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Re: New relases of GNOME / The redhat and GNOME relationship

On Thu, 24 Sep 1998, Jarrod Henry wrote:

> You know, as I said to the original poster of this message.. it's sad
> that we now have two desktop enviroments.. one of which is highly
> developed but non-DFSG free, and one that is GPL'd and DSFG free
> by nature but is becoming a living and breathing advertisement for
> Redhat.

Gnome is bigger than just redhat's involvement. it is *not* merely a
"living and breathing advertisement for Redhat". it is a fantastic free
software project which happens to be well-supported by redhat (along
with many other people).

IMO, RedHat are doing a Very Good Thing<tm> by supporting gnome in the
way that they do.

I don't particularly like RedHat's software (debian *is* technically
superior :-), but give credit where credit is due.  RH have repeatedly
demonstrated their commitment to free software. they don't deserve this
kind of attack.

> It's a shame that the GPL is being used in such a way.

one of the *features* of the GPL is that it can be used like this.
Anyone is free to make money off GPL-ed software, but they have to
contribute their modifications and enhancements back to the world.

one way of looking at it is that they are putting some of their profit
back into the linux/free software community. they win, everyone wins.

> I mean, think about it.. people backlashed harshly against KDE's use
> of QT..

The KDE/Qt issue was about Qt's *license*, not about who was doing the
work.  Nobody even disputes Trolltech's right to license THEIR software
however they please.  What many people dislike is that KDE is dependant
upon non-free software, which makes it useless for a truly Free Software

> and now we're seeing redhat literally BRAG about how it's doing GNOME.

RH have every right to brag about the good things they are doing. they
don't claim that Gnome is their project, they *truthfully* tell the
world about what they are doing to help gnome. there is nothing wrong
with that.

BTW, even if RedHat owned GTK and Gnome it would still be OK because
they are Free Software released under the GPL.

> The authors and designers are not thanking the Linux community...only
> redhat.  And to make matters worse, they throw in a blurb about the
> Debian maintainers being slow.

some people are too sensitive and see slurs where they don't exist.

> And for the record...
> No, Redhat does NOT compile and test GNOME.  USERS do.  Redhat just
> pays them off by giving them webspace.

RH has hired several gnome developers. they pay them to work on gnome
(and other things), and still release the software under the GPL.  Of
course, they are obliged by the GPL to do that but that doesn't detract
from their contribution at all.....they don't have to contribute to
gnome, they don't have to hire programmers to work on it.

if their intentions were as bad as you imply, they would be developing
their own proprietary UI toolkit (or make a deal with Trolltech for Qt)
and Desktop system, rather than funding and contributing to a GPL free
toolkit like GTK and Gnome.

RH also provides hardware and internet bandwidth to develop, compile,
and test gnome. 

it is churlish in the extreme to deny them credit for their good works.

a debian developer 
(speaking for myself, not for the debian project)

craig sanders

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