Frustrated about Fedora policies

I am dissapointed and angry about the move of fedoraproject.org Wiki to the OPL license. OPL is Open Public License – a license that the creators do not use and instead indicate using CC licenses. What angers me the most is that Fedora started as being a “community” effort. But right now it looks more and more as if Red Hat is just interested in those who are willing to follow their rule. The whole licensing change was not discussed in public. But the result was that people like me (I have translated parts of the home page and general stuff) where locked out and had to sign a CLA. In my eyes it also looks like they are trying to kill the wiki. I don’t say that a wiki needs no control at all, but freedom is very important. It is the spontaneous visitors who often do some quick changes (typos, etc.) and it helps to involve people.

Karsten Wade made it very clear what he thinks about community processes: “To be clear, the OPL change to the Wiki is not what is up to vote.” For me that absolutely makes clear (if you also look at name and logo process) that Fedora is everything but a community distribution. We end up being there to help Red Hat selling there stuff or developing better software. I am not here to do this. I do many things for communities, but I want to be able to influence and discuss things. If there is a “not up for discussion” – this is the end of my involvement. I feel a bit abused by Fedora. I liked the quality of the software and also thought they really want to make it a community process. I am not against businesses trying to make money, but do not abuse the community! If you do that you can make the work by your own if it comes to my involvement. So Vinci is now looking for a new distribution which is

  1. not owned by a company
  2. actually is able to deliver new software
  3. takes freedom of software and documentation as something valuable
  4. and has an active community

To me that sounds like Debian again. But I must say from technical perspective I have used Debian for years and I really do not want to wait 3 years for new releases any more. Gentoo? I also did use that but I did not want to compile all the time. my god there are more than 350 distros, there must be at least one that fits my views? The thing is: I am planning to leave Fedora not for any technical reason as all other distros I had used before.

Any suggestions?

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7 Comments

Filed under Free Culture, Linux

7 responses to “Frustrated about Fedora policies

  1. mspevack

    If you’d be willing to speak over email about your frustrations, please send me a note personally. I hate to lose any Fedora contributors, and I’d much rather have a chance to talk to you about your concerns, and see what I can do to help alleviate them then just have you depart the Fedora Project.

  2. 5 months after your post what are your feelings now ? Please, please let me know!

  3. Well I replied to Max, but got no answer. I am still using Fedora but I think I am jsut too much anarchist to really like Meritocracy. I still think that they did the wrong step in licensing. I am involved in choosing the right license for the new GNOME site and the thing is that we will not choose the OPL like Fedora. this in fact means that we will not be able to exchange content with them. This is plain stupid. We also can not exchange content with OpenOffice.org Documentation because it is PDL.

    GNOME will propably choose to dual license under GFDL and CC-BY-SA-2.5 because we want to be as compatible as possible!! So this is a whole different approach. So that about licensing and how different projects are handling this.

    About the whole process of registration and signing agreement in order to correct some spelling mistakes: This was just overkill and unneccessary. One could even not delete the content yourself that one had contributed but did not want to have relicensed.
    I already had the silly idea that we need a community based fedora for the community based Fedora to do things ho they should be.

    I think things today must be handled differently. The community is god and you must support every single user. You must establish a strong base of supporters and also do try to let the community rule by themselves instead of a Foundation or organisation or company. Fedora needs to change on many cases. it is still a nice distribution but if people like me who love to contribute are just thrown out because they think different this is silly and should not happen: Give users a choice! Always if you act like: Do it like we ant or go people will jsut do that: just go.
    If Fedora would not be technically so nice I would have chosen a different beast.

    I still neither want to be a Red hat employee nor a Fedora Ambassador and I think things must be made simpler instead o complicated. Because people love it simple. No matter in what context. Live is complicated enough!
    Vinci

  4. Vinci, wonderful answer. Thanks for sharing it with me.

    Most of what you’ve said has caused me to STOP using Fedora Core on my systems and now i only follow 3 fedora mailing list for “news feeds” for my blogging activity on the internet.

    I’m going to add you on my wordpress.com site and maybe spend a word or two on the subject ASAP.

    {those motivations also made me run away from openSUSE at the time of 10.1 release, but at least the wiki editing is managed in more free way … i’ll have to digg for it’s licence, anyway}

  5. Wondering what you use then? I mean MacOs and Windows seem to me no alternative, FreeBSD, Debian and Gentoo not , also. 😉

  6. Now its “Foresight Linux”!
    BTW: Max Spevack (mspevack) never did reply to the personal note I sent to him.

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