Proposal: Revision of policy surrounding 3rd party and non-free software

Tom Callaway tcallawa at
Tue Jan 21 19:52:22 UTC 2014

On 01/21/2014 02:40 PM, Christian Schaller wrote:
> I actually took the jump and moved my mothers computer over to Linux this Christmas. As it turned out the built in PDF viewer in Fedora couldn't properly handle
> these PDFs she got sent every Month from a company she works with.

Not to sidetrack this discussion too far afield, but I would argue that
this particular argument ("$foo didn't work properly, so we needed
non-free $bar") is better answered as ("$foo didn't work properly, so we
filed a bug on $foo, troubleshooted the issue, and fixed $foo."),
especially given that:

A) We're the upstream for this particular $foo (evince)
B) PDF is a (mostly) open format.

I recognize Christian's larger point, but I worry about a loss in
improving (or creating) FOSS tools when Non-Free tools exist. That's the
slippery slope that I am uncomfortable with, a world in which nouveau
wasn't invested in because "everyone just uses the NVIDIA driver".


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