the Fedora filters
Karsten 'quaid' Wade
kwade at redhat.com
Tue Mar 18 23:42:39 UTC 2008
A community has a set of filters, spoken or unspoken, that are
used to judge various matters, such as entrance into the
community, exit from the community, interaction of ideas, etc. A
common mistake is to assume that "all open source communities
share values and filters." In the end, we are all as different
as all communities can be from one another.
In Fedora we have such filtering, with priority given to values
and other considerations, which we use when deciding if a package
comes in to the community, what we'll ship in the distribution,
how we route packets, etc.
When making decisions that involve philosophy and practicality,
what is the Fedora filter? Based on what I've seen around here,
and on how I've seen decisions tend to be made, here is a first
poke at ordering our filter. What is strange to me is that
sometimes I feel as if we apply this filter in _reverse_, such as
with IT decisions. Is that what we want? Do different parts of
the Project apply the filters differently?
These decision filters are in order of usage/importance. Please
= Open source is first and best, regardless of what =
= patents it leans on =
We prefer our software to be 100% free but when the hairs
are split, having an OSI license is the decider.
In the near and far future, open source is the more
== Software patents are bad, Fedora is at risk shipping ==
== encumbered software ==
We recognize that all laws are not the same in all
countries, but in the end, Fedora cannot put US-based
sponsors at risk by breaking US laws.
There are other similar considerations in this filter, such
as US export laws for cryptography, and so forth.
=== Educating and changing the world ===
It's not good enough to live the life. We'll never see
software truly be free for all unless underlying laws and
values in society are addressed.
Fedora is not here to force it's opinion on anyone else, but
there is value in explaining about Fedora's philosophy of
open source practicality.
By finding ways to grow the contributor and user base, we
make ourselves more relevant and are better able to change
==== Usability, Pragmatism ====
We choose software solutions that are most usable and do the
best job of solving our problems, user's problems, and
We recognize that everything is not free and open source,
and won't be until the world is different. In the interests
of running a modern distribution, we have to rely upon
proprietary firmware, network hardware and storage, and
Using open source is the best pragmatic solution, but may
not always be an option.
===== Open Community Projects are Better =====
We seek solutions that are common and open, rather than
inventing solutions just for Fedora. We prefer to push
changes upstream and inherit solutions with everyone else.
When given a choice, we prefer to adopt solutions that are
part of an active community.
====== Budget and Resources ======
Our pockets are not infinitely deep, nor do we have endless
numbers of contributors to help. Even when an idea is sound
and practical by other filters, it may not be feasible to
pursue that idea due to resource considerations.
Karsten Wade, Developer Community Mgr.
Dev Fu : http://developer.redhatmagazine.com
Fedora : http://quaid.fedorapeople.org
gpg key : AD0E0C41
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