Clueless response to my articles

Story: Beware the ExpertsTotal Replies: 1
Author Content

Aug 19, 2009
8:18 PM EDT
Mr. Leyba has written a clueless response to my articles about CentOS. Here is my response on his blog. It's awaiting moderation. Let's see if he publishes it:


I strongly and firmly disagree with your characterization of my four articles (the first, which you didn't link to, was a feature for DistroWatch Weekly) regarding CentOS on a netbook. A netbook is a small notebook, not another class of machine as you write. Businesses are increasingly using them as notebook replacements. I actually saw this as early as 1999 when the CEO of a company I was providing support to as an IBM contractor used a Toshiba Libretto to travel with. The Libretto was a precursor of the modern netbook. My own netbook, a Sylvania g Meso, is a perfectly suitable desktop or laptop replacement for most everything and works well with most Linux distributions.

Second, you ignore the fact that CentOS has been as much as two months late with security patches over the past year. This wasn't a matter of waiting for the upstream vendor. It has been a chronic problem for some time. That was acknowledged by a CentOS developer in the comments to my column for O'Reilly (which you also ignored) covering why I no longer will use CentOS for my business clients. I've linked the O'Reilly article in lieu of my website so that people can read it.[*]

Firefox was a perfectly legitimate example. The upstream vendor had a patch out the same day Mozilla released the new version. Scientific Linux had one the next day. It took over a week after that for CentOS to release a patch. The upstream vendor sells their Enterprise Linux explicitly in a version for the business desktop so it is reasonable to assume that CentOS will be used on the desktop as well. A browser with critical vulnerabilities left unpatched is not suitable for a security conscious business.

Finally, this wasn't a "rant" against CentOS. The whole situation with Lance Davis forced me to rethink the idea of using a distribution maintained by a small group of volunteers in the enterprise. My conclusion, which is not CentOS-specific, is that just isn't a good idea.

You are a CentOS user who is defending their favorite distro. I understand that. The problem here is that you are defending the indefensible (poor management, failure to get security patches out on time) and doing so by shooting the proverbial messenger.

My advice to your readers: heed the experts and ignore the blogger who is circling the wagons.


*=The O'Reilly article can be found at:

Aug 19, 2009
9:56 PM EDT
In fairness to Mr. Leyba: he did post my comment. I may not think much about his post but he does have integrity.

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