"What is the Fedora Project?"

Mike McGrath mmcgrath at redhat.com
Thu Oct 8 17:36:12 UTC 2009

On Thu, 8 Oct 2009, Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:

> On 10/08/2009 01:05 PM, Mike McGrath wrote:
> > On Thu, 8 Oct 2009, Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:
> >
> >> On 10/07/2009 12:11 AM, 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. :-)
> >>
> >> I've been thinking a lot about how I want to respond to this thread.
> >> Here are my thoughts:
> >>
> >> * I am troubled by the subtext of the repeated questioning of "What is
> >> Fedora", because I really don't think that is the question that is being
> >> asked. Instead, I think the question being asked (or at least, the
> >> question being answered) is: "Who is Fedora (the Linux Distribution) for?"
> >>
> >> If indeed, we are attempting to answer that question, it implies that
> >> there are users for whom Fedora is not, and will never be, a good fit.
> >
> > My wife and both of my parents answered no to every single question on
> > this page:
> >
> > http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Is_Fedora_For_Me
> Heh. I knew you would choose to respond solely to that item, Mike.

Because it's the simplest illustration of the problem.  One you still
haven't directly answered but instead deflect.  After all, they still
don't agree with our values and they don't seem any more willing to change
their values as we do ours.  Does that make us right and them wrong?  Of
course not.

> For what it is worth, I disagree with the spirit and wording of that
> wiki page. In my mind, it is roughly analogous to this:
> http://ford.com/not_real/Are_Ford_Cars_For_Me
> Background
> ===========
> Ford cars are not for everyone, although Ford works hard to make our
> cars as usable as possible for the widest possible audience.
> Finding Out
> ============
> To find out whether Ford cars are suitable for you, ask yourself the
> following:
> * Are you a NASCAR driver?
> * Do you want a car that features brand new technologies that will show
> up in future cars?
> * Are you okay with having to change your car's oil every 3,000 miles?
> * Do you care about the Automotive Unions?
> * Would you like to become a car mechanic?
> If the answer to any or all of these questions is "yes", you should
> consider a Ford car!
> *****
> This line of reasoning isn't remotely inclusionary, in fact, it is
> almost poisonous. The wording about the "widest possible audience" is a
> lie, because we promptly follow it up with wording to exclude new users.
> Now, balance that with what I said about the validity of each Fedora
> spin having a target audience. I think it might be fine (albeit,
> disappointing) for someone to discover that there is no Fedora spin
> which is a good fit for them, but for us to say that we will never give
> a damn about them across all possible distribution spins... well, I
> don't think I can back that in good conscience.

In the meantime they're driving Toyota.  And as much as it pains me to say
it, it was much more painful to hear.  They prefer the Toyota and have
been happy using it for the last 2 weeks.  But the more I think about it
the more it made sense.  Their values and our values are very different.

So, given the opportunity to talk to them directly, what would you
possibly say that would change their mind?


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