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Re: what is fedora?

2008/11/29 Paul W. Frields <stickster gmail com>
On Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 09:15:21PM -0500, Jon Stanley wrote:
> 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.

Jon, this was a great explanation and reflects exactly the way I try
to educate journalists who are reporting on Fedora.  I would encourage
anyone who wants to contribute to the Marketing team to generalize
this onto a wiki page.

In terms of finding a way to "spread this sort of messaging" - and forgive me if this
has already been discussed, but I didn't see anything in archives - has anyone
ever given any thought to doing a Fedora analyst day? Similar to what a public company
would do, minus that whole dreadfully boring "profit" part of the day :)

Maybe financial analysts would not be quite as interested (but perhaps they would,
who knows) - but it would be a good way to interface with industry analysts and
press people and really drive this type of message home - along with giving
some depth to the subject of "how fedora users are counted," which I saw is also a
point of pain when it comes to reading what press people are writing,  discussing
what Fedora believes their share of the market is (does anyone do this?)... and just generally
giving some longer, informative sessions to a lot of analysts and press people at once
to clear up any misinformation stored in their brains.  Not to mention give them reasons
to have and keep Fedora on their radar when it comes to writing reports or stories.  And
just start developing good ongoing rapport with these people.

A lot of depth can be covered in a 1/2 day or day that just can't be covered in a half-hour briefing
or interview.  It's something that could be done the day before / after someone else's analyst day
(RH, or anyone else who would be bringing in the desired audience of people) - or really even
before/during/after any conference where all the appropriate parties would likely be
(get a room for a 1/2 day during linuxcon)... or even do something streaming online for a first

Just a thought. :)


PS. Hi! I'm new here. ;)

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