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HP selects Debian as its "design center"

Hi Folks,

HP has started talking publicly about this, so I'd better fill you in.

HP has announced that Debian is their "design center". In other words,
Debian is the selected development platform for Linux work at HP. The
target of HP's development is all LSB-compliant distributions, including
Debian, Red Hat, Turbo, etc. But because of its status as the development
platform, Debian works out to be "first among equals".

HP has already started vending Debian to customers, and will be offering
Debian support and training. This does _not_ mean that HP will de-support
other Linux distributions. HP certifies its hardware with several
distributions. In our software production process, we will handle differences
between Linux package formats and the package dependency tree. As LSB
continues to develop, we hope to get out of certifying for individual
distributions and producing variant packages. Thus, supporting LSB is now a
priority for HP.

HP folks are giving various reasons for this decision, which I will attempt to
reproduce below.

Why Debian for HP's development? It's the best way to get software out
to all of the distributions, because Debian's process is so fair and so
visible. As a non-profit, Debian is more of a partner than a competitor
with other distributions. HP's own engineers can sign up as Debian developers
and be granted the same privileges as anyone else. New work is available for
all of the other Linux distributions to copy as soon as it's uploaded to
Debian's servers. Of course, we'll continue to host projects through
SourceForge, Collab.net, or our own portals. Working with Debian adds
capabilities to what the web portals provide.

HP appreciates that when HP wanted to make a Linux distribution for the
PA-RISC, Debian treated it as a free software collaboration rather than
a business relationship, and got the distribution done in collaboration
with our developers. That's the way GNU/Linux development should happen.

Why Debian from a business standpoint? The Debian Free Software Guidelines are
one critical component there. For Debian, the Official version _is_ the GNU
version. Thus, HP and its customers can redistribute Debian without hassles.
Another important factor is that Debian accepts new packages well, and thus
we'll be able to get Debian support for the things that are important to us.

Of course, HP already provides some services to help Debian out, and has
some Debian developers on salary. This will only increase.

Hopefully, this announcement will make your day. It sure made mine. I had
to stay out of this decision, because I am obviously prejudiced. HP management
went ahead and did the right thing without me.



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