Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Eric S. Raymond: Goodbye Fedora, Hello Ubuntu

Filed under
Linux

After thirteen years as a loyal Red Hat and Fedora user, I reached my
limit today, when an attempt to upgrade one (1) package pitched me
into a four-hour marathon of dependency chasing, at the end of which
an attempt to get around a trivial file conflict rendered my system
unusable.

The proximate causes of this failure were (1) incompetent repository
maintenance, making any nontrivial upgrade certain to founder on a
failed dependency, and (2) the fact that rpm is not statically linked
-- so it's possible to inadvertently remove a shared library it
depends on and be unrecoverably screwed. But the underlying problems
run much deeper.

Over the last five years, I've watched Red Hat/Fedora throw away what
was at one time a near-unassailable lead in technical prowess, market
share and community prestige. The blunders have been legion on both
technical and political levels.

More Here.

Re: Eric S. Raymond: Goodbye Fedora, Hello Ubuntu--bad link

More Here link is:
https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2007-February/msg01006.html
    ^
It should be:
http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2007-February/msg01006.html
   ^
Not a secure connection protocol -- remove the 's' from https:

In visiting the site of Eric's post and reading the comments, Eric's not getting much sympathy. Many point by point refutations/responses to his complaints.

re: bad link

Works here, but I removed the "s" in case some folks have trouble with it. thanks.

re2: bad link

Susan,
Right, I was at work, and there I'm behind a very restrictive proxy that won't pass many port/protocol variations, so the https original link didn't work for me.

And we care because?

Why do people feel the need to announce to the world that they're leaving one distro to another? (Let alone from one OS to another.)

I started with Fedora Core 3, then to OpenSUSE, after that to Ubuntu, and I've settled down to Arch Linux.

Not in a single instance, did I blog, posted on a mailinglist or in a forum how I'm no longer using a distro and my reasons of fustration for the change. I just did it without saying a word about it.

So while Eric Raymond is telling people how he's switching distros and venting his fustrations of the one he's leaving, what does that got to do with open-source in the overall scheme of things?

Does it benefit open-source in any way, shape, or form? Is it a major progressive leap into the desktop world for Linux, and further loosening the grip of Microsoft's domination? No. Its none of that. Its just one guy switching distros. That's it.

Question is: Why should we care of that?

Shouldn't we be more worried about improving open-source than these trivial things? We should be focusing on improvement and progress. (What can we do something better? And so on). Stuff like Nouveau, KVM, etc...Maybe coming up with better video editing software than we have now? What about trimming the bloatness of Firefox and OpenOffice? etc.

Maybe if we focus on things that actually matter, we'll be able to get somewhere.

Because ESR thinks you should

Read the Wikipedia entry about ESR to understand why he thinks everybody wants to know what he thinks. For example:

In 1997, Raymond became a prominent voice in the open source movement and was a co-founder of the Open Source Initiative. He also took on the self-appointed role of ambassador of open source to the press, business and public. ... His disagreement with Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation's views on the ethics of free software in favour of a more market-driven stance has exacerbated some pre-existing tensions in the community.

In a nutshell, there's a camp that strongly advocates having only open-source software in distributions; ESR is in another camp that strongly advocates including proprietary software in distributions, in order to make them more appealing (which is what he means by talking about Fedora's "failure to address the problem of proprietary multimedia formats" -- Fedora has addressed that "problem," just in a way Raymond disagrees with). It's an interesting debate.

But Raymond mainly thinks you care about what he says because he's got a rather large ego.

Some Guy Switches Linux Distributions!

Apparently some guy switched from one Linux distribution to another, throws a fit, and this is news.

Hey, I’ve tried lots of distributions in the past ten years. Does anyone remember Caldera?

Anyway, the important thing in that guy’s rant may be if he raised important issues that Fedora needs to consider.

Let’s see, apparently Fedora has failed to include proprietary media codecs. As Alan Cox says, however, “That would be because we believe in Free Software and doing the right thing…” In other words, distributing proprietary software is contrary to the goals of the project.

Full Post.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

10 tips for easier collaboration between office suites

Yes, you are likely using the Microsoft formats for your documents. However, they don't always follow OpenDocument Format (ODF) standards. Instead of opting for the proprietary Microsoft formats, switch over to one that's welcomed by nearly all office suites: ODF. You'll find a much more seamless collaboration process and fewer gotchas when moving between office suites. The only platform that can have a bit of trouble with this format is Android. The one Android office suite that works well with ODF is OfficeSuite 7 Pro. Read more

Outsourcing your webapp maintenance to Debian

It turns out that I'm not the only one who thought about this approach, which has been named "debops". The same day that my talk was announced on the DebConf website, someone emailed me saying that he had instituted the exact same rules at his company, which operates a large Django-based web application in the US and Russia. It was pretty impressive to read about a real business coming to the same conclusions and using the same approach (i.e. system libraries, deployment packages) as Libravatar. Regardless of this though, I think there is a class of applications that are particularly well-suited for the approach we've just described. If a web application is not your full-time job and you want to minimize the amount of work required to keep it running, then it's a good investment to restrict your options and leverage the work of the Debian community to simplify your maintenance burden. The second criterion I would look at is framework maturity. Given the 2-3 year release cycle of stable distributions, this approach is more likely to work with a mature framework like Django. After all, you probably wouldn't compile Apache from source, but until recently building Node.js from source was the preferred option as it was changing so quickly. While it goes against conventional wisdom, relying on system libraries is a sustainable approach you should at least consider in your next project. After all, there is a real cost in bundling and keeping up with external dependencies. Read more

How Intel HD Graphics On Linux Compare To Open-Source AMD/NVIDIA Drivers With Steam On Linux

As earlier this week I did a 20-way AMD Radeon open-source comparison, looked at the most energy efficient Radeon GPUs for Linux gaming, and then yesterday provided a look at the fastest NVIDIA GPUs for open-source gaming with Nouveau, in this article is a culmination of all the open-source graphics tests this week while seeing how Intel Haswell HD Graphics fall into the mix against the open-source Radeon R600/RadeonSI and Nouveau NV50/NVC0 graphics drivers. Read more

Leftovers: Gaming