Package Maintainers Flags policy

Christoph Wickert christoph.wickert at
Mon May 18 16:12:13 UTC 2009

Am Montag, den 18.05.2009, 09:09 -0600 schrieb Kevin Fenzi:
> In FESCo's 2009-03-28 meeting a policy on Flag usage for packages in
> Fedora was approved. 
> Due to an oversight, this policy was not announced here. ;( 

As such things have become more and more frequent I think we need to
figure out why it was not announce, who was responsible for announcing
it and how we can make sure it wont happen again.

Why are so many meeting minutes missing recently? Looking through my
mail for 2009 I see:
      * 2009-05-15
      * 2009-05-07 was in fact 2008-05-08 but never mind
      * 2009-05-01 missing
      * 2009-04-24 missing
      * 2009-04-07 missing
      * 2009-04-10
      * 2009-04-03
      * 2009-03-27 missing
      * 2009-03-20 missing, this is the one with the flag proposal
      * 2009-03-13 missing
      * 2009-03-11 missing
      * 2009-03-06
      * 2009-03-03
      * 2009-02-27
      * 2009-02-20
      * 2009-02-13
      * 2009-02-06 missing
      * 2009-02-05
      * 2009-01-30
      * 2009-01-16
      * 2009-01-07
The wiki page at is
even more incomplete, only is
complete, but has no summaries.

No on the topic itself: 
In addition to the questions Toshio already raised in trac
( ) and which
were left unanswered, there are a more questions coming to my mind:

1. What is the rationale behind this policy? I understand there are
political issues with flags but I think they are not addressed properly
with this guideline. For example according to the policy the "Nazi flag"
can be shipped in Fedora, as long is in a separate package . Not sure
about the US, but here in Germany it's not allowed (only under certain

2. As I don't understand the rationale I don't understand the benefit of
the guideline. What is the advantage for Fedora as a project? I only see
needless work for our volunteer maintainers. Also it is very likely that
we need to fork with our patches and this is a contradiction to our
upstream mantra.

3. What is "technically or substantively essential to the package"? E.g.
I'm maintaining xfce4-xkb-plugin, which (by default) uses flags to
indicate the keyboard layout. Is this essential and who decides?

4. Who defines the terms used in the policy, for e. g. what is an
"ethnocultural concept" or what a "religion"?

5. Speaking of religions: Are other religions symbols or pieces of
software like sword (bible study tool, used to be in Fedora) or glosung
(daily watchwords) allowed? What is the difference between a christian
cross and and a cross on a flag?

6. How do we make sure users are aware of the flags packages?

7. What to do with a package that wont work without flags?


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