[In the news] Fedora and GNOME branding drama: Missing the big picture

inode0 inode0 at gmail.com
Thu Apr 21 18:51:13 UTC 2011

On Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 12:57 PM, Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier
<xonker at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 19, 2011 at 11:57 PM, Frankie Mangoa
> <frankiemangoa at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I dont know but I think  in my opinion that some people are seeing
>> this very differently from some of us.
> Yes. ;-)
>> It is important for us to have something to show it is a fedora
>> desktop and I am a very strong believer of that.
> Why? Because the end user wouldn't know otherwise?

It seems to me watching this drama from the outside that the reason
for branding has little to do with the end user although even with the
end user it might promote brand loyalty. Virtually everything I use is
branded. My pocket knife has a Chris Reeve logo on it. My cell phone
has Motorola, Verizon, and Google on it. The monitor I am staring at
now has Dell on it. And on and on and on. Oh, the desktop I am using
has a little Shadowman logo in the upper left corner too. I know who
made all these things as the end user and it seems all these marketing
people are out to lunch if you are right?! The only difference I can
think of between all these other things that take such interest in
branding is that they make money from their brands while Fedora itself
doesn't (although I imagine the Fedora brand could conceivably have
economic value of some sort to Red Hat).

>> Linux is good and even though we have "small market share" I think it
>> is important for us to note the fact hat we must still show it is our
>> own brand. this is what makes us proud that one is using fedora and
>> the other ubuntu and so on.
> If you're proud to run Fedora, you can change your wallpaper to
> whatever you like - the default wallpaper or desktop branding matters
> not even a tiny bit.
> For the rest of the users, they just want something that works, etc.
> To be honest, I rarely even see the wallpaper on my desktop so it
> could be a Marlborough logo for all I'd notice - and in 15 years of
> using Linux the desktop branding and artwork has had precisely zero
> impact on my appreciation of or continuing use of (or not) a
> distribution.
> When there are too few hands to do the available work, it seems to me
> a massive waste to argue over the amount of pixels given to $distro
> vs. $desktop branding when millions of people still haven't even heard
> of Linux -- so effort *could* go towards making marketing materials
> and such to promote Fedora *externally* rather than reinforcing pride
> on behalf of people who are already converted.

Don't sell reinforcing pride among the "converted" too short. Pride in
Fedora, the project and the distribution is a strong glue bonding a
community largely composed of volunteers together. Without it, why
would we even want to promote Fedora externally?

>> I believe that it is healthy to have competition between brand because
>> it raises the expectation bench mark every time.
>> If on did not do this we would probably be in the archaic days.
> Yes and no - I never said that it's not a good thing to compete for
> bragging rights in terms of being the best distro, but an internal
> drama over "wah! RHAT is being mean and saying we have to use GNOME
> default wallpaper" when the company is putting a ridiculous amount of
> resources into promoting Fedora seems to me a waste.
> It may well be unfair, but a sense of perspective on the situation and
> you realize "hey, this company is supporting the good guys - even if
> they don't always get it exactly right. Is it *really* worth my time
> and energy to fight over something this trivial, or could I maybe get
> over it and pursue something to mutual benefit?"
>> This is just my opinion and I may be wrong but something tells me this
>> is heathy.
> Sure, internal drama that distracts team members from working together
> and making forward progress is *always* healthy. </sarcasm>

If this is trivial, then the debranding/rebranding push could be
dropped just as easily as the debranding/rebranding backlash could be
dropped. Community frustration tends to evidence itself in response to
some particular trigger event, in this case the desktop changes for
F15 but I think the frustration runs a little deeper and you are
missing something if you think this is just about an icon on a


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