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

Matthew Garrett mjg59 at
Wed Jan 22 16:13:44 UTC 2014

On Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 10:39:48AM -0500, Matthew Miller wrote:

> I know some people believe that a works-like-a-mac experience is necessary
> for bringing in the developer and modern admin/ops audience that is driving
> the cloud computing boom; I'm going to bracket that as a "maybe...", but
> otherwise, this particular initiative isn't very relevant for the first two
> of those areas. That leaves the student / new excitement and growth
> audience. Here, "Ubuntu plays my mp3s!" and "it just works" is certainly
> something we hear, but I also know that our strong free software stance is
> appealing as well. (Other people have already made that point more
> articulately than I can, but I'll just add that it's a reason I've stayed
> with Fedora over the years.)

There's several cases we we "just work" in a significantly better way 
than Ubuntu - for instance, our Mac support is streets ahead. 
Anecdotally, many of my coworkers carry Macs but would be interested in 
running Linux, but are dissuaded by the poor experience that Ubuntu 
provides on that hardware. Ensuring that we QA Apple hardware better 
would be a minimally time-consuming effort but would open us up to a 
large set of potential users who are poorly catered to at present.

But, like I said, that's still anecdotal evidence. I have no idea 
whether the number of people who would want to run Fedora on Apple 
hardware is larger or smaller than the number of people who refuse to 
use Fedora because non-free apps are difficult to obtain, or even the 
number of people who would refuse to use fedora if we made non-free apps 
*easier* to obtain. Actual data is important.

Matthew Garrett | mjg59 at

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