"What is the Fedora Project?"

Máirín Duffy mairin at linuxgrrl.com
Wed Oct 14 17:45:41 UTC 2009

I wanted to point out another view on this topic, from a technical user 
who uses not only Fedora but other Linux distros. She messaged me 
off-list and asked me to present her point-of-view, and my summary of 
that is what follows:

- She has been using Linux for over 11 years and works on a security 
product that involves securing multiple Linux distributions - SuSE, 
Fedora, Debian, Mandriva, etc.

- Fedora had been the favored Linux distro for both her and many of her 
prominent customers, including well-known government and military 
agencies. Up until FC6. Over the past two years, distros such as CentOS, 
SuSe,  Ubuntu, Scientific Linux, and Oracle Linux are showing greater 
stability and thus customer interest has shifted away from Fedora.

- Fedora "was cutting edge, yet reasonably stable and easy to use." Now 
it is too unstable. Some complaints about recent Fedora releases she has 
heard from clients, "antagonistic upgrades and an increasing lack of 

- The clients she refers to are highly-technical users, running advanced 
scientific projects and in some cases military operations. They're not 
highly technical in terms of being intimately familiar with the inner 
workings of Linux, they're highly technical in their domains which are 
complex. They have PhDs in meterology or advanced medical and 
aeronautics degrees. And they want the distro they work with to just 
work - they can't deal with the instability we've introduced over the 
past two years and have started going elsewhere. The suggestion 
elsewhere in the thread that one should be required to have a 'drivers 
license' to run a distro she related to requiring a kernel hacker to 
interpret the results of a medical exam - a highly technical person just 
not in their field of expertise.

One particular quote she gave me that I'd like to share:

"Fedora boasts of an "innovation" target audience but is falling down in 
the two areas real world (excepting perhaps games and CGI) 
high-innovation users demand: stable upgrades and consistent usability. 
I believe if your group can wrestle these back under control the distro 
numbers would increase dramatically."

In summary, having technical users as a target isn't a good excuse for 
instability and complexity.


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