Reasons for hall monitoring

drago01 drago01 at
Sun May 9 10:34:22 UTC 2010

On Sun, May 9, 2010 at 12:09 PM, Adam Williamson <awilliam at> wrote:
> On Fri, 2010-05-07 at 19:40 -0700, John Poelstra wrote:
>> Matěj Cepl said the following on 05/07/2010 04:41 PM Pacific Time:
>> > More and more I was writing this email, more and more I tend to agree
>> > with somebody today, who wrote that they key problem of the Fedora
>> > community is unclear vision about its purpose. I agree completely. I
>> > believe, that in the root of many of our problems lies in our
>> > unwillingness to say that we are not end-user-oriented distribution, but
>> > the contributors-oriented one.
>> >
>> It is not a binary situation.
> I'm tempted to agree in practice with Matej that it is. I don't think we
> can kid ourselves that we're doing a particularly good job of making a
> desktop for end users; if we were, we wouldn't be being trashed by
> Ubuntu in this area (let alone OS X and Windows). Yes, yes, I know,
> Ubuntu's statistics are unreliable and all that crap. I know we can all
> rationalize for ten hours about how it's all Microsoft's fault for being
> evil and Ubuntu's fault for being good at marketing and users' fault for
> being stupid and blah de freaking blah.
> But be practical. When you go to $RANDOM_LINUX_CONFERENCE (never mind
> when you go to the coffee shop, I have never seen anyone else running
> Fedora in any situation outside of the 'Linux world'), how many people
> are running Fedora and how many are running Ubuntu? Have you noticed
> how, whenever _any_ third party site posts reader statistics, the first
> thing you see is that Linux is tiny, and the second thing you see is
> that a heavy pluarality of the Linux numbers are Ubuntu? Example:
> Distrowatch prints user agent stats, not just page hit rankings.
> .
> Ubuntu is at 16.5%. Fedora is at 1.3%, on which number we are being
> beaten by OpenSUSE and PCLinuxOS (and being trounced by Linux Mint, a
> shoestring budgeted Ubuntu derivative), and just outpacing Debian and
> Mandriva. Yep, a grand 1.3% of the people who visit a general-purpose
> Linux news site are running Fedora when they do it. Please, _please_, do
> not attempt to rationalize or excuse or except these numbers; they're
> just an example (I know some people will, despite this explicit request;
> I intend to entirely ignore them). Every site I've ever seen print its
> user agent stats tells a similar story. Does anyone actually want to
> claim that this kind of thing is a stunning success story for Fedora as
> a general purpose desktop operating system?
> Those numbers aren't lying. I think this discussion should always be
> informed by the fundamental understanding that, if we're talking about
> making an attractive general-purpose operating system for end users,
> we're currently fairly shit at it. We're not a shit project, we do a lot
> of valuable work that needs to be done, and produce products that are
> great in certain ways. But we should either get a better understanding
> of what we are actually good at and valuable for and work on those
> things, or if we're serious about being an end-user desktop, get a lot
> better at it. Which would probably involve doing some things a lot of
> members of the project would be unhappy with. Frankly, I don't think
> this project is currently laid out in such a way that doing that would
> be very practical; it's very difficult to engender radical change in
> Fedora as a project.

(Note: user == "end user" here)

Well there are technical, legal, marketing and structural reasons for this.

Fedora is received as an unstable bleeding edge distro, that while
Ubuntu is marketing itself as "just works".
Neither might be 100% true, but the we do seems to suck at providing a
usable update experience .... shit just randomly break (a user does
not give a damn why broken == broken period).

And no it is not like Ubuntu users can't get the newer software during
a release cycle there are PPAs for almost everything; so if user A
wants a shiny new version of foo ... chances are high that he will
find a PPA shipping this.

Ubuntu seems to be more present in the media; it goes even that far
that some people think Linux == Ubuntu ... but any marketing wouldn't
be helpful as long as we don't provide the experience users want.

Distributions like Linux Mint find its users by the simple fact that
they don't give a damn about software patents; not much we can do
here, but for a user a distro that plays/runs everything out of the
box is perceived as "better" than one where you have to jump through
hops to get stuff working. Users don't want to spend the their time
configuring the system but actually *using* it.

Making any change is much harder than it should be; we always end up
in endless discussions without any outcome while others like Ubuntu
seems to have a better decision making process; and seriously I think
this is the one which basically blocks us from addressing any issue
(making a change that makes everyone happy is impossible, but we
should get to a point were we can stop talking and just *do*

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