Draft Product Description for Fedora Workstation

Kevin Kofler kevin.kofler at chello.at
Mon Nov 4 17:19:48 UTC 2013

Chris Murphy wrote:
> Right, because that's a model for success that shouldn't be either
> emulated or improved upon, it's better for each little fiefdom's paradise
> to erect walls to ensure cross influence isn't happening.

Your insulting the Free Software community as a "fiefdom" really offends me.

> And that word we you keep using? I don't think it means, what you think it
> means. Try to find the huevos to use the word I, seeing as that's what you
> mean.

As your dictionary would tell you (I could point you to 
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/we#Pronoun , but you probably only believe 
proprietary dictionaries), "we" means "I and at least 1 other person". And 
there are actually several people agreeing with me, so "we" is the correct 
pronoun to use.

> What you're arguing for is no one should like, or should have the choice
> of liking let alone having "Apple-like" apps, or better. Yes, let's have
> no choice for apps that are sometimes complete blackboxes, that run
> contained from each other, from a monostore that collects a perpetual 30%
> finder's fee, and also no options to improve upon this model without the
> tie in.

You write that as if "complete blackboxes" and "a monostore that collects a 
perpetual 30%" parasite middleman tax were a good thing. Those stores also 
typically have barriers to entry in the form of one-time fees which mean 
people distributing their software free of charge actually LOSE money on 
them (a system to subtly pressure developers into making their software 
payware and thus also cashing in on commissions, all at the detriment of 
you, the user). And their terms are usually very unfriendly to Free 
Software. (According to the FSF, at least Apple's terms are NOT compatible 
with the GPL, and they got FSF-owned GPLed software pulled from the store 
due to that. And of course, Apple's user-unfriendly "if in doubt, delete it" 
policy made it easy to get it pulled, Apple didn't even try to argue the 
issue, let alone consider changing their terms.)

Sure, we could make app stores which are less abusive (e.g. by having terms 
compatible with Free Software licenses, by listing software distributed at 
no charge without charging for the listing, etc.), but the app store model 
is still not designed for us in many ways, as I already described in my 
previous post (and you ignored in your reply).

> You're proposing a continuation of the adolescent state of Linux on the
> Desktop with its barriers to growing the market. Yes, let's build
> artificial walls keeping out new users and developers who don't agree with
> the existing community worldview who might, duh, change the platform to
> meet their needs. That's just too scary.

I disagree with the premise that to get anywhere, we would need to bend over 
backwards to the proprietary market and adopt their inferior software 
distribution strategies. If that were true, we could give up right here, 
we'd have already lost.

> Essentially all you're arguing for is a different version of closed that
> just so happens to cost no money.

It's not just about the money. It's also about your freedoms as a user.

Now I do also think that being free of charge is a great property of our 
repository system that it would suck to throw away! And the freedoms to 
redistribute software with or without modification that Free Software 
licenses ensure also allow this model to work. (Hint: If your license does 
not allow the inclusion of the software in our free-of-charge repositories, 
it is definitely NOT a Free Software license. Of course, the converse does 
not hold, but we do not allow proprietary freeware in Fedora repositories by 
policy, even where the license would allow us to redistribute it, and IMHO 
that's a good policy.)

> OH WAIT, OS X is now free!

OS X is actually NOT free (of charge). It is tied to the hardware in a shady 
bundling scheme (neither can you buy a Mac without OS X, nor are you allowed 
by the restrictive license to run OS X on any other machine), and thus the 
OS is actually paid for by buying the hardware. They may have stopped 
charging for upgrades (I haven't followed the news there), but that doesn't 
mean you aren't paying for the initial copy!

And of course OS X is most definitely not Free as in Speech.

> Making it easier for free and non-free apps to actually work on a platform
> isn't going to kill it. It's like fertilizer. Instead of advocating
> platform sabotage as your comforting pacifier, how about you just not use,
> support, or advocate whatever apps you don't like for whatever subjective
> reasons you don't like them?

Polluting our ecosystem with app stores is the "platform sabotage"!

Not only does this infect our Free (as in Speech) systems with parasitic 
proprietary software, but it is also sabotaging one of our core technical 
advantages (the repository and dependency resolution system) which are a 
direct consequence of the Free Software licensing model (proprietary 
software has a really hard time working with that model for several reasons, 
which is why its developers are pushing so hard for the app store model).

> If Adobe were to want Photoshop on a linux desktop, I think that would be
> great news. It would be hugely disruptive.

Hugely disruptive to your freedom, indeed… What's wrong with GIMP?

        Kevin Kofler

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