Thunderbird bz 579023 still not fixed even though there is an upstream fix available

Kevin Kofler kevin.kofler at
Sun Apr 25 07:47:26 UTC 2010

Ralf Corsepius wrote:
> Thanks for providing evidence of how trademarks are being applied to
> void the benefits of "open source".
> The obvious logical consequences of what you say would be
> * either to remove the packages you are referring to from Fedora because
> they are effectively unmaintainable.
> * or to remove the trademarks and re-brand the packages.
> /me ducks and hides for cover.

No need to hide. I couldn't agree more, and in fact I've been arguing for 
this all this time.

I really don't see why we're putting up with this kind of stupidity when we 
could just rebrand the packages like e.g. Debian is doing.

Firefox, Thunderbird and xulrunner are also exempt from provenpager commits 
because of those trademark reasons. They're the ONLY packages for which an 
exemption has been granted. I really don't see why those packages deserve 
this kind of special treatment. They should be treated the same as all the 
other software in Fedora! If upstream insists on enforcing their trademarks 
in a fascist way, then the only option is to do what Debian did and rename 
the software.

Those packages are also sometimes not compliant with Fedora policies such as 
usage of system libraries because any patches to use a system library need 
trademark approval. This is also just unacceptable. See e.g. the Hunspell 
* In February 2008, xulrunner was set to build against the system hunspell.
* In May 2008, it was discovered that xulrunner is using an old private 
hunspell header even when using the system hunspell, which causes crashes 
due to an ABI mismatch. But since xulrunner was untouchable, hunspell was 
hacked instead to make it work.
* In July 2008, it was noticed that the above hack made hunspell 
incompatible with upstream and all other distros, so it was reverted. The 
fix for xulrunner would have been trivial, but as xulrunner was still 
untouchable, it was reverted to use the private copy instead, a blatant 
violation of the Fedora Packaging Guidelines.
* Only in June 2009, xulrunner finally got fixed to use the system hunspell 
Another big issue is libpng: xulrunner is bundling a forked libpng for APNG 
support (which isn't even available for anything else to build against, so 
e.g. Konqueror can't support APNG). (APNG is a nonstandard extension to PNG 
which Mozilla is arbitrarily pushing instead of the existing MNG format 
which the PNG developers are supporting. They removed MNG support for very 
unconvincing reasons and then decided to reinvent the wheel to help fragment 
the web.) Debian is patching it to use the system libpng (which removes APNG 
support, so it's unlikely to pass trademark approval, ever), we aren't. This 
is a blatant violation of our own packaging guidelines. I'm really fed up of 
Firefox and Thunderbird continually getting special treatment.

        Kevin Kofler

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