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Re: Fedora's way forward



On Fri, 2006-03-31 at 09:15 +0200, Hans de Goede wrote:
> Lets get back on track here, the problem ESR brought up was: Fedora 
> lacks good multimedia playback. The reaction was a mix of:
> -unfortunatly we can't provide that
> -we can't provide that and we don't want to unless we can in a 100% open
>   way
> -we can provide that out of the box, and legally we can't ever provide
>   it 100% open (livna is not legal in the states), but we could come some
>   way using gratis propietary stuff which can be downloaded
> 
> My stance is:
> -yes better multimedia support would be good
> -yes Fedora must stay 100% opensource and redistributable etc
> -Fedore should not encourage use of propietary formats but it shouldn't
>   make it impossble either.

That's my stance too.  Do you think this is not happening now?  Because
I think this is *exactly* how Fedora works now, and I'm getting the
sense you think that isn't so.  Am I misunderstanding?

> My Conclusion:
> 
> We should provide a mechanism where if a user tries to play an 
> unsupported format, we look up the format in an ondisk (no phoning home 
> please) tabel and see if there is a gratis and legal (even in the 
> states!) downloadable codec in the tabel, if there is such a beast, then 
> _help_ the user install it.

I don't want to see this in Core, but people are entitled to put this in
any third party package they want.

> Notting more and notting less, so we wont be telling them to use mp3, 
> nor will we be claiming support, but if a users tries it we help him, 
> now how can helping a user accomplish what he is trying todo ever be bad?

This doesn't seem like good reasoning to me.  In all honesty, there are
plenty of things users might want to accomplish with Fedora that are
bad... or, to be more objective, contrary to the goals of the Fedora
Project.  We don't stop people from doing those things, but we don't
give them end-to-end support for it either.

> Another take on this, I'm a big fan of free software because of the 
> freedom it gives me, thats what this is all about isn't it, freedom!
> Doesn't that include the freedom to use proprietary software when I want 
> to? It seems that there are people here who would like to even forbid 
> the use of proprietary software if they could and since then can't they 
> atleast want to make it as hard to use as possible, this is BAD as it 
> hurts other peoples freedom!

Absolutely this is about freedom.  But Fedora doesn't forbid you from
doing those things now.  In fact, it goes to great lengths NOT to
prevent you from doing them -- including incorporating GStreamer and
other media products which feature excellent plugin architectures, and
having packagers both in Core and Extras who try and make life easier
for people who want to use free software most of the time but walk the
wild side every once in a while.

I don't think I've heard anyone here argue against the use of
proprietary software.  The main argument here has been against
compromising the ideals of Fedora, which have led to an amazing release
less than two weeks old, a vibrant and rapidly growing user community,
and interest from my Mom, grandmother of eleven.  (OK, the last part
probably doesn't matter to most people, but I see it as a significant
victory.)

Nothing Fedora is doing now is restricting users' freedom.  We're
talking about whether, now that we've already given the user a fishing
pole, fishing line, tackle box, bait, sinker, bob, and free fishing
lessons, and then driven him to the public riverbank, we should point
him to a nearby pond on private property, saying, "Hey! *That* looks
like a good place to fish!"  It's probably not illegal to say such a
thing, but is it really the ethical thing to do?

-- 
Paul W. Frields, RHCE                          http://paul.frields.org/
  gpg fingerprint: 3DA6 A0AC 6D58 FEC4 0233  5906 ACDB C937 BD11 3717
 Fedora Documentation Project: http://fedora.redhat.com/projects/docs/

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