Proposal for the new Fedora Project

David Nalley david at
Thu Sep 30 22:45:39 UTC 2010

On Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 5:44 PM, Mike McGrath <mmcgrath at> wrote:
> 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]
>> _______________________________________________
>> advisory-board mailing list
>> advisory-board at
> _______________________________________________
> advisory-board mailing list
> advisory-board at

Hi Mike:

I find this conversation extremely interesting. I even remember
discussing the importance of fedorahosted with you not too many months
distant. I also see even the 'traditional' desktop folks are talking
about this. At OLF earlier this month, Stormy Peters, the executive
directory of the Gnome Foundation gave a talk on 'Stealing the
Desktop' and how the cloud is becoming the platform, and that it lacks
the 'freedom' that we take for granted with our Linux installations.
Phil Robb, the HP's Open Source & Linux group's Engineering Manager
gave a presentation on the 'Irrelevance of the Desktop' So I certainly
think you aren't alone in your observations.

So your proposal talks about what the end goal is (ASF-like
organization that fosters cloud and other groups and helps provide the
tools around it) what steps in the next 6 months to a year would put
us on the path to achieving that?


More information about the advisory-board mailing list