"What is the Fedora Project?"

Máirín Duffy duffy at fedoraproject.org
Thu Oct 8 16:06:47 UTC 2009

On 10/08/2009 10:40 AM, inode0 wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 8:11 AM, Mike McGrath<mmcgrath at redhat.com>  wrote:
>> Upstream developers regularly come to me (as the Infrastructure Lead)
>> Looking for additional resources to do X or Y.  I'd like to start
>> providing that.  This comes both in terms of just guests to do testing, as
>> well as infrastructure for clients on our installed userbase to do
>> reporting back for various information.

> I'm still struggling to understand what sorts of real problems are
> made easier to solve by the "What is Fedora?" framework. The default
> spin keeps coming up so I guess either the board isn't happy with how
> that is working now or thinks additional guidance is needed by those
> creating it currently? To help alleviate new user/contributor
> confusion about what Fedora is?

Knowing what Fedora (or just the default spin) is meant to be and who is 
it for is really essential for the design team to produce top-notch 
designs and artwork in a productive and efficient manner.

E.g., the redesign work we've been doing on the fedoraproject.org 
website [1] at times has been pretty stressful because there are at 
least 2 main and oppositional views on what Fedora is and who is it for, 
and people from the different camps give (at times exceedingly harsh) 
feedback and criticism of the designs. The problem is, there is no way a 
design can satisfy one camp without seriously compromising the needs and 
goals of the others. As a designer, this places me in a very 
uncomfortable situation.

The 2 views as I would summarize them are:

- Fedora is a beautiful, usable desktop for everyone (or at least, we're 
getting there.) Pandas are okay! We're ready to push to the masses.

- Fedora is a menagerie of equal spins for highly-technical folks and 
FOSS developers. Don't you dare insult our intelligence with pandas. Go 
back to Sesame street.

Don't get me started on the amount of stress the lack of answers to the 
fundamental questions here have caused with respect to the Fedora 
artwork & theming. :)

The main issue from a design perspective is that if no target is 
defined, then the target becomes 'everybody' - and I personally feel 
it's impossible to make a top-notch, beautiful design when trying to 
please everybody. You need the focus of a specific set of target users' 
context to be able to make the right decisions in the design process to 
come up with a good design.

> I know I probably sound like I'm set against this business, I really
> just don't see so much of the upside to it as I think you do and I'd
> like to really understand what its purpose is intended to be.

I hope the above explanation helps? :/


[1] https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Website_redesign_2009

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