Draft Product Description for Fedora Workstation

Christian Schaller cschalle at redhat.com
Sun Nov 3 02:56:33 UTC 2013

Funnily enough I had a discussion last week where it turned out the
disagreement wasn't so much a disagreement, but a different contextualisation 
of the word 'support'.

And I think that will be the crux here too. To me the main part of 'supporting'
something here will be in handling our ABI story better, not about writing custom 
work arounds for various 3rd party software.

There are of course many aspects to the ABI story, but one technology I think will be 
an important part of improving this is the LinuxApps proposal from Lennart Poettering.
He did a talk about it at GUADEC which you can find here:

(The talk is not only about ABI for applications, but it is part of the talk, and despite the talk title
it is not GNOME specific in any way.)


----- Original Message -----
> From: "Kevin Kofler" <kevin.kofler at chello.at>
> To: devel at lists.fedoraproject.org
> Sent: Saturday, November 2, 2013 12:20:30 PM
> Subject: Re: Draft Product Description for Fedora Workstation
> 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
>   otherwise),
> * 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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