Fedora.next in 2014 -- Big Picture and Themes

Adam Williamson awilliam at redhat.com
Wed Jan 29 16:13:19 UTC 2014

On Wed, 2014-01-29 at 08:57 -0500, Matthew Miller wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 06:15:49PM -0800, Adam Williamson wrote:
> > Just to wax philosophical for a minute: I think there's a lot of value
> > in building boring stuff that works well, and I might be weird, but I
> [snip eloquent defense of the virtues of boring basic distro work]
> > This doesn't mean I'm against doing Big Exciting New Things in general
> > or Fedora.next in particular, but I do want to stand up for the value of
> > just keeping your head down (hah, I know, Adam, practice what you
> > preach) and doing good, dull engineering work. With your pocket
> > protector firmly in place.
> This is all very convincing. But you also sent me a convincing message the
> other week about Fedora's place on the innovation curve and, basically, the
> difficulty of doing all that good dull work while being innovative. Stop
> convincing me in different directions -- my head will fall off!

I have a degree in history. I can argue any side of any issue at the
drop of a hat, prior research unnecessary. ;)

> Or, in seriousness, because I don't think they're *necessarily* in direct
> conflict,

Seriously, this is what I think. And in fact, they work together: it's
actually quite fascinating that in Fedora we have a place where we can
do fairly radical stuff to a 'boring, stable' platform like the OS.
That's the strength of the distribution model, I guess: as we've noted
before, Fedora often blazes the trail for big hairy changes to things
that might otherwise be 'too important to touch'.

>  what do you think we should do about all of the above? Our mission
> and branding, including our foundations, tend to steer away from the dull
> and towards new shiny. In fact, whenever we do something that could be
> characterized as head-down plodding forward progress instead of a bold leap,
> we hear *quite a bit* of sarcasm about the four foundations in the online
> chatter.
> So, should we look at reconciling that in some way? Part of *my* idea for
> Fedora.next was that the base circle could focus more on this careful and
> non-thrilling engineering work while the outer rings could do the
> big-exciting things at the same time. (Or even have *some* parts of the
> outer rings working on big-exciting, while other parts work on _even more
> solid_.)
> *goes and gets coffee. not able to quite express what I mean. hope you
> understand anyway*

I do entirely, and actually I think we may be rather on the same
wavelength for once =)

I'm not good at marketing-type stuff, though, so I'm not sure I have an
answer for you. I know I have this basic idea that we've outlined above,
but that's a tricky message to communicate to people, and I'm not your
guy for creative messaging stuff.
Adam Williamson
Fedora QA Community Monkey
IRC: adamw | Twitter: AdamW_Fedora | XMPP: adamw AT happyassassin . net

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