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Re: Package Maintainers Flags policy



On Tue, May 19, 2009 at 04:37:22PM -0400, Bill Nottingham wrote:
> Ewan Mac Mahon (ewan macmahon me uk) said: 
> > This sort of decision is always going to be a balance; on the one hand
> > there are clearly real costs to Fedora in having a blanket ban on flags,
> > and on the other we have (according to spot[1]) "no specific legal issue
> > at this time".
> 
> They specifically stated that it may/will prevent Fedora from being
> available or acceptable in some countries. That's not insignificant.
>
I'm not sure I see that in the fesco trac ticket, but even so, I don't
think it necessarily follows from that that we should be stripping
flags. There are two basic questions (I think):

- Will stripping the flags make Fedora acceptable everywhere? We know
  that various governments doesn't get on with certain flags, but how do
  they feel about tor, gnupg, sword, or FreeCiv's text-based references to
  Tibet? While the flags may be unacceptable, it's not clear that they're
  the only thing that's unacceptable, and there's no advantage in
  stripping the flags if Fedora remains off-limits in these countries
  for other reasons.

- Even if a no flags policy would suffice to make Fedora acceptable in
  certain countries, then is that benefit worth the costs in increases
  package maintanance overhead, and removal of software from Fedora,
  particularly given the relative ease of creating localised spins or
  derivatives.

My guess is that simply removing flags isn't enough to make Fedora
acceptable the world over, and my opinion is that the benefits it does
bring are outweighed by the costs.

Ewan

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