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Re: Package Maintainers Flags policy

On Wed, May 20, 2009 at 09:57:17AM -0400, Bill Nottingham wrote:
> Well, if you want a longer version of my opinion...

I think that such explanation is clearly missing, and i also think that 
it should be expanded and explicited by the board such that Fedora 
contributors know what are the practical goals. So far, the only 
rule I knew was about US laws, your opinion (which is very reasonable,
in my opinion) goes much further, which is certainly good, but should 
be 'officially' said.

> 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.)

What does that exactly mean? Are the Fedora mirrors unreachable from 
those countries?

> 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.)

Right, but it also should be more openly assessed. If some countries
are a feasible goal for Fedora compliance, and it is known, people can
come with their knowledge of the country law and help doing more 
guidelines to comply to te country law.

> 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.

Once again, no problem with that, but it should be openly said somewhere
explicitely, that Fedora should abide to chinese laws in addition to
US laws. And it is certainly worth noting which countries are known to
be ok or not ok with fedora.

> 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.

Maybe it could also be said somewhere.


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