ELC: The embedded Linux nightmare
Posted Apr 18, 2007 8:28 UTC (Wed) by nim-nim
Parent article: ELC: The embedded Linux nightmare
It's all a matter of control.
Private fork means you can do whatever short-term changes your PHB asks of you. It means you don't have to answer to community reviewers in addition to your boss (which very often you know how to distract). It means you're paid to reinvent the wheel instead of doing more difficult stuff. It means you can slip in pilfered code of dubious origin without detection. For those reasons many developpers are activelly hostile to working with mainline. They can easily convince their managers with bad arguments if management is not educated about the Linux ecosystem. Especially since management sometimes wants the "big picture" and ignores the little details that made Linux successful.
So far evangelization has focused on developpers. This is IMHO a big mistake. Working through mainline is a big win mid and long-term but this kind of prospective view is asked of management, not developpers.
It's all too easy to frighten management with the short-term drawbacks of working through mainline if there's no authoritative voice telling them it's worth the pain. Even if you manage to enlighten a few developpers in an organisation their peers can easily contain them.
What's needed is more successful big names like Intel, Dell, Red Hat... making presentations on the strategic benefits of working through mainline. That would give management of smaller companies the backbone necessary to resist short-term FUDing.
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