redhat's new desktop policy

Robert Black Eagle rbe at
Tue Sep 17 16:12:30 BST 2002

Hash: SHA1

On Monday 16 September 2002 11:13 pm, Andreas Pour wrote:
> Jim Hines wrote:
> > On Monday 16 September 2002 05:05 pm, Amir Tal wrote:
> > > you all (i am guessing here..) read slashdot, so i guess you saw the
> > > article speaking about the new policy RH are taking in their new beta.
> > >
> > > i switched to debian a few weeks ago, so i couldnt care less what RH
> > > are doing on their future releases, but i do find it kind of offensive
> > > that they have the nurve (yes, i do believe its nurve) to decide for
> > > their users what will their desktop look like.
> >
> > This is exactly what the GPL was written for. If they want to make
> > changes, they are perfectly welcome to, thanks to that license. Would you
> > rather have software that you are not allowed to make changes too?
> >
> > This doesn't bother me too much, I would like to continue with my current
> > desktop, and I will still have the option. I will just simply choose not
> > to use RH WM installation. I praise them for exercising their rights
> > under the GPL.
> I'm sure MS is joining in the celebration.  Another split of the Linux
> desktop - if they are really lucky Sun will release its own incompatible
> version. Then we'll have so many versions to choose from, nobody can write
> a book on the Linux desktop, nobody can go to a course to learn to use it,
> etc.
> There is a reason that MS has been successful:  standards.  Every departure
> from a standad makes MS stronger.  Yes, they will be celebrating 9.0 in
> Redmond.

This is as strange an argument as I've seen in years.  I can add any routine, 
program or feature to any linux box I want.  I may have to import a gig of 
files to be able to use Gnome or Evolution, for example, but it can be done 
and all it takes is a little time.  I can play with my desktop, change the 
themes, window appearance and, essentially, custom create a distro for myself 
using any features I desire.  Some may require some complicated measures, but 
none are impossible.

It would be as if MS were to offer twenty different combinations of features, 
appearances and so on so people could choose what they want (unlikely in the 
extreme).  There is competition among distros, of course, with each touting 
its particular advantages over the others, but that's how customers can find 
what they want.

It looks as if the most popular among brand-new users are the new RH, 
Mandrake, Debian and Lycoris distros as, at this moment, they are the easiest 
to install and upgrade.  I expect Slackware to be close behind.

Instead of a negative, I see this as a positive feature.  I have asked 
friends who want to experiment with linux what they want to do with the 
package, do they like to work with an operating system for fun, are they 
interested in games and so on and have been able to suggest a distro from 
their answers.  So far, everyone who has worked with linux over the past year 
has been very pleased with it.  Even the proverbial "grandmothers" who hate 
to fool with the system and would *never* do an upgrade.

- -- 
Robert Black Eagle
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