I've been in discussions with a group of other writers, Linux distribution watchers, Linux community leaders and developers in the past few days concerning Linux commercial vs. Linux community versions and some of us came to the conclusion that Fedora's relevance has waned. In fact, it might be time to scrap it completely. Or maybe it's time for Red Hat to step up and support it formally and unconditionally.
Fedora is the only major community Linux edition that has no commercial support option from its commercial benefactor. Even OpenSolaris has commercial support from Sun.
This brings me to the question, "Does Red Hat really care about its community?"
The answer, from its policies, tell me no.
Don't get me wrong, I love Red Hat Linux--or did until my recent negative experiences with it. My first negative Red Hat experience was a few years ago when they decided to scrap what was then known as Red Hat Linux that ended with version 9.0 in 2004. They then began the infamous Fedora Project to which this post is aimed.
It seems to me, and others, that Fedora is nothing more than a early adopter testbed and package foundry and not a serious linux distro with strong community support with commercial support options.
This is unfortunate since many, like me, saw something special in Red Hat in the latter 1990s and adopted it as their platform of choice. To say the least, I'm disappointed. To Red Hat's credit, they are one of the most successful open source businesses and a true success story for the Open Source Community in general. For this, I applaud them.
Contrary to what you might believe, I am not anti-Red Hat but I do find that some of their corporate policies have become community-unfriendly. In my opinion, if you don't have a good relationship with your community, your level of success is going to be limited. They might not have experienced this yet but they will when adopters realize that there is no support from the mother ship.
So, what does this all mean? It means that you should move to something that is better for your company in terms of support, validity, stability and viability. My suggestions are CentOS, Ubuntu or Debian. Ubuntu is Debian-based and CentOS is actually Red Hat Enterprise Linux created from source--so if you like RPM-based distributions, CentOS is a great choice. If you require vendor support, Ubuntu or openSUSE would be my choices--although Ubuntu's prices are significantly higher than others.
It's time for Fedora to be mothballed and to enter Wikipedia as a historic and defunct distribution.
Since Red Hat has turned its back on me and others in the community twice in the past few years, I bid them adieu. I do wish them the best of luck in their endeavors but until they make a new and convincing effort, I'll use something else.
What kind of experiences have you had from Red Hat--good or bad? Write back and let me know.