12.26.20

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IBM is Not a Community

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Red Hat at 4:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Fedora as a project and as a community (this initiative’s roots at Red Hat) is in peril; for IBM to turn things around it’ll need to show that it really views GNU/Linux developers/users (unaffiliated with corporations) as more than just cost-free labour

THE misuse of the term “community” is closely connected to the emergence of “openwashing” — i.e. pretending proprietary is “open” or “transparent” and corporations are some kind of charities working for the public good. We’ve seen lots of examples of that over the past two years in particular. OSI has been taken over by this agenda.

“To properly judge IBM’s position on software freedom (or human rights), one must assess both the past and the present (which, unlike the future, aren’t an uncertainty).”In IBM’s case, there’s lots of “for Good” or “4Good”; there’s also “embRACE” (trying to rewrite IBM’s record on issues of race), “openPOWER” (openwashing) and manufactured “geek” cred.

To properly judge IBM’s position on software freedom (or human rights), one must assess both the past and the present (which, unlike the future, aren’t an uncertainty). One must go deeper than shallow things like the gender of the last CEO and race of the current one. IBM isn’t as ‘woke’ as it wants people to think; working hard to eliminate particular metaphors isn’t as commendable as these people wish for us to believe.

Recently, much attention was paid to the CentOS betrayal. We saw about dozen videos and close to 100 articles about this one subject alone (throughout December) and few writers brought up Fedora, asking the tough questions about the future of the project.

Quick! Teach me how to monetise the volunteers!

I’m an early adopter (at work) of Fedora (back when it was “Fedora Core”) and Red Hat was the first GNU/Linux distribution I used. With that in mind, it saddens me to see what IBM has done to Red Hat this past year. In the video above I go through only some of the many aspects we’ve been covering throughout the year.

CentOS users; Gateway drugMore on the CentOS issue can be found in this older video. There are also some articles about this subject, e.g.:

Seeing the sorts of attitudinal changes at Red Hat (directed by IBM now), we’re not exactly optimistic. In the video above I focus on Fedora and why I believe 2021 will be a tough year for Fedora.

Links from the video:

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