the Fedora filters

Josh Boyer jwboyer at
Wed Mar 19 16:29:15 UTC 2008

On Wed, 19 Mar 2008 15:03:28 +0000
"Paul W. Frields" <stickster at> wrote:

> Thanks for posting this, Karsten.  Since we have a lot of subscribers to
> this list who wouldn't know otherwise, I wanted to mention that this
> comes directly out of a conversation we had at the Board meeting
> yesterday.  I'm glad you beat me to it, because I like what you did
> better than what I drafted. :-)  I've subsumed some of my thoughts into
> comments below....
> On Tue, 2008-03-18 at 16:42 -0700, Karsten 'quaid' Wade wrote:
> > A community has a set of filters, spoken or unspoken, that are
> > used to judge various matters, such as entrance into the 
> > community, exit from the community, interaction of ideas, etc.  A
> > common mistake is to assume that "all open source communities
> > share values and filters."  In the end, we are all as different
> > as all communities can be from one another.
> Right.  The values that the Fedora community has represent a common
> ground that we can all live with, so that we can continue to work with
> each other and advance the project.  Even inside this project there are
> differences of opinion, and sometimes friction, but friction != bad.
> Friction can be one way to light a fire (get things done).
> > In Fedora we have such filtering, with priority given to values
> > and other considerations, which we use when deciding if a package
> > comes in to the community, what we'll ship in the distribution,
> > how we route packets, etc.
> > 
> > When making decisions that involve philosophy and practicality,
> > what is the Fedora filter?  Based on what I've seen around here,
> > and on how I've seen decisions tend to be made, here is a first
> > poke at ordering our filter.  What is strange to me is that
> > sometimes I feel as if we apply this filter in _reverse_, such as
> > with IT decisions.  Is that what we want?  Do different parts of
> > the Project apply the filters differently?
> > 
> > These decision filters are in order of usage/importance.  Please
> > discuss:
> I note that 12 hours pass without comment -- which really *ought* to be
> a rarity for discussing universals like this, especially when posts
> about, e.g., how to use %{?dist} generate huge response -- not that we
> don't have to solve those problems too. ;-)
> But *why* do we solve them?

Not everyone cares about manifestos, politics, and ideals.  Also, the
enormity of something like this could be enough to make people avoid it
because they see it as a never-ending task.  %{?dist} usage (and other
technical issues) are much more discrete and finite in nature.

Or it could simply be that people are still thinking about what was


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