Draft Product Description for Fedora Workstation

Kevin Kofler kevin.kofler at chello.at
Sat Nov 2 16:20:30 UTC 2013

Christian Fredrik Kalager Schaller wrote:
> Attached is the draft PRD for the Workstation working group.

Quoting from the draft:
> Ability to play 3D games from commercial publishers distributing games for
> Linux
and later:
> 3rd party software
> Fedora Workstation will work with partners and ISVs to ensure that their
> software can be easily installed on the system after installation.  This
> work will for instance include working with for instance hardware partners
> to ensure users can install needed drivers directly from these vendors.
> Fedora will not include any non-free software by default or host any non-
> free software in our repositories. 

I think it is a very bad idea to try to explicitly and officially support 
third-party software, especially proprietary third-party software. We have 
no control over that software, its quality, the obsolete APIs and ABIs it 
uses etc. Supporting them officially:
* puts us in a position where we need to try to fix issues with software we
  cannot actually fix,
* opens the door to really crappy workarounds degrading the quality of
  Fedora (and possibly negatively affecting other applications, even our
  own) just to make some proprietary program work (e.g., just look at all
  the ugly "make Flash work" workarounds that have been shipped by various
  distributions and upstreams),
* may require shipping loads of compatibility libraries (with old sonames)
  that nothing in Fedora would need (e.g., do you really want to install qt3
  by default? The current LSB 4.1 still requires it, next to Qt 4 which is
  also in the process of becoming legacy. And some other legacy libraries
  that proprietary software requires would not even have to be packaged
* may lock us into outdated versions of core software (kernel, X11 etc.)
  just so some third-party driver (or even application, but the drivers are
  routine offenders) keeps working, defeating one of Fedora's strongest
  points (being First) and making it worse (also by delaying Features) for
  everyone who does NOT use the offending third-party driver(s).

        Kevin Kofler

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