Reasons for hall monitoring

Gilboa Davara gilboad at
Sun May 9 17:34:57 UTC 2010

On Sun, 2010-05-09 at 11:09 +0100, Adam Williamson wrote:

> 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.
> -- 
> Adam Williamson
> Fedora QA Community Monkey
> IRC: adamw | Fedora Talk: adamwill AT fedoraproject DOT org

I fully agree with every single word.
(I would imagine that I'm not alone)

... But I'm not sure that FESCo shares your opinion - far from it.

This leaves us in a very precarious position:
One on hand, if FESCo keeps changing Fedora into
hybrid-semi-community-driven-Ubuntu, they risk losing many technical
users/small maintainers such as myself, read: People who prefer Fedora
over Ubuntu -because- it is technical, bleeding edge and community
On the other hand, if FESCo keeps the uneasy 'statu quo' without any
real definition of what Fedora is really about, neither the technical
group nor the I-want-to-be-Ubuntu group (let alone the I want to be
RHEL/CentOS group) will be happy, and in the end, Fedora will continue
losing both developers and users.

If we, as a -community- project, want to remain relevant, it is time to
decide who we are and what is our goal.
Thus far, it seemed that the both the user and the developer communities
were left out of these proceedings, and everything was more-or-less
decided by FESCO, which left (large?) parts of the developer community
feeling left out.
Far worse, many attempts to try and openly discuss these issues ended up
being shot down by the hall monitors.

As I recall, you've polled FedoraForum users about their view of Fedora
a couple of months ago and as far as I know, there results were
more-or-less ignored.
Maybe its time to repeat this poll (I'd extent it to both FAS users and
FedoraForum users. This should cover both the developer and the
hard-core user communities), but this time with FESCO blessing.

- Gilboa "Hopefully this discussion won't be ignored" Davara

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