Fedora's way forward

Rahul Sundaram sundaram at fedoraproject.org
Wed Mar 29 06:46:06 UTC 2006

On Wed, 2006-03-29 at 01:33 -0500, Eric S. Raymond wrote:
> Rahul Sundaram <sundaram at fedoraproject.org>:
> > You mean to say that Fedora should give up its support towards Free and
> > open source software and adopt proprietary formats and software in the
> > name of pragmatism.
> Rahul, you're being tendentious. 

You arent? The claim that mp3 wasnt patented followed up statements that
Red Hat should pay up a patent license for half a million dollars surely
looked like controversial to me from a open source advocate.

>  Nobody -- least of all me -- is
> arguing that Fedora should "give up its support towards Free and open
> source software".

Thats exactly what would happen. You can talk about all you want about
support open formats but if you dont actually build up volume nobody is
going to use it. If mp3 was supported out of the box in Fedora, why
would there be any incentive left for anyone to use ogg codecs?

> I'm just arguing that we should treat ordinary users as though they matter.
> That's how we'll get the market share and the clout to do what we 
> really want.  Be honest, now -- do you realy suppose ODF would have even a
> *prayer* of widespread adoption if Oo didn't also read Microsoft Word files?

Different kind of usages and the analogy doesnt as much fit. Is
Goverment information and other critical data stored in mp3?.  Is word
formats patented? Where does it stop. Today suppose if we sign up all
kind of agreements and ship essentially proprietary software in Fedora.
What about WMV? Flash? Sun Java? We have over seventy downstream
derivative distributions of Fedora and many many more modifying and
redistributing it. Those are Fedora users too. Should we abandon them?

Produce more useful content in open formats. Build up momentum for it.
That is a better long term strategy just like we reached were we were
despite the naysayers because we produced good Free and open source
software. Giving up now is weaseling out. 


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