"What is the Fedora Project?"

John Poelstra poelstra at redhat.com
Fri Oct 9 17:08:32 UTC 2009

Here are my answers to the questions I originally raised.

John Poelstra said the following on 10/06/2009 09:11 PM Pacific Time:
  > (a) Define a target audience for the Fedora distribution (or maybe
> narrow the definition to "default spin")--without a clear target 
> audience for our product there is a lack of clarity around when we are 
> "done."  It also makes it difficult to make decisions about release 
> quality and release composition.

I propose someone fitting this profile:
   o moderately experienced computer users who wants to use Linux as a 
desktop (email, web surfing, office suite, software development) or to 
run simple web services
     --they should not have to go to the command line to fix problems 
that come up due to bad package updates or other unintended regressions
   o comfortable installing a new operating system themselves to a 
stand-alone machine (no dual boot or other craziness--wipe the whole 
drive and continue)
   o someone interested in going deeper and learning more about how the 
operating system works

I'm not opposed to the profile Mike McGrath has proposed either along 
the lines of "targeting developers". If we go that direction I think it 
would be important to have a clear pathway for people that are not 
developers to become developers. Otherwise I could see us stagnating if 
we expected people to just come to us already having experience.

CALLING ANY EXPERTS OR INDUSTRY FOLKS: Are there any product marketing 
or brand people out there that can suggest some good methodology or an 
approach to defining a target audience that is more efficient than our 
approach thus far?

IOW, what is the simplest way to define and explain our "target 
audience" without creating a wiki page that is 15 paragraphs long and 25 
questions to answer?

> (b) Set some broad goals for where we want the Fedora Distirbution to 
> look like a few release from now--say when Fedora 15 is released.  What 
> should those be?

o Our release processes are running smoothly and more people understand 
how they work--no last minute "I didn't realize Feature Freeze meant my 
feature had to be mostly done."
o Our releases ship on time and we do not miss any of our test or final 
release dates
    --if we do, it is for something other than, blocker bugs weren't 
fixed in time or rawhide wasn't working
o The release under development is destabilized far less than it is today
   --"unfrozen rawhide" is fully implemented and the main branch release 
under development is stable and can be reverted to (thus allowing us to 
ship on time) when regressions or other bugs are introduced
   --in a given month rawhide was installable and usable for regular 
desktop use 90% of the time.
o The question of who our target audience is or what the Fedora distro 
is for are answered and established.
   --When these topics come up they are discussed in form of "we should 
change from X to Y" not "how about X or Y or why do we need to decide?".

> (c) Set some broad goals for where we want the Fedora Fedora Project to 
> look like a few release from now--say when Fedora 15 is released.  What 
> should those be?

o Wider integration and use of the community portal
   --Establish a clearer vision of who this portal is for and what how 
it will be used by more people
   --Actively use and take advantage of it
   --I know the portal does a lot of cool things, but I'm not sure who 
its intended audience is
o We can accurately answer questions like (beyond just counting FAS 
   --Is community participation growing or slowing?
   --Is the Fedora Project attracting new people?
       --Are they staying?
       --What makes them stay?
       --How involved are they?
       --What is causing them to leave?

o The Fedora Project is known as a welcoming software community that 
helps other people grow.
   --It is considered the "gold standard" for how well run open source 
software projects work.  This same standard is also applied to the way 
we create our distro and how it is received by our targeted audience.
   --We have an established way to measure this

> (d) Set a goal of five things we believe should be improved or fixed by 
> the release of Fedora 13 that will make the Fedora Distribution a better 
> product or the Fedora Project a stronger community.  What should those 
> things be?

1) Completely (as in nothing deferred to Fedora 14) implement the 
"unfrozen rawhide" proposal

2) Update our documented release process and freeze policies so that 
more people can understand them and find them
   --I'm planning to help with this one.
   --Ideas on how to measure the success or failure of this is welcome.

3) More communication about upcoming schedule milestones and what the 
expectations are around those milestones
    --I'm planning to help with this one.
    --Ideas on how to measure the success or failure of this is welcome.

4) Release Criteria for each release: Alpha, Beta, and Final--I'm 
planning to help with this one.
   --in order to write good release criteria we need to know what the 
goals are for what we are creating and releasing
   --To to this we also have be able define what success is for our 
   --I'm suggesting something beyond what we have now and have some 
drafts in progress

5) Clear instructions and a guide so that anyone can write a test for 
the automated QA testing framework.  Established processes for adding 
newly written tests to the framework and seeing the results.

6) The automated testing framework tells us more often than not when 
rawhide is unusable on a particular day vs. someone discovering it on 
their own.  A place for fedora-test-list posters to check first.

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