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Aaaand OpenSUSE's response.



With my comments inline [with square brackets].  Fascinating, no?

====

> This is where OpenSUSE will need to make a choice, right up front, just
> like Fedora has.
> 
> The choice Fedora has made: we will not ship software that is encumbered
> by patents.  Why?  Because we believe that software patents are
> dangerous and wrong.  And we consequently run into issues of
> "contributory infringement" and "don't tell users where to get an MP3
> player" and all of that stuff -- just like you're running into right
> now. 

I am fully behind that strategy for SUSE-oss, but I guess I wonder, why
SLES or even the SUSE boxed set (not OSS release), should not contain
such a player. We are not like fedora, BTW. I believe this project is
very different as we are actually helping to produce the actual
commercial release and are not just a testbed with no code relations to
the commercial product like Fedora. Hence we should at least think about
ways to solve this issue if not in the -oss releases, but in the boxed
set or SLES releases.

[ Funny how perception works.  How can we be a testbed with no code 
relations?  Aren't those notions counter to one another? ]

> Red Hat will ship these features with Red Hat products because Red Hat
> has no choice -- paying customers expect everything to work out of the
> box.  But the Fedora philosophy is different.

We are not like fedora. We are the precursor of the Enterprise/boxed
set products and as such we should think about these issues. And even if
they have been discussed before many times, this needs to be solved and
discussed again to find a solution that suits our users. After all the
reason I do this is to have more and more and more users use SUSE Linux
and not something like W*.

[ This phrase bears repeating: "We are the precursor of the Enterprise /
boxed set products."  NOW who's the testbed? ]

> Every time a user is unable to play an MP3 file, it's an opportunity to
> educate.  Ogg Vorbis is technically on- par, all of the tools and codecs
> are completely free, and yet the world uses MP3.
> 
> Imagine a user clicking on an MP3 file, and a mock- player that comes up
> and plays a pre- loaded OGG explaining why MP3s suck.  And if you decide
> to pay for the use of the MP3 codec, pay for the ability to ship a tool
> that converts MP3s to OGGs.
> 
> It's a hard choice.  On the one hand: users.  On the other hand:
> freedom.  And it's a choice we make in our world all the time.

If you want to be commercially competitive and if Red Hat does it already
(and other distro's) then we must do it too. There is no choice. The user
always comes first. And competing with other distro's certainly right
after that. After all our official goals are to be more user oriented than
other distro's are.

[ Interesting.  "There is no choice."  "Ship MP3 players in our free
distro or die."  "WE MUST BECOME COMPETITIVE."  What this really means is
that our message -- software freedom *matters* to the open source
community -- can be played in sharp contrast to openSUSE. ]

Again Fedora model is not openSUSE model. It is quite different. We
actually get to say what is the actual commercial release, but Fedora is
codewise not really related to EL.

[ It's really interesting how they're copying the Fedora / Red Hat model
*exactly*, and yet don't even seem to realize it.  The Fedora of today
*is* the RHEL of tomorrow -- or at least there's a good 98% overlap -- and
yet somehow Andreas perceives that "Fedora is codewise not really related
to EL." ]

> Choose carefully, and good luck as you move forward.  I'm excited to be
> following along.  :) 

I am very excited too, even though I probably rather not just follow
along, but prefer to be more active. I thoroughly believe that the
openSUSE project is an amazing fresh wind in the distro world and will
produce amazing SUSE Linux releases, which in time will leave other
distro's far behind and really compete with W*, when it comes to
innovation, commercial integration and stability. Can't wait for 10.1
where we are actually going to be able to ask and integrate features.
And once we have build servers, well I can tell you I am very excited to
be following along there ;) ....... and compile my heart out ;) ....

[ I fail to see how openSUSE is an amazing fresh wind, but hey.  I suppose 
it's fair to say that I'm biased. :) ]

Go SUSE go ... but we still need to discuss and solve this issue!

===

--g


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