The Forgotten "F": A Tale of Fedora's Foundations

Stephen Gallagher sgallagh at
Mon Apr 21 17:19:25 UTC 2014

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On 04/21/2014 01:08 PM, Bruno Wolff III wrote:
> On Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 12:37:57 -0400, Stephen Gallagher
> <sgallagh at> wrote:
>> I don't think it's unreasonable for us to allow them to use
>> Chrome from the Google repository. I don't think it's
>> unreasonable to allow them to use Steam from the Valve
>> repository. Device drivers get into hazy territory, but I think
>> it's a conversation worth having.
> I think there is a difference between allow and promote.
> I would be especially wary of promoting something like steam
> without some strong warnings as steam is going to be doing some
> amount of spying on you to enforce their DRM and is going to be
> significantly modifying the graphics system and breakage in that
> area is not going to be supportable by Fedora.

Yeah, I agree. I think "warning people" is a more reasonable
compromise than "assuming people will want to use Fedora so badly that
they'll Google workarounds". This is basically the point I'm trying to

>> But I think that trying to actively discourage (read: prevent)
>> users from installing such software is harmful to our Mission of
>> advancing Free Software. In my view, it's okay to occasionally
>> embrace closed-source as a means to expose more people to
>> open-source. Failing to do so has a tendency to leave us labeled
>> as zealots, which are often ignored.
> Does Fedora need to be that gateway OS? Maybe Ubuntu would be a
> better intermediate step?

If Fedora isn't that gateway OS, why are we bothering? What makes it
likely that any user would switch to us if they've entered the FOSS
community via Ubuntu? (Don't get me wrong, this is a question we also
need to answer, but I don't think it's wise of us to be recommending
that Ubuntu handles gathering our new users for us.)

So yes, if we want Fedora to have any mindshare at all (and therefore
users) I assert that we /do/ need to be the gateway OS.
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