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Re: Package Maintainers Flags policy



Denis Leroy (denis poolshark org) said: 
> To summarize the votes:
>
> Dennis Gilmore: +1
> David Woodhouse: +1
> Bill Nottingham: +1
> Jon Stanley: +1
> Dan Horak: +1
> Kevin Fenzi: +1

...
> Nobody is even questioning whether the policy is worth the effort, since  
> people think this is mandated by Legal.

Well, if you want a longer version of my opinion...

There are places where the use of certain flags is verboten; in this case,
the use & distribution of Fedora would be verboten if it prominently
used them.

One of our Fedora goals (stated very clearly, see Overview on the wiki) is
to be usable and redistributable *by ALL*. Now, we don't always succeed here;
take, for example, countries where we're unable to distribute to because
of US restrictions (such as Iran, Cuba, etc.)  However, we should certainly
strive towards this goal.

By making this change, we allow people in China, or similarly restricted
locales, to be able to use & contribute to Fedora in a way that's safer
and more legal for them. (As to the question whether it's enough for there;
given the preexisting example of something like Red Hat Linux in that
locale that had a 'no flags' policy, by first glance it is enough.)

Is it catering to paranoia of a particular government? Yes. (So are
the T-6 restriction, FWIW.)  Is it annoying? Yes.  However, changing the
scope of various governments is fairly out of scope of Fedora; let's stick
to what we can change.

It comes down to a tradeoff; it's essentially a pragmatic decision. Are the
gains by making it acceptable in China (or similar locales) worth the effort in
changing/removing some small number of packages? Given the benefits in
opening up the community to 1/6 of the planet's population, and the fact
that in most all cases, the flags aren't a crucial portion of the
functionality *of the project* that is exposed to users, I think so.

Other restrictions in other locales can be handled as need be. For example,
the costs in removing encryption to satisfy some theoretical edict from
a non-US government *wouldn't* be worth the trade-off, as that's a core
functionality that affects pretty much all of our users.

If you want me to resign over making that choice, I'm afraid you'll be
disappointed. But you're certainly welcome to run for a seat and vote
in the next election.

Bill


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