Response to "Getting Fedora Out of the If-Then Loop"

Paul W. Frields stickster at
Sat Feb 20 15:50:29 UTC 2010

On Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 08:44:56PM -0500, Máirín Duffy wrote:
> Hi Greg,
> On Thu, 2010-02-18 at 17:30 -0500, Greg DeKoenigsberg wrote:
> > Think of it this way: every Fedora subproject, from the lowest SIG to the 
> > loftiest, competes for resources, to a greater or lesser extent.
> > 
> > Like the homepage, for instance.  The homepage of, for example, 
> > is the subject of insanely brutal infighting, because everyone wants to 
> > see their baby get equal treatment.  Which is fair, btw, and which we will 
> > see more and more in Fedora-land as we continue to discuss issues of 
> > "focus".
> > 
> >
> > 
> > "Attention", or "focus" if you prefer, is a scarce resource.  If you work 
> > on KDE or Xfce, and all of the conversation is continually around "focus", 
> > and it seems like that "focus" discussion continues to be "a usability 
> > focus on the primary spin," then one wonders "will I have access to these 
> > resources?"  In fact, one knows the answer, and therefore doesn't bother 
> > to ask.
> Those resources are not as fluid or transferable as they seem in the
> abstract, though. Adam enjoys working on XFCE. Nobody is going to force
> him to stop working on it - it's just not reasonable. I have no QT or
> KDE app design expertise. If we suddenly decided to focus on the KDE
> spin as the default spin, am I going to be expected to start churning
> out mockups for KDE apps or am I going to be prevented from continuing
> to work on mockups for GTK+-based apps? 
> There's a reality here that's not being acknowledged, and it has little
> to do with popularity. I hope folks who work on XFCE or KDE in Fedora
> don't come into those projects with the expectation that the same amount
> of resources are dedicated to those as the desktop spin - because that's
> never been true, and I sure hope they've not been misled into thinking
> so. If I go to a Honda dealer in order to buy a Chevy I saw an ad for in
> the paper, I do go with the full understanding that they're a Honda
> dealership and don't argue with the dealer that he should have that used
> Cobalt in red, blue, and silver as well as black.

It's important we realize this isn't just about spins or desktop
environments.  It's also about the people who work on QA, release
engineering, docs, marketing, testing, and so forth.  Since time
immemorial we've had unresolved questions about how to resolve
conflicts between how our technology moves, what should be documented
by default, how QA picks targets for testing... all of these questions
have been around for a while.  In part we're trying to acknowledge
those issues and move on.  At the same time, recognizing those areas
may have scant resources, we want to identify the gaps they create
clearly.  That way, contributors *know where their help is needed*,
and also have the opportunity to gather like-minded people to work on
closing them.

It's not about making the few do more -- it's about understanding the
tasks where we don't have enough people with skills available, so that
we can effectively seek out *new* contributors to work on those
things.  That's not a new concept, just a recognition that simply
creating tasks doesn't necessarily mean they get done.

Paul W. Frields                      
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