Linked by David Adams on Tue 3rd Aug 2010 16:05 UTC, submitted by sjvn
Linux As we mentioned in a previous article, Red Hat advocate Greg DeKoenigsberg claimed that due to the much larger amount of code it's contributed, Red Hat is a better open source citizen than Canonical, adding, "Canonical is a marketing organization masquerading as an engineering organization." A Computerworld blog retorts that that's no insult; and that marketing Linux could be just as important to the cause as contributing code. Updated
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Who really contributes the most to Linux?
by Lunitik on Wed 4th Aug 2010 21:20 UTC
Lunitik
Member since:
2005-08-07

Here is a simple way to answer this question:

If both Red Hat and Canonical went away tomorrow, which would be most missed?

If Ubuntu went away, nothing changes, everyone just goes to a different distro, and they are forgotten in time like the likes of Libranet and Linspire before them.

If Red Hat went away, the entire Linux community would crawl to a standstill trying to pick up the slack. The community would lose its best contributors, its leaders, and would likely never really recover.

Reply Score: 3

ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

Here is a simple way to answer this question:

If both Red Hat and Canonical went away tomorrow, which would be most missed?

If Ubuntu went away, nothing changes, everyone just goes to a different distro, and they are forgotten in time like the likes of Libranet and Linspire before them.

If Red Hat went away, the entire Linux community would crawl to a standstill trying to pick up the slack. The community would lose its best contributors, its leaders, and would likely never really recover.


I would say this is checkmate on this argument.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Lunitik Member since:
2005-08-07

I honestly don't like that this is true, but that is the repercussions of Mark investing his money in the areas he has chosen to.

He isn't actually benefiting Linux as a whole. Launchpad is competing with the undisputed champions in several categories: git, bugzilla, transifex (and gitorous/github, not to mention openBuild - the OpenSUSE build system used by Linux foundation and Meego). Unity is trying to compete with Meego using parts from gnome-shell. Everything he's doing is really going to waste within the community at large, they aren't the best options in any area.

The likes of Red Hat and Novell are much more essential to Linux as a whole because they're investing in things that benefit everyone. Mark is concentrating on things that make his distro different instead of being a good community citizen.

EDIT: I hope Mark reads this, and adjusts where he directs his developers.

Edited 2010-08-05 03:27 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26


If Red Hat went away, the entire Linux community would crawl to a standstill trying to pick up the slack. The community would lose its best contributors, its leaders, and would likely never really recover.


This is just not true because:

- It's all open source
- People would be hired to continue their work in a heartbeat. Do you think they would need to look for a job in a different sector, really?? (PS: Nokia is always hiring Linux gurus ;-)
- KDE is an independent alternative to Red Hat-led Gnome.

Reply Parent Score: 4

someguy10 Member since:
2007-08-01

Yes, you're right.

There have been similar cases (well, more or less) where alternatives have been developed for specific needs. One of the most famous cases is Git.

BUT (and this is one big BUT):

http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/RedHatContributions

http://sources.redhat.com/projects.html

http://www.redhat.com/truthhappens/leadership/osdevelopment/

http://et.redhat.com/page/Main_Page

Etc ...

In the event that Redhat stopped support Linux Development (with code, developers and infrastructure) the whole ecosystem would suffer to the ground. Of course, other companies or individuals would continue to work but the transition would be a real *****pain in the ass*****.

Could you say the same about Canonical? ;) .

And the little or much success that Ubuntu may have today is due primarily to ***Debian*** and ***Redhat***, but above all, due to this sentence that Ubuntu community seems to have forgotten:

"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants".

Reply Parent Score: 1

Lunitik Member since:
2005-08-07

See, but Red Hat is also the leading developer in the Xorg stack, the most active at freedesktop.org, the leading kernel developers. The most active throughout GNU projects. Red Hat pays developers handsomely compared to people like Canonical, so there is no guarantee that they'd stick to Linux development if Red Hat was no more.

Also, companies like Nokia and Google would significantly change the focus of Red Hat engineers they'd hire should Red Hat cease to exist.

EDIT: (GNU projects Red Hat maintains include glibc, gcc, gettext, coreutils)

Edited 2010-08-06 02:11 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Thanks Professor Obvious for pointing out that the company that is many times bigger, with many more engineers and with the much larger revenue contributes more and is more important. We'd never have figured that out on our own.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Lunitik Member since:
2005-08-07

Thing is, even the developers Canonical do have aren't working in significant upstream projects, so this is really a pointless statement.

Most of the contributions Canonical has made to things like GNOME are simply bug fixes. While I'm not understating the importance of such things, without the original code, there isn't much to fix. Projects like Debian and Gentoo manage to contribute more despite being entirely volunteer based, that is pathetic.

Reply Parent Score: 2