Bad NIH, good NIH
Posted Mar 5, 2013 13:53 UTC (Tue) by man_ls
In reply to: A bit lopsided
Parent article: Canonical reveals plans to launch Mir display server (The H)
I wouldn't say that Red Hat is immune to NIH. I will give a couple of recent examples.
Systemd developers have repeatedly stated that they don't want to contribute to Upstart because of its fundamental limitations. Having used Upstart for a while it starts to make sense. However we have seen a kernel developed for i386 cheap processors scale to supercomputers and to phones; from mainframes to $25 boards. I wonder, was it really so difficult to retrofit a good design on top of Upstart? Was it impossible to evolve the design, convincing Upstart maintainers? If so, it looks a little bit like Not Invented Here to me. Or was it really a case of Canonical holding the copyrights? If the collaboration model was at fault (and Canonical agreement sucks, frankly), isn't that a political reason?
Journald did something similar with logs: syslog was apparently willing to accommodate any necessary changes, but instead they chose to go with their own solution. We needed another log system in Linux land like a third or fourth leg. Yes, it is often easier and faster to roll your own system; but that is exactly what NIH is about.
Playing devil's advocate a little longer and in counter-fashion: NIH is not necessarily bad. I often roll my own code instead of going with the established for at least two reasons: knowledge and control. (Fun also plays a role, I have to admit.) It is more forgivable for private projects than for public operating systems, though.
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