the Fedora filters
Karsten 'quaid' Wade
kwade at redhat.com
Sat Mar 22 03:28:48 UTC 2008
On Wed, 2008-03-19 at 15:03 +0000, Paul W. Frields wrote:
> Thanks for posting this, Karsten. Since we have a lot of subscribers to
> this list who wouldn't know otherwise, I wanted to mention that this
> comes directly out of a conversation we had at the Board meeting
Sorry I didn't presage with that. More than just the Board needs a
guiding filter in decision making. Packaging standards have been a
stalwart maintainer in this realm for a while.
> On Tue, 2008-03-18 at 16:42 -0700, Karsten 'quaid' Wade wrote:
> > 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.
> Right. The values that the Fedora community has represent a common
> ground that we can all live with, so that we can continue to work with
> each other and advance the project. Even inside this project there are
> differences of opinion, and sometimes friction, but friction != bad.
> Friction can be one way to light a fire (get things done).
This may be why we sometimes re-sort the filters depending on the
> > = 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
> > practical solution.
> > == 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
> > the world.
> I like the ordering of #3 compared to the first two, because it makes it
> clear that we need to strive to do the right thing, even if that means
> we don't get voted as the Homecoming Queen every time. If the order
> changes, and we put this item first, our message instead is:
> "The most important issue to Fedora is to appeal to as many people as
> possible, because it means we're getting more users familiar with FOSS."
> I don't think that message needs to be labeled as pure evil for us to
> disagree with it.
Exactly the sort of clarity we gain with a filter. It doesn't put a
judgment on the individual filter because we order it differently than
another person might.
> > ==== Usability, Pragmatism ====
> > We choose software solutions that are most usable and do the
> > best job of solving our problems, user's problems, and
> > society's problems.
> > 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
> > other resources.
> > 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.
> Here's a thought about the "filter" concept: Some of these filters are
> emergency cutoffs, like legality or resource constraints. In other
> cases the filters are an escape valve that relieves pressure. Is there
> room for the concept of weighting for these filters, or (in the sense of
> "perfect" being the enemy of the "good," and "good" being the enemy of
> "good enough") is binary *good enough* for decision making?`
As Spot's order points out, there are some binary decision filters
("Avoid jail -- yes or no?"). As you say, there are some where a good
enough can be applied. Redistributable firmware seems to fall into the
latter category, while patent encumbered software falls in the former.
Karsten Wade, Sr. Developer Community Mgr.
Dev Fu : http://developer.redhatmagazine.com
Fedora : http://quaid.fedorapeople.org
gpg key : AD0E0C41
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