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Re: Fedora Board Meeting Recap 2009-02-03



On Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 5:04 PM, John Poelstra <poelstra redhat com> wrote:
> Recap and full IRC transcripts for the moderated and public channels are
> here:
> https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Board/Meetings/2009-02-03
>
> Please make corrections and clarifications to the wiki page.
>
> == Board Questions & Answers ==
> * See the log for detailed answers
> ...
> * Is cowsay code or content? ... the question really is how can I look at a
> package and classify it as code or content?

This question was not addressed by the board in a serious way. More
context perhaps would have been better than less. Let me add a little
more here. I would like to know what board members think. It may be
something decided by FESCO on a case by case basis, but the board
members still have opinions and those are what I am interested in
hearing.

f13 said "you don't read cowsay contents in another application" but
you actually do or nothing happens. cowsay is a perl script and a
library of cow files. Most innocent observers I think would say that
cowsay is code, but most would say it is code with or without the
presence of perl in Fedora.

The packaging guidelines are not clear to me about whether cowsay is
or isn't code. They also aren't clear to me about whether OVM is or
isn't code. Judging from the FESCO minutes I would hazard a guess that
it wasn't entirely clear to them as a body either. Is it clear to
board members whether cowsay and/or OVM are code or content?

The distinction matters because content has additional requirements
beyond what is required of code to be included according to the
guidelines. Whether the FESCO decision with respect to OVM was correct
or not, the process made this onlooker feel uncomfortable as the
distinction between code and content in some cases is so fuzzy that it
appears to be decided by whimsy.

I know FESCO is a serious body. I know they take their work seriously.
I also know there are some hard feelings, those happen from time to
time. I am sure I am not the only one who finds this decision
baffling. Even when I ask is OVM code or content, I get both answers.

When I weigh the potential benefit of OVM with, say, the hello package
I can't help but wonder if including in OVM a silly little program
that can be compiled on Fedora but does nothing useful would allow it
in under the guidelines. And if so, isn't that preposterous?

John


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