other ways of working with third party vendors [was Re: Proposal: Revision of policy surrounding 3rd party and non-free software]

Adam Williamson awilliam at redhat.com
Wed Jan 22 16:20:14 UTC 2014

On Wed, 2014-01-22 at 11:05 -0500, Christian Schaller wrote:
> Well it feels a bit weird to say that it would defile our values to
> allow these applications to appear in the app installer, yet it is 
> perfectly aligned with our values to work to make sure they appear in 
> the browser.
> I mean if we start converting the appinstaller into a web browser, at what
> point does this become ok?
> But to answer your question, we could for instance make a browser extension
> that searches the web for Fedora repositories, repositories which we have 
> worked with the third-party vendors to make sure they contain metadata we
> can have the extension nicely display and then present in the web browser
> maybe with enable/disable buttons like the extensions.gnome.org site.

It's all this 'help the user to find non-free stuff' bit that's the

What Matthew is suggesting (I think) is not some kind of clever wheeze
to skirt our current policies while 'really' achieving what you want
(click a button and you have your copy of Chrome or whatever). He's
suggesting that the experience of accessing software that's outside the
Fedora ecosystem can be improved _while clearly retaining the line
between Fedora and not-Fedora_.

A lot of the issues with accessing third-party / non-free software
currently are not really about the 'seam' between Fedora and not-Fedora
at all, they're just about clunky mechanisms.

Personally I think it would be both better and less controversial to
work on something like a cross-distro F/OSS platform for third party
software - i.e. a Steam not owned by Valve. I think if we (all
distributions) have something like that, it makes the experience much
better for both third party distributors and users, without compromising
the principles of distros like Fedora, who can maintain their bright
line between their ecosystem and this external one in whichever way they
Adam Williamson
Fedora QA Community Monkey
IRC: adamw | Twitter: AdamW_Fedora | XMPP: adamw AT happyassassin . net

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