"What is the Fedora Project?"

Mike McGrath mmcgrath at redhat.com
Thu Oct 8 18:38:39 UTC 2009

On Thu, 8 Oct 2009, Máirín Duffy wrote:

> On 10/08/2009 01:53 PM, Mike McGrath wrote:
> > On Thu, 8 Oct 2009, Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:
> >
> > > On 10/08/2009 01:47 PM, Seth Vidal wrote:
> > > > Provided that in order to make that "simple" spin you didn't need to
> > > > modify or patch ANY packages.
> > >
> > > Again, I refer to the point I made about usability and
> > > new-user-friendlyness not being in any way exclusionary to "experienced
> > > users".
> > >
> >
> > Do you really think Fedora's values are everyones values and the only
> > problems here are related to QA and usability?
> I don't think Fedora's values are everyone's values; far from it. But I think
> there are tons of folks who are not highly technical who share those values.
> E.g., I think there are plenty of non-technical folks who would say yes to
> these question:
> * Do you care about sustainable progress in software freedom and innovation?
> Think about how in demand the Toyota Prius is. People aren't buying it for the
> low price, and I don't think they are buying it because they are car
> technicians and appreciate its technology. I think they are buying it because
> it promises to support a value of being better to the environment. The organic
> food movement - yes, that apple is more expensive, but it's better for me and
> the environment - people are buying more organic produce than ever before. And
> they're not farmers or food scientists or physicians.

Exactly.  They built the prius for people that wanted to be greener or get
better gas milage.  They picked a group that was certainly less then
everyone and targeted them.  Home run.

> I know most people just want their computer to work and beyond that could care
> less what it runs, and Mike that may be your wife and parents' case. But I
> think it is still possible to care about what runs on our computers from a
> values point-of-view, without being fully entrenched in the domain / highly
> technical. I think non-technical folks can appreciate the values behind our
> software and to choose them over other, easier alternatives.
> A confusion I get from your point about your wife and parents, Mike, is that I
> am assuming they are non-technical, and don't share Fedora's values. But I
> what I'm trying to pose here is that you can be non-technical AND share
> Fedora's values.

I should probably state this more clearly.  I sort of feel the Fedora
should be for technical people, I want to see Fedora the lab, where people
come to do, not use.  But I strongly feel that the audience should be
narrowed.  Even if that is to new users.

But yes, I absolutely agree that people can share Fedora's values and be

> The problem is the software isn't designed for non-technical folks in mind.
> And we ask if our non-technical wife or our brother or our neighbor share our
> values, and chances are they don't. Then we make the false assumption that
> it's not worth supporting non-technical users because they all don't share our
> values.

I'm in the view we cannot please everyone all the time.  My experiences on
this earth have lead me to believe that is impossible without an infinite
amount of resources.  So we have to pick otherwise we have the mob rule we
have now.  You're right, our software isn't designed for non-technical
folks.  The question is, should it be?

Where we're left is no hope of building a prius.  The larger tires and
roll cage being designed by some engineers just won't work with the
smaller more gas efficient engine our other engineers are designing.


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