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Re: SEUL: About Independence, LaetOs, RedHat and Debian

Eric BARROCA wrote:

> Hi all,
> > I have seen this when I was in Seul.  People telling how great Debian
> > is and how free it is and how the Debian 7th Cavalry will come to our
> > rescue if only we decide to become Debian satellites.  Well first of
> > all cavalry never came for Seul.  Only a single cavalryman, their
> > colonel willing to plunder the fallen.  But this is not the point.
> > Roger or Donovan will tell you what happenned.  It was not pretty.
> I haven't said Debian developers will come and save the world ! I've
> only said they will certainly give some help.
> For RH, you've probably right, but you're forgeting some things...
> What means "RedHat compatibles" ?? I only know "Linux compatible", "POSIX
> compatible", "Unix98 compatible", and things like that but I've never
> heard "RedHat compatible", "Debian compatible" nor "SuSE compatible".
> This point of vue is very dangerous, one program must run on all distro,
> one package must be installable on all distro (with alien).
> When I wanna install a .rpm, I use alien and then I can install it.

I assume by compatability is meant "binary" compatability, and for this alien
does not help you.   Up until 6.0 SuSE was libc5, and so no RedHat binary
package would intall on SuSE; now the next RedHat will be glibc-2.1, again
incompatible with SuSE 6.0 as well as RedHat 5.x.  This points out the
further problem that compatability won't even be achieved across RedHat
systems -- stuff compiled for RH6.0 will not work with RH5.2 b/c the glibc
differs.  (The vice versa probably will hold b/c I believe RH6.0 is including
glic2.0 and libc5 libraries).

And this is just glibc, there are a host of other libraries which are not
compatible across distributions or even versions of the same distribution.
Unless everyone complies with LSB.  Yeah, right.

If you are talking about "source" compatability, then the point is a valid
one.  But binary compatability is important b/c (a) not every user will want
to compile their own apps, and (b) non-open-sourced
apps/applets/programs/drivers will not be a minor thing.  Especially things
like device drivers may be available only in binary form; also probably
games, etc.

> I think we shouldn't say "RedHat isn't the best but it's the more used, so
> we use RedHat", but "We need a base for a user friendly distro, there
> isn't any user-friendly distro, so what is the best base ?", and we must
> take care to be able to install *ALL* packages format on this distro
> (.rpm, .deb, .spl).

Don't forget that the former point (RH is most popular) is a *big* component
of the second point (user-friendly), and I think this is what Jean was
saying.  Your users will not think Independence is friendly if the game and
video card they just bought each works with RH but neither with
Independence.  I think if you really cared about user-friendliness, rather
than your own preferences (obviously for *you* the system need not be
friendly, you can tackle a beast), you would see that being the de facto
standard is the single most important factor affecting user friendliness b/c
it makes more options available and options make a system friendly.

Now, let's see -- who owns RedHat -- can you say IBM ($172.2B in market
cap)?  can you say Intel ($217.9B)?  can you say Dell ($114.5B)?  can you say
AOL/Netscape ($149.9B)?  can you say Compaq ($50.3B)?  can you say Novell
($8B)?  can you say Oracle (33.6B)?  and who has agreements with RedHat --
can you say Computer Associates? etc.   So, who will device drivers be
written for -- can you say RedHat?  and who will binary-only programs be
written for? -- you know the rest.

I can say that, for MieTerra, we will do a distribution based on RedHat for
this reason.  I do not like that RedHat is owned by what amounts to about
$746 billion of market capitalization, where Microsoft is "only" $406.1
billion.  So, yes, RedHat can be seen as a shared resource of these titans.
And these titans will make sure that most enterprise/hardware software works
with RedHat.  The same cannot be said about Debian.  And in fact good luck
getting Debian to ship any binary-only drivers, even if free.  Debian is
concerned much more about its principles than it is about making systems

Plus, now that RedHat has a lot of money, they can improve their system very
quickly.  They can hire more testers.  Etc.

So, I ask you to really consider, is it really the user's experience you are
worried about when you recommend Debian?


Andreas Pour