5 posts • joined 8 Sep 2009
Taking Red Hat for granted
I see a number of complaints that RH is not acting in the spirit of the GPL, maybe that's true. I feel, however, that people are forgetting just what Red Hat means to FOSS and Linux.
RH has gone out of their way for years to be a great contributer and promoter of open source and linux. They have gone above and beyond all that is required by the GPL to contribute their developments to the community at large. They built a great business on this, through licensing and support costs, and even with their licensing model, they've still gone out of their way to make RH fully available to anyone who wants it. Now, they seen a trend where their efforts are being taken advantage of, and it's hurting their business. RH took appropriate actions to counter this. There is nothing in the GPL that says you have to provide a detailed change log, and documentation. I think you'll find that most FOSS projects are severely lacking in documentation. RH took action to try and stop competitors from hurting their business through some shady means. RH has acted very much in the spirit of the GPL, but they are hurting because of others who are not, and who are instead trying to take advantage of RH's openness and good participation. They have been put in a position where they are forced to stop being so open for the good of their company, and the action they've taken falls in line with just about every other FOSS project out there.
How are they being so terrible? The criticism is akin to complaining because your neighbor stopped mowing your lawn and shoveling your sidewalks for you.
So what is safe moving forward?
At my company we use java heavily, and we're a bit worried about Oracle taking back so much control that Sun had relinquished. Are we looking at standard Oracle practice, increasing (or introducing in this case) licensing fees? What java is safe to standardize on moving forward? Should we stick with Oracle java, or start moving to openJDK? Our containers are tomcat or jboss (where EJB's are needed)
Surprised by the numbers
Reading this article left me shocked that Linux is overtaking windows moreso than UNIX. With the Oracle acquisition of Sun, there are a lot of worried customers (and a lot of comforted customers as well, a very polarizing event occurred). I work in a Solaris environment, and it is fantastic, far better and more stable than anything Linux can provide, but we're considering moving to Red Hat because of Oracle's notorious reputation of overcharging for everything. Realistically, we're concerned that we're going to be priced out of continuing on SPARC and Solaris. I'm shocked that more companies aren't feeling the same way. I'm indifferent personally, I use Linux exclusively at home, and my workstation and laptop at work are both running Linux and I love it. I'd be perfectly fine if we went to Red Hat (we'd never go to a distro that is not professionally supported, despite what a lot of linux evangelists like myself would like to believe). But I also know that Solaris is the king pin, and nothing comes close to matching its stability, supportability, power, and granularity. We run mostly java on tomcat and jboss so the differences are minimal going to Red Hat, but ZFS and Dtrace would be sorely missed.
For the conversations above about guis and servers and what not, there's one consistent thing I've found in my years working in windows, linux, and solaris environments. A gui on a server is a complete waste of resources, and a crutch for those less competent. Even MS has realized this, and offers command line only installs of server 2008. For linux and UNIX, if a person needs a gui for a tool or something else, they use X and export appropriately, or they connect remotely as any good DBA should do. Sure it may be nice to be able to click around, but when it comes down to it, you need to know how to take care of business on the command line. Sun got it, IBM gets it, Linux gets it, even MS now gets it. I can ssh in from my blackberry if i have to and still work in a pinch. I can't get a gui on it though.
Funny, but are these jokes fraud?
I personally think these pranks are hilarious, the one that duped Rush, and this one that duped Reuters are awesome, and the scramble afterwards is the funniest. But, it seems that it's pretty close to fraud. They are representing themselves as someone else without permission. Sure it is in jest, but there is legal language surrounding the idea that something would be believed by a "reasonable person". This is directed to slander and libel suits (see The People vs Larry Flint for more details) specifically, but I can see that it would go further. Apparently these have been believed by reasonable people (politics aside, Reuters, Rush, and their respective staffs are reasonable people), but perhaps it would extend to other realms, especially if one of these hoaxes or a future one affects the financial industry. This a dangerous path, I don't know if I support this kind of action, even if in the name of comedy.
Devil Bill because he's the corporate devil like Rush and Reuters
Why do they have to call it "Ping"?
I don't really care about the service they're creating/pushing or whatever. The annoying part to me is the name they've chosen. Why call it "ping"? All you will do is create confusion. If it catches on (doubtful), it will just create more nightmares for IT staff much the famed "ANY" key of the early 90s. "Can you ping it?" can be be interpreted in new ways now. It is utter stupidity and downright rude to name something after a standard phrase in the computing world. ping=ICMP, not MS's latest future-failed idea.
Devil Bill bc this is just MS being stupid as usual.
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