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

Ankur Sinha sanjay.ankur at
Wed Jan 22 02:04:32 UTC 2014

On Tue, 2014-01-21 at 20:10 -0500, Josh Boyer wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 7:55 PM, Ankur Sinha <sanjay.ankur at> wrote:
> > On Tue, 2014-01-21 at 19:36 -0500, Josh Boyer wrote:
> >> > PS: Anyone that feels that "free choices suck", needs to move to
> >> > Mac/Windows already and be done with it.
> >>
> >> I'd prefer they write a patch to fix the things that suck, or a bug
> >> report if they can't write code.  If nobody did that then Open Source
> >> software wouldn't work or exist, including Fedora.  Please be mindful
> >> of the replies you give to people.  Empower them to make a difference.
> >>  Don't kill your contributor and user base by telling them to use a
> >> non-free OS because they point out something is suboptimal.
> >
> > My statement reads completely different out of context. The context for
> > me entire e-mail was Matthias' statement:
> Your statement will be read out of context a lot.  Particularly
> throwing it in as a PS.  It's nothing personal and I'm not meaning to
> pick on you specifically, but I see that argumentation quite
> frequently.

I understand.

> >> If you want to keep our users from seeing non-free options to keep
> >> them
> >> from recognizing that the free choices suck, then you've already
> >> admitted defeat...
> >>
> >
> > It is meant for people that are more than willing to simply move to
> > non-free software because "free software sucks" rather than trying to
> > improve it, as you've pointed out.
> The context is irrelevant.  If someone does not know about free
> software, how it works, and how they can participate to improve it,
> then of course they are going to be willing to move to non-free
> software.  Who isn't looking for the easiest and most pain-free way to
> get something done?  

That's quite the point that I made in my earliest mail[1]: that this
proposal *takes away* the step where people learn about FOSS and
Fedora's stance on FOSS *because* they couldn't find a "one/two click"
method of installing non-FOSS software right out of the box. 

Not having the application listed in Fedora at all makes them look
around, and run into FOSS alternatives if they exist. If no alternatives
are available at all, it helps them gain some understanding of why
Fedora does not provide the non-FOSS software they require.

> If someone does know about free software and
> still says it sucks, remind them it will only improve if people pitch
> in and help.
> Sure, they might just be trolls that show up to deride things and
> laugh at us, but you really can't be sure unless you try and educate
> them. 

> Being dismissive and telling them to use another OS just
> because they complain that something sucks is not going to help.

I agree completely, with your view and you correcting me. I shouldn't
have made a general statement.

> At any rate, I believe we agree for the most part.

We do.

Warm regards,
Ankur (FranciscoD)

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