Why Fedora (and RedHat) is Ruining Linux

A bug was opened against KDocker the other day. Now bugs aren’t a bad thing and typically they are user error so they get closed out as invalid. Sometimes they’re real issues which get looked into and fixed. On very rare occasions they’re dictations/demands.

I’ve edited the post to include the contents of the bug report here because the move to GitHub makes the link to the original bug unable to be viewed.

Please create an AppData file Edit
Bug #1427251 reported by Richard Hughes on 2015-03-02

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Bug Description

Please consider writing and installing an
AppData file with the application description
and some screenshots, else KDocker looks really
bad in the GNOME and KDE Software Centers. We'd
love to showcase more applications, but without
the extra data file we can't.

See http://people.freedesktop.org/~hughsient/appdata/ for details; thanks!

Richard

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John Schember (user-none) wrote on 2015-03-02:	#1
If you'd like to contribute this I'll include it
but I have no intention of making this file.

Changed in kdocker:
status:	New → Won't Fix

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Richard Hughes (richard-hughes) wrote on 2015-03-03:	#2
That's certainly your choice. Just to let you know:
applications without AppData files won't show up in
the Fedora 22 software installer.

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John Schember (user-none) wrote on 2015-03-04:	#3
> Just to let you know: applications without AppData
> files won't show up in the Fedora 22 software installer.

So you're asking me to create a special file that is unique
to 1 distro just because you're to lazy to? A .desktop file
is provided which contains the meta information you need.
The distro packager should be the one to create this file
as it only impacts 1 distro. no other distro needs or uses
this file.

Fedora should _not_ be dictating special requirments only for
themselves to upstream developers. If this matter is important
then they should be the ones to contribute it to upstream. Again
no other distro uses or needs this file. It would be another story
if multiple distros used this file like the .desktop file. So, no
I'm not going to create a special file just for Fedora. If you want
the file then contribute it.

In this case Richard Hughes opened the bug report. He asked that I create an “AppData file with the application description and some screenshots, else KDocker looks really bad in the GNOME and KDE Software Centers.”

I have no desire to create this file and if it’s needed for a distro they can create and provide it. KDocker first of all isn’t tied to any specific distro or any specific package format. So making an AppData file isn’t really in scope of the project. Secondly KDocker provides a .desktop file that includes application description and other metadata. It should be very simple for a distor needing an AppData file to convert the .desktop file into their new format.

Further, KDocker isn’t a user visible application. Because it docks other applications to the toolbar… The only “screenshot” that can be provided is the logo. So all the data that’s being asked for is already provided it just now suddenly needs to be provided in a new format. I’m more than willing to include this file if it’s contributed but I have no desire to create it.

So we have all the data and the equivalent of a screenshot. Yet I’m not willing to invest the time to make the file. If it really is something that this person wants then they should contribute, isn’t that the point of open source. If you see something you want to change you can do so and contribute it?

I’m really annoyed by this request for a few reasons. Mainly things that were left out of the bug report. First of all this applies specifically and as far as I’m aware only to Fedora. The only way I found this out is because Launchpad linked it to the Fedora bug automatically. This isn’t a bug or issue for other distros as far as I’m aware.

After I said if he wanted to contribute it I’d include it the response went from, “else KDocker looks really bad in the GNOME and KDE Software Centers.” to “applications without AppData files won’t show up in the Fedora 22 software installer.”

So either the first statement when the bug was opened was a lie or this is a threat. I don’t really like either case… Also, now it comes out that this is Fedora specific which was left out of the initial report. You know what, if Fedora want’s to change their GUI software installer and demand that upstream does the work to be included that’s their choice and only hurts their users. What really pisses me off is the conversation went from it will look bad to I didn’t get my way so since you cater to my distro your app won’t be included. This is a very different statement than how the bug was first opened.

I should also mention that the new AppData format that I’ve never heard of has the URL http://people.freedesktop.org/~hughsient/appdata/ . Lets look at this. The bug report was opened by Richard Hughes, clicking his name takes you to his profile and we see his email is hughsie.com. Also a quick google search for hughsient points us back to (you guessed it) Richard Huges.

So the person who opened the bug report also failed to mention that the file they want included is their own specification (it doesn’t matter that it’s hosted on FreeDesktop.org because if you look closely it’s in his personal directory and not even listed under FreeDesktop’s Standards page.

The situation is, we have a person working for RedHat pushing their personal specification into Fedora. He’s contacting upstream developers to get them to create the file for his format and when upstream refuses to create a distro specific file that isn’t a real specification he goes from saying “it will look bad” to making the threat, “it won’t be included at all”.

Another thing that really upsets me about this situation is the report filed against KDocker upstream never included (by Richard) a link to the Fedora bug, it also never included the Fedora packagers. It was only Richard making demands for his pet specification he’s trying to push onto people.

Fedora should _not_ be dictating special requirements only for themselves to upstream developers. If this matter is important then they should be the ones to contribute it to upstream. Again no other distro uses or needs this file as far as I’m aware. It would be another story if multiple distros used this file like the .desktop file. So, no I’m not going to create a special file just for Fedora. If they want this file then they can contribute it.

Again, all the info is provided in KDocker’s source. All that needs to be done is it needs to be put into the file format Fedora wants. I don’t really care if they hurt their own users and I’m not going to waste my time catering to their whims. They can make this special file themselves.

It’s things like this that make me not want to support Linux on other open source projects I work on at all. The Linux community (especially the Red Hat community) is just a horrible mess to try to work with. Their actions just push upstream developers away from wanting to work with them in any capacity. At least that’s been my experience working on multiple projects.

2 thoughts on “Why Fedora (and RedHat) is Ruining Linux

  1. Eh man, you seem to be overly sensitive 🙂 Just because a Fedora/Red Hat developer has asked you for something Fedora/Red Hat is ruining Linux? Seriously?

    BTW AppData is not some personal pet project, it’s a subset of AppStream (http://www.freedesktop.org/software/appstream/docs/) which is a cross-distro initiative that strives to create an infrastructure for distro-agnostic software-centers and software metadata handling. Since it’s a cross-distro thing, support for it belongs upstream, not to distributions. Just the fact that Richard Hughes is pushing its adoption and he happens to be a Fedora contributor doesn’t make it a Fedora-only thing. It’s currently used e.g. by GNOME Software and Apper which are available in a variety of distributions. You have a full right to turn down such requests and don’t support such initiatives, but please be cautious with such accusations.

  2. > Eh man, you seem to be overly sensitive 🙂 Just because a Fedora/Red Hat developer has asked you for something Fedora/Red Hat is ruining Linux? Seriously?

    You really should read my other posts about Fedora and Red Hat. Things like not pushing patching upstream for other projects I maintain. Refusing to work with upstream and considering it okay for them to maintain forks but demanding that upstream projects push their patches to other upstream projects. The way their going about working with upstream projects is the issue. This isn’t an isolated post but part of a series of issues I see with how and have experienced working with the larger commercial distros.

    > BTW AppData is not some personal pet project, it’s a subset of AppStream (http://www.freedesktop.org/software/appstream/docs/) which is a cross-distro initiative that strives to create an infrastructure for distro-agnostic software-centers and software metadata handling.

    Yet this was never stated. The link given was to a personal page describing the format and not anything official or showing it’s not distro specific. All I was told was basically I need to implement this for Fedora. Like I said in the post itself, “It would be another story if multiple distros used this file”. If it was stated as this is the new Gnome installer that we’ll be pushing out in release X and used by distro’s A, B, and C. Then this whole issue would have been handled differently.

    > Since it’s a cross-distro thing, support for it belongs upstream, not to distributions. Just the fact that Richard Hughes is pushing its adoption and he happens to be a Fedora contributor doesn’t make it a Fedora-only thing. It’s currently used e.g. by GNOME Software and Apper which are available in a variety of distributions. You have a full right to turn down such requests and don’t support such initiatives, but please be cautious with such accusations.

    Supporting and creating the file are two different things. Also realize that HIS response went from saying including the file will make the package look nicer in the GUI installer to “it won’t be included at all”. So, basically I’m being threaded by someone _PAID_ to work on making Linux better that if I don’t play along my project will be removed. This attitude shift is part of the reason I’m pissed.

    If it’s cross distro then yes the file should be included upstream but that doesn’t mean that someone _PAID_ to do this work shouldn’t be the one to contribute it to upstream then threaten upstream. At least that’s the way I perceive the situation as to what happened. If distros want the file then they can make it and contribute it. But so far I have one person who created the format, linking to their personal page about it, going from saying it will make it look nice in one distro to we just won’t include it then.

    As I said this entire situation could have been handled differently if full and real facts were provided not links to a personal page.

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