what is fedora?

Paul W. Frields stickster at gmail.com
Sat Nov 29 15:50:56 UTC 2008

On Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 09:15:21PM -0500, Jon Stanley wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 27, 2008 at 6:56 AM, Jonas Karlsson
> <jonas.karlsson at fxdev.com> wrote:
> > Am I compleatly wrong or have anyone of you been asking the question, what
> > is fedora?
> So I'm on both sides of the fence - Fedora contributor and RHEL
> customer (as I suspect that many of us are). And the question does
> come up a lot, so here's my "stock response":
> Fedora's goal is to be the best of what works today.  RHEL's goal is
> to be the best of what works and is supportable for the next 7 years.
> These are fundamentally incompatible goals, which cannot be served by
> one distribution.
> Fedora accomplishes it's goal by being a completely open and
> transparent R&D lab, for both Red Hat and members of the community.
> Anyone, whether you're working on Fedora in your spare time (as I do),
> or if you have a mandate from your manager at Red Ha because they'd
> like to see a particular feature in the next version of RHEL, can get
> a feature into Fedora by following the same process. Let me make some
> cases in point, using some features from Fedora 10.
> First, from the community side, Hans de Goede (now a Red Hat employee,
> but that's really irrelevant - he wasn't when he started work on the
> feature and is employed doing something completely different), decided
> that we needed better webcam support in Fedora.  He defined the
> problem space, worked to implement the drivers required in the
> upstream kernel, and packaged a library to provide v4l2 access to v4l1
> apps (sorry for the technical details there).
> >From the Red Hat "features we'd like to see in RHEL" side (note that
> this is speculation as to the motivation for this feature, but pretty
> educated speculation), libvirt (which is the hypervisor-agnostic
> virtualization mangement layer in Fedora/RHEL) can now remotely
> provision storage and perform remote installations. These features
> were again implemented upstream (even though we are upstream for
> libvirt), thus making the improvements available for any  consumer of
> libvirt, Fedora included, packaged in Fedora, put through a test plan,
> and accepted.
> If it really were a fact that "Fedora is a perpetual beta of RHEL"
> were true, two things would not be true:
> 1) The first feature would not be in Fedora, it provides very little
> "enterprise" value (however does provide a lot of value in that we now
> have a wider range of hardware that Just Works(TM) ).
> 2) I would not be a member of the Fedora Engineering Steering
> Committee (FESCo) which decides on the technical direction of Fedora
> and is in charge of the feature process.
> I'm sorry that this has been long, but I really think that this is a
> really important topic, and we (Fedora Marketing) need to find a way
> to spread this sort of messaging.

Jon, this was a great explanation and reflects exactly the way I try
to educate journalists who are reporting on Fedora.  I would encourage
anyone who wants to contribute to the Marketing team to generalize
this onto a wiki page.

Paul W. Frields                                http://paul.frields.org/
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  irc.freenode.net: stickster @ #fedora-docs, #fedora-devel, #fredlug
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