Draft Product Description for Fedora Workstation

Simo Sorce simo at redhat.com
Wed Nov 6 20:25:40 UTC 2013

On Wed, 2013-11-06 at 16:33 +0100, Alberto Ruiz wrote:
> On Tue, 2013-11-05 at 12:44 -0800, Adam Williamson wrote:
> > Haven't read the whole thread yet, but in case it hasn't been said:
> > 
> > "Build a way" would be great. I've said a few times that it'd be nice
> > for there to be a cross-distro framework for third-party app
> > distribution.
> > 
> > "Promote as the Proper Way To Get Apps On GNOME / Fedora Desktop" would
> > NOT be great. Having spent a lot of time thinking about both sides of
> > the debate I'm still firmly in the 'coherent distribution is the ideal
> > state' camp.
> And I pretty much agree, read my comments below:
> > Upstream distribution is probably never going to go away
> > entirely, and it'd be good to make it as painless and reliable as
> > possible _where it's really necessary to use it_. But it should never be
> > the primary/preferred method of software distribution on Fedora, in my
> > opinion. It should always be an exception.
> Application sandboxing/bundling is not mutually exclusive with a
> coherent system and with keeping control, it's just not an RPM as we
> know it. What we need to acknowledge is that delivering integral parts
> of the operating system and delivering third party apps are
> fundamentally two different things.
> So once we have sandboxing we can (and should) propose an end user
> application delivery channel for those apps so we will keep control
> still. The key here is that the mechanisms to deliver an OS component
> and an end user should be different. The cadence _is_ different, as an
> example, at the LibreOffice team we have a hell of a time because people
> complain about bugs that we already fixed and released on an ongoing
> basis. In some cases, people are stuck with a specific version of Fedora
> and they simply can't get the latest version of a given app eventhough
> the new version doesn't require anything that is provided.
> The other problem is that the upstreams don't have a channel to deploy
> beta versions, or versions with a specific patch, that you can't install
> concurrently because the distributions won't let you.
> So all in all, the key here is to acknowledge that a system level
> component (systemd, libjpeg, Qt, NetworkManager) has a completely
> different nature than an end user application. The upstream has a
> different focus, development cadence, nature and intent, and it is
> against the interest of the upstreams and the users to keep delivering
> those apps as integral parts of the _operating system_.
> That doesn't mean that there shouldn't be any sort of integration or
> gatkeeping, we must have a centralized Fedora/FOSS app bundle channel
> that upstreams can use to "certify' their apps against Fedora, if we use
> scriptless rpms and yum repositories as a transport layer, in a
> different rpmdb than the system wide one, that is an implementation
> detail. But the relationship with the upstream and the cadence should be
> completely different than a system level rpm.

Excellent summary Alberto,
I recently felt on my skin what it means to be locked in a buggy version
of LiberOffice. Making it simple for user to install the upstream
version instead of our bundled one would help *a lot* all free software
Also from an engineering pov it will make our work in Fedora less heavy
allowing us to improve the core OS.


Simo Sorce * Red Hat, Inc * New York

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