Well, it's always about $$
Posted Mar 8, 2011 8:01 UTC (Tue) by khim
In reply to: Welcome to Singularity :-)
Parent article: Commitment to Open (Red Hat News)
The message that it sends may or may not be desirable, though. (What, again, was the downfall of the old Unices?)
They were expensive. Fragmentation didn't help, that's true, but Windows won because Intel systems were cheaper, not because they were better. And on Intel Windows was cheaper because "full-blown Unixes" needed more expensive PCs.
The fact that a patch is present might be (saves the effort to identify the upstream commit for a relevant issue) - but that could be deduced by matching the (inter)diff of RHEL kernels against upstream commits with a heuristic matching algorithm. It is certainly not infeasible to do, should anyone's business really depend on it.
You can easily identify large patches, but it's much harder to spot small patches which were created to accomodate 2.6.37 patches in 2.6.32. And this is exactly the patches which are interesting for support: they are less discussed and less tested then upstream patches, so they are more likely to contain bugs. They, too, can be identified, but it becomes closer and closer to "real" kernel work... Easier to ask customer to switch to some other kernel... but then RedHat can righfully point out that all problems are related to the switch and not to RHEL.
This is risky game: RedHat bet is that their kernel is better then what Oracle or Novell can offer for RHEL-compatible (==years old) distribution. This may be so, but I'm not sure Oracle and Novell can not do better. If they'll do RedHat's plan may backfire.
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