wounded in the line of duty
As someone who uses Linux both for enterprise and desktop purposes I am constantly frustrated by the fact that there is not more coordination between distributions across the board. For the most part Redhat's and Novell's contributions combined account for no more than 20% of the Linux kernel work contributed. Are they just leaching from the community since they sell a product mostly built upon the work of others? No. The OSS community is about contributing what you want, and making money where you can (and want) while implicitly sharing the source for what you have created. CentOS would be the ultimate example of leaching and contributing nothing back, but remember that every version of RHEL before RHEL3.5 was a race condition laden forked piece of garbage (especially RHEL2.1 which didn't even have the same scheduler as mainline). Having coordination across distros will help the entire Linux community be much more responsive to bugs since fixes should be far better tested and far more constant across the board.
It's hard to predict so far, but it seems as if the package management and updating is far simpler in Ubuntu 8.04-LTS and in RHEL or SLES (which require annoying registration stuff for each machine). My thinking is that this may make Ubuntu the best choice for tracking fixes for internet exposed servers. Like RHEL and SLES the Ubuntu 8.04-LTS release will benefit from the combined work done by IBM, EMC, Oracle, HP, SGI, Google, XEN, EMC, QLogic, LSI, Adaptec, Windriver, et. al.
Coordination of efforts would benefit all of these players by making all of the Linux solutions more robust and consistent.
The big difference between Ubuntu and ALL of the other major *commercial* players is that the base product is FREE (as in beer) including base product maintenance, and this may create vast new opportunities in the corporate market.
The way I see it, the previous Ubuntu 6.06-LTS was sort of a test run without all of the important core server support (BTW provided by HW vendors more than by RedHat or Novell), and they had not yet come up with the point release scheme they now have scheduled. As a result there is not yet ANY fact based information regarding their enterprise penetration since the product was JUST released, and NO enterprise based product by any company will ever reach product before its first point release (and probably the third would be a better bet).
IOW give it a year and then get back to me. :-)
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