Ramblings and questions regarding Fedora, but stemming from gnome-software and desktop environments

Alexander Ploumistos alex.ploumistos at gmail.com
Sat Dec 27 13:57:00 UTC 2014

2014-12-26 23:45 GMT+02:00 Ben Cotton <bcotton at fedoraproject.org>:

> This is a great post and there are a lot of points worthy of
> discussion.

And I was certain people would dismiss it saying "someone had too much
eggnog this year"...

> Prior to Fedora 21, I'm not sure we could really claim to have a
> targeted user base. The products (or whatever name we settle on, see
> the council-discuss thread) are a great start to defining more
> specific target audiences. They're still relatively broad, but I
> expect that as they mature, we'll see that they better define what the
> target is and we'll be better at understanding who is actually using
> Fedora and for what.

Well, the cloud product is a bit narrow in scope, the server is broader and
the workstation is too broad. Yet still there are use cases that fall
somewhere in between. The council's idea about a survey sounds good, but if
it ever manages to get off the ground, implementing it will face a lot of

>  > Can we
> > have "Freedom" and be "First" and still cater to everyone's needs?
> No, and that's okay. We could get rid of either of those and still not
> cater to everyone's needs. The important thing is to meet the needs
> we're trying to meet. I personally consider "first" to be the most
> flexible of the foundations, in the sense that we could offer the
> occasional release with longer support without compromising it. I
> doubt we'll get a large share of the non-savvy user base in the same
> way that Ubuntu did, but we don't have to.

Actually we do have a VLTS (Very Long Term Support) release, CentOS,
especially now that they've joined the family, but the connection is not
immediately apparent. On the other hand, a rolling release might be better
suited for the users who do not want to perform a clean install or full
upgrade every six months. However we couldn't supplant Ubuntu and remain
Fedora... In my view "First" is the defining characteristic of Fedora, but
it wouldn't matter without the other three. A couple of years ago, I tried
as an experiment to keep a Gentoo system on par with Fedora, installing
almost every keyworded package as soon as it became available, but I gave
up after a week; it was too much work for one person to keep track of
changed dependencies, upstream patches etc.. While Gentoo is still very
dear to me, there aren't enough people involved to do that kind of work and
bring it all together as a whole in a six month time frame.

As far as "Freedom" goes, there is a fine balance to be kept. It would be
nice to have tighter collaboration with hardware vendors, but not to the
point where they dictate what and when should be shipped (nVidia and AMD
come to mind). But seeing the same thread -"Black screen after upgrading to
Fxx"- resurrected every six months in the forum is getting tiring.

I know I'm sort of reinventing the wheel here and probably every single
point I have mentioned has been discussed before in a meeting, a particular
mailing list, a wiki page, a SIG, etc., but the truth is that there is a
daunting amount of bureaucracy and compartmentalization. To an outsider, or
even to Fedora members belonging to a specific group it seems like we're
flying on autopilot. There is also some difficulty for those who want to
get involved and it's equally difficult to contribute without stepping on
someone's toes. I've met people who wanted to contribute to Fedora, but
chose to work on upstream projects because they had a hard time trying to
grasp and fit in the organizational structure.
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