Some Guy Switches Linux Distributions!

by chromatic

Apparently some guy switched from one Linux distribution to another, throws a fit, and this is news.

Hey, I've tried lots of distributions in the past ten years. Does anyone remember Caldera?

Anyway, the important thing in that guy's rant may be if he raised important issues that Fedora needs to consider.


simon hibbs
2007-02-22 03:53:28
You're focusing on only one incidental aspect of this guy's reasons for switching.

The actual reason he switched was because the RPM system is broken, the repositories are a mess and efforts to fix these problems range from non-existent to minimal, and as a result his production system was irretrievably broken on applying what should have been a simple update. Codecs were only mentioned as a secondary point.

But maybe that's not 'an important issue that Fedora needs to consider'? After all the codecs issue is far more important than maintaining fundamental system integrity, because it's an ideological issue, right? Who cares if the system isn't usable, so long as it's pure. Let's burn him!

2007-02-22 07:59:28
Some guy? Really? Wasn't "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" pretty important to O'Reilly? Isn't it notable that someone who was faithful to a distro for a dozen years hit a pothole (installs and upgrades, not the codecs issue) big enough to overcome his inertia?
2007-02-22 09:46:34
@simon and @Brianary, I figure that any member of the "Senior Technical Cadre who Runs the Internet" is capable of reporting bugs that serious. It's not as if you can accidentally run the testing branch of any distribution.

I don't buy his explanation. I think the whole thing was a childish swipe wrapped in a lousy bugreport.

2007-02-23 05:36:35
Next thing he'll be whinging about is how it should be FC 6. Not FC6. Nah, no one's that annoying.
Caitlyn Martin
2007-03-03 11:27:55
I certainly do remember Caldera. It was a good distro before they bought SCO and turned to the dark side.

Anyway, I agree with what you've said here. I don't think I'd have referred to ESR as "some guy" as he still has some significance in the Open Source movement. This was part of his ongoing ideological feud with FSF for certain.

rpm works. So does yum. They aren't the issue. Bad repository management and poor choices in building packages by the Fedora team are the issue. People have to remember that Fedora Core is the test bed for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and it is not and never was meant to be used on production systems. It *is* supposed to be the community successor to the original Red Hat Linux and, as I remember they had some pretty rocky distributions (think 4.0, 5.0, 6.1, 7.0) as well. Overall it isn't that Fedora has gone downhill but rather that other distributions seem to do more public beta testing before release.

I've had packaging issues with Ubuntu as well. Fedora is hardly unique in that.

I may write an article about this... Hmmm...

Jaro Cooke
2007-03-23 17:37:15
The rpm and yum issues aside (these are obviously the drivers behind ESR's switch), I personally don't know how any Linux distro thinks it is going to change the habits of consumers when it doesn't offer them what they want. In this case a computer operating system that isn't barred from legally watching encrypted DVDs or playing MP3s. Then once you have a market share of say 40% on the consumer desktop, you can start to push people in the free formats direction, but you can't do that with a market share of 1%, nobody will have even heard of you, let alone your obscure non encumbered formats. There will need to be some education of users, but they won't listen to you until they are using your software. That is the long and short of it. Luckily with open source you can have your cake and eat as well!!! There will always be "pure" open source distros and besides, as far as I know all distros would prefer people to use free formats, even when they do make proprietary options available.
2007-03-24 03:35:41
I would refer to ESR as "some guy", because he's done sod-all other than writing a document. Look at the code he's done, and it's things that any Uni student could do in their sleep.

2007-05-02 12:43:39
I always found it interesting that the "guy" in question failed to test his upgrade on test box before commiting it to his production laptop. If this "guy" had spent any time in the "Cathedral" of mainframe operations/programming he would understand that you test before you commit updates in a production environment... But I guess that is "old skol", and shouldn't apply to today's, shoot-from-the-hip, Open Source movement...