Plan for tomorrows (20080522) FESCO meeting

Alexandre Oliva aoliva at
Wed May 21 21:21:41 UTC 2008

I didn't mean to start the discussion here.  Is this normal procedure?

On May 21, 2008, Josh Boyer <jwboyer at> wrote:

> On Wed, 21 May 2008 16:20:39 -0300
> Alexandre Oliva <aoliva at> wrote:

>> On May 21, 2008, Brian Pepple <bpepple at> wrote:
>> > You want something to be discussed? Send a note to the list in reply to
>> > this mail and I'll add it to the schedule.
>> Given that Freedom² is a major fedora feature, I'd like to discuss
>> enabling the creation of Fedora spins containing exclusively Free
>> Software.  These are related sub-topics:
>> . Permission to distribute under the mark 'Fedora' spins containing
>> kernel-libre packages, whose sole difference from identically-numbered
>> Fedora kernel builds is the removal of a few pieces of non-Free
>> Software.

> All spins must be composed of packages that are contained within the
> Fedora repositories.  kernel-libre does not fit that category (today).

IOW, you oppose the idea of making an exception to enable people to
distribute spins of Fedora with the Freedom² feature in it?

>> . Inclusion in Fedora (future and recent past releases) of the
>> kernel-libre package, a 100% Free Software variant of the kernel
>> Linux, that I've been maintaining tracking Fedora kernel builds at

> We've had this discussion.  We aren't going to allow a forked kernel
> package.

We're talking about a different package here.  This is not a fork.
Call it a branch if you must label it to achieve the purpose of
denying freedom to Fedora users.

> Please work with the kernel team to integrate this into the
> main kernel package.

I believe I've already explained why I can't do that.  I refuse to
distribute non-Free Software, and posting a patch that removes these
bits amounts to posting those very bits.

Now, how about *you* work with the Fedora team to provide Fedora users
with one of its advertised features?  I wouldn't mind if you took the
xdelta or the tarball or the srpm I created, that provides Fedora
users with freedom, and took it upstream.  But both of us know
upstream doesn't want that and doesn't care about the freedom that
Fedora claims to care about.  How do we get out of this conundrum?

Admit that Fedora is not about Freedom, such that I move on and stop
trying to achieve the stated goal, or actually work to at least enable
users to enjoy this stated goal?

>> . Inclusion in Fedora (future and recent past releases) of a
>> fedora-freedom "virtual" package, that Requires: linux-libre and
>> Conflicts: with any Fedora package known to contain software (firmware
>> included) that does not respect the 4 freedoms established in the Free
>> Software definition.  AFAIK these would pretty much amount to the
>> standard non-Free kernel and a bunch of *-firmware packages, but there
>> could be sub-packages to cover other debatable packages with obscure
>> source code, dubious licensing policies, etc.

> You don't need a package.  Make a comps group.

One of us is missing something.  How would a comps group prevent the
accidental installation of say non-Free kernel or firmware packages
brought in through unintended dependencies, for a user who wants to
make sure no such software is installed, for example?

> I think we can certainly discuss it.  However I believe the biggest
> hurdle to what you propose is the extra kernel-libre package.

I suppose you're talking about disk space.  I sympathize with that,
but I don't see that a few additional megabytes out of a multiple-DVDs
distro is can be so much of a problem, especially when it brings us
closer to offering our users the *option* of getting one of the
features we advertise most prominently.

> Your overall proposal hinges on that, and the way you've stated you
> would like to provide it has been frowned upon quite a bit.

And largely misunderstood while at that.  Not by everyone who objected
to it, for sure.

Alexandre Oliva
Free Software Evangelist  oliva@{,}
FSFLA Board Member       ¡Sé Libre! =>
Red Hat Compiler Engineer   aoliva@{,}

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