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Red Hat Software Linux Technology

How Red Hat Can Recapture Developer Interest 232

snydeq writes: Developers are embracing a range of open source technologies, writes Matt Asay, virtually none of which are supported or sold by Red Hat, the purported open source leader. "Ask a CIO her choice to run mission-critical workloads, and her answer is a near immediate 'Red Hat.' Ask her developers what they prefer, however, and it's Ubuntu. Outside the operating system, according to AngelList data compiled by Leo Polovets, these developers go with MySQL, MongoDB, or PostgreSQL for their database; Chef or Puppet for configuration; and ElasticSearch or Solr for search. None of this technology is developed by Red Hat. Yet all of this technology is what the next generation of developers is using to build modern applications. Given that developers are the new kingmakers, Red Hat needs to get out in front of the developer freight train if it wants to remain relevant for the next 20 years, much less the next two."
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How Red Hat Can Recapture Developer Interest

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  • by jpschaaf ( 313847 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @02:59PM (#47767855)

    I don't think that's a cut-and-dry sort of thing. As a developer, I hate the fact that Ubuntu is changing so quickly that I can't keep up. Leading edge is fine, but bleeding edge gets blood everywhere.

  • by Omicron32 ( 646469 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @03:03PM (#47767893)

    Here here.

    Give me a Debian box over Ubuntu any day.

  • by Zero__Kelvin ( 151819 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @03:19PM (#47768109) Homepage

    "Ask her developers what they prefer, however, and it's Ubuntu"

    Ask a developer who has recently made or tried to make the transition from Windows to Linux and they expect inconsistency, plus doesn't everyone use it? Ask a seasoned Linux dev and they wouldn't touch Ubuntu with Bill Gates' $INSERT_APPENDAGE_HERE

  • by lp_bugman ( 623152 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @03:31PM (#47768267)
    Why? Red Hat has been the one distro that spearheaded Linux adoption in the enterprise. It's stable has very long support life cycle and if you do not want to pay licensing you can (and many startups do) use Centos.
    I hear people complaining about rpm/yum. Guess what. Many of us have extensive experience with it and have no problems with it. Creating repo cache is fairly easy and allows you to have a total control of what is deployed to your server. And yes I do like dpkg and apt-get. They are very nice tools.
    The main reason I see ubuntu getting traction is because of RedHat making RHEL not available for download and because developers got their first steps in ubuntu. because "it's easier" and has a nicer "desktop".
    I think RedHat needs to backpedal in Fedora/RHEL and go back to a single distro. Something like *Desktop/Developer edition (RHDE) and *Enterprise Edition (RHEL) and build a nice and focused distro with all the common repos already enabled in RHDE. So that newbies can have a better experience. Developers need to easily get running thing need on a fresh build of (RHDE). Something like this: yum install passenger-puppet-master (and bam!) yum install maven
    yum install django
    yum install passenger-rails-app
    yum install saltstack
    yum install eclipse-openjdk-stack
    Just a few samples but you get the idea. Make it easy for the developer and they will come.
  • by machineghost ( 622031 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @04:20PM (#47768879)

    I think you're kind of missing the point. Developers don't think "hey, I know Ubuntu/Mint, and it works great for me, but yum just got a little bit friendlier? Forget everything I know, I'm installing Red Hat."

    People change distributions with a purpose. For me personally the odyssey was:

    Mandrake: because (I kid you not) it came on a CD in a Linux magazine
    Gentoo: because of the performance gains
    Mandrake: because (unlike Gentoo) you don't have to spend half your life compiling
    Ubuntu: they did all the annoying stuff (eg. making Flash work) for me
    Mint: Shuttleworth gave the middle finger to Ubuntu community vs. Mint 3s their community

    The point is, no one is going back to Red Hat unless it offers something significant that their current distro doesn't (besides just yum). Making Red Hat one distro instead of two doesn't give me a reason to leave Mint. Making yum friendlier doesn't give me a reason either. At best changes like that might help stem the tide of departing Red Hat users ("why do I need Ubuntu, Red Hat finally got friendly") but if Red Hat ever wants to become a dominant distro again they have to offer a compelling reason to switch.

  • by x_t0ken_407 ( 2716535 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @04:58PM (#47769281) Homepage

    I'd also prefer RHEL over all others, except for the costs (which are inconsequential to me, usually). I too get stuck trying to push CentOS...most shops I've been at want to be able to point the finger at someone, hence paying for RHEL. What's odd is, the shop I've been working at for the past year actually uses Ubuntu LTS, so I've (unfortunately, or perhaps, fortunately, in the name of expanding my knowledge) had to learn the system pretty quickly. Haven't had any problems with it so far, an actually I'm impressed with the LTS version's stability (while originally I abhorred it for no actual reason, heh). Seems like a cross between RHEL's stability and Fedora's up-to-date packages.

  • Trendy != Better (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Etcetera ( 14711 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @06:29PM (#47770085) Homepage

    Given that developers are the new kingmakers, Red Hat needs to get out in front of the developer freight train if it wants to remain relevant for the next 20 years, much less the next two.

    It's very hard to avoid a snarky response, but I'll try.

    * Developers are not kingmakers
    * Developers are not system administrators
    * Developers don't understand operations
    * Developers often don't understand scale engineering unless they can abstract it away by not thinking too hard about anything
    * Red Hat Enterprise Linux (and its derivatives) are not intended to be shiny new, but to be reliable
    * Use Fedora if you want bleeding edge, or re-package things yourself. RPMs aren't hard.

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money. -- Kim Hubbard