Artwork Quality (was Re: Sound themes)
mspevack at redhat.com
Wed Oct 29 10:24:03 UTC 2008
On Wed, 29 Oct 2008, Jonathan Roberts wrote:
>> PRIMARY TARGET
>> * Free and open source software enthusiasts, developers, and
>> I haven't polled the entire team about it, but I can pretty much
>> guarantee you that this description is _not_ what we see as the
>> target audience for the Fedora Desktop.
Fedora is *forced* to be a lot of things to a lot of people.
Some of the things that Fedora has to be (simultaneously) are:
1) The premiere community development platform in the OSS world.
2) An open R&D lab for new technologies that Red Hat is interested in
from a RHEL server point of view (witness virtualization's path through
Fedora over the years)
3) An open R&D lab for new ideas and technologies that Red Hat's desktop
team is interested in.
There are others too. The point is, the very heart of Fedora -- the
nature of what we are, and what our sponsor company Red Hat asks that
Fedora be -- will sometimes generate conflict, because there are
multiple constituencies that must always be made happy.
I firmly believe that the INFRASTRUCTURE OF PARTICIPATION that Fedora
builds is the lifeblood that sustains the entire project. Without
continually building and nurturing a strong community, Fedora might
still produce a distro every six months, but that distro will be unable
to provide any additional value back to Red Hat than a proprietary R&D
model. And if that happens, then *some* of Fedora's key goals will have
been failures, and almost all of the people that Red Hat pays to spend
100% of their time on Fedora should be fired immediately, including me.
Now, let's look at the current situation:
We have a Desktop team that is trying to innovate towards its particular
vision. I will admit that I don't know enough about what that vision is
as I would like to, but I am definitely eager to learn.
Questions that I think are valid:
(1) How does the Fedora Art team's *processes* around creating the
default artwork for each Fedora release hinder the Desktop team's
ability to achieve the goals that it has for Fedora?
(2) What is the end-state of all of this that the Desktop team wants?
It's much easier to find common ground in the middle when both sides
understand what the other is actually trying to achieve. Let's all get
our agendas out in the open. Everyone has an agenda, there is nothing
evil or wrong with that. So let's share them. What does the Desktop
Team actually want? Is it "complete control over everything that is
seen in runlevel 5?" Is it something else? I have no idea. What is
the delta between the decision making ability and leadership ability
that the Desktop Team has *right now*, and what the Desktop Team thinks
it should be.
(3) How appropriate is it characterize opinions as belonging to the
Desktop Team versus individuals within that team? Far better for the
Art Team to have one set of positions and the Desktop Team to have
another set of positions, but to know that the collective members of
those teams all agree with the starting points. Then you can have one
conversation, as opposed to 7 or 8 individual ones.
(4) Does the Desktop Team feel that it has participated in the public
processes that the Art Team has set up? Does the DT feel that is has
been shut out from the process? Or does the DT simply not like the
process, and therefore doesn't want to participate in it?
(5) What needs to be done to finally end this cycle of conversations in
a way that everyone can live with? We've been having the same instance
of this talk since Fedora 6/7 timeframe, and one way or another, it has
to end. So again, what is the end state that the Desktop Team is
looking to realize?
I submit to you all that this isn't a problem that the Fedora Marketing
team can solve. This Artwork v Desktop squabble is a problem about the
fundamental way in which Fedora prioritizes the needs of its different
Red Hat has asked that Fedora be many things, as I said earlier. One of
the things Red Hat asks is that Fedora be the best community development
platform in the OSS world, and we strive for that every day. However,
Red Hat has also asked that Fedora be the incubator for the Red Hat
If those two requests are so incompatible with each other that only one
of those goals can be achieved, that is a RED HAT problem and not a
FEDORA problem, and we should take that conversation to our managers
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