Eric Raymond dumps Fedora Core and switch to Ubuntu Linux

by on February 22, 2007 · 5 comments· LAST UPDATED March 8, 2007

in , ,

Almost all OSS and Linux blogs and news site focusing on this story. Not a big deal or news, IMPO. I’ve used tons of distributions in the past eight+ year ;)

ESR writes:
After thirteen years as a loyal Red Hat and Fedora user, I reached my limit today, when an attempt to upgrade one (1) package pitched me into a four-hour marathon of dependency chasing, at the end of which an attempt to get around a trivial file conflict rendered my system unusable.

To be frank I kicked out Redhat from home computer as soon as they introduced FC and RHEL. At work we still use RHEL and we will continue because our business demands it.

However ESR raises some excellent points:
Failure to address the problem of proprietary multimedia formats with any attitude other than blank denial.

I agree with ESR, average Joe needs a computer with working driver and I think Ubuntu provides this very well with its restricted kernel module and 3rd party projects.

What do you think? What is more important? Goals of open source software or end user usability - ease of use?

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 kzutter February 22, 2007 at 9:09 pm

Let’s change our mindset from ‘either/or” to ‘both/and’. They are both important.

Let me tell you that Ubuntu is not trouble free – I recently had to change my mobo and I cannot get sound to work right! The question of propriety formats is moot if flash and mplayer can’t play sound!

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2 kcz February 23, 2007 at 3:16 am

kzutter,

Yup it took 2 days to compile and install wifi card under Ubuntu and found solution here only.

And why we should care about him? I don’t care if he uses Red Hat or not…

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3 raj February 23, 2007 at 3:23 am

if u need server os go for redhat or fedora

if u need nice desktop os go for Ubuntu

personally i use Mandriva as it works for me.

it’s all about choice baby ;)

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4 praxis22 March 8, 2007 at 2:02 pm

If you want to use proprietary formats on ubuntu then use Automatix2: http://www.getautomatix.com

It will automatically configure everything for you on most flavours of ubunu, (except Fiesty) even with AM64 achitecture.

As for ESR, (not ERS :) Most Linux n00bs, wont care, but people in the wider Open Source community will. Much like Linus running Linux on the Mac architecture. It’s a choice that matters to some people. Eric Raymond for instance was the writer of the “The Cathedral and the Bazaar” a seminal document that cause, amongst other things, Netscape to open thier code base. Without that, we wouldn’t have Firefox or Thunderbird today.

As is useful with most things what is needed here is a sense of why things are the way they are, and this can be summed up, in the main, by the essay, “in the beginning was the command line” Available here:
http://www.spack.org/wiki/InTheBeginningWasTheCommandLine

Some of it is now out of date, but it sums up exactly why you had to roll your own wifi driver, and why that is actually a very good thing. Both in terms of you learning how to troubleshoot your own system, and in terms of getting it to work at all.

I sometimes thing that Windows users are missing the point of UNIX when they complain that it’s not as easy to learn and use.

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5 nixCraft March 8, 2007 at 4:01 pm

praxis22,

Thanks for heads up!

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