The Forgotten "F": A Tale of Fedora's Foundations

Stephen Gallagher sgallagh at
Tue Apr 22 11:53:18 UTC 2014

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On 04/21/2014 05:31 PM, Stephen John Smoogen wrote:
> On 21 April 2014 11:19, Stephen Gallagher <sgallagh at 
> <mailto:sgallagh at>> wrote:
> On 04/21/2014 01:08 PM, Bruno Wolff III wrote:
>> On Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 12:37:57 -0400, Stephen Gallagher 
>> <sgallagh at <mailto:sgallagh at>> wrote:
>>>> Does Fedora need to be that gateway OS? Maybe Ubuntu would be
>>>> a
>> better intermediate step?
> If Fedora isn't that gateway OS, why are we bothering? What makes
> it likely that any user would switch to us if they've entered the
> FOSS community via Ubuntu? (Don't get me wrong, this is a question
> we also need to answer, but I don't think it's wise of us to be
> recommending that Ubuntu handles gathering our new users for us.)
> It is an interesting question... "why are we bothering?"
> When people bother because they need to be THE gateway.. they are 
> setting themselves for a lifetime of disappointment. That ship
> sails completely with little to no control.

Maybe I should have phrased that differently. "If we aren't trying to
be that gateway, why are we bothering?". Without users, we can't grow
our contributor pool. Without growing our contributor pool, we won't
innovate as fast as other distributions, which in turn will further
reduce our user and contributor base.

> I have found that if you are going to bother.. do it because it is 
> making something better for you, for something you care about. That
> is

I'm certainly not trying to rule that out (it's why I'm here after
all). But it's not *enough* (in my opinion).

> stuff you can control and not items left to the fact that people
> choose to use what everyone else uses or by the fact its name
> sounds exotic or they like Orange over Blue.

Of course there will always be people who make frivolous choices, and
I'm not expecting to cater to them. You're right, that way lies
disappointment. I do think we *can* improve our appeal, though. We
just need to agree that this is a real target and go after it.

Maybe some real ideas now instead of me just spewing platitudes? :)

I've argued for quite some time that the path to code contributions
would be best paved by making Fedora the first Linux distribution with
a fully-integrated development environment. Take something like
Eclipse and Red Hat Developer Toolset and build our "Microsoft Visual
Studio" with a public API. With a basic recompile of RHDTS for Fedora,
we can carry backwards-compatible support for three years, making it
actually possible to do development for Fedora (and as a bonus, stuff
that will also run on RHEL with RHDTS). I'd also love to see such an
environment designed from the beginning to integrate well with
OpenShift/Docker for Continuous Deployment.

If we can produce a cohesive project that's comparable to Visual
Studio or Apple's Xcode, we can make a strong argument for application
developers to want to use Fedora as their development platform. Once
we've hooked them with Fedora as an operating environment, some at
least will also turn into development contributors as well.

Ambitious? Probably.
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