Fedora.next in 2014 -- Big Picture and Themes

Matthew Miller mattdm at fedoraproject.org
Thu Jan 23 19:57:24 UTC 2014

On Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 07:03:02PM +0100, Thorsten Leemhuis wrote:
> Okay, I'll bite (after thinking whether writing this mail is worth it):

Thanks. I hope that I can make you feel that it was.

> The main reason for that: Fedora.next is a huge effort that seems to
> make everything even more complicated. It imho is also sold pretty
> badly right now, as you have to invest quite a lot of time to
> understand what Fedora.next actually is. And Fedora.next to me seems
> like something the core contributors push forward without having
> really abort those Fedora contributors who don't have Fedora as one of
> their top priorities in life.

I've been in both of those positions over the years, and I certainly don't
want to leave out the more-casual contributor (or, highly committed
contributors who are just really busy right now). I understand your feeling
that it hasn't been documented in a way that's as helpful as could be -- I'm
trying to increase what I'm doing there, and could certainly use more help
from others who are good at explaining and visualizing things.

I will be giving a talk on Sunday, February 9th in at DevConf in Brno, CZ,
and I'll post slides from that (probably here as text as well), and I assume
there will be video. 

For many things, there hasn't been a whole lot to say because it's been in
planning -- the product descriptions are not completely approved yet even,
and we haven't started collectively talking about the big changes. (And we

> I these days wouldn't start contributing to Fedora, as all those rules
> and guidelines that the wiki provides would scare me off. That's what
> Fedora.next should fix imo, as we afaics need more contributors: I
> more often than a few years ago find packages in Fedora that are badly
> maintained or outdated. Contributing must be as easy as editing a
> wikipedia page. Further: kororaproject.org, fedorautils-installer and
> similar project show that there are people that want to make Fedora
> better. But they do their work outside of Fedora and RPM Fusion;
> fixing the issues directly at the root would be better for all of us.

I don't disagree with this, but I don't think they're directly related.
Because we started with the governance and somewhat formal product
descriptions, those are the primary visible artifacts. As we start working
with the website, documentation, and design teams, more naturally-accessible
starting points will take over in prominence.

> And I really wonder if Fedora.next is really backed by those community
> contributors that are not involved in Fedora to deeply. One reason for
> that: Fedora.next mails like the one I'm replying to seem to get very
> few responses -- especially considering the fact that Fedora.next is
> That's why I got the feeing a lot of contributors are simply waiting
> for more concrete details to emerge before deciding what to make of
> Fedora.next; or they simply at all don't care to much what the higher
> ups do, as getting involved on that level can cost quite a lot of time
> and can be frustrating (that's not a complaint, that's simply how it
> is often; wasn't much different in my days, but noticed that more when
> I wasn't that active an more myself).

I think that'll naturally solve itself as we get more concrete. But also,
just looking anecdotally at the Cloud SIG, this process has helped draw in
community contribution where we didn't have so much before. It gives a
framework to plug in, and as more details are worked out, I expect that to
snowball. So, I guess I kind of disagree with the basic premise.

But also, I want to go back to the first part of my message that you're
responding to. I don't think our current online communication structure
really works very well for the kind of contributor you're concerned about.
(Let alone working very well for more active contributors who still don't
have time to read every list or hang out on IRC 24/7.) I think we need to
fix that, whether we consider that part of Fedora.next or a separate big

> I have many more thoughts in my head, but I'll stop here, as those are
> basically the most important things that bother me right now when
> looking at Fedora and Fedora.next.

I appreciate it. Does anything I've said help you feel better about it? I
know I glossed over the "put it off for another release" part. :) And what
we do with spins is still up in the air -- I have a suggestion which
parallels the primary arch / secondary arch mechanism (although probably
less strictly), and I need to finish fleshing that out for FESCo -- it will
be on a meeting agenda after FOSDEM/DevConf.

I would like to hear more of your thoughts, too.

> P.S.: Fixed subject (s/2013/2014/)

:) Thanks.

Matthew Miller    --   Fedora Project    --    <mattdm at fedoraproject.org>

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