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

Chris Adams linux at
Fri Oct 9 19:12:53 UTC 2015

Once upon a time, Richard W.M. Jones <rjones at> said:
> On Fri, Oct 09, 2015 at 04:36:37PM +0200, Zdenek Kabelac wrote:
> > But in the real-world - version changes, it gets incompatible,
> > requires some new way how to use it and so on....
> This doesn't have to be.  It is possible to write libraries, even very
> complex ones, with endless backwards compatibility.  It's what libvirt
> does.  And the kernel (almost always).
> In fact I'd say breaking your ABI contract continuously is another
> lazy, poor programming practice.

That's nice to say, but there are a number of upstreams that do so
semi-regularly.  And, there are upstreams that don't claim any ABI and
encourage their consumers (other upstream projects) to bundle their
products.  Are you willing to take over leadership of every such project
to show them better practices?

Is that short-sighted?  IMHO yes.  Can Fedora fix that?  Doubtful.
There are three choices:

- Fedora attempts to patch in a stable(-enough) ABI, build shared
  libraries, and unbundle all consumers of said libraries.  This is a
  large (and growing) amount of work, and there is not necessarily
  sufficient volunteer time to make it practical going forward.

- Fedora excludes all such software, reducing the usefulness and
  relevance of Fedora to a growing number of users.

- Fedora pushes upstreams for stable ABIs and unbundling, but recognizes
  the "real world" upstreams are creating, and the demands of many users
  who just want to have a desktop with the stuff they want to click, and
  so allows bundling where there's no practical alternative.

Chris Adams <linux at>

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