|| ||"Cason, Lee" <Lee.Cason-AT-USPTO.GOV>|
|| ||RE: Anyone still alive?|
|| ||Sun, 4 Sep 2005 12:27:17 -0400|
>>> ...whether or not we really need a new distro to offer this rather than
help with another distro. <<<
I've been lurking here for about a year and had high hopes for what I saw as
the main idea behind UserLinux--a business grade, free (as in freedom) distro
with widely available certified support from a range of independent service
providers. The competition and revenue would come from the
distribution-specific value-added services.
The question above relates to the community contribution ("help with another
distro") aspect of FOSS, but I think that the mission for UserLinux was
focused more on business viability than on community contribution. The single
most common objection I get to using FOSS in government is "who are you going
to get to support that?". I can easily buy support for Red Hat or SuSE, but
then I have indirectly given up some freedom to control my organizational
destiny to Red Hat, Inc. or Novell, Inc. The rate of change and
predictability of Debian.org is a better fit for government entities who
really have no business being on the bleeding edge of anything because we are
not competing with similar business entities.
For whatever reasons, Debian is probably complex enough that most
organizations would benefit from the value added by Debian-based
distributions rather than doing all the "distro work" themselves. The same
could probably be said about Fedora.
The problems that UserLinux attempts to solve are deceptively simple (look
simple until you try to solve them) because there are multi-dimensional
"balancing acts" required:
1. You need freedom but also structure
2. You need the distro to be free but you need some funding to support it,
for planning, marketing, legal services, infrastructure, etc.
3. You need flexibility and extensibility to reach a wide audience for
critical mass, but you also need disciple to avoid feature bloat and
redundancy which adds complexity, cost, schedule and other risks.
So far, the distro that comes closest to meeting the UserLinux goals is
probably Ubuntu. The biggest difference is the single-company support from
Canonical. Maybe UserLinux would benefit from considering some kind of
arrangement with Ubuntu? The Ubuntu folks seem to be open to the idea. It
might be worthwhile to map what Ubuntu offers to the mission goals of
UserLinux to see what is missing, and then decide if what is missing is
important enough to stand on its own.
Fairfax, Virginia USA
Behalf Of Jonathan Bryce
Sent: Sunday, September 04, 2005 7:43 AM
Subject: Re: [Discuss] Anyone still alive?
On Sunday 04 Sep 2005 10:21, Sebastiano Mestre wrote:
> hi folks! compared with other similar projects i see userlinux being
> near-to-death. but i believe it's still alive and has great potential.
> so, if we really want to, we can give it a chanche! :) maybe we need to
> take it easy, bring time back (back to wiki-time) and start thinking
> about a radical restructuring and a strong roadmap redefining - se
I think we need to seriously think about what this project can offer, if
anything, that other gnu/linux distros can't, and whether or not we really
need a new distro to offer this rather than help with another distro.
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