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to linux or not to linux...

David Hummel wrote:
> If you can give me one compelling reason to purchase RHEL for a
> workstation or laptop when there are so many excellent
> community-supported distributions out there, then I would be willing to
> pay also.  Otherwise you are just lining the pockets of Red Hat when the
> money could have been donated to the FSF, or elsewhere.
I disagree. I think that purchasing from any company that is using GNU 
or another OpenSource License is sending a message. If you are willing 
to support a company (not just an idea) by putting up your hard earned 
cash, then I think it has value to the other, non-commercial ventures 
that are available. If companies like RedHat, Suse, Ximian and others 
were to go out of business, it would be a dramatic blow to those very 
same comunity-supported distributions. Not only does it send the message 
to corporate America that OpenSource might NOT be viable, but there is a 
relatively large loss of returned code that the community-supported 
versions would then not have available. If you don't buy ever buy it, 
then you might as well buy Microsoft.

> If you're
> thinking that purchasing RHEL is supporting the community, it is to the
> extent that Red Hat is, but IMHO, there are better ways to do so
> (contributing code, reporting bugs, advocating Linux, starting an open
> source project, etc.).
Those are other ways, but in my opinion they are only different ways, 
not necessarily "better". Supporting Linux isn't just contributing code. 
It's supporting the companies that sell it, the companies & 
organizations that champion it, and the people that support it; not just 
with volunteer efforts or lip service, but with hard cash. The FSF is a 
great organization and donating to them a great idea, but indicating 
that giving money to RedHat or Suse (my preference) is a bad idea is 
itself a REALLY bad idea. Unless you WANT to see Bill Gates rule the 
universe ;-).
Grant M.
Grant Mongardi
System Engineer

gmongardi at
781.894.3114 phone
781.894.3997 fax

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