Draft Product Description for Fedora Workstation

Adam Williamson awilliam at redhat.com
Tue Nov 5 21:23:01 UTC 2013

On Mon, 2013-11-04 at 23:50 +0100, Michael Scherer wrote:
> Le lundi 04 novembre 2013 à 21:02 +0100, Reindl Harald a écrit :
> > 
> > Am 04.11.2013 20:56, schrieb drago01:
> > > On Mon, Nov 4, 2013 at 8:49 PM, Reindl Harald <h.reindl at thelounge.net> wrote:
> > >> that's all true but you can be pretty sure if a "app-store" with
> > >> bundeled applications exists *nobody* would package and maintain
> > >> them as RPM -> everybody would point with his finger to the app
> > > 
> > > No because RPM packages apps *do* have benifits .. otherwise we
> > > wouldn't have this discussion.
> > > 
> > >> if it goes in that direction, and it starts faster than anybody likes
> > >> you do a dramatical harm to the userbase which likes the consistent
> > >> package managment and *really used* conecpt of shared libraries
> > > 
> > > Again those are NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE. You can have sandboxed *and*
> > > rpm packaged apps at the same time.
> > 
> > the most imporant word in your answer is *CAN*
> > 
> > but you will not, nobody will package whatever application
> > as RPM if he is fine with the app-store, so you *could*
> > have both but i doubt at the end of the day it will happen
> If no one think that using a rpm is bringing any value, then indeed, no
> one will do the job. Now, if someone think this is better for whatever
> reasons, then this someone will do the job. 
> It seems that your fear is that if people are not forced to make rpm,
> they will not see the value of doing so, and so would not do it. 
> So if that's the problem, then the solution is to demonstrate the value
> of packaging and rpm rather than restricting all others alternatives. 

So to me this is the nub of the debate, and it's both fantastically
interesting and fantastically difficult to work out in advance.

In an ideal world things would work the way Michael describes, and also,
the stock market would behave precisely as neat theories based on
rational actors predict, and no-one would have any difficulty solving
the three door problem, and healthcare.gov would never have been
launched in a state in which it could not possibly work...

And in the real world, well, it's the real world. :)

So let me step into my handy Tardis and bring back a vignette from the
Real World after Fedora and other distributions bless upstream app
distribution as a preferred channel:


Scene: an office, much like this one.

Manager: ...so, executive summary: you're saying you'd _like_ to spend a
not insubstantial chunk of your fairly expensive time working to jump
through some hoops so our Shiny New Application can be included in these
'downstream distribution' things, but if I insist, you can whack a
button to put it in the Linux App Store and we can go to press with our
announcement tomorrow?

Well-Intentioned Techie A: (gulps)...yes.

Manager: Whack that button, techie. Whack it hard. Now get out of my
office, I have to call the PR department.

Well-Intentioned Techie A: (sighs) OK. So, when will you let me have
some time to work on having the app packaged in distributions further
down the road?

Manager: What were the concrete benefits to us again?

Well-Intentioned Techie A: Err, well, in an extremely theoretical way
that you will never understand no matter how many times I explain it to
you, it probably makes our app - and the rest of the ecosystem! - more

Manager: Less of this 'ecosystem' crap, Techie, no-one cares about that.
ZDNet is not yelling about any security issues in our product right now,

WITA: Er, no.

Manager: Okay, not my problem, then. What else?

WITA: (sighs, continues with an ever-increasing sense of foreboding)
Well, it might reduce storage and memory usage on the user's system by
an amount that wouldn't really be appreciable and would be difficult for
a non-technical user to associate with our app in the first pl- you're
never going to give me time to work on this, are you?

Manager: No. No, I'm not. But here, have another bottle of rye.

WITA: (sighs, returns to office, resumes drinking)


Now after I've collected my Tony awards...I hope you get the point. In
theory, we'd still be able to evangelize the benefits of centralized
distribution in a world where we blessed a form of upstream
distribution. In practice, things may well be messier than that. If
distros move away from the gospel of centralized distribution to a
sufficient extent, we may wind up in a 'tragedy of the commons' where
it's just not enough in anyone's short-term direct interest to invest
the resources in supported centralized distribution, even though many
people would recognize the arguments in its favour on a long-term,
ecosystem-wide level. "We can post it on the store and it'll work on
everyone's system tomorrow" is an *extremely* powerful argument.
Adam Williamson
Fedora QA Community Monkey
IRC: adamw | Twitter: AdamW_Fedora | XMPP: adamw AT happyassassin . net

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