“If the UnitedLinux developers don’t recognize the folks who made most of the software in the first place, I’d say they’re quite likely to fail — and deserve to do so.” Read the editorial at OSOpinion.
Is UnitedLinux a Good Idea?
2002-11-27 Linux 23 Comments
It almost beats .NET as the idea of the year.
First of all, cats are accepted by many biologists as being the most cognitively developed of all of the carnivores.
But seriously, UnitedLinux is probably going to fail. RedHat is already too ingrained as a standard.
Of course, realistically, I think Red Hat will ultimately fail as well as a commercial company.
who is supposedly very well versed with Linux, and there is no reason for me to think otherwise. He mentioned something to the effect that he doesn’t like Suse, and when I asked why, he said “because of UnitedLinux”. Well, why, what’s wrong with UnitedLinux. He couldn’t formulate a clear thought, and finally said something to the effect that UnitedLinux is not using LSB. When I explained him that, indeed, UL is based on LSB and that there are both announcements, interviews and roadmaps that declare this, he seemed really puzzled.
He reminded me just how strong is the FUD campaign against UL. I saw way too much of just that anti-UL fud on Slashdot.
And what’s the source of this FUD, of these lies that were repeated so many times that even the most educated among the Linuxites are unable to distinguish them from truth? Who are the originators?
I’ll just disclose a bit more of our conversation: the reason we ended up mentioning Suse was that this fellow was planning to work for a Linux company who has offices in Europe, and his choice was RedHat, even though I know he doesn’t like that distro too much. So I asked him about Suse, which had offices in Europe, obviously, and his answer was the stuff above.
So, FUD does work!!!!! It works!!!!!!!!
Why should Red Hat fail as a company? Because they “give away” their core product?
That’s funny, because it looks to me that Red Hat does NOT give away their core product. Their core product is support. Linux is a detail.
By maintaining and managing their own distribution, they make it easier to support Linux. You’ll note that they don’t support Debian or SuSE or anyone elses Linux, only their own.
By focusing on their distribution, and backing it up with their support, they encourage commercial developers to port to THEIR version of Linux. Commercial developers do this because they have confidence that they’ll get the support they need (and contract for), and that Red Hat will provide a stable platform for development.
How is UnitedLinux any different from this? The goal of the UnitedLinux group seems very similar to the goals of OSF, to provide a common, yet cross vendor, platform that commercial developers can rely upon.
If UL gets any traction internationally, then developers should get an expanded market and platform to build their software upon. I’m sure that Oracle would rather port to UL and RH (for the United States market), than to a zillion distributions.
If UL gains even more traction, then the incentive for international companies will be to port to UL first, and then, maybe, RH. “Do you run on RedHat? No — Get SCO instead.”
I don’t know if they do, but UL can perhaps share support resources as well, or maybe testing resources. They can begin to adopt the core software that makes up UL, and test each piece for compliance, and fix each piece if necessary. Much like FreeBSD does.
UL DOES NOT have to rely on the community to do this. There is incentive to leverage the community, and clearly they are required to provide their changes that they make. However, they do NOT have to interface nicely with the developers if they care not to. They can simply publish the source code to UL-fileutils-1.00 if they want. They don’t have to “provide patches” to the community, the license doesn’t obligate them to cooperate, only publish. And by publish, they only need to publish to their customers, not to the public. They can easily put their code on websites restricted to licensed users only, as the licensed users are the only ones to whom they distributed the code.
Certainly, there is a middle ground here that UL should adopt, but the point is that it’s not necessary. Only time will tell what they do.
They need good marketing, mostly, to get some mindshare and become viable. Set up some lucrative VAR agreements and vertical applications with some co-marketing in specific segments, perhaps.
So, you may not see UL on the shelf at a store, but that doesn’t make them any less successful or profitable.
>So, FUD does work!!!!! It works!!!!!!!!
Sure it does! Just look how many people hate WindosXP or even Microsoft without really knowing why, without looking at the facts with a clear mind.
i know exactly why but i would like to see some kind of standardization with GNU/Linux and LSB seems to be a good thing, not so sure about UnitedLinux. FUD isn’t what’s making people talk about winxp, i’m gonna say winxp sucks because i’ve used it. i’m on Mandrake GNU/Linux 9.0 now and i’m never looking back, don’t want to, don’t need to. btw, that isn’t MS-bashing, it’s the truth i can bring an OS down like no other and i’ve never killed MDK 9.0.
> ..people hate WindosXP…without looking at the facts
I hate windows because it makes my work instable. I hate microsoft for their monopoly. Period. Don’t tell me I don’t face the facts, because I’ve already worked as developer and system manager, for small and big companies, and know what I’m saying. I really don’t get the point with you ‘microsoftish’ people. It’s just a fear of getting replaced by a linux admin or what? If XP is a better windows today, you should thank Linux, for its competition.
>I hate windows because it makes my work instable.
Not mine. I haven’t seen a single crash from XP.
> I hate microsoft for their monopoly.
I don’t hate MS for being No1. Microsoft has made a lot of good things, and a bad things.
Being a monopoly is not illegal in US.
>I really don’t get the point with you ‘microsoftish’ people.
Oh, we get patronised now? How clever of you!
Not mine. I haven’t seen a single crash from XP.
My Windows XP Pro install hard locked 15 minutes after completing the installation and logging in. Worst $140 I ever spent. Mandrake 9 to the rescue.
Well, I’ve been running XP Pro for 8 months, solid as a rock and great to use. I’m not a casual user either, I have Oracle 8i, MySQL, Apache, IIS, Visual Stuido.NET, Dreamweaver MX, Fireworks MX, and a whole lot of other huge apps that I run on this box. I also run RH8 and MDK 9, both real solid in system stability, but application stability is not up to par with XP Pro. I have apps crash quite regualry in Linux, more so than XP. I dream of having a development studio like Macromedia MX on Linux, but I don’t count on it. Ok, I guess we are getting off topic.(by the way, I get my software on an academic discount, there’s no way I’d pay ful retail for the stuff I got!)
I hope somebody, UL or RedHat gets some serious standardization in place so ISVs will start porting some apps to Linux. It is just too splintered for them to make this investment. Some apps won’t even run (without major tweaking) from version to version of a particular distro, much less from distro to distro. UL might be doing some things that I don’t like, like lack of community development, but if it gets some standardization and quality apps and support then go for it.
1) Redhat Linux’s main physical product is Linux Enterprise Server 2.1, which is not a free download.
2) Redhat is not as popular in the Asia-Pacific region as many assume in osnews.com, infact, a number of roll outs have looked at a inhouse, customised version of Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 with up-to-date Gnome and so-forth.
3) Who said UnitedLinux will fail? SuSE has a huge contract with the German government, SCO has cost cut, and now focusing on its core operations, that is, SCO UNIXWare and SCO OpenUNIX. SCO Linux will be an extra product offered, since most development will be done via the UnitedLinux consortium, the cost to SCO will be very low, meaning, they may return to profitability soon.
3) TurboLinux has been recently bought out by a well respected Japanese software company, which will give TurboLinux direction and focus so that it can grab the Asia-Pacific market.
I agree with what you say, however, I have to point out that UnitedLinux does involve itself in the development community. For example, the biggest backer of UnitedLinux is SuSE, whose developers play a massive role in the development of KDE since the early days, and even today they have added high profile things such as the VM improvement that was added in 2.4.13.
As for porting applications, it is a chicken and the egg, there needs to be critical mass before people will develop large commercial applications for it, however, the critical mass won’t come until large commercial applications have been ported. A few months back I proposed and idea, and propose it again. Why not develop a porting fund? I have $AUS100 I am willing to donate to the effort and start the fund off. If every Linux user/enthusiast donated, on average, what I am willing to donate, the likes of Macromedia will jump with joy knowing that it won’t cost them a thing to port their application, since the cost would be paid for via the fund, and users would benefit too with increase number of applications. To recoop the money, $x amount of dollars of each product shipped can then be put back into the fund to pay for more porting. Personally, I’m not losing any sleep over Adobe Photoshop, because, IMHO it is an over priced, over hyped POS that has more kudos that it deserves. What I would like to see, however, it Corel Graphics Suite 11 ported natively to Linux using QT/KDE.
I have seen Windows XP crash, however, that was due to a faulty piece of hardware, namely, Pinnacle PCTV Card. However, with that being said, Microsoft need to improve Windows ability to handle hardware faults without chucking a wobbly. For example, QNX RTP keeps its drivers completely seperate from its kernel, meaning, if a driver crashes due to faulty hardware, the whole operating system is bought down. That is one feature that should be added.
As for why I use Linux over Windows, it has the features I want in an operating system. I’ve used it for 7 years, and I am comfortable with it. Why should I move to another operating system just because the majority use it?
If UnitedLinux is largely based on SUSE, and SUSE began with being based on some version of Redhat.
The question arises, why not just base it on redhat and be done with it? Then we will finally have a “United” Linux.
They can then do whatever they want with the Redhat code, include YaST, etc.
Put it this way, the difference between RedHat and SuSE are so great, there are more similarities between Windows and MacOS.
The fact remains, that now, saying that something is “UnitedLinux” encompases more than just LSB.
SuSE was never based on Redhat!!
“Sure it does! Just look how many people hate WindosXP or even Microsoft without really knowing why, without looking at the facts with a clear mind.”
Maybe so, but this is not a bad thing, if you study a detailed record of the many terrible things MS has done you will surely throw up.
They are a LOT better now than they used to, this is probably because there is ahrdly something to threaten tehm, tehy ahve 95%+ of the desktop market and still growing. There would be stilla lot of threats if this were it, but they ahppen to ahve just as alrge a stranglehold on the Office Productivity market locking people in to Windows. Thankfully apple managed tow ina court battle and MS was forced to invest a lot of money in it and port many of it’s products to it, like MS Office.
Basing all linux distributions on Redhat could well result in the same situation we are in with Windows. Windows is on most desktops and as a result innovation has been stifled (not completely, but significantly), security is Microsoft rules when it comes to standards and protocols.
Why do the same thing with Linux? I’m not saying it will definately happen but I think it’s far better to have a nice standards body and competing distributions thankyouverymuchindeedy. I know the comparison ‘tween now and a Redhat future has flaws, but I’m certain an all Redhat future is not desirable.
Course, people like me could always just build a gentoo install, and I probably will anyway.
My first paragraph was missing text, I’ll repeat it:
Basing all linux distributions on Redhat could well result in the same situation we are in with Windows. Windows is on most desktops and as a result innovation has been stifled (not completely, but significantly), security is poor (getting better, but not good enough) and Microsoft rules when it comes to standards and protocols.
Eugenia is saying FUD can go both ways, which it does. If one tries XP and doesn’t like it, finds it to be not what they want, that’s one thing. But, to reject something simply because it’s from Microsoft, that’s FUD.
“QNX RTP keeps its drivers completely seperate..”
“That is one feature that should be added.”
WindowsNT had this feature prior to version 4.0. WindowsNT 3.5.1 had an excellent HAL, hardware abstraction layer, that isolated the kernel from bad drivers. However a disadvantage to this architechture is that the graphics, and hence user interaction, were much slower then a kernel driver. For WinNT 4.0 the video drivers were moved into the kernel. I am willing to bet that other drivers have been moved into kernel space with or without the blessing of Microsoft.
“I don’t hate MS for being No1. Microsoft has made a lot of good things, and a bad things. Being a monopoly is not illegal in US.”
Monopolies arn’t illegal in the US? thats news to me. last time i check there have been 3 major anti-trust suits brought against golith companies… a trust is just another word for monopolies, where did you hear monopolies weren’t illegal…? i’m curious cause i think it was 11th grade US History that i heard they were…
SuSE is actually older than Red Hat.
SuSE was founded 1992 http://www.suse.com/us/company/company_anniversary/
Red Hat was founded 1994 http://www.redhat.com/about/corporate/
That makes SuSE two years older, maybe Red Hat copied from SuSE