Draft Product Description for Fedora Workstation

Kevin Kofler kevin.kofler at chello.at
Mon Nov 4 21:18:36 UTC 2013

Alberto Ruiz wrote:
> Indeed, this is a relief to the distro community, suddenly you don't
> have the burden of maintaining all these apps in your system image,
> avoiding any potential problems on upgrades.

At that point, we have rendered ourselves obsolete. Packaging the 
applications and ensuring they work well together with each other and with 
the core libraries is what a distro is for.

> It also removes the pressure for the user to have to upgrade his/her
> whole system just because they want the latest version of an app.

That's why new applications should be available as updates unless there's a 
good reason not to. (In the KDE SIG, we're quite good at providing that. But 
our Fedora update policies need improvement to encourage that practice more. 
It's funny how the very GNOME people who vetoed a more flexible update 
policy now complain about this issue and use it as an excuse to sabotage our 
whole repository system! This is a problem of GNOME's own making.)

> It also allows for parallel versions of an app, which means that to test
> a beta version of, say,  LibreOffice, you don't need the beta version of
> your whole operating system.

And for that, dedicated third-party or PPA/COPR/OBS/… repositories for those 
beta apps on stable distro releases are the way to go (and in fact, the way 
it's done now, and it works fine, only our tooling in Fedora could use 
improvement to match what Launchpad PPAs or OBS repos provide). It can even 
work for stable updates if the maintainer is too stubborn to just push them 
(see e.g. Rex Dieter's pulseaudio-backport repository on 

> And the application developer suddenly gains back control on how and
> when his app gets delivered to users.

How's that a good thing? The developer should not have to worry about that, 
and the user should not be at the whims of a bazillion different upstreams 
with conflicting goals.

> The only downside is that we are going to have to rewire our brains to
> stop using yum/dnf to browse/install/remove end user desktop apps.
> (This, I think, is why this idea gets so much pushback from the distro
> communities)

Well, yes, because you're throwing away all the technical advantages of 
using yum for that in favor of an inferior system!

> And, by the way, we've been supporting this kind of model with pip and
> gem already, so I really don't get why all the fuss when suddenly we
> want to do it with the desktop applications.

You shouldn't be installing pip/gem/… stuff directly, that's what -devel 
packages are for.

        Kevin Kofler

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