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Re: the danger of becoming a cargo cult



On Tue, 2007-02-27 at 07:30 +0100, Thorsten Leemhuis wrote:
> Agreed -- but nevertheless *I* still have the impression that Red Hat 
> and Fedora developers work to much with upstream on improving the Linux 
> software stack (which is a good thing in general, but: ) and don't care 
> enough about our distribution specific stuff.
> 
> Ubuntu is much more active in that area and thus has some interesting 
> stuff that we are already still working on (codec buddy) or have on our 
> Roadmap (say: new initsystem). That makes them much more attractive 
> these days afaics, as they also get the improvements Red Hat has worked 
> out automatically, too (often before we ship them).
> 
> To say it in another way: In the past it was Red Hat Linux that lead the 
> way (upstream and in the distribution) and others had to catch up under 
> the risk to run into a "Cargo Cult". These days it seems to be Ubuntu.

I've had this conversation with Jonathan in the past, who has
articulated better than most.  He feels that working upstream instead of
Fedora gives him the most leverage and can drive the direction of the
desktop.  And he's right, we've been hugely successful at building
healthy upstream projects that make our jobs much easier here in Fedora.

The downside to that is that Fedora's users are the _last_ to benefit
from the work that Red Hat has funded.

It's one of the reasons why a healthy and open Fedora is so important to
me personally.  In a system in which package ownership and maintenance
can be done by both people inside of Red Hat and outside, we get the
best of both worlds.  Strong upstream work by full-time developers and
an excited and engaged user/developer base that feels ownership and can
do the early and final integration that Red Hat has failed to do because
they are too busy fixing upstream issues.

This is also connected to why I feel why it's so important that we
figure out a better way to handle source, patches and packaging - maybe
including source-as-SCM.  Early development and testing mediates some of
the the Fedora-has-best-practices-but-still-ends-up-last problem.
(Loved by upstream projects and developers, used by few.)

--Chris


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