"What is the Fedora Project?"

inode0 inode0 at gmail.com
Wed Oct 7 14:57:19 UTC 2009

On Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 11:11 PM, John Poelstra <poelstra at redhat.com> wrote:
> http://meetbot.fedoraproject.org/fedora-board-meeting/2009-10-01/fedora-board-meeting.2009-10-01-16.03.log.html

I'm going to poke my nose in again to let you all know that these
discussions fill me with trepidation. Back during previous discussions
about the mission statement I asked bluntly if that was the vision of
the board or if that was a restatement by the board of the vision of
the community? I believe I was told in no uncertain terms it was the
latter and that eased my concerns about that discussion. (I still have
concern that by codifying the current state we turn it into dogma and
the long term effect of injecting dogma into the culture I believe
will stifle the creativity and innovation of our contributors.)

> At last week's meeting we said we would continue our discussion here. Here I
> go :)
> 1) I'm still advocating that it is our responsibility to move things forward
> and own these issues.  Are there any board members that disagree?  Speak now
> or we will assume you are in agreement. :-)
> 2) We really need to resolve this topic that has been on the board's agenda
> since January 2009.  For some of us, since we joined in July 2009.  I'm
> proposing that we set a hard deadline of "the end of FUDCon."  This means
> that by the time we leave FUDCon the first part of December 2009, this issue
> will be officially closed and off our agenda until there is a reason to
> revisit it and we can start 2010 with a clean slate.  Are there any board
> members who would not be able to commit to this goal?

By resolve I assume you mean define what Fedora is and answer the
attendant questions? As opposed to saying we aren't going to do this?

Is the board in this case restating what Fedora is based on what the
community has made it or is the board deciding what it wants Fedora to
be and telling the community to make that vision happen? From what
snippets of this conversation the public gets to see I'm sensing it is
the latter. I can't imagine you can get a clear answer to the question
of Fedora's target audience from the community because there isn't one
as focused in scope as you seem to want. I ask that you be open to
idea that even though the community doesn't self-organize into a
tradition business model with clearly defined statements of its
long-term goals that the other positive benefits that flow from that
self-organization might outweigh that perceived shortcoming.

> 3) I am proposing a few unanswered questions that must be answered to bring
> greater clarity to why Fedora exists and what it seeks to accomplish which
> will allow us to close this issue.  I'd wager that answering these questions
> will require each of us to sit down and spend some time thinking about them
> vs. replying in 5 minutes to this email. Naturally we'd also love feedback
> from everyone on this list.
> (a) Define a target audience for the Fedora distribution (or maybe narrow
> the definition to "default spin")--without a clear target audience for our
> product there is a lack of clarity around when we are "done."  It also makes
> it difficult to make decisions about release quality and release
> composition.
> (b) Set some broad goals for where we want the Fedora Distirbution to look
> like a few release from now--say when Fedora 15 is released.  What should
> those be?

Would you like to start the ball rolling by suggesting one or two
yourself? This is so vague I have no idea what you have in mind. From
my perspective, and I believe that my perspective is shared by many
Fedora users, the strides made improving the distribution over the
past 5 years are simply stunning and overwhelmingly positive. What
were the broad goals from the Fedora board that drove that progress in
the distribution? (The merger is one likely thing that contributed to
it but I don't really know the full background of where that came
from, are there others?)

> (c) Set some broad goals for where we want the Fedora Fedora Project to look
> like a few release from now--say when Fedora 15 is released.  What should
> those be?

I'd be interested in your broad goals here too.

> (d) Set a goal of five things we believe should be improved or fixed by the
> release of Fedora 13 that will make the Fedora Distribution a better product
> or the Fedora Project a stronger community.  What should those things be?

This is a good question although I don't think you should limit
yourselves to things that can be fixed by F13 since finding ways to
empower the community to fix things often takes longer than a few


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