Open Letter: Why I, Kevin Kofler, am not rerunning for FESCo

Jesse Keating jkeating at
Tue May 4 18:00:11 UTC 2010

On Tue, 2010-05-04 at 19:25 +0200, Kevin Kofler wrote:
> Jesse Keating wrote:
> > Bad data is worse than no data.
> I disagree. As "bad" as the data is, it can't be worse than claiming users 
> want, or worse, "need", conservative updates without any evidence whatsoever 
> as has been done!

Wrong.  There was data, on this very list, of users who desired more
conservative updates.  There was also evidence on IRC of more users who
felt the same.  I'd say there is the same quality of data.

> In fact I can bring you non-statistical evidence for the opposite: There is 
> already a distribution which works the way people suggested (releases every 
> 6 months, does not upgrade their stable releases to new upstream releases). 
> It's called "Ubuntu". People who want such a system are already happily 
> using Ubuntu, why would they want to use Fedora (which currently does NOT 
> work this way)? People are using Fedora because they are NOT happy with what 
> Ubuntu is doing. Therefore, the results of the poll didn't surprise me in 
> the least.

Ubuntu's update strategy and policy is far far more strict than what has
been proposed here.  If you actually read it, you'd understand that.
Also if you think that the only difference between Fedora and Ubuntu is
our update strategy, then you've really got some problems.

> > Of course the sample is biased.  It's a sample of people who frequent
> > the forums, that's a self selecting group of people, by no means a
> > worthwhile representation of the Fedora user base as a whole.
> Sure, it's a self-selecting group of people, but there's no evidence that 
> the result is not representative. Only better data could prove that claim.

Absence of evidence is not evidence itself.  That'd be argumentum ad
ignoratiam, a logical fallacy.  What we have is neither evidence that it
is representative, nor evidence that it is not representative.  Therefor
the data cannot be used for either.

> > Proper scientific data collection is hard, really hard.  To do it right
> > would take a lot of time and engineering and even argument.  I don't
> > want to put in that time,
> Of course you don't. It would keep you from arbitrary claiming that "users 
> want" or even "need" exactly what YOU personally want. Sure, let's not get 
> those nasty FACTS get in the way of our dictatorship, eh?

Actually it wouldn't.  I have hard proof that some users want and need a
more conservative approach to updates.  We also have hard proof that
some users don't.  We don't have any proof as to which is a "larger"
group of our user base.  We cannot make a decision based on that value.
Instead we can make a decision based on which type of user we'd like to
target, whether we have those users now (which we do have some) or
whether we'd like to get more of those users in the future.  Our
leadership can decide what approach to take, and which users to target.

> > nor do I think we could ever be able to truly have a good representation
> > as we have no hard data on who all uses Fedora, and in which ways.
> Then imperfect data is what you'll have to work with.
>         Kevin Kofler

Jesse Keating
Fedora -- Freedom² is a feature!
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