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September 6, 2002

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UnitedLinux, a Divisive Weapon for Caldera's Darl McBride -- Part II

By Mike Angelo -- 6 September 2002 (C) -- Page 4

Part I Article Index

Part II Article Index

Summary and Conclusion

A.) McBride, Caldera/SCO, and UnitedLinux

Previously in Part I of the McBride's divisive antics story and again today in Part II, we looked at McBride's inappropriate statements. These statements attack Red Hat. Moreover they slight, if not insult, Mandrake and many other Linux distributions by dividing the Linux World into merely his UnitedLinux and Red Hat.

Additionally, McBride makes market share statements that he fails to back up with data -- and which all the data we looked at refute clearly and decisively. McBride's VaporHype claims fall woefully short of reality.

Something that became clear to us during the several weeks of legwork for this story and in writing the story is that Darl McBride and his Caldera/SCO outfit have a definite conflict of interest when presuming to speak on behalf of UnitedLinux and/or the Linux community. Revenues-wise, Caldera/SCO is only 2% a Linux distribution provider. Caldera/SCO is pretty much a UNIX company.

Therefore it is McBride's and Caldera/SCO's best interests to divide the Linux community and to set the real Linux companies at each others throats. Doing that would work towards destroying the Linux community's attention and focus on going after potential customers that currently are UNIX customers.

There is nothing wrong in a company protecting its own turf (instantly Caldera/SCO's UNIX customer base) by good, solid, honest competition. However, pretending to be advancing the interests of Linux and the Linux community by trying to split that Linux community by hiding behind what has been made to look like a standardization initiative (UnitedLinux) in order to protect that UNIX customer base is appalling.

Fortunately, McBride's divisive tactics appear to be back-firing. SuSE now seems to be trying to distance itself from McBride and Caldera/SCO.

We wish good luck to the newly unified Linux companies.

-- Mandrake


At Red Hat we wish UnitedLinux well . . . SuSE is a good open source citizen

-- Red Hat

Meanwhile, SuSE still is working well with and cooperating with the other real Linux companies.And that is reciprocal. Consider the statement [w]e wish good luck to the newly unified Linux companies in Mandrake's UnitedLinux position statement and Mark de Visser's statements At Red Hat we wish UnitedLinux well and SuSE is a good open source citizen.

Likely SuSE and the other real Linux companies will develop some additional Linux standards that will help them to migrate current UNIX customers (read that as Caldera/SCO is a UNIX company if you like) to Linux.

B.) UnitedLinux and Linux Standards

If there is to be a level of standardization over and above that provided by LSB in order to help Linux compete in the high-end and advanced/enterprise server arena, that standard(s) needs to be agreed to and implemented by all of the top three Linux distributions, Mandrake, Red Hat, and SuSE -- that's likely more than 95% of the Linux market. And all the other Linux distributions that so desire should have a voice in any such additional standards too.

The point is that if all three top Linux distributions are not in on a standard, there is no standard. Moreover, that works with or without McBride and Caldera/SCO -- likely it works better without McBride. Sorry, Darl, but what you say and what it appears that you have turned Caldera in to just do not belong in the Linux World.

Interestingly, if you read between the lines of the statements of SuSE's Holger Dyroff and Martina Krahmer it appears that SuSE is trying to distance itself from McBride and perhaps Caldera/SCO too. Moreover, SuSE would like to have the entire Linux community in on what seems to have been the original concept of UnitedLinux -- a level of standardization over and above that provided by LSB, in order to help Linux compete in the high-end and advanced/enterprise server arena.

We conclude that UnitedLinux is a Linux distribution and not a Linux standard, in the normal usage of Linux standard.

-- MozillaQuest Magazine

Perhaps the most important outcome of the discussions reported in Parts I and II of this article is the very convincing arguments of Mandrake's Gaël Duval and Red Hat's Mark de Visser that UnitedLinux is not a Linux standard or initiative, but rather just another Linux Distribution. Gaël Duval and Mark de Visser present a most compelling position. Therefore we conclude that UnitedLinux is a Linux distribution and not a Linux standard, in the normal usage of Linux standard.

Also, the statements from the SuSE spokespeople, Holger Dyroff and Martina Krahmer, that Darl McBride does not speak for that UnitedLinux member, or for UnitedLinux, are particularly important. Frankly it is very good news that Darl McBride's inflammatory and divisive statements and his inappropriate marketing tactics are his and Caldera/SCO's alone -- not those of SuSE or UnitedLinux.

Part of the phenomenal success of Linux has been the tremendous spirit of cooperation and camaraderie among the producers of Linux distributions. Through that spirit of cooperation and camaraderie, as well as the efforts of the entire Linux community, Linux has managed to eat away some at Microsoft's dominance in the operating system arena.

There is much more to be gained by and for Linux and the Linux community by sticking with the spirit of cooperation and camaraderie among the producers of Linux distributions that has worked so well for Linux. There is much more to be gained by and for Linux and the Linux community by sticking with hard work, good rock-solid product development, and honest product marketing.

There is little to be gained by introducing McBride style, divisive, destructive, in-fighting amongst the Linux distribution providers. There is little to be gained by introducing McBride style VaporHype marketing tactics. Sorry, Darl, but what you say and what it appears that you have turned Caldera in to just do not belong in the Linux World.

It's not likely that either Mandrake or Red Hat would join the UnitedLinux consortium as it is now -- because as it is now, UnitedLinux is just another distribution. However, there is room, and perhaps even a need, for a standard that goes beyond the current LSB level of standardization.

So, there could be some additional standardization for Linux distributions -- which would be a good thing. Some questions are what would be the additional standards and whether those additional standards would be an extension to the LSB or some new standards-set that goes beyond LSB and has its own name.

If there is to be a new or expanded standards-set, should the work on it be done within the LSB framework and the Free Software Group (FSG)? Should an expanded standards-set have a new, perhaps more meaningful name? Unfortunately, now that UnitedLinux has been tagged as a distribution rather than a standard, such a name likely will not be UnitedLinux.

The UnitedLinux and Linux standards stories are far from over. But this chapter about UnitedLinux and Linux standards is a wrap. Stay tuned.

Stay tuned!


Part I Article Index

Part II Article Index

Resources

References from Article

(Part II.)

Ransom Love out as Caldera CEO, now concentrating on UnitedLinux, Roblimo Miller, NewsForge

United Linux Is Love-Less, Maureen O'Gara, Linux Business Week, 25 August 2002

UnitedLinux Set for Beta; Caldera Eyes New Era, Scot Petersen, eWEEK, August 13, 2002.

IDC

UnitedLinux

Technical Goals of UnitedLinux: a 28-page white paper

United Linux: why MandrakeSoft will not join

(Part I.)

DesktopLinux on-line, reader poll

Hoover's Online

IDC

UnitedLinux Set for Beta; Caldera Eyes New Era, Scot Petersen, eWEEK, August 13, 2002.


LSB Mission Statement

The goal of the Linux Standard Base (LSB) is to develop and promote a set of standards that will increase compatibility among Linux distributions and enable software applications to run on any compliant Linux system. In addition, the LSB will help coordinate efforts to recruit software vendors to port and write products for Linux.

(Linuxbase.org)



What is UnitedLinux?

UnitedLinux is a standards-based, worldwide Linux solution targeted at the business user and developed by Caldera, Conectiva, SuSE, and Turbolinux. Designed to be an enterprise-class, industry-standard Linux operating system, UL provides a single stable, uniform platform for application development, certification, and deployment and allows Linux vendors, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), and Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs) to support a single high value Linux offering rather than many different versions.

(UnitedLinux FAQs)

Linux Standard Base Project

Linux Standard Base Certified Distributions


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