"What is the Fedora Project?"

Mike McGrath mmcgrath at redhat.com
Wed Oct 7 15:09:58 UTC 2009

On Wed, 7 Oct 2009, inode0 wrote:

> 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.)

I've said it on the board list so I'll say it here.  I strongly believe
that volunteers can be lead and I believe volunteers can lead.  Right now
Fedora is a place for everyone to just come and do whatever they want
which is harming us in the long term.  There's plenty of room for everyone
in the Linux universe.  I understand that by narrowing our focus we might
lose some contributors who disagree with our values and mission.  But
that's better then not having one and having volunteers work against
eachother because they joined The Fedora Project thinking it was one thing
only to find it's something else.

> > 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.

It's very clear that Fedora isn't a standard business that fits into a
normal business model.  That doesn't mean we can't be without visions,
goals and a plan for our future.  I think a lot of my concern with this
area (I campaigned on this :)  has been that there is no expectation about
what Fedora is when people join.  Once there here it's not clear who
they're doing their work for (the end user of the Fedora operating
system).  Engineering it and then letting whoever wants to use it use it
is the reverse of the way things should be done.


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