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Re: [ossig] Enterprise Linux: UserLinux, Debian

On Friday 20 August 2004 14:10, Dinesh Nair wrote:
> and can we assume that it'll remain that way ? as colin's email stated,
> a much better policy would be to adopt standardization based on
> specifications instead of distro/OS specific specifications.

I foresee that it will remain that way. Mainly because MAMPU often reminds 
themselves of the "Guiding Principles". Colin's suggestion is extremely 
practical, I think and it should be brought to the attention of MAMPU. ;-) I 
think it's headed that way, anyway.

> i'm understandably pessimistic about this because my involvement with
> the MSC Flagship Blueprints taught me that vendors *will* use
> biased-specifications to push their offerings as a standard. and this is
> not confined to that little company in redmond either. the folks from
> armonk and mountain view are just as guilty.

Ooh, very much so. As I think we discussed sometime ago, the landscape won't 
change that much. The vendors will do as they always do. However, on the 
optimistic side, lots of attention has been brought to this by MAMPU to the 
government agencies in their awareness programs (avoid vendor lock-in, oi!).

> for example, will the implementation plan specify "Linux" or "Open
> Source Operating System" ? using the former preempts the use of *BSD,
> which is just as open source as linux is.

Ya ... The initial project title had the word "Linux" in there somewhere, I 
think. It was removed and left with OSS because MAMPU was made aware that it 
might constitute a bias against other OSS OSes. 

As I think we've discussed this before offline (without any amber liquid, 
either), getting the basic concepts first was always difficult. Trying to 
inform the government on principles and methodologies of OSS, as well as the 
legal bits, required what Pratchett, Stewart and Cohen called "lies to 
children" in their book, "Science of Discworld". We've progressed passed the 
lies to children phase, and am now entering into discussions of the more 
complex issues. Where am I going on this? Well, the "fixation" on Linux as 
the only OSS OS is gone. Next is trying to gain more visibility on the Other 
one. There's actually a FreeBSD desktop at the OSCC on public display, 
apparently. Runs KDE, which makes it virtually indistinguishable from the 
Linux boxes, but I suppose that's part of the point.

Finally, to return to the distro preference issue, I think that the suggestion 
of using specs and requirements as standards may be an option for avoiding 
what I refer to as the "Death by Choices" syndrome. The diversity of distros 
(and add the BSDs into the mix) does become a little too daunting for those 
who are new to the party. 

And, finally, finally, many of those new to the party are those who almost 
never go into the server room.

Feck, gtg.


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