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LinuxPlanet: .comment: The Price of the Bleeding

Oct 11, 2000, 13:00 (31 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dennis E. Powell)

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"Red Hat Linux has always had a particular, unique 'flavor,' as has each of the other leading distributions. Even as Debian has been extremely circumspect and careful, as Caldera has put stability above all, Red Hat has sought and held the leading edge. Red Hat was the first to jump to glibc, for instance, in the 5.0 distribution that few remember very happily. (Even 5.1 had upwards of 60 megs of errata within weeks of its release.) But for users who expected a rough go of it, it was fine. Red Hat was doing what Red Hat did, and aside from the usual distributional chauvanism no one had much of a problem with it -- though no one deleted a working Red Hat 4.2 partition then, either...."

"So here we have the leading Linux distributor, by its own account, shipping a compiler that's incompatible with anything else -- and selling it to businesses. Does Red Hat believe that it has achieved the power and stature to decree that the standard is the basically nonexistent gcc-2.96? One hopes not...."

"In an interview, a Red Hat spokesman said that it doesn't matter if the resulting binaries are incompatible, and that anybody seeking to do serious work with any software ought to test it thoroughly first, anyway (which is certainly true if the any software in question is a dot zero distribution from Red Hat). This view is a valid one, but not the only valid one. Another is that a company that advertises Linux for business might want to be a little less cavalier about whether or not the damned thing works."

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