[GLLUG] Redhat Discontinuation of Red Hat Linux Line?

Keyes, Randall randall.keyes at jnli.com
Mon Nov 3 20:22:16 EST 2003

Novell just bought Ximian.  They plan on making NDS for Linux.  Perhaps Red
Hat is just playing into their hands?  If you can manage your Linux OS
servers with NetWare NDS riding on a Linux box....hmmm.

Deo Favente,
Randy Keyes
JNL Network Services
randall.keyes at jnli.com <mailto:randall.keyes at jnli.com> 
celeritas et veritas
"The battle for Helm's Deep has ended.  The battle for Middle Earth is about
to begin..."  17 December, 2003

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott Harrison [mailto:harris41 at msu.edu]
Sent: Monday, November 03, 2003 3:57 PM
To: linux-user at egr.msu.edu
Subject: Re: [GLLUG] Redhat Discontinuation of Red Hat Linux Line?

> > "Red Hat will discontinue maintenance and
> > errata support for Red Hat Linux 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 and 8.0 as of December 
> > 31, 2003. Red Hat will discontinue maintenance and errata support for 
> > Red Hat Linux 9 as of April 30, 2004. Red Hat does not plan to release 
> > another product in the Red Hat Linux line."
> > 
> > Does this mean I should consider trying another distro of linux?  I've
> > been wanting to for a while, I just haven't had the time really or any
> > good reasons to yet.

Somewhat off-topic.  A question and vague commentary which is
probably somewhat ditto to the above.

Within the last year, I came across a very interesting
comparison of the different linux distributions to,
well, beer.  (RedHat was Guiness I think; looked
at FreeBSD, SuSE, Debian, and many other distros too)
I google and I google and cannot find it.  Anybody remember?
(I coulda swore it was a slashdot article, but slashdot's
search engine seems kind of primitive, and googling
against slashdot URI didn't work either).

What I liked about the article was, implicitly,
it illustrated that ease-of-use, packaging,
configuration issues, community dynamics really
drive the flavor of the operating system more than
the exact filesystem layout, default set of packages,
or kernel compilation settings.  (Even device drivers
I care less about sometimes.  I will buy the compatible
hardware to make my life smooth...I like Mac OS/X, etc.)

So, again, anybody know where the beer/linux analogy
article is?
(Disclaimer: I'm not trying to advocate alcohol.)

By comparative analogy, there is much more than just syntax
to choosing a programming language--the standard
libraries, keyword set, basic data types, cross-platform usage,
and available community repositories are selling points to me
when I make language decisions (Python, Perl, C, bash, Java = me
most of the time).
In other words, if you are mega into Ruby or Ada or FORTH...
I probably have different priorities than you as a technologist.
And yes, let's not forget the knee jerk response "programming languages
don't matter, it is the programmer"... but I'm sorry, my experience
as well as the literature I've read suggests that development time and
robustness really are indeed impacted by the programming language
you choose.  $o %there.

I have been continually unhappy with the flux RedHat has put
me through on rpm (3.x to 4.0 to 4.1), unreliable GUI
configuration wizards (making me a believer in
vi/emacs/terminal for most everything except lpr) and the
inconsistencies between updates and fresh installs
(resolution = never update between OS releases, just
save home directory and user info and reinstall and update
the OS version packages with yum).  More on rpm:
the .spec files are complicated enough and the syntax
keeps changing over the years.  (While I appreciate the
practical power, I have no desire to write .spec files
or .tex files if I can do something simpler that is
just as effective for some purposes... like respectively
*.tar.gz with a Makefile or html).

Practically, RedHat has been great because "everyone uses it".
And, RedHat has delivered simple conventional solutions that
I can use as a baseline to have something working prior
to trying to recompile perl, apache web server, imagemagick, dia,
or any other software tools I am trying to optimize and have
highly up-to-date, contribute to, etc.

And many development projects provide some semblance of
reports to those of us who want to live with RedHat wool
over our eyes.

I however want a new linux distro (to call home).

My transitional directions (this is just me, not trying to
start megaflame war)...
* Python is just better than perl for large-scale software.
  It is just better (for me).
* A-A-P looks very interesting (www.a-a-p.org)
  (desperate for something better than
   autoconf/automake or metaconfig and more realistic/simpler than
   apache's ant)
* RedHat to...what???  I played with Debian, FreeBSD, Mandrake over
  the years and many others...  I am skeptical that Fedora will
  take the helm from RedHat in terms of the mainstream
  "free usage" OS.  People I respect are using Gentoo... and
  I'm guessing that's what others might be recommending.

Why am I skeptical about Fedora?  Because I think I'm not
the only one looking to find someone different than RedHat,
and this happenstance motivates us all.

And if it remotely matters (to better profile me), I drive a Saturn VUE.
I'm just wondering
if there is someone with similar tastes to my own who has made
a "solid life-enhancing transition" from RedHat.  Feel free
to respond off-list since I'm being a little indefinite in
characterizing my situation.  I am just hugely interested
in how RedHat's decision plays out over the next year.
I appreciate whatever morsels of wisdom you send my way.
If there is someone out there who wants to take an any-level
of-detail-stand for a given distro (or point me to a great
essay that they have liked), I'm all ears.


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