Good bye

Stuart Sears stuart at
Fri Feb 1 10:09:08 UTC 2008

Les Mikesell wrote:
[ cut discussion of free vs opensource etc]

> People should be free to make that decision for themselves separately 
> for every component.  That's what standard interfaces are about, to give 
> you that freedom.  There is nothing free about things that take that 
> choice away by restrictions or refusal to provide usable interfaces for 
> interoperability.

I think you are making an argument that you will never win here.

Fedora makes no guarantee of a stable API or ABI. This would be 
impossible to do while trying to follow upstream - rebasing kernel 
versions and so on is definitely going to interfere with this.

If (for example) VMWare only works with kernel version <blah> and they 
don't keep up with newer releases, then it will break if you update your 
kernel. So don't (unless you know they have patched vmware to cope).
There will be other software that falls into this category.

Vendors do not on the whole support fedora because of issues like this.

If you want ABI/API stability to be guaranteed for the lifetime of a 
product, then RHEL (or CENTOS or one of the other rebuilds) would 
provide you with this, and I am fairly sure that the 3rd-party stuff 
would work for them (I haven't tested).

Fedora is a moving target, which is something that its users have to 
accept. Most of us do.

[snip more of the same argument, more or less]

oh, as for not providing immediate access to closed-source or in some 
cases US-patent-infringing software, this is also part of the fedora 
'mission' and is also a safety issue.
Fedora receives a fair amount of backing from Red Hat, who have some 
money and are based in the US - they become an obvious target for 
money-grubbing lawsuits, which I suspect would not upset some other 
large software companies. If you don't like this, you are free to respin 
a Fedora clone of your own that does provide this access out of the box.

many people seem to understand why Fedora has this restriction. It's not 
likely to change.

Stuart Sears RHCA etc.

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