Subject: Re: Development Shop FSB
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 12 Mar 2002 08:16:34 -0800

Tom Lord <lord@regexps.com> writes:

> It's impossible for an outsider to accurately measure such things, but
> I'm skeptical that RH's contributions to the public corpus of open
> source software corresponds to a decent percentage of a $2,520,0000
> expenditure.

Not even a decent percentage?  Counting their contributions to the
kernel, gcc, gdb, binutils, postgres, ecos?  I don't see it that way.
If that's a quarterly expenditure, we're only talking about 60 people
or so.  Many of them are not genius programmers, of course; they're
just journeymen.  Remember also that Red Hat does a respectable amount
of testing work (at least, respectable compared to the amount of
testing which anybody else does), which mostly shows up as minor bug
fixes.  Considering the contributions I see publically, I think there
is a decent percentage coming out.

> It's worth the most when you instantly commoditize it by integrating
> it into the public corpus.  RH brags a lot about the amount of
> development they do but I don't see them even trying to integrate that
> work into the public sphere except in cases where they can take more
> from others than they give back.  Thus, they play in the "classpath"
> and "gcc" projects, but hold back in the installation program and
> upgrade-over-the-net spaces.

As far as I know, Red Hat's update-over-the-net program is called
up2date (I've never used it myself).  The sources are on the Red Hat
web site and are included on the Red Hat CD.  I don't know about the
installation program--I'm not sure what it's name is.

Ian