fedora versus fedora test

David Krider david at davidkrider.com
Thu Oct 9 22:26:54 UTC 2003

On Thu, 2003-10-09 at 00:54, Mike A. Harris wrote:
> In my personal opinion, I fully expect to see our Fedora Core
> releases be as high if not higher quality as Red Hat Linux was.  
> It has the same Red Hat people working on it as it always has
> afterall, only now we're working more closely with the community
> to improve the OS all that much more.  And with the community
> participating in the future, both with suggestions for
> improvement, as well as making some of those improvements and
> contributing them, and once the infrastructure is in place to
> allow externally maintained packages, I believe that a high
> quality OS will not only continue to be produced, but it will be 
> higher quality as the more skilled people get involved with the 
> project.

Back in the spring, I raised a big stink (along with a few others) about
what Red Hat was doing with their product strategy. Not only that, but
it felt to me like the quality of the product was slipping. So, after
playing around with Gentoo and Debian, I settled down with SuSE 8.2. And
it's been great; I am very happy with it. On the other hand, their user
community is BORING. This sort of post would be unwelcome on their list.
(It's "advocacy," by their definition, and that is seriously frowned
upon.) So their (high-volume) list ends up being nothing but a litany of
easy questions on how to do things. I guess that's fine, but it does
nothing for those of us who know how to use Google, and who aren't
afraid of reading a HOWTO.

So I subscribed to this list to see what was happening in the Red Hat
world again. I must confess that even after my bad attitude as to what
happened (with the change of direction for RHL), I find myself intrigued
with Fedora. I think it could be great, and fix the problems that I felt
the product had.

1) Community influence. The community on the Red Hat lists are the best
I've seen. There is actual discussion about the issues, and Red Hat
employees aren't afraid to jump into the fray. (SuSE has an official
"liason" to the list. I assume this because he's the only one who
posts.) The officially-stated policy that Fedora's direction will be
guided by this community is a HUGE. DEAL. At least to me. You put this
mindshare (Red Hat is still always at the top of everyone's supported
list) and combine it with the crack shots that hang around here (or at
least used to), and you've got a winner. I submitted a bug on 9 that
still isn't fixed, but I've always felt like it would be a fairly simple
fix if there were just enough hands to get around to it.

2) Stable and Test versions. I just heard about this now, on this
thread, and I suspected that this would happen when I first heard about
the project. I think this needs to happen, like in the Debian world. (I
hear that Gentoo has picked up this concept too.) Having a version for
the leading edge, and one for the bleeding edge would go a long way to
satisfying the majority of users of Linux. I mean, you're not going to
pick up the Debian users. If they're happy running software that's 2-3
years behind in features (though, admittedly, not in securty fixes),
then that's fine. But a featureful distro that can be run "safely" or
"experimentally" -- directed primary from a community -- without needing
to be compiled -- would satisfy a lot of the Gentoo people. I went a
couple rounds with (I think) Mike about optimization improvements, and
he was right. After I setup prelinking on my RHL9 system, I did indeed
see a speedup, and the subjective differences between my "optimized"
Gentoo setup and RHL9 were minimal, if any. I think people are waking up
to the fact that it's just not worth the time and hassle to compile your
own system from source. (Though I can see a real use for it on old
hardware, Debian's got that handled pretty well.)

Anyway, just a couple thoughts on where this is going. I am very
intrigued... dare I say excisted?... about this recent announcement. I
downloaded severn in order to try out on a test box (upon which I will
try to run Freevo), but I very much look forward to Red Hat's transition
to put the majority of the ownership and direction in the hands of the
community. Once it hits full release, I will very likely drop it in
alongside my preordered SuSE 9, and do another runoff.

Bottom line? I just wanted to say that these moves may open "Red Hat"
Linux back up to a portion of the community that had moved away, but Red
Hat has to make good on the idea of true community involvement in the
distro's direction.


More information about the users mailing list