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Re: Goodbye, Fedora

I'll bite.

On Wed, 2007-02-21 at 03:03 -0500, Eric S. Raymond wrote:
> After thirteen years as a loyal Red Hat and Fedora user, I reached my
> limit today, when an attempt to upgrade one (1) package pitched me
> into a four-hour marathon of dependency chasing, at the end of which
> an attempt to get around a trivial file conflict rendered my system 
> unusable.

I've been using RH/Fedora for about the same amount of time.  I've never
broken my system to that level outside of test / rawhide.  Not going to
argue that dependencies couldn't be better, because they always can.
Heck, I'd love to build a server with some graphical config tools and
not require printing libraries, but there you go..

> * Allowing RPM development to drift and stagnate -- then adding
  another layer of complexity, bugs, and wretched performance with yum. 

Yeah, RPM did stagnate, but at least the RPM based distros are trying to
do something about it.

> * Effectively abandoning the struggle for desktop market share.

> * Failure to address the problem of proprietary multimedia formats with
>   any attitude other than blank denial.

Nobody ever said it "should" be a major desktop alternative or play
mp3s. The goal of Fedora is "..the rapid progress of free and open
source software and content".  Fedora "allows" you to do what you want
with it, it's not everything to everyone and doesn't try to be.

> I have watched Ubuntu rise to these challenges as Fedora fell away
> from them.  Canonical's recent deal with Linspire, which will give
> Linux users legal access to WMF and other key proprietary codecs, is
> precisely the sort of thing Red-Hat/Fedora could and should have taken
> the lead in.  Not having done so bespeaks a failure of vision which I
> now believe will condemn Fedora to a shrinking niche in the future.

That's all well and nice for Ubuntu which seems to be a desktop centric
OS.  But I've always seen Fedora as primarily a server platform (given
it's the basis for RHEL). And that is fine for me because I don't want
to play windows media. I want Apache, Fedora Directory Service and a
fast kernel. Web browsing and email are great for a workstation but
everything else is a luxury.  

At the end of the day if I really "need" to see that video of the Chimp
falling out of the tree after smelling his finger then I'll drop mplayer
on from a public repo.  If you want that standard then yeah, maybe
Fedora isn't for you.

I can't debate the submission process because I don't submit, but I do
know from the devel list discussions that people are trying to make that
(along with other things) easier with the merge.

> This afternoon, I installed Edgy Eft on my main development machine --
> from one CD, not five.  In less than three hours' work I was able to
> recreate the key features of my day-to-day toolkit.  The
> after-installation mass upgrade to current packages, always a
> frightening prospect under Fedora, went off without a hitch.

I can network install a working fedora box with what I need in 10
minutes. That's not much of a technical argument, especially as fedora
is openly committed to allowing custom spins.  So you will be able to
build a box based on whatever you like soon enough. That is moving in
the right direction.

> I'm not expecting Ubuntu to be perfect, 

That's lucky.

> but I am now certain it will
> be enough better to compensate me for the fact that I need to learn
> a new set of administration tools.
> Fedora, you had every advantage, and you had my loyalty, and you blew it.  
> And that is a damn, dirty shame.

Sleep on it. Fedora is open, and people are committed to it, so it
improves with each release. 

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