A question to this list regarding Fedora as a Product

Paul W. Frields stickster at gmail.com
Mon Feb 22 14:10:06 UTC 2010

On Sat, Feb 20, 2010 at 06:23:19PM +0000, Nelson Marques wrote:
> On Sat, 2010-02-20 at 11:53 -0500, Paul W. Frields wrote:
> > On Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 03:18:03PM -0500, David Nalley wrote:
> > > On Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 3:07 PM, Nelson Marques <07721 at ipam.pt> wrote:
> > > >  From what I could understand, two goals to reach:
> > > >
> > > >  - Increase the number of Fedora users
> > > >  - Increase the number of Fedora contributors
> > > 
> > > Well I'd say that's a misconception.
> > > Fedora is concerned with growing it's contributor base and advancing
> > > the state of free software.
> > > 
> > > Fedora isn't at all concerned with the "getting mindshare above all
> > > else" type of mentality that most orgs have. While we want and like
> > > users, I don't think that we actively try and seek out what people
> > > want as driving our decisions.
> > 
> > At the same time, though, we're trying to identify places where we are
> > actually *driving away* users.  Through more attention to these
> > problems and the many easy fixes we could put in place, we can do
> > better on both of the goals Nelson mentions.
> > 
> > Our aim is not to carpet-bomb the planet with CDs, nor to just
> > accumulate fans.  We prefer to define and follow more sustainable
> > practices, aided by strong engineering and good upstream partnership
> > with the projects creating important and innovative software.
> > 
>  My idea is not to change how Fedora operates neither boss people
> around. I shouldn't go technical on this one but this is important to
> mention, and it's about segmentation. It is important to segment your
> audience (doesn't mean you need to change your product). Keep in mind
> that Fedora is aimed for a international community, and that very
> community has different goals and perceives value (from Fedora) in a
> different way from individual to individual. You need to segment your
> communication, else it won't work. 
>  There are other things that Fedora has that need some work, I'll point
> two of them that need a lot of work at communication level:
>  - SELinux (being rivaled by Novell's AppArmour)
>  - Red Hat FOSS drivers (check the output of several communities about
> this news, ex: slashdot threat).
>  The last one points clearly for several types of users, those who don't
> really need outstanding 3D performance, and those who explore this
> subject on a more technical point of view and show different advantages.
>  Threads like the one on Slashdot could be avoided if there was good
> communication around that topic. Another disruptive fight is going
> around GNOME and gnome-shell vs gnome-panel.
>  All of this could be sorted out by marketing. Those who believe that
> Marketing is a sales force, are completely wrong. Marketing has the most
> powerful diagnose tools at it's service for issues like this one. See it
> this way: If you are sick, you search for a doctor for a diagnose and
> then you get a set of conditions to fulfill in order to improve your
> situation. An organization should use Marketing not only to support
> sales, advertising and so on, but to diagnose as well itself and it's
> product in order to achieve it's goals. Marketing might provide a good
> set of procedures to improve it.

Nelson, you make some very good points in your email.  So my next
question is, how would you personally like to help us improve our
communications around SELinux and FOSS drivers?  I know there are
other places we could improve communications, but since you pointed
these two out, we have a good place to start.

How would you propose to solve this problem, and can we count on your
assistance to help make that solution a reality?

Paul W. Frields                                http://paul.frields.org/
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          Where open source multiplies: http://opensource.com

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