[Fedora-packaging] code vs. content

Yaakov Nemoy loupgaroublond at gmail.com
Sat Nov 21 11:26:38 UTC 2009

2009/11/21 Ralf Corsepius <rc040203 at freenet.de>:
> On 11/20/2009 01:22 PM, Yaakov Nemoy wrote:
>> nn2009/11/20 Ralf Corsepius<rc040203 at freenet.de>:
>>> Hi,
>>> There is a package (london pictures) under review[1], which I consider to
>>> be
>>> a corner case wrt. "Code vs. content"[2].
>>> The problem I have with this package providing a precedence of how to
>>> circumvent Fedora's regulations/guidelines etc. to use Fedora as means to
>>> distribute "mere content".
>>> In other words, I fear this package is a precedence to opens a can of
>>> worms
>>> for content packages.
>>> What to do about this package and about this issue in general?
>>> My gut feeling is, Fedora should refine their "code vs. content" rules,
>>> otherwise we will soon Fedora being filled up with arbitrary
>>> "photo/sound/video collections" disguised as "backgrounds", "sound
>>> fonts",
>>> etc.
>> This is really tricky since there's essentially a continuum from
>> content that has no purpose in Fedora (project Gutenberg) to content
>> that must be in fedora (default wallpapers). Just my 0.02 EUR in the
>> situation, i wonder if it is a good idea to start up a third party
>> repo, like the Repo-He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named that provides everything
>> that's questionable from a purpose perspective.
> Yes, this idea also had come to my mind. The more I think about it, the more
> I like it.
> However, I am having doubts if this would be practical and if it would have
> a long term perpective.
> Actually I'd expect such a repository to either starve out soon or to evolve
> into a huge Fedora "-media", "-tube", "-tunes", "-flickr" or similar.

That is exactly the idea.

1) It starves, and then we say, told you so, now get back to doing
real packaging work.

2) It turns into a blob of a media repository, attracts a certain kind
of attention and grows into its own project, i don't see anything
wrong there either. This has some potential for alot of people, such
as OLPC. Having Fedora's expertise on how to do packaging right means
this project gets better quality too.

3) It finds a middle ground between the two. Now we're stuck with the
tricky part where we have to evaluate if it fits in Fedora or not. The
catch is we can't predict how it will develop though, so we can't even
begin to discuss it.

In all three scenarios, the idea is to let such a concept play out.
Rather than trying to discuss it's merits now, just let it happen, and
we can make a better decision later.

>> This could include
>> packaging all the bits found in {gnome,kde}-look and similar sites.
>> Then we can judge by how popular it is, and how the situation
>> develops, how critical and necessary it is for Fedora's greater
>> Purpose.
> One problem would remain on Fedora's side: Where to draw the line between
> "contents allowed in Fedora" and "content not allowed in Fedora"?

As long as there's a blessed third party repo (maybe we should call
them second party repos), then if there's a doubt if it's really
relevant, we can be conservative and say it doesn't belong in Fedora.
Right now, the situation is that we're fussing around about where the
line is. This is important because if something falls outside of the
lines, then we don't include it, and we have nowhere clear for that
kind of content to go. If we have an alternative destination, we're in
a similar situation with the Repo Who Shall Not Be Named. Instead of
saying, 'Sorry, No Dice', we can suggest, 'Try going here?'. There's
no need to feel like we're being mean and obsessing about doing the
wrong thing because both decisions are 'right'. (Disclaimer: Only if
you believe in the idea of good and bad.)


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