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Re: Fedora's way forward



Hi,

> Let me start with some good things.  I thought Fedora was in
> desperately bad shape in the FC3/FC4 period, 

FC3 wasn't *that* bad IMHO. FC4 was a bit on the disappointing side.

> First, a relatively minor issue that is nevertheless quite annoying.
> It's the Fedora distribution art

This, and fonts, are the two areas where just about every Linux distro
falls behind Mac and Windows boxes as both companies invested a massive
amount to get professional font and graphics people to generate the
graphics for them and unfortunately, it seems eye candy is everything.

> 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.
> 
> AVI.  Quicktime.  ASF.  MPEG.  DVD playback.  Flash.  Java. These are
> *not optional* in 2006, any more than the ability to read Microsoft
> Word files in a word processor is optional; if we try to treat them
> that way, consumers will blow Linux off.  

Eric, I couldn't agree with you more. While I can accept the DVD
playback argument over CSS, I can't over the others especially as there
is a GNU Flash package in development, libQuicktime has been around for
yonks and from what I can see from the licence, there shouldn't be a
problem shipping a Java plugin with FC. There is even a "clean" mp3
module out there. I enjoy Linux as I don't have to play "hunt the
driver" as I do when installing a Windows box (which I have to do as
part of my job), however, it's a pain in the backside having to go to
freshrpms or livna to grab Xine/mplayer/xmms-mp3 or having to mess
around to get the Java plugin to work.

> 1. We can end-run the patent restrictions on the technology (say,
> by developing outside the U.S. and distributing through overseas sites
> that are wink-wink-nudge-nudge unconnected with Fedora/Red hat).

I think that's been suggested, I'm almost certain it was on the test
list (or on here) to have Mono included

> 3. We can buy the rights to the technologies we want as a straight
> commercial transaction from the patent-holder.

It looks like this is what happened (more or less) with Mono.

> If solving the multimedia problem takes having Red Hat sell a
> plugins-and-drivers disk for each spin of FC, full of proprietary crap
> that it negotiated rights for, that sucks -- but better that than
> never getting any traction on the desktop because we got too caught up
> in our own idealism to meet actual consumer needs.

It would be very much the same way as Linspire works.

TTFN

Paul
(who had the pleasure of sitting to a meal with Eric at the 2004 ACCU
conference with Jutta, Niko, Allan and someone else who's name escapes
me for the moment)
-- 
"Logic, my dear Zoe, is merely the ability to be wrong with authority" -
Dr Who



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