"What is the Fedora Project?"

inode0 inode0 at gmail.com
Thu Oct 22 14:56:15 UTC 2009

2009/10/22 Máirín Duffy <duffy at fedoraproject.org>:
> On 10/22/2009 09:37 AM, Mike McGrath wrote:
>> I'm just going to bring up the elephant in the room, at least the one I
>> see.  Up until this discussion I was under the impression that Ubuntu and
>> us were not in direct competition.  They were catering to noobs and
>> general users, we were catering to enthusiasts and experienced users.
>> Coming out of this conversation (not just with Paul but with everyone) it
>> seems clear that Ubuntu's goals and our goals greatly overlap if not
>> completely overlap.

I think characterizing Ubuntu as catering to noobs is a gross
simplification of their philosophy and mission. They advertise a
server distribution on their front page unlike Fedora and I doubt its
target audience is a bunch of noobs. They have a large and broad
community and a very clear statement of their philosophy that in some
important ways I think is stronger and more clear about certain things
I care very much about.


In practice, I think Fedora's actions speak louder than its words.

> I don't think our goals do overlap though. To us, following an
> excellent, open process of producing software is just as important as
> producing excellent, open source software. One of our goals is to be a
> model and an example of that process, and to prove it works so it may be
> taken up by other domains.
> I don't think they care about that at all.
> To us, the means are not justified by the ends - they are just as
> important. I think to Ubuntu, the ends justify the means.

In the far back corners of my brain this rings a bell reminding me of
the arguments I listened to between the free software and open source
camps when the idea of rebranding free software first began to

>> The problem?  They are KILLING us.  I'm not talking about market share,
>> I'm talking about my recent converts from Fedora to Ubuntu.  I haven't had
>> to do a single thing to my wifes computer since I put Ubuntu on there
>> except setup my printer.  With Fedora I was on it almost daily.
> Did yum updates cause the breakage?

Perhaps it is the level of strictness about what software is allowed
into the distribution ... our refusal to include a "restricted
component" repository which makes the life of a user who doesn't care

One thing about the Fedora vs. Ubuntu comparison that I always find
striking when I think about it is that the Fedora community's actions
align closely to free software but the community doesn't seem very
fond of calling it that, while the Ubuntu community actions align more
closely (at least in my mind) with the open source movement (in terms
of putting a higher initial premium on use, "we'll get to the
philosophy part later") but its community prefers the association with
free software.

In the far back corners of my brain I recall people reminding others
that both the free software and open source camps were part of the
same community and I think it is important to keep in mind that Fedora
and Ubuntu are as well.


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