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Re: Firefox 2.0 parallel install

Gawain Lynch wrote:
On Sun, 2006-10-22 at 14:34 +0200, Remi Collet wrote:
Why not /usr/lib/firefox-2.0/* (this will create an conflict when
updating to official FF2 (update to FC7) ) as i think firefox-2 will
probably don't obsolete firefox2 and so, remember user to uninstall it.

If I go down the path of adding this to extras then I would like
agreement from caillon that firefox-2.x in fc7 would obsolete firefox2
otherwise it would open up a world of hurt.

I was about to complain that people were clamoring for this without hearing out my opinion for precisely the reason you just stated. I'm less grumpy, so thank you for the consideration, Gawain. I really do appreciate that.

However, I'd urge this to not happen. There are technical, legal, and practical reasons.

- Honestly, most people really don't care. For example, in the days I've had my binaries up, I've only garnered 83 downloads as of this writing. That's with my blog post, with Remi's, yours and who knows how many others plus aggregation. That's under 10 downloads a day on average, but I had 44 downloads after day 1. - Firefox 2.0 only adds a few minor "nice-to-have" features that you can already get with extensions to 1.5. This really should be called Firefox 1.5.1 instead of 2.0 (the internal gecko number version this minor change), but it's called 2.0 for marketing purposes. They feel that they will get more people downloading it with a major version bump as opposed to a 1.5.1 release. Looks like the marketing hype is working. Let me state it plainly for everyone: There is nothing extremely compelling about Firefox 2.0. Firefox 3.0 on the other hand will be very compelling for both features, linux support, and embedding support. I am seriously considering pushing 3.0 into FC6 and even FC5, and have been making noises for a while about that being the next upgrade.

Those two reasons alone make Firefox 2.0 not worth adding to older releases. However, for the small amount of people that do care, here's some more reasons I think this should be avoided.

- There are potential legal ramifications as the binary must be called "firefox", not "firefox2" (though this can probably be worked out with upstream). - There is potential for a maintainer to accidentally or willingly get Fedora entangled into a legal battle for trademark violations by including non-approved patches. I haven't looked at the changes made but essentially if they differ from what I have published, which I'm guessing they do, they need to be checked. - Maintenance. It will add a burden on me and on the maintainer. There are some patches (especially with pango) which need to be added to all RPMs we ship as there's an agreement to continually fix those. This means that for some patches I do for rawhide, I have to make sure FC6 and FC5 gets it. Adding more RPMs to that mix means that I have more work to do with either getting ahold of the maintainer or doing the rebuild work myself. Or the maintainer must hawk over my packages night and day looking out for changes. - Other distros are officially supporting 1.5.0.x and I'd like to pool resources somewhat. This is a good approach to tackling such large packages with very few maintainers. 1.5.0.x has been getting more linux specific fixes than 2.0 has from distros.

And most importantly, no matter who ends up maintaining this in Extras, I am ultimately responsible for it as I'm the Fedora contact for upstream, have the upstream cred, and am part of the security and release teams upstream. Anything that happens between Extras and upstream will come back to me if only for my opinion. Questions about processes, etc. from whoever would own the Extras package will likely come through me. I'd be responsible for making sure security fixes get out at roughly the same time as the Core versions. And this is an unnecessary responsibility.

If people care that strongly about having the latest greatest on their system, use rawhide. It's not really that unstable. If you're on fedora-devel-list, you're already ahead of the curve, and will get heads up for breakages anyway and solutions and workarounds for fixing things in the times when things break. People are getting far too version hungry for actual releases.

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