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Re: LSB and Debian, Commercial perspective

----- Original Message -----
From: "Emile van Bergen" <emile-deb@evbergen.xs4all.nl>
To: "debian isp" <debian-isp@lists.debian.org>
Sent: Friday, October 11, 2002 3:26 PM
Subject: Re: LSB and Debian, Commercial perspective


On Fri, Oct 11, 2002 at 11:21:46AM +1000, Jason Lim wrote:

> > Or maybe I don't understand your point ... if you're saying the
> > vendor should help you configure your software, I don't want to work
> > where you work.
> No... I'm saying, for example, if a particular thing (eg. a motherboard)
> doesn't work on Linux (maybe a driver issue), then the vendor does not
> need to support you if you're not running one of their "officially
> supported" distros. And if "officially supported" equals "has
> certification", then I think Debian should get certified. I doubt Debian
> can "go it alone"... maybe Redhat could get away without being
> simply because so many people run it. But if Debian can piggyback off
> Redhat and join certifications with it, and thus get vendor support
> with Redhat, is that a bad thing?
> > Or are you talking about commercial software support? (Oracle, Check
> > Point, Netcool :)  If so, you're never going to call your _server_
> > vendor for that support, I'd think.  Why would you?
> It was only an example. Please don't pick on the minor points... it's
> bigger picture I think we're all trying to focus on. I'm not just
> about hardware... I'm talking about everything, from software (eg. DB,
> Application software, etc.) to hardware (RAID cards, Video cards, etc.).

Why do you seem to completely ignore the guy's point that the LSB is
about *software* compatibility and is practically meaningless for

I'd rather have LSB certification stay that way, instead leading
hardware companies even further in the false belief that it means
something for hardware as well. It's a much better overall situation
when hardware companies learn to say, we support our hardware under
stock kernel 2.4.x, x>=15, or any official kernel from RedHat, 7.1 and
up. Our driver is included in the main tree.

I repeat: the LSB has nothing to do with the level of hardware support
you'll get, or shouldn't have. If vendors demand it for no good reason,
we should try to educate them, instead of encouraging them to add even
more of those horrible binary-only-drivers-with-unportable-redhat-
specific-install scripts.

Why do you make so much of a fuss about it? If there is a demand for
Debian support in a troubleshooting and maintenance sense, then
companies will offer that. Linux already has the critical mass, and
it definitely doesn't seem to be much of a problem anymore to get
commercial Debian troubleshooting and maintenance support.

The only real reason I'd see to get LSB is to get Oracle officially
supported, but as Oracle's choice for RedHat 'Advanced Server' is a
political one anyway, I don't think that certification will help
anything there. Otherwise they would already support Mandrake and
SuSE. Nothing to gain by LSB certification there.

And do you know any other piece of proprietary software that is so
worthwile that Debian should work hard for official support? Remember,
Debian's agenda is excellent Free Software first, and a 'successful'
Linux distribution second.


Well, very rarely does hardware come with no software support. For
example, RAID cards usually need software to run on. AFAIK Promise only
provides pre-compiled binaries that run on "officially supported" versions
of Linux.

> Why do you seem to completely ignore the guy's point that the LSB is
about *software* compatibility and is practically meaningless for

Because many times they are _linked_, as in the above example. Many times
it is hard to say something is completely and totally hardware and
requires absolutely no software support.

And I'm not talking about "today"... I'm talking about the future. I can
see a future where Linux is more-or-less standardized in many aspects. Why
do you think all these "standardization" projects are gaining momentum?
Because standardization, in many aspects, is a good thing commercially. It
makes everyone's life easier.

And as for the last comment regarding Oracle... well, this is why I
specifically said "Commercial Persepective". Yes, there are people that
would say "Oracle? Why not MySQL? Why not Postgres? Why not the other free
DBs?". I'm not trying to start a war between free VS proprietary software
here, but sometimes commercially we are required to run commercial
software that are distributed binary-only.

For example... in Web Hosting (no doubt many of us here provide this,
since we are ISPs), the Web-based Control Panels, like Plesk, Webhost
Manager, etc. run on "officially supported" platforms. If they could write
their software to run on "standardized" distros (not necessarily LSB, but
u get the picture), and if Debian was certified, then it could potentially
work on Debian. As of now, many only run on Redhat.

If Debian is willing to become a second rate distro because ideology is
holding it back (shunning certifications and commercial software), i think
many in the commercial sector would need to think twice about using Debian
in the future. I hope that is not the case.

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