"What is the Fedora Project?"

Greg DeKoenigsberg gdk at redhat.com
Fri Oct 9 15:05:59 UTC 2009

A bit late to this thread -- my apologies.  Here's what I believe, and 
forgive me if it's too fuzzy and meta.

I believe that the Fedora leadership should stake out positions that they 
believe to be correct, and should work to mobilize resources that move us 
in those directions.  That's what leadership is for, and that should be 
the primary mission of the Board.

I also believe, however, that the Board must guarantee the freedom for 
dissenting community members to move in their own directions.  Fedora's 
governance was built to ensure precisely this freedom.  The Board is 
empowered to bless the "Foo Project", but any Fedora contributor is free 
to form the "Anti-Foo SIG," even if the goal of that SIG is to prove, 
through their constructive actions, that the direction of the "Foo 
Project" is wrong.

It concerns me that we seem to be taking a tone that encourages us to 
exclude people, as though it is strictly necessary to tell people "we 
don't care about that, go away".  It is not necessary to do this. 
Rather, I believe that we should say "we care primarily about *this*, and 
so we will focus on it, but we understand that you care primarily about 
*that*, and we welcome your attempts to make *that* happen as well."

Note that this does *not* mean that we're settling for some watered-down 
form of lowest-common-denominator democracy, as some seem to imply; 
rather, it is a pluralistic meritocracy, in which we recognize that both 
ideas *and actions* can come from all directions, even opposite ones -- 
and that today's popular idea is not necessarily the only worthwhile idea. 
It is critical to understand this pluralism, and to protect it.

I understand that there will be a handful of cases that are truly 
either/or -- i.e. there can be either one default spin or many default 
spins, and we must choose one or the other.  That's fine.  Let's make 
decisions where we must make them -- but otherwise, let everyone pursue 
their passions as far as their abilites will carry them, and let us do 
our best to recognize those efforts wherever they bear fruit.


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