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

Ankur Sinha sanjay.ankur at
Wed Jan 22 23:19:43 UTC 2014

On Wed, 2014-01-22 at 10:28 -0500, Bill Nottingham wrote:
> Is this really the right level to have this dialogue with the user,
> though -
> when they go to install some app?
> Not to put too tortured of an analogy on it, but if I walk blindly
> into the
> restaurant down the street and order the shrimp & grits, having the
> staff
> *then* tell me all they serve are vegan shrimp substitute, and why
> that's so
> much better for me, my health, the planet, etc.  That may be true.
> And it
> may be a worthwhile conversation to have.  But I think it's probably
> the
> wrong place in the interaction to do so.

If this restaurant strictly serves healthy shrimp substitute, it gains a
reputation of "not having it all, but having the healthy stuff". You
have to visit the restaurant only once to learn of it's policy. Once
this reputation is built, people looking for the unhealthy stuff already
know that this restaurant will not readily give it to them, that the
restaurant will try to talk them into (*not* force them) eating the
healthy stuff. The customer is then free to go elsewhere, or return,
depending on what they feel about the conversation. 

It is what Fedora has today, as others have said: "Not being the easiest
distribution to use, but one that will stick to FOSS completely." Users
that stick to Fedora are people that share our stance on FOSS.

When the restaurant modifies it's policy to put shrimp & grits on it's
menu as a special, where it doesn't have this conversation with a
customer at all, it no longer keeps the above mentioned reputation. Then
it becomes "they have a message on the menu claiming they want you to
eat the healthy stuff, but they serve you the unhealthy stuff,
nevertheless. They're just another restaurant."
Warm regards,
Ankur (FranciscoD)

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