[Ambassadors] New Project: Blur

David Nalley david at gnsa.us
Mon Jul 13 00:33:51 UTC 2009

On Sun, Jul 12, 2009 at 6:12 PM, Braden Faulkner<bradenflknr at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Jul 12, 2009, at 5:55 PM, "Mathieu Bridon (bochecha)"
> <bochecha at fedoraproject.org> wrote:
>> Hi,
>>> I was thinking of Linux as a whole the other day. I thought that Linux
>>> might
>>> be to fragmented. So, I started a project called "Blur". It's a project
>>> about collaberating with other Linux distros and groups.
>>> Let me know what you guys think.
>>> http://www.fedoraproject.org/wiki/blur
>> So the goal is to « stop the fragmentation between the different Linux
>> communities and to initiate a collaborative whole effort between
>> distributions and the entire Linux community »
>> The project is still in the rough stage of planning.
>> What do you mean ? On technical points ? On something else ?
> Well, sometimes distros often reivent the wheel on certain items. Also, it
> can be confusing to new users to choose a distro that works for them.
>> What concrete actions do you have in mind ?
> As for action, I'm thinking of a site that can easily allow for ideas to be
> cross referanced that it not specific to any distro. So, it makes a better
> Linux, as a whole. Perhaps, even a distro alliance.
>> Right now, I can't think anything about this project, as it doesn't
>> even seem to be defined :-/
> We are still planning and coming up with ideas.
>> On the other hand, we are already collaborating with other
>> distributions. Developers from different distributions are working
>> together on upstream projects like the kernel for example. Last week I
>> was at a FOSS event in France, and I was during the whole week with
>> members of other communities (Ubuntu, Mandriva, ArchLinux, etc.). We
>> discussed about common release parties, shops, etc... (we even got
>> drunk all together :)
>> Anyway, could you explain a bit more what is this project ?
> I agree, the project isn't quite clear but, basically it wants to give Linux
> as a whole a stronger unified image to the general public, without confusing
> them.
> Best Regards,
> - helofromseattle
>> Best regards,
>> ----------
>> Mathieu Bridon (bochecha)
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So a couple of comments.
I think from the standpoint of accomplishing your stated goals the
best way to do so is to work upstream. Comparatively, very little of
what a user touches in a distribution comes from the distribution
itself. Gnome comes Gnome, KDE from KDE, etc. The real problem is that
people go and make changes, or patch things, and don't share that
upstream. I am thrilled that Fedora has specific guidelines requiring
that patches to packages be offered upstream, and I think it sets us
I think that Greg Kroah-Hartmann's keynote speech at Linux Plumbers
Conference (it's on google video) should be mandatory viewing because
it far better describes the problem I do a poor job of illustrating in
the next sentences.
The problem that I believe you are seeing is that various
distributions run different versions, and a number of distributions
change the defaults in a given application or desktop environment.
So for instance, the RHEL5 desktop experience will never be what the
Fedora 11 desktop experience is.

Another important thing to think about is 'itches'
A number of F/LOSS projects started, or are going down the path they
are due to itches that developers needed to scratch.
To give you an example - AIUI gnote was written to avoid the
relatively large size increase in livecd images caused by Tomboy. They
are essentially identical implementations written in different
Those itches and subsequent scratching are very important, trying to
make things one size fits all rarely makes those itches go away.

Those differences that you see are because the distributions have very
different goals.
Fedora, for instance, seeks to provide the best of free software, right now.
RHEL, seeks to provide 7 years of API/ABI stability that they support

Differences are a good thing - it means we can take advantage of each
others differing work and experiences.

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