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Being a good open source citizen

Being a good open source citizen

Before I get into the nuts and bolts of the proposal, let's talk philosophy. The change to supporting an exploded source repo brings up the issue of being a good open source citizen. Back in the day, a decision was made that srpms should consist of pristine source plus patches. The rationale behind this was to make it easy for other people to take advantage of our work by having our work already separated out into patches that other people could pick and choose from for their own uses (there were other reasons too, but this was the primary one as I understand it, and a primary reason for maintaining the practice). This was considered a way of giving back to the community. No one denies that it is important to cooperate with the larger open source community. However, modern SCM systems make it possible for a person to quickly and easily ascertain all the changes that we have made relative to upstream sources without having to keep them in separate patch files. In addition, it's typically one of our top priorities to get whatever patches we make upstream anyway. Given these two factors, there is a legitimate argument that we can fulfill our good open source citizen requirements while at the same time working on exploded sources. And since working on exploded sources speeds up our own internal efforts, it seems to me to be both reasonable and fair to work in a way that allows us to be as efficient as possible so long as we provide reasonable means for other people to take advantage of that work. It's for this reason that I think the time has come to allow the use of exploded sources for those packages that will benefit from it.