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Re: Developers vs Grandmas

On Thu, 2008-10-23 at 13:43 -0300, Luis Felipe Marzagao wrote:
> I think this is an important issue. I must say it´s impressive how 
> Fedora has been changing and giving much more attention, on each 
> realease, to the needs of end-users. We don´t need to go very far. If we 
> compare FC5 and F10, we can see there are huge differences in terms of 
> end-user support. NetworkManager is one great example.

In many cases, Fedora is just the face for upstream software
development.  Take GNOME as an example -- there is a project with a
strong opinion about user interface design and human interaction.  
We're not adding much value on top of that, except to channel bugs back

I think we need to be clear about which problems we can solve within
_this_ project.

> Although this has been really nice, I think there are things to improve. 
> I´m always hiting on the same key when it comes to end-users. I know 
> Fedora cannot (and should not) go away from its objectives (which is the 
> very reason of its success), but paying attention to the end-user voice 
> should be added as one *serious* project objective also. I mean, side by 
> side with "smooth updates", "rapid evolution" and the other good Fedora 
> principles.
> I don´t have any doubts about the quality of the software behind Fedora. 
> And I´m aware a lot of people don´t mind if Fedora has a lot of 
> end-users or not. And that´s what I think should be changed. Fedora 
> should seek for increasing the number of end-users. And that´s only 
> possible when it receives, with an open spirit, and put to 
> consideration, the end-users demands. I´m not saying it´s not done at 
> all. I´m only suggesting it should be added as a main goal.

I think we are safer leaving that goal to the upstream projects we adopt
from.  Let us channel user experience back to GNOME, KDE, et al, and all
the smaller applications.

I do think that having something such as, "Grow quantity of consuming
end-users by focusing on their demands," is going to be at direct odds
with the rest of the project objectives.  We cannot effectively test the
quality of the latest GNOME and KDE interface, for example, if we are
not willing to put it out there as-is and see what happens.  If we feel
we need to "adjust" such software to match end-user demands directly, we
begin a very slippery process.  It might appear successful at first, as
it is for other distros, but in the long run, it is a failing

This is an evolutionary process.  We need to *first* improve the quality
of tools that Fedora contributors use.  We need to make it simple for
people who help in #fedora to file and track bugs, etc.  As we have
success there, we can push those tools closer and closer to the edge
where the end-user lives.

- Karsten
Karsten Wade, Community Gardener
Dev Fu : http://developer.redhatmagazine.com
Fedora : http://quaid.fedorapeople.org
gpg key : AD0E0C41

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