OpenSuse vs Fedora Legacy versions

Bryan J. Smith b.j.smith at
Fri Apr 21 17:49:44 UTC 2006

Jeff Spaleta <jspaleta at> wrote:
> Good luck with getting Suse to agree refraining from making direct
> comparisons to Fedora.  I think the fact that they felt a need to
> draw a direct comparison in their high level documentation speaks
> volumes as to the intrinsic worth of Fedora as a project. Obviously
> the people who wrote that document feel that opensuse can only be
> justified in terms of Fedora specifically.

There are a neverending number of people who have _never_ used Fedora
(or didn't do more than try to install it once or twice) who have a
total opinion on it.  But most of them were complaining about Red
Hat(R) Linux prior anyway -- almost ironically about all the stuff
Fedora(TM) Core does have today.

> I personally view that document as a shining example of how not to
> advertise your open project and why all Fedora project
> communication should be strictly focused on communcating Fedora
> without making a comparison to any other unrelated project choice.

Agreed.  We shouldn't worry about other distros.  Even though I've
been a Debian maintainer and share publication credits with the
founder of Gentoo, I _refrain_ from making comparisons.  It makes it
easier to ask others to do the same.

We should focus on how we can proliferate Fedora -- both as its own
distro, as well as a base for others much like Red Hat(R) Linux
before it (without the legal trap that caused Red Hat a lot of legal
and PR grief).

> We must accept the fact that we can not make an authoriative
> statement as to the relative worth of Fedora compared to any
> other similiar projects which are not closely aligned to the
> fedora development process because we are not experts in the
> structuring or the development roadmap for those other
> projects.  Anytime a comparative statement is made which is
> meant to show Fedora is relatively more valuable than what
> another project is currently doing.. you run the risk of that
> comparative statement becoming out of date as the development
> process for Fedora and other projects evolve.

Right on point!  That's currently the problem plaguing most
assumptions on Fedora.  We don't want to do the same.  We should
probably add a _single_ FAQ entry on ...

Q:  How does Fedora compare to X ...
    Distro X says Fedora does [not] do ...
A:  The community is attempting to solve many problems in many ways. 
While some people and projects may see differences, we see a
commonality of problems that we are all trying to solve,
collectively.  Although we may have different names, trademarks,
organizations and other approaches, we all do learn from each other. 
Fedora could not exist if it was not for the efforts of other
projects, a commonality many distributions share in many cases.  And
like any community, Fedora survives on the efforts of its volunteer. 
Many of these volunteers not just contributing to only Fedora, but
other distributions as well.

In a nutshell:  We ask people in the Linux community not drag the
brand name and related marketing rhetoric from the commercial
software world over into the community developed software world. 
There is already a plethora of commercial companies that resell and
rebrand the exact same software as different names and compete
against each other merely because they have a different label on the

> Fact checking to make sure we are communicating the
> state-of-the-art of Fedora development is a big enough job.
> Trying to keep up with Suse's or Ubuntu's or Gentoo's or
> whatever else development specifics as well so we can make
> factually correct and unbiased comparative statements is
> impossible to do.

Maybe add one more Q/A for the FAQ that adds that exact response too.
 maybe the question could be ...

Q:  But you're dodging the question, how does Fedora compare to X ...

A:  (as you stated)

Bryan J. Smith   Professional, Technical Annoyance
b.j.smith at
I'm a Democrat.  No wait, I'm a Republican.  Hmm,
it seems I'm just whatever someone disagrees with.

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