"What is the Fedora Project?"

Josh Boyer jwboyer at gmail.com
Thu Oct 8 02:46:10 UTC 2009

On Wed, Oct 07, 2009 at 10:59:52AM -0500, Mike McGrath wrote:
>On Tue, 6 Oct 2009, John Poelstra wrote:
>> http://meetbot.fedoraproject.org/fedora-board-meeting/2009-10-01/fedora-board-meeting.2009-10-01-16.03.log.html
>> 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?
>Committed.  I'd also like to state that I'm willing to admit that I'm in
>the minority in my thinking on this subject and will, of course, respect
>and honor the final outcome even if it does not align with my personal

I think you deserve some great credit for being the first to post.  It's
much easier to comment and critique someone else's thoughts, so kudos to
you for putting this out there.

>> (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.
>Experienced users and people that wish to aid in leading our industry
>through contribution, experimentation and science.  (inventors,
>tinkerers, hackers)

Not artists, designers, writers?  I think your first sentence was enough and
adding examples actually detracted from where you were headed.

>> (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?
>1) An easy automated way to provide tests and the answers to those tests.
>IE: QA, targeted metric for some given configuration.

I agree with this one.

>2) More ISVs and start-ups have packages in the distribution.
>3) More Architectures.  "Does Fedora run on $TOASTER?"  Yes.

These seem odd to me.  I'll get to why in just a bit.

>4) A better reputation as a place to bring new ideas to be tested and
>presented as well as a better acceptance that failure of a new idea is not
>a bad thing.

I also like this one.

>5) By F15 I'd like to see a killer virtualization management system in
>Fedora.  What we have now is a lot of disparate tools.  All of which are
>getting better, none of which are on the level with the likes of vmware.

OK, confused.  2, 3, and 5 seem to have nothing to do with Fedora itself.
Additionally, 5 here seems to be based on the assumption that the Fedora
project is a development organization or that we control development
resources that we can direct.  I don't think either is true.  I think Fedora
is a _showcase_ for development that happens elsewhere.

Now, I'm well aware of the fact that Red Hat (and other companies) pay
people to work "on Fedora".  However I think the actual development is done
in the upstream projects and Fedora just happens to be the test/delivery
vehicle for that work.  The Fedora project also doesn't dictate what those
developers do.

We do have some very Fedora specific projects, but I don't find that the norm.

>> (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?
>1) Fedora is a laboratory where all the cool stuff happens.

Fairly ambiguous.  What I find cool is certainly not the direction the project
is headed in at all.

>2) Stronger ties to educational institutions for the purposes of using
>Fedora in education (like POSSE) and also a place where academics can come
>to communicate, present works, do demonstrations, etc.

I think this is a pretty good goal to have in that it exposes younger crowds
to Fedora.

>3) A place where businesses and employees can come to work and collaborate
>towards common goals.  Many businesses have started using FOSS, Fedora
>should lead them in how to take a step further and become a FOSS business.
>Also putting together better documentation on how and why employees are
>better employees when they work with FOSS projects.

And what about people that do FOSS in their spare time?

I don't mean to harp on the same issues, but in some of our conversations I
can't help but come away with the impression that you are approaching Fedora
as a business product that is to be run like a business unit.

>> (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?
>1) QA.  I list this first because not only does it obviously need to get
>better but it seems obvious it will get better.  The QA team has lots of
>neat things coming down the pipe.
>2) Better communication around how rawhide works.  Both in terms of best
>practices in making changes to it and in communicating when updates are
>safe. (probably relates to 1, but can't entirely rely on that)
>3) Related to 2) I'd like to see a way for our rawhide developers to have
>their own rawhide branches.  Similar to how there are different kernel
>trees.  This isn't so they can have their own distro.  But so they can
>more easily put massive changes in place to be tested for some small
>period of time before it is merged with "Jesse's tree" :)
>4) Better messaging systems for contributors and end users.  Just in
>general a better experience in letting our users know what's going on in
>Fedora (news), what features are coming down the pipe (feature update vs
>just a normal update), etc.
>5) Additional ways for people to contribute to via the Fedora Project that
>are not the distribution itself.

I liked most of these.  5 seems a bit ambiguous, but that might not be bad
if you are looking for contributions that we aren't encouraging today.


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