Proposal for the new Fedora Project

Mike McGrath mmcgrath at
Thu Sep 30 21:44:00 UTC 2010

Now with a subject!

On Thu, 30 Sep 2010, Mike McGrath wrote:

> I'm no lame duck, I swear.  This is a pretty dramatic proposal, my hopes
> are it will generate much discussion.  It's no secret I'm not big on the
> future of the desktop[1].  With great reflection and further research I've
> come to realize something else.  Google is about to destroy just about
> everyone.  There's a tiny handful of people that don't like the idea of
> cloud computing and information "in the cloud".  The majority of the world
> though in love with it or will be and not know it.  The problem: Free
> Software is in no position to compete with the web based applications of
> the Google of tomorrow.
> What am I talking about?  HTML5 and javascript.  Javascript has gotten
> significantly faster in just the last two years.  In some cases over 100
> times faster then just 2 years ago.  Who drove that?  Google and Chrome.
> Why did they do it?  They realize HTML5 is disruptive technology.  What we
> think of advanced "web technologies" today, are still based on html 4.01.
> Not changed in over 10 years.  Ajax was a nice addition 7 or so years back
> but the foundations, the primitives are 10 years old.
>   Think about how much computing has changed in the last 10 years.  From
> 2000 to 2010.  They will change that much if not more in the next 10
> years.
> HTML5 adds some amazing new features.  Local database, offline storage,
> canvas and inline SVG to name just a few.  If you do a little research
> you'll see Google employees are tipping their hand.  Many are releasing
> youtube videos of the work they're doing.  Google has a great deal of
> institutional knowledge about HTML5.  Very interesting since the standard
> isn't even complete yet.  When it is, they'll be ready and those
> applications won't look ANYTHING like what the web apps today look like.
> They'll look like native desktop apps.
> Take this example:
> Imagine that technology applied to actual applications.... That run
> anywhere HTML5 does.  Our idea of the desktop is gone.
> This next part is VERY important.
> This is an opportunity.
> So what am I proposing?  I think Fedora should slowly transition itself to
> be similar to how the Apache Software Foundation is setup.  We should put
> more resources into fedorahosted and grow it.  (Perhaps our new
> infrastructure lead would agree?  ;)  but the infrastructure is only one
> tiny part of it.  We build these applications, get communities around them
> then let OTHERS actually run them.  We'd need engineering coordinators,
> architects, planners.  Not just from Red Hat but from other major
> stakeholders as well.  We create these tools for others.
> Our best plan for Google isn't to take them on directly but to build tools
> that let everyone take them on a little bit at a time.  Clearly this isn't
> something that will be done next month.  This is an ambitious, long term
> goal that would take place over the next several years.  The reason it
> will work is we'd be getting on the HTML5 bandwagon early.  Very early.
> Others are already doing work here.  Like Mozilla's skywriter:
> -
> Take a look at that thing.  That's the future of office/productivity
> applications, the future of communication, the future of computing.
> Don't just admire what skywriter does.  Imagine what it will do, what it
> could do.  Imagine what Google's applications will look like when they're
> converted.
> Businesses are already moving to cloud computing for their backend.  What
> are they going to run on the front end?  At the moment?  Not free
> software.  We're no where near that market right now..  But we can be.
> There's no reason in the world we can't spread free software via web
> applications / cloud computing.  Even though someone chooses to run
> windows or OSX, there's no reason they can't do their primary computing on
> free software.  Perhaps provided by their ISP, their business, other ISPs.
> 	-Mike
> [1]
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