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Re: SEUL: Debian versus RedHat and DPKG versus RPM

   Delivered-To: jfm@sidney.remcomp.fr
   Comments: Authenticated sender is <solaris@fobos.ulpgc.es>
   From: "Aldo-Pier Solari" <solaris@fobos.ulpgc.es>
   Date: Fri, 22 Aug 1997 21:50:33 +0000
   MIME-Version: 1.0

   Bon jour ...

If it is right to speak you in spanish:  Hola.

   > From:          jfm2@club-internet.fr:

   > You think than because RedHat is a commercial company the software it
   > develops is not GPLed.  You are wrong.  ALL the Redhat softwrae is
   > GPLed: RPM is GPLed, Glint is GPLed, control-panel and all its
   > components are GPLed.

   Yes, that's correct but other components (and applications) won't be.
   Applix and other applications they are developing and will develop 
   are not to be GPLed. On the contrary, everything Debian does and will 
   do is GPLed: In this, I'm gettin to the point when the OS will have 
   modules which are not GPLed (such as it happens with several 
   libraries which have gone commercial).

Debian is not a software developper group, it is a packager.  The
developpers are the people from the FSF, from Linux-kernel, from the
GIMP team.

Applix is not part of Redhat's distributions.  And RedHat is not a
developper, it ports UNIX commercial apps to LINUX.

Frankly I don't see the point here.  Using RedHAt does not preclude
you from using GPLed software even Debian software.  And using Debian
does not give you access to software not avalibale for RedHAt (except
DPKG and friends).  The only danger in RedHat could be than perhaps
one day they will not include a free package in order to avoid damage
to one of the commercial apps they sell like Applix.  For now there is
little danger in this because the software they sell is in areas where
free software has not good substitutes: because Free Software relies
in making developers from its users, it cannot get huge development
teams when the product is boring to program, and of little use for
hackers.  So there is no good free office suite.

Perhaps there will danger in the future but we are not building SEUL
for our grand children.

Notice than the day RedHat does not include a free program to avoid
damaging Applix sales you will still be able to get it in RPM foramt
from the author, from redhat-contrib or from the ftp sites of
competitors using RPM.

   > Official Redhat includes THREE non-GPLed, non-RedHat, proprietary
   > packages: the RedBaron and Grail web browsers, the MetroLink X
   > server.  And you can live without them.

   Yes, you can now. But you do not know how those pieces and other 
   pieces will integrate into the OS, in the future.

You can use XFree instead of MetroLink (included), about browsers
there are no decent free ones (Lynx is included, I don't remeber if
Arena is, but Arena is not a decent browser) so get Netscape like
Debian people do.

And about future.  I scan new groups and the tone of messages is
changing.  The novelty is than a few months ago people coming to Linux
were Windows hackers, now there are messages from people who are not
hackers.  If SEUL is not issued soon, they will return to Windows
("Linux is unusable") and it will be impossible to get them back
("Burn me once...").  Furthermore they will tell to their friends than
Linux is not for normal people.  I already regret this project was not
started one year earlier because I think SEUL is needed NOW.

And if we choose Debian we will have more work so SEUL will be issued
still later.

   > So GPL is not an argument in the RedHat versus Debian.  It could be
   > for the minor distributions.

   > Nevertheless I think GPLed or not GPLed we should review minor
   > distributions.  

   Yes, which ones ? Caldera ?- It seems pretty cool but Caldera is
   considered a scavenger of the Linux community :-). At least, that's
   the perception here.

Every distrib we can put our hands on.  If it is better than RedHat
and we can use it the best.  If we cannot use it due to cost/copyright
reasons then at least we can get ideas or individual packages with
their config files.

Get the review I wrote about LST from this list archives (June) and
you will find than some minor distributions can be miles ahead of the
big three, specially when looking for user friendliness.

About Caldera.  Caldera picks distributions and adds them some
additional commercial software to make their own.  They used RedHat
for CND.  They made the mistake to not pay anything to RedHat so
RedHat felt free to issue a new version of RPM with incompatible files
just days before CND was shipped.  And of course it was poor public
relations to look they were stealing Redhat.

For Caldera Open Linux they choose LST as base and this time they made
a contract (read $$) with the LST team.

Caldera has also contributed to the Linux kernel (GPLed contributions
of course) and it was them who bought multiprocessor computers to the
people starting the SMP project.  (Of course it was not
good-heartedness but for getting SMP on LINUX sooner).

			Jean Francois Martinez

==================== The Linux.  Use the Linux, Luke! =======================

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