Dienstag, 20. November 2007


Cnet cites Max: Red Hat wants Fedora to be a foundation for those who want to build their own Linux products on a Fedora foundation.

dwmw2 wrote: I'd love to see more functionality -- more _possibilities_ -- merged under the 'Fedora' umbrella.

There are more such statements from other people; the general idea is floating around for some time now in Fedora-land. I'm wondering if we should issue something like Max statement above as official goal for the next few Fedora-years, to have a target we can work towards.

But can Fedora really be a proper foundation for other distributions? What if somebody wants to create a complete OpenVZ or Linux-VServer distribution (just as example) with Fedora as a base *within* the Fedora-project to ensure updates and patches for all non-OpenVZ and non-Linux-Vserver stuff floating back and forth easily between this special spin (wich patches Fedora would not take) and the official Fedora? E.g. something similar to what OLPC in parts did?

Something like that afaics would be needed if we really want to be a proper foundation for other distros, as the "once Fedora-size fits all" is a good goal we should aim for with Fedora, but on the way to that sometimes special treatment and a semi-fork might be needed. Not to mention the old Who will ship the sources to fulfil the GPL-requirements problem that's still unsolved.

IOW: if we really want to be a proper foundation for other distributions there is much work to do afaics.

[Update 20071129-2110UTC]I just reused the word "foundation" (meant as in "base for a product/distribution" here) from the Cnet source. Do not confuse it with the "Fedora Foundation", a idea which was abandoned long ago.[/Update]


Jef Spaleta hat gesagt…

I need to make an effort to understand more details on how OLPC interfaces with Fedora so I can see how the interaction between the projects stands up as a template that other projects can replicate.

Anonym hat gesagt…

I think some of the problems and questions raised as the project matures could be better deal with through a fedora foundation a distinct entity where redhat employees and community members can interact and take managerial decisions that have an effect in direction the project takes in the future.

Maybe this is unrelated and i know the idea was discarded in the past, never the less i can't stop thinking that the board does not properly solve the leadership requirements of a project that seems to go where redhat wants it to go with community input (i'm not trying to say that fedora is not a true free software project), but a foundation would help to differentiate the community goals from the corporate goals so that later a decision may arise.

if the post seems trollish i apologize, it was not my intention.

Jef Spaleta hat gesagt…

For everyone reading along make sure you read this as a reference to the Foundation topic:


There have been no significant changes in external nor internal conditions since that letter was written which nullify the logic of the arguments put forth.

In any event much of the technical policy decisions which constrain the project's ability to make alternative diverging builds of the same packages inside what we traditionally think of as the "Fedora" repository and releases is not done at the Board level.. nor would it be done at the Foundation level. Its delegated out to FESCO. The Board as it stands, concerns itself in part with trying to make sure resources are reasonably allocated. Creating a Foundation doesn't magically change the fact that the resources are a limiting factor in how the Fedora project offerings and services grow.

What the Board can do is to clarify how Fedora as a project can incorporate new repository trees that live out side the traditional Fedora distribution. OLPC is a primary example because its a full distribution in its own right, though you could also consider the EPEL project to be another example of a parallel repository, though not as fully scoped as the OLPC distribution.

I think we'll need to set some guidelines as to resource expectations for Fedora derivative distributions, if we are going to encourage more of them to be created in coordination with the Fedora project itself.

My current understanding is that OLPC does some things in parallel to the Fedora distribution because it brings some amount of resources to the table and is not relying entirely on fedora rel-eng nor fedora infrastructure for everything they are doing. Fedora as a project doesn't have enough resources to fully support derivative distributions with existing internal infrastructure. So we need to set some expectations as to what we can actually provide derivative distributions and what we expect derivative distributions to contribute back to the Fedora project.