"What is the Fedora Project?"

Máirín Duffy mairin at linuxgrrl.com
Fri Oct 9 16:32:00 UTC 2009

Hey Greg!

On 10/09/2009 11:05 AM, Greg DeKoenigsberg wrote:
> 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.

I agree with this. However, I'm not sure anyone here wouldn't.

I don't *think* folks here take issue with the ingredients we've got 
floating around in the kitchen, and I don't think anyone is looking to 
throw any of them out. I think the problem is more that we haven't 
decided on a recipe with which to present them in. In the end, we've got 
to offer a menu that makes sense. And to the outside world, the Fedora 
menu looks like a confused mess. Rather than try to interpret it, most 
folks head down to the street to the more-easily-grokked McDonald's.

So, I think the problem is more one of positioning / messaging / story. 
I feel like ours is ill-defined and happenstance, especially going 
through the process of the www.fedoraproject.org and 
spins.fedoraproject.org redesign. Does anyone else feel this way?

Let me give an example of another distro's positioning strategy to show 
what I mean. In the Ubuntu world, there is one Ubuntu desktop. If I tell 
my friends I'm using Ubuntu, they know what I am referring to. If you 
want KDE you go to Kubuntu, which has its own separate web presence / 
community - kubuntu.org. Same for XFCE, Xubuntu. Edubuntu. Ubuntu Studio 
(ubuntustudio.org). That gives their community a particular flavor / 
story that's different than our current one, where 'what is Fedora?' is 
a confusing question for an outside observer - our spins are more firmly 
under the Fedora brand than in Ubuntu's case, but the relationships 
between them, the default spin, and the community as a whole are still 
kind of muddy. [1]

Another example of a positioning model that I am unsure if anyone 
follows - what if Fedora *is* the default spin, and the other spins were 
posed primarily as 'content packs' that you can load onto the default 
Fedora (still keeping the bootable spin images, but they aren't center 
stage as much as the spin content itself.)

What I would like to see come out of this discussion is a better story 
around the relationships and positioning of the elements of Fedora. I 
think right now we've got a bit of a messy smorgasbord. :-/ I would like 
to see us explore other models of refining and presenting our menu and 
some discussion around which models support our goals and values as a 


(sorry for all the food analogies, I love cooking)

[1] I'm not trying to suggest the Ubuntu model is where we should go. I 
do not like that model. Instead, I'm simply trying to demonstrate an 

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