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

Pete Travis lists at
Wed Jan 22 14:09:30 UTC 2014

On Jan 22, 2014 2:20 AM, "Christian Schaller" <cschalle at> wrote:
> Ok, I seen this issue raised a few times now about the NVidia driver and
the Fedora kernel update policy.
> We are well aware that there are challenges here, Josh Boyer who is the
lead Fedora kernel developer
> is part of the Fedora Workstation Working Group and inside Red Hat I
manage among other things the graphics team
> who maintains and develops things like Nouveau, but at the same time the
same team works with Nvidia dealing
> with issues encountered by common customers of Red Hat and NVidia. So
between Josh and Red Hat graphics team
> I hope you can trust that we have the right people on board to find a
solution if a solution is possible.

Hi Christian, peripheral question:

The above statement implies that you or your team communicates with NVIDIA
in the context of business needs and customer impact, where it pays to
listen.  Has anyone discussed our goals and values with them?  Opening the
driver sources would be excellent but admittedly a hard sell, but shipping
them in a sane repo instead of a blob that breaks with kernel updates is
more appealing, and a marketable feature.  The changes to xorg bits done by
their installer isn't great either. I would be interested to hear of any
discussions with OEMs along these lines.

Users, especially the type you're targeting in this proposal, are
accustomed to visiting the Nvidia site for Nvidia drivers, the adobe site
for flash, and so on.  Nvidia is doing it wrong; I think we shouldn't take
on the job of fixing it, for all the reasons discussed here, but does it go
against our values to help them do it better?  Third party providers have
their own marketing departments, let them worry about capturing users, we
don't need to lead users to them.  At the same time, if the third party
software breaks usability for our users and cripples our product, I think
we have some responsibility to communicate those problems, and I don't
think it conflicts with our values to lead them to a better way.  Once they
start down that path, they might even follow it further.

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