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Re: what is fedora?

On Thu, Nov 27, 2008 at 6:56 AM, Jonas Karlsson
<jonas karlsson fxdev com> wrote:

> Am I compleatly wrong or have anyone of you been asking the question, what
> is fedora?

So I'm on both sides of the fence - Fedora contributor and RHEL
customer (as I suspect that many of us are). And the question does
come up a lot, so here's my "stock response":

Fedora's goal is to be the best of what works today.  RHEL's goal is
to be the best of what works and is supportable for the next 7 years.
These are fundamentally incompatible goals, which cannot be served by
one distribution.

Fedora accomplishes it's goal by being a completely open and
transparent R&D lab, for both Red Hat and members of the community.
Anyone, whether you're working on Fedora in your spare time (as I do),
or if you have a mandate from your manager at Red Ha because they'd
like to see a particular feature in the next version of RHEL, can get
a feature into Fedora by following the same process. Let me make some
cases in point, using some features from Fedora 10.

First, from the community side, Hans de Goede (now a Red Hat employee,
but that's really irrelevant - he wasn't when he started work on the
feature and is employed doing something completely different), decided
that we needed better webcam support in Fedora.  He defined the
problem space, worked to implement the drivers required in the
upstream kernel, and packaged a library to provide v4l2 access to v4l1
apps (sorry for the technical details there).

>From the Red Hat "features we'd like to see in RHEL" side (note that
this is speculation as to the motivation for this feature, but pretty
educated speculation), libvirt (which is the hypervisor-agnostic
virtualization mangement layer in Fedora/RHEL) can now remotely
provision storage and perform remote installations. These features
were again implemented upstream (even though we are upstream for
libvirt), thus making the improvements available for any  consumer of
libvirt, Fedora included, packaged in Fedora, put through a test plan,
and accepted.

If it really were a fact that "Fedora is a perpetual beta of RHEL"
were true, two things would not be true:

1) The first feature would not be in Fedora, it provides very little
"enterprise" value (however does provide a lot of value in that we now
have a wider range of hardware that Just Works(TM) ).

2) I would not be a member of the Fedora Engineering Steering
Committee (FESCo) which decides on the technical direction of Fedora
and is in charge of the feature process.

I'm sorry that this has been long, but I really think that this is a
really important topic, and we (Fedora Marketing) need to find a way
to spread this sort of messaging.


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