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

>> 	- Debian will be very happy and will help us if we use its
> > distro.
> > 	- Some Debian developers, which generally are excellent, will
> > certainly help us and/or join them.
> >
> > What do you think about all that ?

> 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.


> In case you think RedHat adopted a license as constraining and
> dangerous for them as GPL because they are good hearted then you are
> naive.  It was this move who allowed them to become _the_ standard and
> to make RPM _the_ standard.  And now they reap the benefits of being
> the standard: computers with Linux preinstalled come with RedHat
> because RedHat and compatible is 85% of user share.  Software comes
> with installations tailored for RedHat and compiled against the
> libraries ipresent in RedHat because RedHat and compatible represents
> 85% of user share, books describe RedHat because RedHat and
> compatibles is 85% of user share and soon manufacturers will be
> putting CDs with drivers in the box containing the hardware.  People
> using Debian and compatbles like LaetOS will have to compile the
> source while people using RedHat and compatible will get drivers who
> will install themseleves, just because RedHat and compatible is 85% of
> user share.  And yes this will be a Linux world centered around RedHat
> but before you begin believing FUD about RedHat being next Microsoft I
> remember you RedHat is GPLed and that means everyone can install it
> for free and everyone can use RedHat to make a distrib who will
> compete them and perhaps break their back.  And because they used GPL
> and not cheat-licenses like BSD they cannot take their distrib back
> and make it proprietary.
> Now Debian could be the way to go when you want to make a perfect
> distrib but what we want to do is not a perfect distrib but an end
> user distrib.  What is an end user?  A guy who goes to end user stores
> and is holding the hand of his child while he stretches the other to
> grasp a Linux distrib in a nice box with nice paper doc.  He will not
> download a distrib.  He will not go to tiny sinister stores who are
> selling Linux distribs along with ingredients for black magic.  In
> addition he will choose the distrib who is compatible _out_of_the_box_
> with the software who will help his child to learn reading.  If you
> are not in the right store (FNAC for french people) then you are
> useless.  If you are in the right store but you are in a diamond CD
> box with no paper doc then he will not even look at you so you will be
> useless.  If you have the nice box but you cannot claim you are
> compatible with the distrib who works with the other box containing
> software for his child then you are useless.  If you make a distrib
> easier than RedHat but you are an useless distrib and the guy thinks
> RH is too hard for him then he will take Windows 2005.

Listen to this man, he speaks the wisdom of the Gods!  I would like to
Has anyone noticed how much money Redhat is getting in the form of
investment from traditional Windows industry and various closed-source
players?  The WinTel marketplace has one thing that people are seeking.
MONEY!  Now before you start throwing things at me, listen.  Money corrupts
yes, but it also empowers.  It pays developers, it pays for marketing, it
pays for government lobbiests, it pays for advertising during the SuperBowl,
and it tells regular peaple that something is serious.

The users will want one standard.  They want a choice of options within that
standard, but they won't care about those options they personally don't
think they need and won't want to learn multiple standards to get the
variety they need.  You and I computer for computing's sake alone, but the
end user only wants the computer to go out and get something else done.

I use RedHat...know why?  I went to the store where I buy software and
exchanged it for an extra copy of Windows 98 that I had bought there to
install on a client's machine and ended up not needing.  I looked around for
other Linux distribs and books on distribs and all I saw was RedHat.
Earlier I ordered RedHat 5.0 over the net.  I did this by going to the web
site of my software store (CompUSA) and doing a search on "Linux" at their
site.  The result was RedHat 5.0.

I do not like the RedHat distrib, but I am a PC consumer (albiet a very
advanced one), I get my software the traditional PC consumer way.  I also
download software off the net, but shareware for my Windows machine installs
over the net via a self-extracting compressed library that automatically
launches an install program with a powerful GUI that asks me to click three
buttons and reboot (take two of these and call me in the morning).  Once
installed that software does what the user wants done the way they want to
do it.  Still, less than 40% of the WinTel consumers obtain software this
way.  The rest either buy it off the shelf or buy a computer with the
software already installed on it.

Does RedHat have to be the only off-the-shelf Linux distrib in the US?  No.
As I recall, there are 2 or 3 other distribs based on the new Linux Kernal
and RedHat does not have that yet.  I have not seen 5.9 in the states yet.
Yes I could download 5.9, but I am an industry watcher and use and test what
the industry has access too.  If RedHat gets arrogant and bloated and takes
those investments and goes waterskiing instead of uses them to improve and
compete, then somebody else will pass them up.  That is how this industry
works, but there can be only one leader at a time.  What was that I
read?..."If you are not the lead dog, then the view never changes".

So SEUL and LaetOS, if your goal is to have a consumer distribution then you
need to make like RedHat and be heard and seen by the peaple.  Without that
you will never have the resources to compete with them.  You will develop
features that they will see on other distribs or not at all.  You will fade
into the night.  If you are developing for the desktop users then develop
the things that the WinTel and Mac users want, faster than anybody else
develops them and then distribute for the desktop consumer.  Whining about
not being noticed does not work.

The frightening part is that you will soon be competing with the big closed
source developers and hardware manufacturers for the upcoming Linux Desktop
Apps market.  You will see Linux PCs on the shelf for Christmas whether you
listen to me or not....but will your distrib be running on them?

Bill Housley