"What is the Fedora Project?"

Seth Vidal skvidal at fedoraproject.org
Thu Oct 15 16:18:44 UTC 2009

On Thu, 15 Oct 2009, Máirín Duffy wrote:

> Seth, I understand your argument, and I do understand visioning Fedora to be 
> a proving ground for leading technology. However, I don't believe 
> 'leading-edge' is mutually exclusive with 'usable.' There's a spectrum within 
> leading-edge where it's too unstable to be usable v. leading edge at just the 
> right sweet spot / pace that it's still functional. Couldn't we aim for the 
> latter?

We have to AIM at all, first. That's what this discussion has been about. 
You can't aim for something without know what the target is. And your aim 
improves if you can distinguish the target from the background and other 
tangential items.

> What's the point of being leading-edge if it's so hard to use that nobody can 
> actually check it out, learn from it, appreciate it? It's like a shopkeeper 
> opening up a shop with amazing unique products, but keeping erratic and 
> unposted hours, yet somehow expecting to have happy loyal customers and to 
> make a profit. She'll have a limited population of extremely loyal customers, 
> but feel frustrated that she seems unable to expand. Is that where Fedora is 
> today?

I suspect fedora is like a shop filled with a hodgepodge of goods where 
and a title on the outside that says 'STUFF!' and no one knows WHY to go 
inside, let alone what they'll find when they get in there.

I don't go into random knick-knack shops looking for shoes or food. I go 
to shoe stores or restaurants (respectively).

What should the sign above fedora say? Programs! Software! ?

> I have a bachelor's degree in computer science, a master's degree in 
> human-computer interaction, and I have been using Linux since I was in high 
> school. I love technology - many women are addicted to shoe-shopping, but I'm 
> instead addicted to shopping new electronic gadgets. Software freedom is 
> essentially my religion, and I've reserved a big chunk of my heart and soul 
> for Fedora.

I don't think anyone here has ever questioned your cred. :)

> Yet I am NOT happy to live with the scenario described in the postscript 
> below. If *I* have a hard time dealing with it, how do we expect people who 
> aren't total Fedora groupies and religious about free software to deal?

And I think the point that Mike and I have been making on this list is 
that given the claimed goals of fedora we shouldn't expect people who are 
not religious about free software and heavily involved to get ANYTHING out 
of fedora.

In short we have a choice:
  1. change the goals of fedora


  2. tell people we are intending for a small segment of the over 
population  and those folks who are not in that segment and/or are not 
interested in becoming a member of that segment are NOT in the righr 

We don't get it both ways.

> p.s. I use Fedora 11, not rawhide. While I was typing this email, my battery 
> reached 3% capacity and gnome-power-manager prompted me to plug in my AC 
> adapter. Instead of charging the battery, which certainly had enough juice 
> for me to continue on (10 unplugged minutes left), plugging in the AC adapter 
> triggered the machine to go into suspend. I was interrupted for 5+ 
> blood-rising minutes while I waited for the machine to go into suspend, 
> waited for it to settle, then hit a key to prompt it to come back. Then I had 
> to attempt 6 or 7 times to get the fingerprint reader to unlock the 
> screensaver dialog because GNOME screensaver doesn't let me type in my 
> password with fingerprint enabled. I then had to re-connect my network, type 
> in my keyring password, and re-connect to my VPN. Finally I was able to get 
> back to this email.
> Note this is F11, and F11 is supposed to be a stable Fedora release. If my 
> machine didn't play well with suspend (it occasionally crashes while 
> suspending and never comes back), I would have lost all of my open work on 
> this machine just now.
> This is maybe the 10th time this suspend scenario has happened to me with 
> gnome-power-manager in the past month or so. I've lost quite a bit of work 
> due to it. What can I do? I am powerless except to train myself to always 
> keep my laptop plugged in (not great for my battery), and when I can't and my 
> power runs low, I must drop everything I am doing, save ALL of my work, shut 
> the computer down, plug it in, and then turn it back on.
> I don't necessarily think we need to have everything perfect and stable. But 
> we don't want to abuse people, making them feel completely powerless over 
> their computer. I think it would be worth brainstorming ways we can empower 
> our users to deal with these types of problems.

my short answer to this is easy:

newest != stable.

Think back to RHL days. Remember the 'avoid the .0' strategy that A LOT 
of people adopted?

Every fedora release is more or less a .0. THAT IS BY DESIGN OF OUR GOALS.

If we want to change fedora we have to think about those goals.


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