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Re: RedHat Compatibility

On Wed, Aug 15, 2001 at 12:11:45PM +0200, wouter@debian.org wrote:

> > Debian needs to be redhat binary compatible.
> Excuse me?
> "Standard" != "RedHat". There's something called the "Linux Standards
> Base" that's providing a standard for third-party vendors which will, when
> ready, exclude the problems you're referring to. But saying "you need to
> be RedHat binary compatible" is evil.

[apologies to all who would rather see this thread die here, but I've
tried and I just can't let that go unchallenged]

Excuse me, but you're talking bollocks. As far as most companies, most
executives, and most people who we'd really prefer didn't matter (but iff
we care about getting lots of people to use our system, do) are concerned,
Linux == RedHat. As far as pragmatism (with which we should occasionally
concern ourselves, but certainly not to the exclusion of idealism) is
concerned, Standard Linux == RedHat.

Sad, but true. You can't avoid it by not liking it and calling it evil
(I'll not go overboard on the misuse of the word "evil", as I'm guessing
that english isn't your first language).

Yes, it will be nice if and when LSB means that we can all be mutually
binary-compatible. As you yourself said, that ain't now. In the meantime,
being Redhat-compatible is the best way to make sure that proprietary
linux software will work on your OS. When it has arrived, if Redhat is
LSB-binary-compatible, then any other OS that is LSB-binary-compatible
will automatically be RedHat-binary-compatible. Does that make LSB
compliance "evil"? (you imply, no doubt unintentionally, that it does).

If, when the LSB is "out there", RedHat decide to be "not-quite-LSB-compliant",
then people releasing proprietary software will ignore LSB, in all probability.
They'd be fools not to, as that's how they get to sell to as much of their
potential customer base as possible.

Iff we care about enabling people to use as much proprietary software as
possible, then it is correct to say that Debian needs to be RedHat
binary-compatible (whether directly or via the LSB). If not (because to
do so would mean compromising other principles, or for any other reason),
great -- I'm not advocating one side or the other, just pointing out that
your post was misdirected.

If you mean to say "I don't give a flying f*** about compatibility with
RedHat because I don't care whether Debian gets used 'in the enterprise'
or not", then say so. If you mean "I'd like to be RedHat-binary-compatible
so that lots of people can get lots of use from Debian, but I'm only going
to do it on my terms" then say so. If you mean "excuse me, but you're
assuming that Debian cares about being usable with commercial software,
and it doesn't" then say so... just don't slag someone off and say that
they're doing some great evil for stating what, from their viewpoint, is
perfectly sensible and correct. It's *rude*.

> You could just as well require us to
> be Windows binary compatible; after all, Most boxen in the world run
> Windows, you know.

Iff we care about enabling our users to run as much proprietary windows-based
software as possible, then yes. Maybe we do, maybe we don't -- we do have
Wine and DOSemu, after all.

This post is too long already. If it has to have a thread attached, please
make it a short, well-thought-out and useful one.

Pretty please?


Nick Phillips -- nwp@lemon-computing.com
A long-forgotten loved one will appear soon.

Buy the negatives at any price.

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