Linux Discussion Continues, Fedora Welcomes Chromium

by Ostatic Staff - Oct. 09, 2015

The Linux development discussion continues with more voices from the community including Sarah Sharp with her new 12-step program. Elsewhere, Fedora has changed their rules of development to allow Chromium inclusion despite its proprietary bits and Jamie Watson posted a review of the "lean KDE distribution" KaOS Linux 2015.10.

Folks are still discussing the resignation of Sarah Sharp and Matthew Garrett from Linux kernel development.  Jack Wallen said Sharp (and Garrett) are cases of more developers being "turned away, simply because developers had no patience for personal respect." He said Linux rules with a "sharp and iron tongue" with "foul and abusive language." He agreed with Dr. Roy Schestowitz in that all this is a "PR nightmare" threatening the "flagship of the open-source movement." He placed part of the blame on what he calls the "Internet of hate" and said if Linux is to compete with Microsoft and Apple its developers need to "start treating the legions of programmers, who are working tirelessly to deliver, as well as they treat the code itself. Open source is about community. A community with a toxic foundation will eventually crumble."

Wallen would probably like Sharp's ideas on what makes a good community. She blogged the other day on "reaching the goal of a diverse community" which requires a "step-by-step process." Some highlights include going to "DISCON level 3" if someone cusses and if "microaggressions are pointed out, community members must stop, listen, and apologize." Swapnil Bhartiya said, "No matter how sporadic or rare the crude outbursts, he is making the biggest compromise; he is creating a vulnerability, a bug in his community."

On the other side is Norbert Preining who said Linux development "has become a sterilized over-governed entity, where most fun is gone." He added:

Making fun is practically forbidden, since there is the slight chance that some minority somewhere on this planet might feel hurt, and by this we are breaking the CoC. Emotions are restricted to the “Happy happy how nice we are and how good we are” level of US and also Japanese self-reenforcement society.

Preining dissects the conversation that lit Sharp's fuse and noted:

What follows is a nearly endless discussion with Sarah meandering around, changing permanently her opinion what is acceptable. Linus tried to explain to her in simple words, without success, she continues to rant around. Her arguments are so weak I had nothing but good laugh.

James Bottomley, another respected kernel developer, said Sharp's strong stance is just wrong. He said things have improved a lot over the years and her post as well the resulting comments ignore and disrespect that effort. He said that's 'a rather nice irony given that "respect" is listed as one of the issues for the resignation. I'd just like to remind everyone of the history of these efforts and what the record shows they've achieved.' He also noted the thread that began it all is over two years old now and "try as they might, no one's managed to come up with a more recent example. If it were me, I'd actually take that as a sign of success..."

Fedora's Engineering and Steering Committee recently decided to pull the trigger on including Chromium despite it shipping from upstream with proprietary bits in its bundled libraries. In fact, FESCo changed their packaging rules to accommodate software coming with bundle libraries. The first response to the news said:

Ewww! :-(

This opens the door to all kinds of duplication, waste of disk space, waste of RAM, symbol conflicts and unfixed security issues!

"Thanks" for making Fedora worse!


* Hands-On: KaOS Linux 2015.10

* Why Aren't We Arguing More About Mr Robot?

* 2015 Productivity, Linux-Style