Summary/Minutes from today's FESCo Meeting (2015-10-07)

Adam Jackson ajax at
Fri Oct 9 14:16:31 UTC 2015

On Fri, 2015-10-09 at 13:50 +0100, Richard W.M. Jones wrote:

> I agree - the new wording does appear to give in to poor programming
> practices.

Bundling is _not_ intrinsically poor practice.  Firefox is a good
example of this, there have been several cases where using the system
instance of cairo has been a regression relative to the bundled
version, because firefox relied on the internal details of how a
particular version of cairo worked, and a newer and ostensibly better
cairo would break those assumptions.

Maybe we can argue that firefox was wrong to make those assumptions.
Maybe we can argue that cairo wasn't living up to its own interface
contract.  Who cares?  The result from the consumer's perspective is
that bundling produces a working firefox, and unbundling produces a
broken firefox, so bundling is desirable.  From the firefox developers'
perspective, bundling allows them to ship a product that is known to
actually work, so bundling is desirable.

So from an OS maintenance perspective we have to recognize that
bundling code occasionally does have merit, and that it is incumbent on
us to manage it well.  And from a Fedora perspective, we have to
acknowledge that a prohibition policy ignores that reality, that we
have not consistently enforced it, and that we do ourselves and our
users a disservice to insist on it.

Treat it as a bug, sure.  Work on it as a continual process of quality,
absolutely.  Those are much more mature responses than a strict ban.

Reality is complicated, we would do well to recognize that.

- ajax

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