On Mon, Jan 14, 2019 at 07:58:43PM -0500, John Harris wrote:
> Merging Core and Extras into one thing was absolutely the
> right thing to do for the project, but not having a unique name for the
> resulting OS was a mistake and leads to this. Ah well.
In your opinion, is the purpose of the Fedora Project something other than
the creation and maintenance of the distribution known as Fedora?
It has always been broader than that.
Way back in history, the project was created by the merger of the
(short-lived) "Red Hat Linux Project", which had a narrow
distro-producing mission, and fedora.us, which had the goal of
publishing what it described as "third-party software" _on top of_ that
distribution. When these projects merged, they nominally took on the
Red Hat Linux Project mission, but in practice, the effort remained
wider — for example, the Fedora Legacy effort to provide security
updates for non-Fedora Red Hat Linux 8 and 9.
Take a look at the "Objectives of Fedora" list from back in 2008
... actually this is even older but we lost wiki history from before
Building a distro is *one* of the objectives, but they're not really
all *just* about that. This was reflected in the 2010 mission statement
"to lead the advancement of free and open source software and content
as a collaborative community."
At that time, the above page was expanded (see
and included these top level things:
* "Creating a Free (as in Freedom) distribution"
* "Building open source software communities"
* "Developing the science and practice of building communities"
When the Council sat down to review this two years ago, we felt like in
some ways the ambition there exceeded our practical *actual* abilities,
and we chose to dial back the scope a bit and to focus on platform
building. (That resulted in the current mission statement: "Fedora
creates an innovative platform for hardware, clouds, and containers
that enables software developers and community members to build
tailored solutions for their users.")
That platform, still, is broader than what is commonly understood as
"the distribution known as Fedora". Notably, it includes EPEL, which,
by the numbers, is used on many more systems than the Fedora OS
distribution itself. (In many ways, I think EPEL is the natural
successor to the fedora.us part of our heritage.) It also includes
CoreOS, and Silverblue, and the IoT thing (which needs a catchy name).
These are built from the same bits but are in many ways different from
our traditional distribution.
In the future, we should also be open to building and including open
source software in non-RPM formats and considering that all under the
Fedora umbrella as well. If we scoped our mission to just maintaining
the distro as it exists today, we might not feel like that's even
possible. We shouldn't limit ourselves in that way.
Likewise, Kevin mentioned earlier in this thread the view that "the
Fedora user base is clearly desktop-centric". I don't think that's
actually completely true (see EPEL and CoreOS, but also the lots of
people who came into the project from a server/sysadmin background).
But even if we take it as true, that view leads inevitably to an
overall narrowing. It's only a small step to "the Fedora user base is
clearly GNOME-centric" and so on down.
Now, we *could* take the strategic direction that it'd be better to cut
all that stuff away and really focus on making that desktop GNOME OS
_only_. We could probably do that very successfully, even. But to me
that doesn't feel right for the project's heritage. We've decided to go
the other direction. Rather than picking one narrow thing and saying
"this OS offering *is* Fedora", we want to enable *lots* of different
solutions and offerings under the Fedora Project umbrella. If an idea
fits with our core values and you want to work on it in Fedora,
So, although I disagree about Editions and the getfedora.org
I *do* want to see Fedora KDE Plasma Desktop, Fedora Cinnamon Desktop,
Fedora Astronomy Lab, Fedora Jam, and all the rest get more promotion
and support. That's totally the within the project's mission, and I
totally support the teams behind those efforts. The Mindshare Committee
and the Council can't promise *people* to do things, but we can
allocate funds to help drive towards subproject goals.
Fedora Project Leader