Underlying DE for the Workstation product

Adam Williamson awilliam at redhat.com
Fri Jan 31 20:50:33 UTC 2014

On Fri, 2014-01-31 at 11:11 -0800, Adam Williamson wrote:
> On Fri, 2014-01-31 at 11:00 +0100, Rui Tiago Cação Matos wrote:
> > On 31 January 2014 10:47, Christian Schaller <cschalle at redhat.com> wrote:
> > > Through the Software installer there will be other options available for install, like KDE. These will be installed alongside the default package set. We will not have a replace default option, just an add one, in order to ensure that the default package set can be targeted by 3rd parties.
> > 
> > This is an interesting one. Do we want an application installer
> > (that's my view of what gnome-software is) advertising and enabling
> > users to install something like a totally different desktop
> > environment?
> Aside from the question of correctness, I'm not sure it's going to be a
> hugely popular deployment method, and certainly not sufficient as the
> only one. A lot of people don't want to have to install GNOME in order
> to get to KDE.
> So, it might be of use to some people to have a way of deploying other
> desktops from within GNOME - and they may benefit from "painting within
> the lines" of using the 'Workstation product', where they keep the
> 'mandatory packages', whatever they turn out to be, installed alongside
> their preferred DE - but I'm fairly sure it won't satisfy everyone, and
> we will still want to have some kind of a way for people to deploy a
> Fedora system with just KDE or just LXDE or just Cinnamon or just
> (whatever desktop they want).

BTW, I think there's an interesting question emerging in the background
here, and a rather useful consensus, in fact.

I think we can probably all agree on the following:

* The Workstation product should be free to define some criteria that
you have to meet to be considered to be "running the Workstation

Right? Obviously that's what the WG wants, and I don't see a problem
with that *in itself*. I don't think it would be fair to try and argue
that Workstation WG must be required to consider people running KDE or
Xfce or whatever as "running the Workstation product" if they don't
*want* to. You folks seem to be discussing a mechanism/policy by which
people can install extra desktops and still be considered to be "running
the Workstation product", which is, I mean, A+ cool stuff!, but it's
kind of an optional extra. *In theory* I think it would be legitimate
for you to just say "To be considered to be running Fedora Workstation,
you must be running GNOME" - again, I'm not suggesting that's *actually*
what you want to do, I'm just illustrating a scenario.

So the interesting question becomes, what does it mean to *not* be
"running the Workstation product"? (And, of course, by extension, the
same applies to all the other products).

I don't know, maybe this isn't as interesting to anyone else, but to
*me* this seems like a useful and productive way of conceptualizing
things which actually makes me feel less worried about .next. We can
define what expectations people can reasonably have if they're "running
Fedora", what expectations people can reasonably have if they're
"running Workstation", and so forth. And we certainly still have the
opportunity to make the experience of just "running Fedora" be as good
as it is today, and then making the Products spaces where you have
interesting *extra* expectations.

If I look at it this way, things start looking kind of awesome. For
instance, it *is* an interesting idea to say "if you meet the rules of
"running Fedora Workstation", you can expect that third party software
that complies with (these standards) will work". Looked at as an *extra*
expectation that we provide via this "Product" space, that starts
looking like a cool new thing.

So, yeah, I guess I'm feeling chirpier this morning. =) If we think of
the Products as being spaces where we define certain requirements for
the software/configuration set you're running, and *in exchange for
that* we provide some extra expectations and functionalities that it
just isn't plausible to provide in the "you can run any package set you
like!" world - but we still explicitly say it's OK to just "run Fedora",
with whatever package set you like, and still expect, you know, for yum
to work and package updates to not conflict and all that good
stuff...hey, that actually sounds like a pretty awesome world.

I can imagine we'll wind up having to make a *few* compromises, but I
think we could make it work out really well.

So, am I right to look at it this way? Does that more or less line up
with how the folks driving the Products see things? If so, expect less
negative energy from me in future :P
Adam Williamson
Fedora QA Community Monkey
IRC: adamw | Twitter: AdamW_Fedora | XMPP: adamw AT happyassassin . net

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