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

Fabian A. Scherschel fab at sixgun.org
Fri Apr 22 15:03:44 UTC 2011

I really don't want to get embroiled in another personal mud-fight, so I'm
gonna keep it short.

On Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 7:46 PM, Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier
<xonker at gmail.com>wrote:

> You're wrong on all counts.

Happens to me a lot, but hey, cricket's cricket as they say in Oz.

> I posted this to my personal blog, having 10 clicks or 1,000,000 does
> nothing for me professionally.

Really? So getting your name out there doesn't help? Seems like the wrong
setup for a journalist to me, but then I'm only an amateur.

> No, my point is there's really little point in fussing over "branding"
> for an audience that is well and fully aware that it's running Fedora.

The branding is not for the people currently running Fedora but for people I
might convert when they look over my shoulder, see the awesomeness that is
Gnome 3 and ask "what's that?". I have already converted two such casual
users to Fedora since the alpha came out and in both cases I had to spend 5
minutes explaining what Fedora is and both asked "but why isn't the logo
anywhere?". Both these people had never used Linux but were familiar with
the Ubuntu logo and brand.

Not to speak of the fact that I gave a 90 minute, visual talk (demos and
stuff on my F15 machine) about Gnome 3 at my LUG and people were very
surprised when someone asked "what distro is that?" and I said Fedora.
Everyone had assumed it was Suse and I got several questions later from
people who wanted to try the alpha/beta now because they had seen how well
it worked but thought "Fedora is only for hardcore hackers". And these were
people that have been using Linux A LOT longer than myself.

 My efforts were never focused on getting openSUSE noticed over Fedora
> or Ubuntu or any other distro. My sights were always set on Windows
> and Mac OS X users, not Linux users of other distros.

At the stuff I saw you do at LinuxTag, you were heavily proposing Suse to
users. Who cares where those users come from? They want to get on Linux and
you were saying "here, use Suse". You could only do that because Novell has
spend big bucks and cares a lot about Suse's branding. The 5 geekos sitting
around my house are evidence of that. Not to mention all those slick
OpenSuse booths I see at *every* Linux conference. Why are you now saying
Fedora shouldn't do that?

> It irks me when I see a lot of drama internal to a project about
> something that doesn't matter when (at least in my opinion) the big
> picture is "how do we get people who've never used Linux to move to
> Linux" instead of "let's make sure that we reinforce our specific
> brand of Linux."

This isn't drama. We are discussing a topic some of us feel very passionate
about. I've come to love Fedora for it's community AND strong brand. I am
proud of Fedora. I don't want that to go away.

If you can't stand the discussion, ignore it. If mentioning this really does
nothing for your career then don't mention it. Having seen you promote Suse
heavily when you were still involved with that project and now telling us we
shouldn't do that for Fedora for whatever reason, seems very hypocritical to
me. Coming from someone else, I would've ignored this article, but we all
have a history and that plays in how your writing will be evaluated by
people who don't stumble through the world blindly. As I've said before, I
have no interest or need for personal feuds, but I really hate it when
people try to quell valid, important discussions like this.

Best wishes,
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