Re: What if... @Nigel
If you look at your Linux history, you will find that RedHat 9.1 was made available before either Centos or Scientific Linux were available. I have been using Ubuntu since Dapper (from about when RedHat stopped patching RH9.1), and stick to LTS releases, as the normal Ubuntu releases and Fedora moves too fast for my liking. My day-to-day systems are to use, and the less time I need to spend maintaining them, the better.
I have been using Linux since RH 4.1, and UNIX a lot longer than that, so I do know my way around.
And if you read what I said, I got something out of it other than the knowledge that I was helping RedHat, in that I did not have to download the iso images over a modem....
I actually have little sympathy for the "must be completely free of cost" Linux brigade. If someone wants to create some software which has real value, and wishes to get some remuneration for the work, let them. Provided that they abide with the GPL and/or LGPL, then Linux should be a platform that they can use.
I am getting a little jaded with the Open Source model. We are now getting to the point where very useful parts of the Open Source landscape are becoming abandonware, with the original maintainer moving on to other things, and no-one else picking up the baton. Other projects go the other way, and get managed by large groups, who then argue about direction causing fragmentation. Gnome and KDE and even the XFree86/Xorg groups have been guilty of this in the past.
What it means is that there is no continuity, with new releases of distributions changing the tools used by default. For example, for ripping CDs, I've been through so many different ripping tools, all of which work in different ways, store the tracks in different directories, tag the files differently, use different profiles for the back-end decoders, and generally leave their detritus all over the . files in my home directory (I keep my home directory when I upgrade distributions). I would have been absolutely happy sticking with Grip, which was small, efficient, and suited me perfectly. I could have asked to become the maintainer, but I have too little time to do what I need to, let alone taking on a software project.