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Re: supporting closed source operating systems?

On Sun, Jul 13, 2008 at 04:34:01PM +0100, Richard W.M. Jones wrote:
> On Fri, Jul 11, 2008 at 12:23:52AM +0300, Axel Thimm wrote:
> > but what happens when Joe Random Packager discovers the mingw
> > package and thinks this is an invitation to rebuild all of Fedora
> > for Windows (where possible) and submit as a new package? Do we
> > want this? If not how do we prevent this or communicate it
> > properly to the packager base?
> Joe Random would certainly have a lot of time on his hands to do this.
> MinGW cross-compiles are *not* straightforward, and will require a
> great deal of care and maintenance, dealing with upstream to fix newly
> introduced bugs and so on.  As with other Fedora packages, they only
> go in if someone is willing to maintain them, and come out if no one
> is willing to continue maintaining them.


Joe Random's (in)finite time resources and (in)finite reviewing pals
are not the problem, I'm not addressing this from a
technical/organisational POV, but from principles.

Just to present a real life example: I was arguing on the merits of
having Fedora at schools as it comes with openoffice, gimp and so on,
and a teacher took out a portable drive with portableapps.com and
demostrated that he already has all of this on Windows now. And indeed
the systems are now still running Windows ...

So, when Joe Random starts preparing to use Fedora as a platform for
building gimp or some other interesting F/LOSS bits for a proprietary
system that is harming Fedora *Linux* are we really open to this?

Maybe we are, I'm just posing the question. Maybe Fedora is about
promoting free/open software in general whether that runs on a Linux
kernel or whether that runs on *BSD, a proprieray Unix/Windows system
etc. Maybe its is narrowing down to promoting fuller F/LOSS solutions
including the OS, e.g. Linux and *BSD. Or it is (what I thought until
now) a Linux based F/LOSS model (which doesn't preclude good relation
with *BSD camps, or willing to help people on the Windows side of the
earth to make the step to Linux).

I think this is a rephrasing of Jeff's brigth line that he seeks to
draw and wants to know what it will include and what not.

So the issue is a political one, not a technical one. Supporting
libvirt for running Fedora under Windows is one thing, supporting
increased productivity on Windows another. Personally I would
discourage the second model, or at least outsource it away from the
Fedora brand. And we should decide on it now, that mingw is entering
Fedora, rather than dealing with it when the Joe Randoms come in.

Just to trigger some related thoughts: I wonder what would happen if
someone submitted a cross-compiler and cross-built libs/tools for SCO
Unix. Would we lay back and discuss it on technical points and whether
there are enough maintainers etc?
Axel.Thimm at ATrpms.net

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