Draft Product Description for Fedora Workstation

Lars Seipel lars.seipel at gmail.com
Mon Nov 4 13:44:34 UTC 2013

On Mon, Nov 04, 2013 at 11:36:42AM +0000, Bryn M. Reeves wrote:
> The kernel does not provide stable APIs. If you've ever tried to
> maintain a non-trivial module or patch to the kernel out-of-tree for any
> length of time you'll understand how much work is involved in just
> keeping it working. Gnome shell extensions are not so different.

True. They are also one of the least likely pieces of code I can imagine
running in some sort of isolated container. If we are talking
applications instead, the Linux syscall ABI is damn stable. Just as
there are userspace libraries that go to great lenghts to offer a stable
interface to their users.

If I, as an application developer, don't want my code to break every few
months I'd be well advised to pick my dependencies wisely and choose
libraries that offer me what I want (i.e. a stable interface) instead of
those that don't.  That's the proper solution. Not mindlessly bundling
everything together and expect others to keep it working somehow.

If we are missing stable libraries in parts of our stack that's a
problem to be fixed in upstream projects instead of being worked around
in the distribution.

So please don't let's pretend that containerizing apps with their
dependencies is anything more than a workaround, a stop-gap measure to
paper over other problems. And it does come with its costs, one of those
being tons of added complexity.

It's going the easy way instead of solving problems properly, upstream
in applications and libraries. Is it sensible in the context of Fedora
to do it anyhow? I don't know. I have my worries, though.


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