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Re: [fab] looking at our surrent state a bit



Thorsten Leemhuis wrote:
Hi All!

Well, FC 6 is out, and I thought it might be a good time to just sit
back a moment and watch at our product in contrast with other
distributions and our structure in general.

This mail might be a small (big?) rant here and there, but I hope that's
okay now and then ;-). It also missed a "Problem foo can be solved by
doing bar" -- but I can write such a document if there is interest in it.

Sure.


= Well, some good things first =

 * seems people quite like FC6
 * we had no major bugs in it

Well, we did. http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Bugs/FC6Common. The top two bugs here affected quite a few people. It is still better than previous releases and the workarounds are simple. So thats a good thing.


 * FE6 seems to be okay as well (Extras didn't manage to push a proper
comps.xml in time -- shame on us)

= Some things that are not that well afaics =

Well, this section is a bit longer :-/ Sorry.

== Fedora Project Board ==

 * it's not that much present -- we know it exists, but that's often all.
 * seems to meet quite seldom and it's hard to see what it does or if
there even is progress somewhere

We havent had a meeting in the last few weeks due to the release work and other things but whenever there is one, the agenda is posted here and post meeting results are available in the wiki and send to fedora-announce list.

http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Board/Meetings/

What else could be done?


 * some Extras contributors mentioned to me that the hierarchy in the
whole project is not documented properly (does FESCo get orders from the
board? Where is the Packaging Committee located in the whole picture?
Stuff like that...).

That's essentially pretty simple but that could be documented better. I will do that.

                    Fedora Project Board
                             |
                  Sub Project Steering Committees
                             |
                  Individual contributors and users

 * why doesn't the board at least now and then meet on irc so other
interested parties can watch or comment?

I wouldnt mind and I heard opinions that phone conversations move much faster. If you want to participate, post meeting results can always be discussed.

 But on the other hand it seems to me that the progress in our
distribution specific stack (anaconda, config tools, initscripts) is
quite slow.

Is Anaconda really in the list of slow moving projects? Considering the number of changes every release and looking at the rawhide changelog even today I wouldnt make that claim.

And not only that, also the infrastructure of Fedora for the
community (new VCS, let community help in Core, ...) seems to go forward
quite slowly (e.g. nearly nothing).

Jesse Keating is working on setting up a mercurial repository.


 The Live-CD is a good example for the problems -- how long are we
working on it now without a real result? Much to long!

Fedora Unity produced some Live CD's which can be considered real results. Official CD releases are unfortunately taking a longer time but if various sub projects would require Red Hat developers to work on them that would essential mean we would have to prioritize the work.

 I also like Fedora Core due to the "Open-Source only" and "Upsteam
please" attitude. But most of the normal users only see the
disadvantages (nearly no drivers/features that are not upstream in out
packages, no ACPI-DSTD in initrd [see also
http://hughsient.livejournal.com/5889.html -- that blog entry is a good
general example IMHO], no acrobat, no jre from sun, no proprietary
drivers from ati/nvidia and not even the firmware for ipw2[12]00 ) that
behavior creates -- and at the same time we are AFAICS quite bad when if
comes to communicate the "But we are the good guys and that's the
disadvantage we have to for being the good guys" to out users (that
might give us some bonus points here and there).

What could we do about that?

We also don't get a unique "Fedora look and feel" to the world.

In the last couple of releases, the logo and the work done in the Fedora artwork team is very well recognized as unique and appealing in many places.


"Fedora
is about the rapid progress of Free and Open Source software and
content." (quote from http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Objectives ). Well,
that's true in some parts of Fedora (nearly always latest KDE, major
kernel updates, Gnome Updates to 2.x.0 to 2.x.[0-9], lot's of updates in
Extras-Land), but fail in other areas (no gutenprint in FC6 [a lot of
printers are not supported due to that], only Firefox 1.5[Ubuntu 6.10
shipped two days after FC6 and has Firefox 2.0 and gutenprint] and no
sign of a update in Core to FF 2.0, no X.org-Update to 7.1 [even after
the proprietary drivers where able to handle it; owners of G965 hardware
were left out in the cold without Support in Fedora due to this as the
driver for that popular hardware depends on/is shipped in Xorg 7.1],
sometimes users have to wait ages to get the latest Gnome (remember FC4)
because that's not updated and out schedule isn't aligned to the gnome
schedule [in other words: users of Ubuntu get the hard work from a lot
of Red-Hat-Gnome-hackers earlier then Fedora Core users --
arrggghhhhh]).

That's the essence of free software.

I especially dislike the behavior for
 * Gnome and Firefox as a lot of users are interested to run the latest
version of those packages (sure, that's often stupid, but that's how it is)
 * X.org and gutenprint, as hardware support is crucial -- that sucks
even more as out hardware support in other areas of Fedora is quite good
as kernel and packages like sane get updates to new upstream version
regularly


Gutenberg, Xorg 7.1, Firefox 2.0 updates were discussed in fedora-devel list in detail. So I wont rehash that now.

You want to push all major updates like GNOME and Xorg releases into updates in general release which is not really feasible if you want some form of stability. Rapid progress does not mean we can push everything into updates.

 We still have no "Fedora Core steering Commitee" (see also
https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-advisory-board/2006-September/msg00079.html

http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Core/SteeringCommittee.

) -- what core does or how decisions are made it completely in the dark
for the Community and that really sucks.

More public regular meetings might help. I have suggested that.


 Why don't we have a public roadmap? That might give community members
at least a chance to get interested in topics and start helping getting
them done.

There is usually no central top down planning usually done. Individual developers work on various parts of the releases. That's the reason getting roadmaps out has been difficult. I would like to have this changed too.


== Fedora Extras ==

 * Developers from Core talk to Extras contributors more often these
days; still far from prefect, but it's getting better
 * the Fedora Directory Server is still not in Core or Extras afaik

Individual pieces required for FDS like svrcore-devel and mozldap this is already under review in Fedora Extras and the directory server team is working on fixing various aspects like following FHS better, autotools, static libs etc. It wouldnt pass through review without making the developer changes and testing them.

 * we can't do anything we'd like to do; I hope we can get a bit more
support from RH in the future

What does this mean?


== MISC ==

 * I got the impression (and LWN readers, too ["hello corbert! "]) that
Fedora Legacy is not able to do it's job properly. Maybe it's time to
just revamp the whole project?

How?

Rahul


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