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Red Hat Gives up on Fedora Foundation 295

phaedo00 writes "Ars Technica writes up Red Hat's giving up on the Fedora Foundation: 'In an open letter distributed to the Fedora community earlier this week, Red Hat employee and Fedora project leader Max Spevack states that Red Hat is no longer interested in establishing an autonomous, nonprofit foundation to manage the Fedora project. Instead, Red Hat will revive the Fedora Project Board, which will include five Red Hat representatives, four members of the Fedora community, and a chairman appointed by Red Hat who will possess veto power.'"
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Red Hat Gives up on Fedora Foundation

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  • by kawabago ( 551139 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @12:40PM (#15077276)
    It's probably a good idea. There is so much broken in Fedora Core 5 it's hard to see how they managed to ship it. To be fair some of the problems are due to Gnome's habit of taking 1/2 a step forward and 4 steps back with every new release.
  • by cashman73 ( 855518 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @12:42PM (#15077301) Journal
    I wouldn't say that they're necessarily giving up on Fedora. It sounds to me like they see the value in Fedora and don't want to give up control of it,... ;-)
  • Re:Red Hat... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @12:43PM (#15077313)
    why are open source proponents turning a blind eye to how Red Hat's actions and nonconducive to the open source ideal?

    Name one.

    Seriously and with no hand-waving, name one action where Red Hat's actions were "nonconducive to the open source ideal." Back it up with WHY it is what you claim it is. You are going to have a tough time.
  • by Ian Wolf ( 171633 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @12:44PM (#15077323) Homepage
    Sounds a little like Sun and Java doesn't it?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 06, 2006 @12:47PM (#15077351)

    Fedora will never be a fully functional production OS, for it's in the conflict with Red Hat's ability to sell its "enterprise" products.

    For people who need a stable, secure, easy to maintain OS to run their production systems I would recommend Debian.

  • Re:Red Hat... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Deagol ( 323173 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @12:49PM (#15077374) Homepage
    People are giving up on Redhat.

    I used their products from the 6.x days to 9.0, Enterprise Server 2.x, and Fedora 4. I was mostly happy with them, and was willing to give them a chance after they split off Fedora from mainline Redhat. I then switched jobs to a FreeBSD shop, and I've been a convert ever since, from my workstation at the office to my home machines. The base system is a high performer and stable, and the ports tree is well maintained and much better than RPMs ever were.

    After recently trying Fedora Core 5 and Gentoo due to the need to run the new free VMWare server product, I decided that Fedora has gone beyond bloated and sucky, and that if I were to ever prefessionally recommend any Linux flavors, they'd be Gentoo and the free Redhat Enterprise clones (Whitebox, etc.).

    I can't say that Redhat has necessarily "sold out" but they're not the company I cheer for anymore. Granted, they *are* pushing good technologies, like Xen, but aside from the fringe benefits of their clout, I don't like them much these days.

  • Re:Red Hat... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 06, 2006 @12:53PM (#15077415)
    Well if you made the switch, it must be all "people" right? Just because it wasn't the right tool for your job, does not mean it isn't for someone else's.
  • by Spiked_Three ( 626260 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @12:58PM (#15077468)
    I've tried every FC since it came out. This (FC5) is the first one that ran worth a crap. Although I will admit uninstalling bluetooth support crashed the whole thing and i had to re-install - but that seems pretty typical of my linux experiences.

    One thing that just can't happen in open source is to get so many diversified projects to run together nicely - it is not the nature of open source. Not that any one piece is bad on it's own - there is just no single entity accountable for getting them all together and thoroughly tested as a whole. Simple QA at best is all you can hope for, not a year of open beta.

    If you're not good at getting the individual pieces to work by themselves, Linux is probably not a good thing to be using.
  • by billybob2 ( 755512 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @01:07PM (#15077555)
    One more reason why Kubuntu is Fedora/SUSE as the major community-led Linux distribution that aims to be easy to use.
  • by tyrr ( 306852 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @01:08PM (#15077581)
    More than ever.
    RedHat is making enterprise quality Linux distribution, i.e. carefully designed, thoroughly tested, and planed support for 5+ years.
    Running Linux just for the sake of running Linux is not cool any more. People use Linux to actually get something done. Linux-based projects nowdays spawn for well over 5 years, and they require a solid OS provider.
    Fedora is really just a playground. RHEL or CentOS builds of RHEL are a lot more interesting.
  • by Doug Dante ( 22218 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @01:12PM (#15077619)
    IMHO, the problem is that RedHat wanted to see some significant outside sponsorship for Fedora, say from IBM, or perhaps Mark Shuttleworth (Ubuntu), but they didn't get it.

    If they aren't getting the benefit of that sponsorship by giving up control, then why give up that control? It's useful to keep Fedora in sync with their commercial product.

    Besides, don't kid yourself, if I need a piece of software, more likely than not, it's been tested on Fedora, if not already packaged and included, and it was probably originally written on or ported to Fedora, so that's what makes it a great distro. I've used them all, and I like Fedora Core 5, and it's not terribly broken as others have claimed. (although I've seen one bug in the login screen).

    There's nothing wrong with this. For efficiency, we're going to see more code shared between distributions, and possibly testing, etc. However, it looks like RedHat's hopes of becoming the absolutely dominant distribution by embracing and extending Ubuntu (which is part of Debian), or by aligning itself with IBM, have been put on hold for now.

    However, the major distributions are more like one another than they ever have been (compare SuSE and RedHat now with SuSE 6.0 and RedHat 7.0), and they will continue to share more and more code, but it looks like the market for Linux based OSes is large enough that there is enough room to that total consolidation will not happen.

  • Re:Red Hat... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by archen ( 447353 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @01:14PM (#15077635)
    I, like you; switched from Redhat to FreeBSD, however I don't think I agree with them going "beyond bloated and sucky". Lets face it, Redhat has been doing whatever they want to for YEARS, doing stuff like sticking config files in bizarre locations. The bloat and suck you describe are more attributed to the packages installed being bloated than the hand of Redhat itself (gtk1 vs gtk2 for instance).

    One vendor for a software system I work at stick to Redhat/fedora. Why they never went with debian I'll never know. So I installed fedora core 4 with no gui and it's pretty much the same as it ever was. Config files and stuff moved and many things are done differently (surprize surprize) but overall it's nothing drastic.

    But yeah, once you get your hand in the FreeBSD ports collection you tend to cringe thinking about the RPM hell of yester-year. It really has gotten better...
  • Moralistic Dogma (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rtobyr ( 846578 ) <.toby. .at. .richards.net.> on Thursday April 06, 2006 @01:18PM (#15077671) Homepage
    I think that a lot of people assume that Red Hat Linux is this big ticket open source project, and therefore, Red Hat the company is bound to some subjective and abstruse ethical code. The GPL is not a manual of moral guidelines for running a business. Frankly a applaud Red Hat and all the other vendors of open source software that have implemented a successful business model around something that is free. For Linux to survive and grow, money has to come from somewhere. So when people in the know have to make the tough decisions, we shouldn't be so quick to criticize them for it.
  • by agristin ( 750854 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @01:29PM (#15077773) Journal
    This is a good thing, for Redhat and what is good for Redhat is generally good for linux. Redhat pays many kernel developers and contributes huge amounts of opensource code- enterprise class opensource code.

    Since Fedora Core is basically RHEL testing or unstable ( to try to fit the Debian nomenclature, I guess rawhide is unstable, FC is testing, RHEL is stable ), Redhat needs to be able to control where Fedora Core is going and what goes in. Partly to maintain quality control, partly to make sure Fedora goals incorporate the Redhat goals, partly for their legal department to not freak out.

    Until another linux company becomes as central to linux in business as Redhat, what is good for Redhat is good for linux.

    I think this will have limited impact for people who use Fedora Core as a home desktop (or even business). Probably none they will notice.

    For those that use other distributions, this will have almost no impact, because the things they use in their distributions that Redhat contributes will still be high quality and GPL.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 06, 2006 @01:35PM (#15077831)
    That doesn't make sense. That's like saying, "it doesn't take long to despise *.deb files after running yum." It also doesn't make sense to use terms like "despise" in the context of discussing the technical merits of something, but this is Slashdot after all.
  • No problems here! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by scarolan ( 644274 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @01:43PM (#15077914) Homepage
    We use Fedora extensively in my workplace, and I'm frankly glad that Red Hat is keeping the Fedora project under it's wing rather than spinning it off as a separate non-profit.

    Having worked with several non-profits over the years, I can say from experience that a for-profit company will probably be more accountable and responsible, and better at "getting the job done".

    We like being the "testing" arm of Red Hat. We get a free, open-source operating system, and Red Hat gets our bug fix submissions and feedback. It's a nice relationship. We also like that some of Red Hat's profits pay for developers to maintain different parts of our operating system. The end result is a very slick, easy to use, and easy to configure, multi-purpose operating system.

    I am not so sure that a separate Fedora foundation would do as good a job as Red Hat is doing. Free software zealots will probably disagree, but guess what folks - it takes money and manpower to get things done. There's nothing wrong with a company making a healthy profit, and using some of that profit to give back to the community.
  • by gnud ( 934243 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @01:53PM (#15078012)
    Wow. I've had some problems with linux as well, but never had to reinstall.

    Sounds like your'e trolling, though. I mean, the problem you describe is related to the kernel only. How can that say anything about FLOSS' ability to coopoerate and "run together nicely"?

    Examples of open source "running nice togehter" include jack [sourceforge.net] with applications like Hydrogen and Ardour, or media codecs like OGG and FLAC with media players (like XMMS).
    In areas where a defined protocol or standard exists, open source excels. I mean, look at projects like Apache, Mozilla-projects, Jabber, libxml and many more.
  • by crossmr ( 957846 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @01:56PM (#15078034) Journal
    They also distribute Novell/SuSE your point?
  • Re:Red Hat... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by C_Kode ( 102755 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @01:57PM (#15078045) Journal
    Wow, please recommend Oracle on CentOS to your employer and then call Oracle when you have a problem and see how fast you get fired. If you are having bloat problems with a RedHat server, then it's your administrative skill set that requires some bloating. I have lots of RHEL and Fedora servers and I don't have any bloat problems. Our RHEL-64 Oracle cluster WOW'ed me once it was up and running after we converted from Solaris SPARC to RHEL-32 (money savings wow) and now RHEL64 on the same hardware. (sheer performance wow)

    As for Gentoo. I'm actually a Gentoo fan and we have Gentoo boxes. Though they where here before I got here and there won't be any more installed as servers. In our environment time is very important and emerge can be a major time sponge! I just don't find Gentoo's emerge pratical in a large server environment. We can do huge image backups of every server we have, so when a major failure happens, we have to rebuild then restore the data. Emerge takes way to much time while services are down.
  • Open and Closed... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by wbellman ( 966624 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @02:00PM (#15078071)
    It seems like companies tend to forget their roots. They have some marginal success and start making money and then get scared and seem to adopt the "comfortable" business practices of large corporations... Somebody said that RedHat could become the next Microsoft and I don't think that's a far off analysis.
          One of the tools Microsoft, if anyone remembers the old days, used to achieve market dominance was *giving* away sdk's and working with developers, unlike the Apple development products of the time that were very costly. The Microsoft exploded and then began closing the doors. I remember back in the Windows 3.11 day having a great deal of control over my system, it wasn't until 95 that that openess really began changing.
          I remember when Amazon went through patenting issues the open community surrounded Amazon and tried to help them stay open. The sucess of that effort, I am sure will encourage debate, but that is not my point... If we as a community abandon a company or project everytime the controllers of that project make a mistake then the Open Source community will constantly suffer.
          With everyone reinventing the wheel everytime a project doesn't do exactly what they think is best, we find ourselves with standards and specs that don't apply, tons of vaporware and a bunch of individuals clamoring for recognition and attacking all competing projects...
          Isn't the point of the Open Source community to *be* a community? Is there something we can to to help RedHat remember who they are? Or are we doomed to attack everything that we once loved and supported?
          I don't know if RedHat can be salvaged, I don't know if RedHat should be salvaged... I just remember a day not to long ago that RedHat was a beacon and something to believe in... I remember a day even futher back where it was Microsoft and even further back Apple.
          How does a company stay open and honest if not through the support of it's community?
  • Re:What the hell? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hard_Code ( 49548 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @02:09PM (#15078154)
    you didn't even skim the article did you?
  • by ravee ( 201020 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @02:13PM (#15078183) Homepage Journal
    Corporates always take decisions keeping an eye on profits. They don't have the luxury to take decisions with philosopies in mind. That is because they are to a certain extent answerable to their share holders.

    This is where a project like Debian gains significance. Since it is not funded or controlled by any corporation, it lives up to the philosophy guiding it and will not be swayed by market dynamics.
  • by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) <slashdot,kadin&xoxy,net> on Thursday April 06, 2006 @03:39PM (#15079033) Homepage Journal
    I'm not sure I agree with you there.

    I think Windows became the standard home OS because it was the standard business OS, and it became that because of the partnership between IBM and MS. A lot of people who had the money to buy PCs when they were new (and far more expensive than they are now, relatively) went out and bought Compaq clones of the machines they were familiar with at the office.

    If what you say is true, than the Apple II would have become the enterprise standard microcomputer, because it was practically the standard-issue home computer in the early 80s. But companies bought IBM, MS-DOS based PCs by the bushel-basket, and once the clones came out this had a trickle-down effect to the home market that pushed out Apple. (There was also the issue of pricing.)

    I think you'd have to rewrite a lot of history if your hypothesis of the home market driving the enterprise one was correct. I think it's generally almost always the other way around, although I suppose you could argue that this might change in the future.
  • by RichiP ( 18379 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @03:44PM (#15079073) Homepage
    Slashdot: New for nerds, stuff that matters.

    Sometimes I wonder how low the standards for nerdom has gone. Most top-level comments here are the same old "I don't like Fedora (I like so-and-so)" comments disguised to sound like there was a lot of wisdom in it. Heck, some don't even go to the trouble of making their comments look smart. Many of the RedHat/Fedora detractors either a) don't reference the actual article, or b) spout utter nonsense not even backed by passable facts (or both).

    For goodness sake, could the nerds be smarter and make comments that are more constructive. Where's the intelligence? People just sound like whiners.
  • by clear_thought_05 ( 915350 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @04:34PM (#15079502)
    For having such a low ID number, I'm surprised that you find that even worth mentioning. I always associate 'nerd' with inept, and 'geek' with trivial knowlegde ... or something to that effect.

    Past 4 years of reading slashdot comments has really sucked. But what I disagree with is the notion that you think (or imply) that any given 'nerd' will be able to contribute anything at all to this discussion. Maybe just some open-minded critical users of RH/FC? As a RH/FC user for 7 years, I don't really have much to add to the discussion of the Foundation. I can argue left and right about the issues in Fedora Core, but that's really irrelevant.
  • Re:Red Hat... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by LnxAddct ( 679316 ) <sgk25@drexel.edu> on Thursday April 06, 2006 @09:33PM (#15081556)
    You forgot some of the most important ones, namely they coded and maintain the entire 2.6 linux CPU Scheduler and the 2.6 Virtual Memory Manager. Yes, you can contribute a large part of 2.6's great performance to Red Hat. They also wanted an open source Java implementation so they started GCJ to compile java code natively. Open Source runs all the down from the top to bottom at Red Hat, even one of their VP's is the guy who originally coded the GNU C++ compiler. Here are two non-complete lists of other projects Red Hat either entirely codes and maintains, or contributes large portions of code to, keep in mind that they don't list everything: Sourceware Projects [sourceware.org] and Red Hat Contributions [fedoraproject.org]. This move by Red Hat has been given a bad spin by those reporting it, the Fedora Foundation's expenses and other requirements would have killed off Fedora, if anyone read the e-mail they'd see that as it is all clearly laid out including some numbers. Its good to see not everyone is buying into the sensationalist headlines and /. trolls though.

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351