The subject of your email is very appropriate but the content really doesn't shine much light on the issue or provide comfort to the team.
Let me start by stating the obvious. Prior to February 13th the Art Team was a fully functioning Open Source effort; vibrant, active, and filled with discussion. Effort in progress was posted to the wiki and feed back was solicited from the community.
Checking the pulse of the team of late I would say its pretty much flat lined with little or no activity as a direct result of the actions from Red Hat.
> This decision is based on a number of factors, not the least of which is
> the involvement of thorny issues of trademark, branding, and the polish
> demands from both inside and outside the Fedora Project.
Why did Red Hat feel the need to steal what we already agreed to give them?
Other than the fact we started earlier, the processed was the same used for fedora core 6 and to my knowledge a stated concern was never brought forward. Assuming the above issues are real, why didn't someone from Red Hat post them to the list server?. Was there really a need to secretly take the effort of the team off line and continue development behind behind closed doors?
> But unfortunately, we haven't been completely successful, and to
make a long story short, > we've had to concede the default release
theme work to the Desktop group inside Red
Is fedora sponsored by Red Hat or owned by Red Hat?
Under what authority does fedora operate and what authority does Red Hat have over fedora? The decision to pull back the artwork effort was completely unilateral. The impression I received from folks who occasionally posted messages to the art team list server was to push the envelope. IMO the actions of Red Hat in this matter is a direct reflection of the "golden rule of business". That is to say "he who has the gold, rules".
> But the default theme is not all there is to the Artwork project. There are many things left to > do, including the Echo icon set. Redesign and new art is needed for the Wiki, infrastructure > applications, the "Some Day Soon" Plone site, and so forth. In addition, Fedora is not
> limited to just the default release art.
Does Red Hat really support open source or is it just lip service?
I agree there is much more to do but the question now becomes why? If open source doesn't work for fc7 default, why would it work for anything else? IMO a three alarm fire bell should be sounding loudly across the fedora community as the message is clearly who will be next?
> In addition, Fedora is not limited to just the default release art. As part of the initiative to
> give users the ability to spin their own distributions built on
Fedora, we'd like contributor art > to be able to function as a
drop-in RPM package replacement for the default release art.
Second fiddle has always been a choice.
Users have always had the ability to change artwork to meet their personal desires. If this was the your reward for the concession then you didn't get much.
> To ensure that I do this as well as possible, and that your ideas
are heard, understood, and > fairly represented, I invite your
comments, criticisms, and ideas.
If you bring a problem to the table, bring a solution.
IMO Paul, the fedora art-team is all but dead unless real changes are made. Red Hat has not conducted itself with the values of equality, love, integrity, excellence, inclusion, or teamwork. When this value system breaks down so does trust.
As far as I know the development of the default artwork continues in a vacuum and Red Hat should understand the risk of this type of effort.
So here are my suggestions on moving forward.
1. Define in very clear terms what authority Red Hat has over Fedora. Is it sponsorship or is it ownership?
2. Bring additional structure to the process. I've jotted down my thoughts here.http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/JohnBaer/ArtProcess
3. If fedora is going to be open source then fedora needs to do open source. Bring the default artwork back to the team and assign Diana as the project lead. It's always been Diana's call on the default and I would expect that role to continue.
4. Start rebuilding trust with an apology from the Red Hat desktop team posted to the list server.
5. Re-craft the art team's default wiki page to better communicate its purpose and it's relationship to other teams such as marketing and infrastructure.