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

Nikos Roussos comzeradd at
Tue Apr 22 10:15:00 UTC 2014

On Mon, 2014-04-21 at 08:36 -0400, Stephen Gallagher wrote:
> The language in this Foundation is sometimes dangerously unclear. For
> example, it pretty much explicitly forbids the use of non-free
> components in the creation of Fedora (sorry, folks: you can't use
> Photoshop to create your package icon!). At the same time, we
> regularly allow the packaging of software that can interoperate with
> non-free software; we allow Pidgin and other IM clients to talk to
> Google and AOL, we allow email clients to connect to Microsoft
> Exchange, etc. The real problem is that every time a question comes up
> against the Freedom Foundation, Fedora contributors diverge into two
> armed camps: the hard-liners who believe that Fedora should never
> under any circumstances work (interoperate) with proprietary services
> and the the folks who believe that such a hard-line approach is a path
> to irrelevance.

There is also a third group, somewhere in between, who believe that's ok
to ship Free Software that connects and interops with proprietary
services (gtalk, aws, etc), but it's not ok to ship proprietary
software, metadata about proprietary software or advertise proprietary
services through our main UI tools.

You should also keep in mind that "Functional" is very subjective and I
don't see how it can walk through such debates. People will still align
the "Functional" foundation to align with their point of view ;)

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