* Posts by Conrad

7 posts • joined 28 Jun 2007

Fire stations too much like fire stations, says Govt


Monkey Dust...

Indeed I do remember Monkey Dust, and ROFL'd when I read this article...looks like some of John & Tony's pals were avid fans, too, only they didn't realise it was comedy.

Another suggestion for diversification: emergency kebab vans.



P.S. I wonder if the marketing consultancy responsible was named after female genitalia?


Meet Mark Radcliffe: The man who rules open source law


A little objectivity

"some of the open source world's most rabid^H^H^H^H^H vocal members went after his attribution licenses"

Yet again Vance shows himself to be reasonably-well researched but less than objective on the subject of Linux.

No, Mr Vance, those that don't share your opinion aren't necessarily "rabid".

In a commodity market, brand is of paramount importance - consider why Heinz commands the lion's share of the baked bean market. Linux, BSD, etc are commodity markets.

CPAL seems like a reasonable way forward in principal in the present world. But FLOSS licences need to be as future-proof as possible: the question of logo attribution needs to be considered carefully, especially while US patents are granted for future products that will force users to actively watch advertising to use said products.

Logos have a psychological impact not shared by simple text; that's why they exist. The OSI is quite right to be cautious about setting any precedent here; that's their job. The question has to be asked: just what is wrong with the present system where developers and corporations are accredited in simple text, anyway?

Remember that logo attribution was an important factor in the XFree/Xorg fork. XFree's subsequent widespread rejection & the shift to Xorg has been a very positive move for the Linux market.



Is Red Hat doing its part to win the 'open source' war?


Oh Conrad/Conraddle On and on and on and on

Ashlee, it's your prerogative to be deliberately obtuse if you wish. My point stands - and I'm hardly the first to imply SUN bias in your reporting. Name-calling is a new low, though. Did I hit a nerve?

Steve & others, please accept my apologies for the admittedly long post. It was intended to inform, not rant: poster of original (long) comment stated they "honestly want[ed] to know". In hindsight, though, this area isn't the right forum for that kind of thing. Be assured, in future I'll comment strictly on the article, and won't indulge in discussion.

Best regards, and have a good week.



RE: Does it matter?

> Seriously-- is RH even relevant anymore?


> The evangelists have their poster child in Ubuntu, the technologists can

> bend and twist Debian to perform any task, and the novices are slowly

> being assimilated via Linux ending up embedded everywhere.

1/ *All* the major distros cater for evangelists, technologists, and novices, admittedly in differing proportions. RH focuses more on business, i.e. infrastructure (servers) and the corporate desktop. Note: Business doesn't want something it can "bend and twist to perform any task", it wants a shrink-wrapped, or preferably preinstalled Solution that Just Works, with solid support.

2/ A (The?) major embedded linux supplier is Montavista. Owned by RH.

3/ RH pays the salaries of more core Linux kernel hackers than any other distro, e.g. Alan Cox, Ingo Molnar, etc.

Still relevant, then.

Oh, and when it floated it gave away a load of its shares as a thankyou to previously-unrewarded key kernel developers, e.g. Linus. That's more than putting its money where its mouth is - that's *polite*.

> RH's distro has always been plagued by usability problems,

Not so - it's famous for its stability and conservatism, introduction of graphical config tool, and for its adherence to standards.

It's always been plagued by *interoperability* problems with proprietary codecs, which is a different thing. RH's refusal to ship binary blobs underlines their dedication to keeping source open and free, which kind of counters the suggestions of the above article, really.

One feature that *has* given RH a reputation for awkwardness is the SELinux security layer. I'm not sure a criticism of RH usability on these grounds is fair or accurate, though - RH was the first to roll out SELinux, is still the only mainstream distro (apart from Fedora and immediate RH derivatives) to use it, and has refined the security policies enormously. If you don't get on with it then you can switch it off - or just don't install it in the first place. I prefer to have the extra security by default, and to work from there.

> I've never used their paid support, admittedly, but in my own experience, I'd

> much rather have something I know how to tweak and fiddle with, and still

> repair on my own if I bugger something up.

What *have* you used? Anything recent? Try not to confuse your own empirical knowledge & skills on other distros with "the correct" or "the obvious" way to do things.

In the RH world :

* Fedora is for you if you need to run a cost-free desktop.

* CentOS provide a cost-free recompile of the rock-solid RHEL platform if you need a server.

Fedora: no paid support but a huge, helpful community. More cutting-edge than RH's commercial product, and you can download blobs for as many codecs & 3D graphics drivers as you need. More stable than Ubuntu. And conformant with the Linux Standards Base if you need a helping hand in knowing where & what to tweak.

I'm not saying you *should* use RH derivatives and related products - only you know your needs, and Ubuntu, Mandriva, Debian, etc may fit them better. But if you're going to post a pointed question ("is RH still relevant?") on a public forum, then at least test the RH products targeted at you first.

> Of late, I can't fathom who RH even thinks their customers are. Big

> enterprise has plenty of people to throw at bespoke solutions, and small

> business is still better off keeping things simple,

I don't see them making a loss yet.

> I'm obviously not a Linux evangelist or an MS fanboy-- my concentration is > on systems that are efficient, break down seldom,

CentOS it is, then.

I'm no fanboi either. I happen to run Fedora/CentOS because I find it provides the best balance of stability, security, functionality, and usability for my purposes (small home network + mailserver). The day Ubuntu or someone else (not Novell) offers a better balance for *my* purposes I'll happily defect.

> and don't require re-learning basic operations with each service pack or

> version upgrade.

? I'm confused. Honestly, I'm curious which specific experiences you've had? I've been familiar with RH since 6.0, and although many things have changed and improved nothing has required "re-learning basic operations", let alone between service packs.

> So, once again, I've got to ask, who exactly is buying RH software these

> days, given the free alternatives, and/or the easier deployment of

> commercial products?

Well, I assume they're doing something right, since last quarter they posted one of their largest profits to date.

Still wish they hadn't announced that partnership with Symantec, though. *shudder*

> This is not a troll-- I honestly want to know.

Done :¬)



While we're on the subject...

While we're on the subject of transparency, remind me of the name of that major Reg sponsor? Ah yes, "SUN Microsystems".

Would this be the same "SUN" who are in a protracted spat with RH about who contributes most to FLOSS, and who compete directly with RH in the server space? Yes, I do believe it is.

I like The Reg, but am heartily sick of biased commentaries & RH-bashing every time a news item of interest to Sun raises its head.



Red Hat tight lipped on Microsoft talks



Seems to be lots of speculation and finger-waving in this editorial. I'm trying to filter out the sewage from the gold. So far it's a long and very inefficient process: from quite a long article these are the nuggets I get :

1/ Microsoft approached Redhat.

2/ RH told them to get screwed.

3/ RH has issued repeated statements that they're happy to talk to MS - as long as the subject on the table is *standards* for interoperability.

All old news. And Mr Clarke concludes that RH may be the next to get "into bed with Microsoft". Sorry, did I miss something?

What a crock. Honestly, Register, I thought better of you.

Firstly, I doubt *any* Linux - or *BSD, for that matter - would have problems talking with MS about drafting open interoperability standards. That's not even business, it's just common sense.

Secondly, RH just isn't desperate enough, financially or otherwise, to sell out. Unlike Novell.

Thirdly, Szulik has spoken out several times in the past on Free Software - he really does "get" the difference between Free & Open, and the advantages that both can offer.

Fourthly, RH has *always* been militantly FLOSS. It championed GNOME and didn't package KDE until it became libre instead of just gratis. It's opened up its configuration tools. It's just relinquished control of Fedora to the wider community. And (to its detriment) it refuses to package any proprietary codecs (of course RH would love to rectify this...which is exactly why it's always open to talks with MS, duh! But it doesn't follow that it will drop its principles).

Lastly, even if Szulik was to consider selling out, he would probably have to wave bye-bye to most of his developers, not to mention engineers, all of whose skills are pretty much transferable to other distros.

Mr Clarke is scaremongering. Stop it, please.




Red Hat spreads its JBoss in Q1


Szulik quote

"Fielding a question"..."on the impact to Red Hat's business of Microsoft's claims 235 of its patents exist around Linux, Szulik uttered words that'll have pundits sifting for meaning or a change of policy"...

What's to sift?

"Look, guys, you keep asking us this question and frankly it's getting boring. Our stance *still* hasn't changed since yesterday. Or the day before. Or the day before that. If it helps, let me phrase it in my best Managese..."

Here's the translation: "MS are talking FUD. If they were truly interested in interoperability, then they'd come to the table wanting to agree standards with Linux companies - at which point we'd be delighted to talk. As it is, they're just looking to tie up interoperability into NDAs and a patent trap - same old same old. So we hereby call their bluff".

Seems perfectly clear to me.




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