April 5, 2006 2:58 PM PDT

Red Hat cancels Fedora Foundation

BOSTON--Red Hat has dismantled the Fedora Foundation, an initiative conceived as an entity to provide intellectual-property protections to the open-source realm but whose mission grew impractically broad.

Fedora Core is Red Hat's free hobbyist version of Linux, designed to mature technologies quickly for use in the premium Red Hat Enterprise Linux product and to sate developers' appetite for new features.

LinuxWorld Boston 2006 roundup

When Red Hat announced the foundation in June 2005, the company said it had "the intent of moving Fedora project development work and copyright ownership of contributed code to the foundation. Red Hat will still provide substantial financial and engineering support, but this move will assure broader community involvement in Fedora-sponsored projects."

A Red Hat explanation of the foundation's cancellation, posted to a Fedora mailing list on Tuesday, describes a narrower initial mission: "To act as a repository for patents that would protect the interests of the open-source community."

But the foundation suffered from mission creep, which refers to the process by which a mission's approaches and goals change over time. "Every Fedora issue became a nail for the foundation hammer, and the scope of the foundation quickly became too large for efficient progress," Red Hat's Max Spevack said in the posting.

From an intellectual-property point of view, Red Hat's efforts now are focused on its work with the Open Invention Network, a multi-company effort to amass patents that may be freely used with open-source software, Chief Technology Officer Brian Stevens said in an interview here at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo.

"We believe what we had envisioned it to be didn't make a lot of sense," Stevens said. "We began working on the Open Invention Network some time after (the foundation launch). We put a ton of energy into that."

And for governing Fedora Core, the company will rely on the Fedora Project Board instead of the foundation. The board includes five Red Hat employees and four outsiders.

The move was announced on the eve of FUDCon, a Fedora conference that begins Thursday, the last day of the LinuxWorld show.

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Red Hat Inc., Fedora Project, foundation, intellectual property, Fedora Core

21 comments

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When will the pengiun wake up?
FREE SOFTWARE AND OPEN SOURCE IS NOT A VIABLE BUSINESS MODEL!

Open source is barely limping along and is not even close to being a viable desktop alternative.

Would somebody shoot this wounded thing already?
Posted by Jim Hubbard (326 comments )
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Your Wrong.
Many open source companies are doing just fine.

The problem isn't that open source is a bad business model (because it isn't a business model), but rather that many open source companies have no business model or one that's impractical.

I think it's very true that nobody works for free. Those people who support an open source project usually do it because they use the software. However, those calming that Open Source is a business model are just stupid. Open Source just means that the general public has access to the source code. Period. Nothing more.

The licence is what governs the use of that code and it's not a business model either. A company can give away the software and sell support and/or updates to the software. Maybe they give away an OS and sell the tools to manage it. Those would be examples of a business model.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Link Flag
No, You Need to Wake Up
"FREE SOFTWARE AND OPEN SOURCE IS NOT A VIABLE BUSINESS MODEL!"

Well, look at Red Hat, Novell and JBoss then...
Also Apple's Mac OS X is based on FreeBSD.

"Open source is barely limping along and is not even close to being a viable desktop alternative..."

Im using Slackware Linux as a desktop, and it's serving me great. The problem is not the technology, It's the people's stuck-up notion of doing stuff the Window$ way. That's the problem...
Posted by wakizaki (44 comments )
Link Flag
Open source can make money $$$
Look at Mozilla. It started and was a drain of cash, then it was dumped, but with one change of the start page it now makes enough money for it to continue.

Open source projects as long as they can derive some revenue that is enough. It takes some money so a few key people can work on the project all of the time in organizing others and a few in development.
Posted by georgescott (48 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Enlargment the natural way !!!
Dude, what are you going on about? Red Hat is doing great and I believe their "Fedora Project" and "Fedora Core" are going to continue.

This is a small change within an orginization, not "OMG, we just cant make money with this Open Sores stuff!!"
Posted by Dachi (797 comments )
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Look at what you're saying....
" it now makes enough money for it to continue."

You mean it hasn't gone completely broke yet. That's hardly "successful" in terms of a business model.

Be patient. If left to support itself, it will fail too.

The only way Firefox will remain in business is by cash grants from other Microsoft haters to keep it going.

It will never remain free and be a competitor of IE or any other browser.
Posted by Jim Hubbard (326 comments )
Link Flag
Fedora Foundation vs Fedora Project
So Fedora Project is responsible for the release of "Fedora Core" (the distro), but Fedora Foundation is only for "intellectual property protections" and such?

I've got a half eaten bag or doritos that says most people see the headline and read "Red Hat cancels Fedora Linux"
Posted by Dachi (797 comments )
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Any Isaac Asimov fans here?
Maybe there's actually a secret "Second Foundation" that will take on the (Microsoft) Empire...
Posted by poster48150 (167 comments )
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I did think that
At first I thought Fedora Linux was getting cancled, glad it's not. Unfortunately Red Hat's handling of Fedora was questionable in the beginning and I hope this doesn't fan the flames any.

As for that whole argument about FOSS companies not making money, Red Hat is one that's doing pretty darn good, and there's also the MySQL and Qt (Trolltech) that works.

Saying that Linux won't make it because it's source code is free is very narrow minded.

Does Microsoft make all of it's money from having vendors sell Windows on every box (let's forget whether they have a choice at this moment)?

No.

They make a lot of money from the products they have competition in (and have to actually perform); Office, Visual Studio, SQL Server, Xbox, etc.

With Linux, it isn't the OS that's the money-maker, but it facilitates competition or capabilities that may otherwise be prohibitive.

Sell Hardware and not have to develop the OS but have access to a whole community of support and devopers (IBM)

Provide a version for free and another for money which can include proprietary stuff, be more "open", or just doesn't fall under the GPL (MySQL, Trolltech, makers of Qt)

You could offer a service that somebody sees as being valuable, like full support or customization (Red Hat, Novell)

You can use Linux to run solid, secure, safe servers to have users utilize (too many web hosting companies to list)

So whether it's for technical merit (customizability, quality, etc.) or financial (sell product, spend little on an OS), Linux is a tool for businesses to make money.

Microsoft has access to Windows' source code so internally it's not unlike the Linux models. The other products are able to take advantage of technical ability to dig into Windows' source code without having to pay for it.

The business model with Linux is maturing, and I am sure more people will find ways to make money from it.
Posted by dragonbite (452 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Read it from the (open) source
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://fedoranews.org/cms/node/583" target="_newWindow">http://fedoranews.org/cms/node/583</a>
Posted by My-Self (242 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Open Source Vs Commercialization (Closed source)
Hi friends,

This is Manish from Bangalore and been in touch with Linux since 1996-7. Have worked with IT majors and presently engrossed in to Analysis-Only, about open source technologies.

Have read all your 19 posts and thought of putting on some lines.

Refering to your posts, MS-Vista has a feature of adding a USB Flash drive as additional RAM, which probably has'nt been thought for Linux, and that can add immense value to Linux. Have lots to discuss on these issues, but guess, the following article may suffice for now.

For other articles and weblogs, visit www.TechTheRightWay.net

A question has often struck my mind when I see topics of Linux vs. Windows at various discussion boards, magazine articles, websites and on readable media. "Why is it that Linux is being compared to Windows in different contexts."

Linux has a reputation of not having been accepted as standard operating system and called for hype before being adopted by people. After the hype that Linux created in the IT industry, it is time now that we know the real consequences, that the benefits and limitations of using this medium.

Some people think that Linux is only for techies; and that is not totally correct in the present context. Linux installation has become far more easier than it used to be 5 years back. Only limitation remains now is that application portability and compatibility among few of the base Linux distributions such as Debian, Slackware, Redhat, Suse, Mandirva and like.

Considering the present scenario on operating system usage, Linux doesn't only play well as a replacement to windows, but much more than that - and this holds true only to a small segment of IT professionals who are more aware of Unix and Open Standards.

Traditional windows users still prefer working in the smooth, friendly looking and easy-to-use windows operating system. In fact this is very true, and that to establish Linux as a successful Desktop OS among the masses, many vendors have tried to sell Linux as a commercial product, and have had their distributions promoted free for public usage.

This has also led to successful adoption of Linux by many-a-people in the industry. But the basic question remains - Open source or Closed. In this regard, let me share an experience that I have recently felt about using either of the two approaches. As a programmer, I used to be heavily indulged in VB programming (see other related articles) and was interested in getting to work on a similar IDE in Linux.

A BASIC (Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) language interpreter / compiler called GAMBAS (acronymed recursively for GAMBAS Almost Means BASic) has been in development since 1997-98 by Benoît Minisini, which I happened to install on an RHEL 3 machine (gambas.sourceforge.net).

For installation and use, it contains good documents and well prepared help files. It requires other packages as QT, LibXML, and few others. It got running well on RHEL 3 and making projects too was quite that of a cake walk, as compared to programming C / C++ on Unix flavours. Then came time to port / run the project on other Linux machines / variants. When I tried running the same executable on an RH8 system, it refused to run because of non-availability of run-time libraries.

This GUI IDE / compiler reminded me of Bill Gates and Paul Allen's first Basic compiler which they created along with development of DOS in 1978 - 80's and onwards. GAMBAS on the other hand is the work of an individual and also an open-source product. Kudos to Benoît Minisini for developing this wonderful project, but the question is "Will GAMBAS be a successful product" in the present scenario, as compared to Visual Basic, which has been closed source and a commercial product.

In other articles, those that refer to Microsoft's current implementation of VB compiler - VB 7 / VB.Net, it was mentioned that VB.Net was incompatible with VB6 codes, which is true to some extent. Nonetheless, VB.Net comes as a far more heftier language that its predecessor.

Considering GAMBAS as an alternative to VB may also not be an appropriate comparison. GAMBAS is relatively immature, however, efforts of its author is highly commendable. But the scenarios in which these two products have been developed and with what approach are quite notable.

The answer to adopting and working upon one of the two products(or both) remains in a developer's hands. Whether to use completely integrated VB.Net that has an easy installation / development methods, though weighing heavy on the user and system, or adopting the not-yet-established GAMBAS, which is hard to port and requires quite a lot of research efforts.

Or better still, stick back to our mother languages, that is C being portable and compatible to most of the modern day operating system implementations.

Happy Programming !

Written 15th Feb 2006, Bangalore
Posted by ManishChopra123 (1 comment )
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