We had an interesting discussion at FOSDEM about collaboring on a Free and Open Source Software project like JBoss AS 7. To really allow FOSS developers to participate you need to make sure only FOSS build tools and dependencies are used. Anything else and you would raise the bar for your contributors.
An interesting point was the usage of a non-FOSS issue tracker. Should you use an issue tracker which does have free access, but is not FOSS?
Personally I would say: why not? As long as you control and own the data it should pose no real threat. Just make sure the acquired license does allow for an unlimited number of free access.
Using Fedora 17 makes sure your build tools, dependencies and even transitive dependencies are FOSS. But does it lower the bar for contributors?
In actuallity no, because the build tool used (mvn-rpmbuild) and the component set available (latest and greatest only) makes for a different result than upstream. But this does not only go for Fedora (and its mvn-rpmbuild), it goes for every Maven (or other build tool) project that draws in dependencies.
Looking at building Maven 3.0.3 using Maven 3.0.3 it would download and use maven-artifact 2.0 to 2.0.9, while at runtime it only uses maven-artifact 3.0.3 by its own definition.
Java developers give little thought about the runtime platform where their component is going to run. Regardless of the use of Maven, Gradle or Ant / Ivy. Or running on RHEL, Fedora, Debian or Windows. It will create issues once you want to integrate on a well-defined component set.
So we should really give more thought into where our components are going to run, be it Windows, OS X, Debian, RHEL or Fedora.
And we should try to foster an environment in which all these realities can collaborate.
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