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Re: FESCo Meeting Summary for 20090424



Christopher Aillon wrote:
> On 04/24/2009 03:13 PM, Kevin Fenzi wrote:
>> == PulseAudio regression handling ==
>>
>> Long and contentious discussion about concerns with the VolumeControl
>> feature. FESCo decided to get gnome-alsamixer packaged and added to the
>> default desktop live/install spins to allow users whos use cases are
>> not covered currently by VolumeControl to have a GUI way to adjust
>> mixer settings. Hopefully this will be dropped/revisited in F12.
> 
> Wearing my Board hat, I'll give a quick history lesson: changes were
> mandated to codeina a few releases ago post feature freeze.  The changes
> would have made codeina more acceptable for Fedora's stance on freedom,
> however that change was reversed by the board because it was mandated
> post feature freeze, and it was agreed future mandates, if any, would
> come down pre-feature freeze, but we should not be in the business of
> giving mandates.
> 
So I wasn't paying much attention to the codeina bruhaha so please
correct me if I'm wrong in my recollections.  My impression was that
FESCo passed on making further changes to the Codeina feature and
*asked* the Board to make a decision because Codeina was a political
issue rather than a technical one.  It was also a case where there was
strong feeling by some that codeina violated our principles, the
engineers in charge felt like it didn't, and FESCo, at least by the time
it got to the Board, had decided it wasn't comfortable casting the
deciding ballot.

Are either of those correct?  Because in this case we have something
that's a technical issue rather than a political one and FESCo has a
very definite opinion of what the desired outcome should be.  They've
also worked with the engineers to come to a compromise solution that
makes no one happy but is tolerable to all.  It doesn't require ripping
out, replacing, or modifying the existing feature.  The compromise just
adds another package to the install.  So to my outside view there's a
lot of difference between this case and codeina.

> So, can someone tell me how mandating this is more important than
> mandating Fedora be free,

If there's a question of whether something is free and FESCo doesn't
think it's cut and dry what the answer is, it becomes a Board decision
whether the problem falls on the not-for-Fedora side of non-free or the
ok-with-reservations side.  (Even if it's not cut and dry, it may be a
Board decision but packagers and FESCo have handled the "easy" cases on
their own to the benefit of all.... You wouldn't want license questions
to have to go through the Board when spot and the Packaging Committee
with FESCo for arbitration is usually enough.)

So the answer to your question is it's not more important than Fedora
being Free but rather, different than that decision.

> and why this decree should not be reversed?

In today's voting, FESCo as a whole refused to micromanage the desktop
SIG into changing existing UI.  This isn't because they changed their
minds about the ideal state of mixers in Fedora 11 but because they saw
that when you disagree with people that you delegate power to you have
to work with the other party to accommodate both your interests and theirs.

If the Board wants to reverse the decision of what goes onto a spin by
default they can because they are the source of FESCo's authority on
technical matters.  But that means that they're taking away all of the
authority that they've given FESCo for technical matters with no
compromise which is a very different thing than what occurred between
FESCo and the Desktop SIG at today's meeting.

> Do I really need to bring this up at the next board meeting?
> 
That's a very strange question as only you know what you have to do.  If
you are asking whether FESCo wants you to do so I'm afraid I'm not on
FESCo so I can't answer.

-Toshio

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