Fedora's way forward

sean seanlkml at sympatico.ca
Tue Mar 28 10:24:59 UTC 2006

On Tue, 28 Mar 2006 04:50:52 -0500
"Eric S. Raymond" <esr at thyrsus.com> wrote:

> Let's start with the basics.  For a consumer OS to be unable to play
> MP3s and handle podcasts is just plain not acceptable, not in the
> world after iTunes.  Red Hat/Fedora's duck-and-cover on this would be
> understandable if the Fraunhofer patents blocked decoders, but
> Fraunhofer itself has only dunned for royalties on *encoders* -- thus
> Red Hat/Fedora has ceded to Fraunhofer rights it has never claimed.  

Hmmm, well that's interesting.   So it should be possible to include
an open source mp3 decoder like Underbit's MAD. [1]

> I know at least one fairly influential kernel developer who threw out
> Red Hat/Fedora in disgust over this.  When he asked me straight up how
> I could defend what he bluntly called 'corporate cowardice', I didn't
> feel like I had a good answer.  And I still don't.  In return for all
> the free development work they get, it does seem to me that it's part
> of Red Hat's job to shoulder risks like these -- and that Red Hat
> hasn't held up its end.

Well the justification is rather simple.  We're not trying to develop
a system to take over the world, we're trying to develop the best
_open-source_ system possible.   It's not a religious issue or 
idealism, it's simply the goal of the Fedora project.  Of course, 
some people don't care a whit about open source in which case, why 
the hell would they be using Fedora?


[1] http://www.underbit.com/products/mad

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