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Re: FUDcon Board Meeting



On Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 11:24:47AM -0500, Máirín Duffy wrote:
> On Fri, 2012-01-20 at 08:19 -0800, Toshio Kuratomi wrote:
> > If you can give me something like that then either I'll have missed that in
> > evaluating whether the Board should take an active role and I might
> > re-evaluate whether the Board should do more.  Or I may have already been
> > aware of it and evaluated it when the Board made its decision but didn't
> > consider it worthwhile for the Board to interfere at the package level.  In
> > either case, I can give you an explanation of why I do or don't see that as
> > reason for the Board to step in and we can either move forward to changing
> > the Board's decision or agree to disagree.
> 
> The reason I initially raised the question to the board was because
> there was a long-running board discussion either when I was on the board
> or just before involving switching out the search engine on start.fpo
> because using google was undesirable. So it had been a board-level issue
> before.
> 
<nod>  If I'm thinking of the correct discussion, though, that discussion
was open source vs closed source.  On that criteria, google and duckduckgo
appear to be on an equal footing?

> We're still using google though, and while ddg isn't perfect, it's
> better because of the privacy policy Rahul cited as well as their
> donations to open source projects. It also provides choice to the end
> user (so if you like google results, you can use ddg as a google
> gateway) but it's a less direct / specific endorsement of any one search
> engine.

So ddg advantages:
* published privacy policy (note, they appear to be keeping some information
  on user search patterns. for instance -- the bang search functionality
  keeps information on what search engines/sites you are using.  So the
  privacy policy is a list of information they don't keep; not a promise
  that they don't keep anything at all.)  If someone can make it clear how
  the duckduckgo privacy policy relates to the goals of the Fedora Project,
  that would be a great next step for evaluating this aspect.
* donations to open source -- this one, I'm not so sure is a clear
  advantage.  What makes duckduckgo's donations to open source better than
  google's donations to open source?
* End user choice -- Is choice a good thing?  I may have gotten the wrong
  message from the website redesign discussion but I thought that the idea
  was end users want to achieve a task; they don't care to know that
  multiple ways exist of achieving it?

I also have a question that I think was lurking in the backs of many Board
Members minds -- what have the websites team and the maintainers of the
various apps that support searching the web said about switching to
duckduckgo?  The Board is a big, precedent setting stick that I think we'd
like to avoid using if the involved parties don't need the Board to give
them permission.  By that I mean something like this scenario:

The Board considers and finds that duckduckgo is superior to google.  It
therefore says "when web searching within Fedora is configurable or
controlled by Fedora, it should default to using duckduckgo".  In a year,
a new, powerful, featureful search engine appears on the internet that is
open source.  Instead of people being able to immediately switch their
software and start.fp.o over to it, they have to make a proposal to the
Board to change the duckduckgo-centric project-wide policy.  As usual, the
Board takes input from the involved parties, debates it over the course of
several meetings, and finally issues a revised default.

Why did we need to spend all that extra time when the involved people
already knew what the right course of action was?

-Toshio

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