyright of the core libraries to the FSF.
    4. Developed RPM, which most of the other commercial distros use.
    5. Have helped publicise Linux, and Open Source, more generally.
    6. Despite some well-publicised problems, made quite a few hackers a tidy profit on their IPO.
    7. AFAIK and IMHO, haven't abused their predominant position in the distro market.

    While I don't use Redhat personally, I think that, so far, that they have been good for Open Source / free software, and that they deserve recognition and financial success.

  • I don't know how to feel about Red Hat. Their distro is great for newer people to Linux... in fact, it's good for everyone (yes, I do run and prefer Debian but don't dislike any distros)... I have always wondered about it though. Some think it has dumbed down linux (please no distro wars), some think it is Linux's salvation. I am glad that they IPO'd as it will most likely be the first drop of a waterfall, VA IPO'd today as well. What's next, should we expect to get The Letter from Debian? I think its great. If we get enough stock power... well, that's getting off topic. I believe that Red Hat han opened more doors for the Linux community's growth than any company. When I start talking about Linux, what do people say? Oh, yeah, I've heard about RedHat... not Slackware, Debian, SuSE, Stampede, or any other... just RedHat. If it has become this publicly known, well, then I say "kudos to you for making the community more bountiful by the day, and you deserve the awards you win."

    If you think you know what the hell is going on you're probably full of shit.
  • I guess it all could come down to personal preference for most situations/people..
    Personally I use Red Hat and I am very happy with it.

  • by CryoMax ( 113056 ) on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @02:41PM (#1506034) Homepage
    Let me preface this by saying that Red Hat HAS done a superb job in promoting Linux, making it pretty easy for the masses to obtain and install, and all that.

    Let me then go on to express how tired I am of seeing companies get "awards" for being public. I installed Debian Linux back in '96ish, after a merely satisfactory experience with a copy of Slackware that came attached to the back cover of a book. At the time, I don't recall seeing Red Hat as an distribution, let alone one worthy of high praise.

    Fast forward to current day. Red Hat is probably the biggest "name" in Linux distributions, but I think it's still debatable if it's the best distribution.

    None of the three articles mentioned Debian or Slackware. Apparently in order to be an award-winning software product you actually have to be handled by a company that has a physical headquarters somewhere.

    Perhaps the awards should be "Best Software Product From People Who Charge At Least A Little Bit Of Money". Is the problem that mass media (ie. the people writing these articles and giving out these "awards") only see as far as the complimentary review copies of software that land on their desks?

    Remember when the PC Magazine "Editor's Choice" award actually MEANT something? If we give out these awards too freely, they lose meaning. Worse yet, we may attribute to them a negative connotation, bringing to mind images of corporate sell-out, clandestine agreements behind the scenes, kickbacks for the "promotional value"... And then where do we land?

    If it's not important, you can probably find it in...

  • Who's to say what is the best? It all depends upon who you ask. Personal preference, if you have ever asked on IRC, is the only thing to base which is the "best." Like programming languages, there is no best. C is great for some things, Perl for others, Java for others... I could go on, but what's the point? If there was a best we would shun it, because being the best means its most in the public eye... also, it may start trying to get more power and money... sound familliar? It does to me. Isn't this the way Microsoft started out? Maybe we just need a scapegoat... if it isn't Microsoft it's a rival distro that we bash. We must band together and worry not about which version of Linux we run but that we run it at all and that it stays clean and uncorrupt.

    If you think you know what the hell is going on you're probably full of shit.
  • by Gurlia ( 110988 ) on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @02:46PM (#1506037)

    I know some slashdotters don't like RedHat because of its commercialism and what-not. But let's face it, people. Even if RedHat's not the best, even if other Linux distro's are more "pure" as far as open source software is concerned, we still need a company like RedHat. Why? Because the media attention and promotion of Linux caused by companies like Redhat is causing hardware vendors to start opening up specs to allow us to write drivers for.

    Imagine a fearful picture of an MS-dominated world sometime in the would-have-been future, where not only we've Winmodems, but also Win-monitors, Win-keyboards, Win-harddrives, Win-CPUs... and all of them have proprietary interfaces which we cannot legally write GPL'd code for. Remember the "decommiditization of protocols" in the Halloween documents? We won't even have computers to run Linux on if that happened.

    We gotta be grateful companies like Redhat came along and took Linux into the commercial world, so that, if nothing else, Linuxers are no longer an "insignificant niche" but a significant, thriving community. Even though I personally don't like RedHat Linux (I prefer Debian), they deserve a big "congratulations" from all of us.

  • Or is it now "news" when a company's PR flacks put out a puff piece like this?
  • In a sense, yes, it *IS* news when a Linux company has its act together enough to put out a press release like this.

    How many of us work for technology companies that put out stunning products, but nobody ever hears about them? RedHat didn't skyrocket to great stock heights just because they have a Linux distribution that's easy to use: they also have a business model that makes sense, and PR people who know how to push the right buttons. Being a great tech company isn't about making great products - it's about getting the right spin. Think Micro$oft, for example. The press oohs and aahs over products with "less bugs than last year" because the reps are kind enough to show them how it works.

    So many Linux users sit around and grumble about RedHat, but nobody ever thinks to talk to their local newspaper and invite the tech columnist to user's group meetings. The next time you have a Linux install party, think about inviting someone from your local media. You've read your local paper, right? The tech column is always horribly uninformed. Those guys are starving for information from people JUST LIKE YOU AND ME, and it's our job to get the good news out.

    It's up to you and me, folks. Nobody else is writing press releases for your favorite distribution. Who's the local PR guy for Linux? YOU are. Show the press how it works, and it'll pay off.
  • by Uruk ( 4907 ) on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @03:00PM (#1506042)
    I've read quite a bit of flames about Redhat and about how they're becoming evil and all, and I was geniunely worried when they went public, because they went from a company that has a profit motive that is held among private citizens to a company that has a profit motive that is owned by the public. So far though, I think they're doing quite well.

    It's not as if Bob Young and Co. just snickered to themselves, "Now that our evil IPO is complete, we can begin ruthlessly screwing the linux community muhahahahaha!!!!" but rather they kept doing the business that got them to where they are. And it's a good business. It employs poor hackers like me (disclaimer: "like" me. I don't work for redhat) and pays them to write free software. Now, I don't know how the rest of you coders out there feel, but for me that's tantamount to getting paid to drink guiness beer and watch the Simpsons. Maybe not as easy, but as enjoyable. I think you get the point.

    The purpose of this was not to be a Redhat cheerleader, just to point out that if you really really want to, you can search the net and find a million places that endorse redhat (and I'm not talking about companies, but individuals) and talk about how much they do for the free software community, but the only place that I've really seen that *slams* redhat and calls them all of the filthy names that we tag onto companies we don't like is here on slashdot, either in the form of AC ranting, or in the form of off-the-cuff remarks about how they're growing into the role of the Linux Microsoft or whatever propaganda people are spouting these days.

    Rob Malda, slashdot crew, and pos[t]ers, I'd like to see somebody write a coherent article about how redhat is supposedly evil and then defend it against coherent questions. Now, like I said, there have been numerous things written in favor of redhat, but nothing that really makes sense or has a reasonable logical flow that's been written against redhat. If they are evil, I'd like to see some concrete material on why. It's not inherently evil to buy another corp like Cygnus. It can be, but it isn't always.

    I think the moral of the story with redhat is moral relativism. Nobody can point a finger at redhat and say "you did this, you did that" and claim that since microsoft has done the same thing in the past, redhat must be like microsoft. But rather, look at the current and long term impact of the action. It depends on the context and the affect of the action before somebody can come along and label it "evil".

    Redhat makes a good product, plays nice with free software, (compared to you or your organization, what does YOUR free software output look like up against redhats?) and does all kinds of things for the community. Like the whole "letter" business. I've seen a lot of posters point out that they didn't have to do that, it wasn't even expected of them. But they took the time to do that.

    I see redhat as not only contributing a lot, but occasionally holding out an olive branch to the ACs of the world by doing things it doesn't have to do. If you choose to throw it away and say they're evil anyway, just don't go getting quoted on large news outlet websites saying you represent the feeling of the community.

  • Now that's just silly. Linux needs all the users (especially desktop ones) that it can get. Keeping it cloistered among experts won't help it at all.

    If you want Linux to be better-accepted, get used to the gobs of new users asking questions. Microsoft didn't make itself the market-share leader by saying "well, if its ease of use you want, why didn't you get a Mac, stupid?" or "if you wanted something that didn't crash so much, why didn't you invest in a UNIX variant?"

    If new, inexperienced users bother you, I'm sure there are other operating systems that might be better suited to your wants. You could try HURD, for example. (I'm serious -- I'm not taking a poke at HURD!)

  • I have been using RedHat as my Linux distro since 5.0 and I have never had to complaint.

    Now would you please ADD some serious multilingual support fast?

    I wanna be able to write, read Arabic and view web pages in that language! Netscape doesn't even do it.

    There is only Microsoft out there right now for many languages in the world, even the major ones!

  • RedHat seem to be growing bigger and bigger every day, and good on them (not "gob on them" as 70s punk fans might remember). We've seen stories trying to scare us about RedHat becoming the next Microsoft, but the GPL is there to prevent this from happening. Under the GPL, RedHat will always have to provide source code for free.

    One way RedHat makes its money is through retail cd-rom sets which include installation manuals and installation support, a little money comes in through web advertising, but most of it until recently was from support packages.

    The recent acquisition of Cygnus, however, has enabled RedHat to diversify into developer tools, and both help itself and the Linux community as a whole, by combining the expertise of the two companies.

    So, I say hooray for RedHat. Anyone who says otherwise can "talk to the hand, coz the face ain't listenin'." :-)

  • Personally I like to use an operating system that doesn't crash. I don't want to have to worry about how many programs I am running, and if my OS will have a problem with this. This is why I stopped using Windows. I would hardly have switched to Linux if I had to deal with a distrubution that I have to make all sorts of modifications to just to have it run properly. I simply don't have the time to figure out what is going on behind my screen. My computer is an important tool for me, and occasionaly a fun toy, but it is not my main concern or interest in life. I neither have the time, nor the desire to understand my operating system. Does this mean I should have to use a sucky product?
  • There has been a small group working to add it to KDE. I don't know if it'll be ready by the KDE 2.0 release, but if you have any developing experience I'm sure they can use another hand. But, one day there will be a browser, office apps, etc for people of all languages. :) You can search the kde-devel list at http://lists.kde.org.
  • Add one more thing:

    8. They cooperate with the LinuxPPC folks. _MY_ distro of choice!

    Plus like, their logo is cool; and you know, OS, and Gnome, and kernel hacking are all great -- but it's all about the logos.


  • by whoop ( 194 ) on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @03:33PM (#1506051) Homepage
    This news, on a day that RHAT has gone higher than ever before, closing at 168 15/16, up 25 from yesterday. Cobalt isn't doing too bad either.
  • show me the product.

    image is nothing
    obey my thirst
  • I find the concept of sites that proudly display their awards to be ludicrous. Do I really care if your site won the Marketing Bastard's Cool Site of the Minute award? Whether your site is worth my time is a decision I'll make for myself.
  • by Michael K. Johnson ( 2602 ) on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @03:59PM (#1506057) Homepage
    Now would you please ADD some serious multilingual support fast?

    I wanna be able to write, read Arabic and view web pages in that language!

    As it happens, Owen Taylor, one of the GTK+ hackers and a Red Hat employee, is working on real multi-lingual support in Gtk, including proper right-to-left support. Right-to-left support isn't highly likely at the console any time soon, but I can't imagine monospace arabic lettering looking very good anyway... :-)

    Proper multilingual support is most definitely one of the things that Red Hat is putting its people's time into. You might want to see the GNOME I18N [gnome.org] information, and in particular, from that page, Owen Taylor's Internationalization in GTK+ [gnome.org] whitepaper. To quote:

    Future plans include suppport for the Unicode standard and languages written in a right-to-left direction.

  • Perhaps the Slashdot people should be giving out awards. I think categories like "Best OS" "Largest Contribution" "Most Value" and "Most Ambitious" would be good.

  • by edhall ( 10025 ) <slashdot@weirdnoise.com> on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @04:11PM (#1506061) Homepage
    ...you can search the net and find a million places that endorse redhat (and I'm not talking about companies, but individuals) and talk about how much they do for the free software community, but the only place that I've really seen that *slams* redhat and calls them all of the filthy names that we tag onto companies we don't like is here on slashdot...
    It's not just Slashdot. Ever since the IPO I've seen random potshots at RedHat as "The Next MicroSoft" on several technical mailing lists, including Linux-Kernel. Anti-RedHat sentiment isn't that rare among hackers. And though it's often seen as sour grapes, anti-capitalism, or whatever, I think that the dissatisfaction comes from another place. Hackers tend to be perfectionists when it comes to things they care about. I don't mean to over-generalize, here, but IMHO this is one of the reasons why open-source software works so well. Yet RedHat is far from perfect. No sucessful company is--there are far too many necessary compromises between the ideal and bringing a product to market in a timely way. The good is often the enemy of the best, and frequently its conqueror. So disagreement and dissatisfaction is inevitable--even people who are well aware of "the real world" issues will disagree on what compromises are necssary: how important time-to-market is, whether a bug is a major flaw or minor irritant,and so on. So even though I agree 100% that RedHat is, overall, a Good Thing, it's also important that we make ourselves heard when we think they are headed in the wrong direction. What we need to be careful about is not generating our own Linux-flavored FUD in the process. Vague fears and unfounded suspicions are better left unsaid. They won't help Linux or free software any more than they'll help RedHat. Well-founded criticism is fine, FUD is not.
  • Let's not forget the brick and mortar joints that are legitimizing Linux to the mainstream audience by stocking its shelves with Linux OS's, applications and games.

    I just got back from CompUsa and was amazed at the number of Linux boxen I saw displayed. The change in just 2 months is very refreshing. Linux doesn't have its own aisle, or its own mini-store like Apple, but I think it's on its way to becoming just another thing you pick up, which is what we're all after. And they even had a lot of FreeBSD boxen too! I've never used FreeBSD but I think I may pick it up a distro soon.

  • I use Red Hat. I have experimented with other distributions, but to me, it's easier having all the software at the point of installation: specifically, the WM's, netscape, etc.

    RH 6.1 even has a new PPP dialer configuer in the installer now. And setting up PPP is kind of tedious normally, I think.

    Then there's Alan Cox. The fact that he works for RH is a big plus. It says that the company has direction, and will not go off on some tangent.

    Then there's the fact that the industry takes RH seriously. Just last week, I received a copy of Oracle 8i for RH 6.0. This is a big step. This program is not for other distributions, just for RM btw.

    The point is, the software industry is finally taking Linux seriously, and it's not an expanding user base that is soley responsible for this. It's a serious company like RH that makes something like this possible.

  • While I agree that Red Hat has done great things
    for the Linux world, I can't help but cringe when
    I hear reports of "Red Hat, distributor of the Linux Operating System," as if they are the only game in town. This isn't their fault, of course, but I'm sure they don't mind. I suppose this is something that we'll just have to wait a while for the press to get a bit more of a clue about (or for Red Hat to take over the world :)
  • Redhat is probably the best thing that's happened to Linux. Nobody will ever following anything without a strong backer, and Redhat is it. With SGI hopping on board and the government's adoption of Linux that will follow, things will even get better. But it's Redhat that got the ball rolling, and Redhat that employs a lot of the full time kernel developers.. And that's good for all of us. Three cheers!
  • I installed RedHat 2.1 in 1995. It was the best then and remains the best now.
  • I don't mean to challenge you or say that what you're saying isn't true, but I'm truly interested. I haven't seen any of those threads on linux-kernel (maybe because I'm not subscribed to it - I was for a brief period of time though)

    What were some of the main issues that were brough t up with regard to redhat, the wrong direction, and so on?

    Just interested - I'd like to hear about it.

  • Fact is: I can install openbsd on more machines with less problems than redhat ever will.

    That says more about your linux skills than it does about either OS. You can't deny that linux has much more device support than BSD.

    Fact is: OpenBSD would be a waste on a quad xeon. It doesn't support multiprocessor systems.

  • Amen, my brother. Red Hat has probably done more for GNU and the free software movement (public relations-wise) in the past year than FSF ever did in its history.

    Keep on preaching it, Red Hat.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Some RedHat employees are really, really obnoxious. Some of the (former? Bob Young?) CEOs comments were obnoxious as well.

    Overall, I have to say RedHat will take what they can from people (for free) and make a fat buck. What is theie distro up to now? $79 for the usual, $150 for the pro?

    But I have to admit, for all the things that make me uncomfortable with RedHat, they really made the first easy-to-install distro, and led the Linux explosion. And depending who you get on the phone (hit or miss) they have some awesome employees, too.

    So, overall, congrats to RedHat, and I hope they do better as far as giving back (by hiring more *nix programmers), lowering the distro cost, etc. What they really need is a visionary -- where's Linux's Steve Jobs? He has yet to appear.

    i suspect, that as a USA company, they won't be able to grasp the whole linux thing the way Corel or Suse is going to do. Corel (as a Canadian company) and Suse (as a German company) are both probably a little more in tune with the linux philosophy, seeing as both of those countries have shown the ability to look past pure greed.

    Linux needs an Open Source Steve Jobs, but I have no clue where that boy/girl will come from. I have yet to see a press release from any Linux company that has even a remote semblance of what Jobs can crank out.

    When you have fun, and crank out the best possible product, everything else falls into place. That's what Jobs and McNealy say. I hope someday to be a good enough programmer to work for such people.
  • by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @04:50PM (#1506072)
    You stated the problem in your first paragraph.

    "..a company that has a profit motive that is owned by the public."

    I have heard the shareholder/profit motive as motivation chnage attitudes towards Open Source - to become the next Microsoft slam against RedHat so many times that it sounds like it must be fact.

    RedHat only sold a small percentage of the company in the IPO.

    Bob Young and the original founders still own something like 80% of the company stock. The same people that determined company policies before the IPO determine company policies now. Public ownership doesn't affect their ability to do what they want to in terms of open source one bit.

  • Only one thing though: does Linux really need someone like Steve Jobs and his comments about "insanely great products" to promote it?

    No likely. After all, Linus Torvalds is the right spokesperson for Linux itself.
  • Heh, interesting you said that. Getting paid for making 'free' software. Interesting concept...

    I'll have to add that to my list of oxymoronical statements. =)

    Fran Frisina (franf@hhs.net)
    Yes, you can make money on the web!
  • You are correct on a lot of points. It is true that no-one can point the finger at RH and say, "you did that bad thing." However, the fears about RH are well founded.

    As you noted in the beginning of your post, RH _is_ a public company now. Which means that regardless of what Bob Young beleives, or any employee of RH beleives, the stockholders have the final say. Now, you can say that RH will continue doing the good stuff it has been doing, and probably it will, but it does not change the fact that RH is owned by its shareholders.

    Now, I can imagine a situation in the future where the interests of Linux will conflict with the interests of RH. This is where it possibly gets bad. The employees of RH might want their darndest to do the "right thing".. but that wont matter. On what side will the coin land? Who knows.

    Take that, and compare it to something like Slack, or Debian. Now, with these two distros.. there is very little question what will happen in such a situation.

    Those are the fears that some people have. Those fears should not be ignored. RH has been a good company, and it probably will stay a good company. But there are forseable situations where it's obligations (shareholders v. linux) will definitely be ambiguous.

    Note that I recommend Redhat and RH-derivative Mandrake to a lot of people as very good distros (and they are). But people should be aware of possible future problems. Anti-RH fanaticism is shortsighted.. but so is blindness to the possibilities.

  • Applause for efforts? Huh? REd Hat is in it for one thing - the money. Do you think they are doing anything out of the goodness of their hearts? OF course not, they are there to make a buck. Nothing wrong with that -- but why should I applaud them? I would much sooner applaud the work of people who support Linux WITHOUT seeing any money any return.
  • BSD people are such funny snoobs. Don't you think?
  • Everyone has selfish motives. That's what drives the economy and production, in turn making it better for everyone else. Freshman econ, Adam Smith and the invisible hand. Go read about it.
  • I hear reports of "Red Hat, distributor of the Linux Operating System," as if they are the only game in town. This isn't their fault, of course, but I'm sure they don't mind.

    Perhaps they don't mind, and perhaps it's not that big of an issue, but I think they should make an effort to stop things like this when they happen. Sure, we all know that Red Hat isn't the only distro of Linux, but I'm sure there are people out there who don't. And even so.. for those who do know, hearing things like this on a regular basis will start to pound the idea into their brain and form an association that may/may not be bad. Personally, I'd like to be open-minded about it all, and not have my subconcious mind go behind my back and start droning Red Hat all the time.. (Ok,.. I started <ranting>.. oops)
  • Yes, I know this is kinda OT, but it runs along the lines of giving awards to those who truly deserve it.

    I was thinking it would be really cool to have some type of Slashdot User Award. Here's my rationale.

    So many of us give so much information about so many topics away for free on this site. And it's not for any other reason but the fact that we pride ourselves on the information we are able to impart on others (and maybe that's why most us agree that the education system in America has gone down the drains - the teachers can't impart very good information). And it's not just information, but also "enlightenment." In no way do I mean a window manager or a religion (although when it comes to GNOME vs. KDE, it might swing either way :) What I mean by that word is when a Slashdot post parodies an article that gets posted (see the Nothing but Net for 5 days thread), there's more than just information imparted there.

    What I propose is that the people that really make a difference on Slashdot receive some type of a award. I don't mean everyone that gets a 5 gets an award, and I don't mean someone that doesn't get a lot of 5s doesn't get an award.

    I could name a few people on Slashdot that have made a true difference in how I think about every other news story I read out there. Signal 11 is usually pretty funny, and the guy from Dox Para research (am I right? Sorry, I forget the name - i just remember people by the way their .sigs look most of the time) always has some real information to present.

    And I don't mean this to say that "As a poster who has given others information, I feel I should be rewarded." I just think it would be nice to recognize those people that make a difference to the Slashdot community. Maybe send them a free T-Shirt. Or maybe some Penguin Mints :)
  • if you use red hat, like it, and want them to stay in business, consider paying for their product. this is the only way to prove wrong all the people who say open source companies cant make money. please, whatever distro you use, consider paying for it--you will be doing the right thing, and open source will live forever
  • Thanks for the info.

    My thanks go also for the KDE piece of info.

    Alas, I am just learning python so I can't code mucho!
  • When I said "potshots" that's pretty much what I meant. The nice thing about the better technical lists, like Linux-kernel, is that partisan comments are passed over quietly, or quickly dismissed. So "discussions" is the wrong word. Anything related to a particular distro gets chased off the list pretty quickly, in any case, as being off-topic.

    The "wrong direction" discussions tend to occur on other lists--Redhat-devel-list is one. They tend to be concerned with support or with particular bugs, and how awful it is that RedHat "just didn't care enough to send their very best" or "never responded to my bug report." One of the lists I follow pretty closely (because I have an Alpha) is the "axp-list" (AXP==Alpha). RedHat gets criticized pretty regularly for lack of support and quality in their Alpha releases. A lot of the criticsm is justified, too, IMHO.

    But like I said, much of this is normal. Those of us who use RedHat products not only want them to Get It Right, we're at the least inconvenienced when they Get It Wrong. I must not have made that clear--my only complaint was at unsupported FUD, which does occasionally appear on technical lists. But when RedHat does something like ship a distro where the "man" command dumps core immediately (like the 5.1 release for Alpha), bring on the criticism...

  • What is their distro up to now? $79 for the usual, $150 for the pro?

    Yes, and $30 for the basic, and free via FTP. What's your point? They've made it pretty clear that they are selling their support, not selling the software.

  • Actually, getting paid to make OSS is not uncommon. And it may just become the next biggest thing.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    That's kind of a trolling statment, but... The whole *POINT* of GPL and such is to allow business models EXACTLY LIKE what redhat does. They OPENLY and FREELY tell people that their stuff is available free, and they contribute back to the community like mad. And all nit-picking aside, their distribution *IS* good, and IMHO, having used linux for 8 years, and seen many many distros and attempts at distros, RedHat really set the precedent for a good, organized distro. Nowadays, others have equally, or better, organized distros, but that's beside the point. As for Linux and Open Source doing just 'fine', well, that depends on your goals I guess. I think RedHat has *absolutely* had a big effect on how things have gone, though, redhat would not have made-or-broke the system. Those 1000s of prgrammers you talk about didn't ASK for a penny, either.
  • Once upon a time... here were some Linux distributions. In that age Linux belonged to experts and gurus. People which didn't know how to compile a kernel weren't using the Linux OS. However people were interessed using this OS! We can only thank RedHat for bringing Linux to the masses. Only like this we can get even more people involved in creating the best OS ever. We, the people who run Linux since 94-96, will need to take this OS to another level. The only mistake we must never make is trying to make it look and feel too much like M$ "standards" because some dummies like it better that way. From-the-no-rpm-available-age Tim
  • The Winter holidays are coming shortly. Isn't it about time for a professionaly produced heart warming commercial from "The Internet" about the virtues of Linux?

    Maybe something with a wide variety of ethnicities from around the world running Red Hat Linux?

    It would be beautiful!

    -- Torment
  • They bought the stupid RSA license and now you can use a secure apache for a hundred bucks (plus the key of course). This is a very significant although much overlooked developement. Now we don't have to pay stronghold a thousand dollars.
  • Not only that but they tried their damnest to get as many hackers in on the deal as possible. What this means is that a sizable percent of RH stockholders are hackers! This is very assuring for me.
  • I would much sooner applaud the work of people who support Linux WITHOUT seeing any money any return.

    You would or you have? Put your money, support, and effort where your mouth is!!

    Meanwhile, many free-software hackers are grateful to have been thoughtfully included in RHAT's IPO, something they need not have done to maintain their "profit motive"...

    ...unless you consider their "greed" to require satiating by, among other things, keeping the enthusiasm among free-software developers, upon whom they depend, very high.

    And, if you do so consider, perhaps you can see why it's important to applaud Red Hat when they do things right, as defined by that community.

    Because without that feedback, they'll end up having only the bottom line to look at.

    (Maybe that's indeed all they're looking at right now. But if they make a series of missteps as viewed by the community that supports them, then see their bottom line take a hit, it'll be easier for them if there's a good, public record showing just when and why things went wrong by that community, and they'll start paying more attention to it then. But IMO they seem to be paying attention already.)

  • Yeah, and freshman economics also assumes that all consumers behave rationally. Go figure.
  • Erm...
    Without the FSF, there would not be any GNU or free software movement. Duh.

  • by elflord ( 9269 ) on Thursday November 25, 1999 @12:56AM (#1506102) Homepage
    Hey I'd like to run a company where someone else does the work and I collect all of the money too.

    This is unfair. Redhat contribute. They pay developers full time to work on GNOME, and their regular employees have contributed to GNOME as well ( see the credits ). Redhat are a company that gives back.

    BTW, you don't have to wait for someone to "write a GPL'd product you can sell". You can sell any existing GPL product ( including the free part of Redhat's distribution ) -- read the license !

  • I am not a debian user, but I think that if Debian became a company, and then had an IPO, effectively forcing them to put the interests of their shareholders first, it would be a very bad thing. We need free debian to keep linux honest.


  • Imagine a fearful picture of an MS-dominated world sometime in the would-have-been future, where not only we've Winmodems, but also Win-monitors, Win-keyboards, Win-harddrives, Win-CPUs... and all of them have proprietary interfaces which we cannot legally write GPL'd code for.

    I don't have to imagine - just look at all that is happening with DVD players. DeCSS was one of the steps required to have a GPL DVD player, and look at what happened with it. How successful will Linux be in the market, if it can't fully support DVD?

  • Real i18n support will be available in a while.
    Qt 2.0 already has it, and therefore we'll have
    it in KDE 2.0 (along with konqueror as a Netscape replacement), and it's currently being developed for gtk+ (and therefore gnome).
    It'll probably be a while until we get real i18n on the console though...
  • I had tried Linix in the form of Redhat 5.2, only to find it didn't support my video card. Recently, I read 6.1 included support, so I tried it out. I have to say that the install was pretty damn easy. The only vaguely confusing thing was, since my USB mouse doesn't work, I plugged in an old mouse I had. When "choose your mouse" came up, I turned it over, read "Intellimouse 2.1A", chose M$ bus mouse 2.1A or higher from the menu, only to find later it didn't work. A reinstall with choosing "PS/2" mouse (DUH!) worked fine.

    RH 6.1 detected my networked cable modem perfectly. I just chose "use DHCP" and "start automatically" and went to town. To try to get the "newbie" experience, I choose "graphical login." It was just like booting Win98!, you see a bunch of text crap go by, and up pops some windows (note the small "w").

    I have to say, I am really impressed so far. Linux has come a LONG way on the ease of install since I've seen it last. (I drank beer once while I watched some guys install linux 2 years ago -- all night long and it never worked).

    Anyway, I am a certified M$ developer (and regular slashdot reader/poster), who just wanted to say this is pretty neat and wanted to share it with my friends here at slashdot (that was, of course, the first place I went when Netscape came up). Now if they'd only port VB to Linux......:)
  • no, bring on the patch. or bug report. how many bugs have you noted in redhat that you've reported or fixed.

    their distributions have flaws, but the nice part about free software is you can do much more then whinge: you can fix.

    one of the biggest pro's to redhat btw is multiple arch support. what other distributions do that? and redhat's done it for over two years. and while i haven't used debian the direction they're headed with supporting freebsd and the hurd is an equal good mark in their book.

    in addition to the "you can fix it" aspect of free software is the "you don't need to be locked in" aspect. both redhat and debian are helping to actually put in place the code to make that true. i think that's a feather in both their caps.

    anyway, rambling aside, just like hackers redhat makes mistakes. and just like hackers there are a category of people that bitch at them rather then contribute.
  • "do the right thing. that is, make money."

    yep, and by then we'll all know that free software does just that.
  • how many bugs have you noted in redhat that you've reported or fixed.

    Only a few. For instance, when the X server on the Alpha would only work at 8 bits, I submitted a bug report. No response. So I wrote again, including the ticket number of the original bug report. Still no response. I downloaded the sources to XFree86, and rebuilt the whole tree. The server misrendered at 16 bits and beyond, so I tinkered with compiler optimizations and got it working correctly. Then I actually sent back a note to RedHat saying what I'd done. I also posted it to the "axp-list@redhat.com" (where by this time several people were complaining of the same problem). Other folks on the list found solutions as well.

    Their server still didn't work a depths greater than 8 bits when they made their next release some months later. I've no idea if anyone ever even read my report and subsequent messages beyond noting that they were for Alpha and not Intel. I often get the feeling that they don't even read their own Alpha mailing list "axp-list".

    Yet I've been impressed with their Intel distributions for both support and quality. And all the other things they've done for Linux are massively positive. More than any other business entity, they are responsible for Linux's ascendancy. That's why, despite problems like I described above, they get my support.

    But us Alpha folks don't get no respect.

  • Yeah and those insiders will gradually divest their interest in Red Hat until they are no longer majority shareholders.

    The majority of Microsoft stock is STILL owned by insiders. The fact is that this divesting could take decades, if it EVER occurs. Some public companies have been majority owned by decendants of the founders for generations.

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"