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Re: Slightly OT: bad rap for Fedora, and realistic effects

On 2/22/07, Jeff Spaleta <jspaleta gmail com> wrote:
On 2/22/07, Arthur Pemberton <pemboa gmail com> wrote:
> And this may or may not be the correct -list for this, but here goes.
> I think its fair to say that a lot of the louder voices on the
> internet do not like Fedora for fair and unfair reasons. My question
> is what does this do to Fedora, and RedHat by association. I can't
> imagine that anything good is coming of this. All the developers here
> are bound by the 24hr daily limit, ie. there is a finite amount of
> work that any developer can accomplish, esp. those not being paid to
> work on Fedora. Making the assumption that all these negative word of
> mouth is bleeding Fedora of contributors, then what's the plan?

First I'd stop making unfounded assumptions about how the contributor
numbers are falling.
There's no real evidence of that at all. We we saw this week was
another chapter of the lack of contribution from the same person, a
person with a long standing personal agenda which is at odds with the
policies of this project, and someone who consistently speaks based on
information which appears to be based on the a view of the fedora
project which is 6 months to a year out of date. At the end of the
day, this was not a suddenly new development, and it was not the loss
of an active contributor.  What we have been seeing this week is a
skilled politician using what have become very standard tricks of the
trade.  Its messy and its ugly, but anyone whose lived through the
last decade of US national political cycles should recognize it for
what it is.  To re-use a phrase, Fedora's been swift-boated. It's
really unfortunate that such political skill has been squandered for
such a petty purpose.  I fear for the health of the freespire project
if a board member of that project needs to publicly attack a competing
project via personal letters directly to the press.

But unlike politicians, we aren't gearing up for an election day.
There is no drop-dead date
by which we need to convince a majority of contributors to work with
us for X number of years.  That's sort of the great thing about...
community. We don't need to strong arm, or twist the truth, or talk
smack about competing ideas. Fedora does not need to win a decisive
victory at the expense of other community projects. Fedora can
continue to build an active community and continue to make the long
term impact that it needs to make and fulfill its stated mission. All
we need to do is do our best is to be upfront about what this project
is, what its goals are, and to be as encompassing and supportive of as
many people's individual itches inside that framework.

If we wanted to run a counter political campaign, then I would very
much suggest everyone who is interested, write Max Spevack with a
short personal testimony with your positive personal pov as to what
you get out of being a contributor to Fedora. What you feel is
important about Fedora that makes it worth the time.  Because that's
what matters. its not the number of contributors, or size of the
codebase, or the size of the userbase. What matters when choosing to
be a volunteer for any organization or project is knowing that by
contributing your time and your talents you are personally growing
from the experience and that your efforts are making a difference.
I'm sure Max won't mind compiling selected testimonials into a PR
piece to counter-balance any further poltical manipulation of the

If we don't attract people who are looking for personal control,
instead of personal growth.. that is a perfectly acceptable outcome to
me. We don't need to attract everybody, niether as a user nor as a
contributor. We need to do our best to attract the people who would
work well inside the scope of the project... and at the same time help
others find projects which fit best for them. Fedora should be the
linux distribution like Progressive is to car insurance. If we aren't
the best choice for you, we'll help you find the distribution that is.
 For some outspoken media-savvy people, a position on the freespire
board may very well be the project that fits them best. It's just
unfortunate that it took that person as long as it did to figure that
out. If I regret anything with regard to how this project has treated
said individual, it is that we didn't try hard enough earlier on to
help him find linspire sooner.

Does this project has problems to solve? Absolutely, but the important
ones the Fedora needs to focus on right now have nothing to do with
the screed we saw in the press this week.  But every single important
problem that this project faces is the result of growth, and growing
pains can hurt like hell some times.

-jef"Fedora's growing up, soon there will be hair growing on it in
some very sensitive places"spaleta


Okay, I see your point, and I believe that I understand it.

Somewhat along those lines, is there an official list of awknowledged
problems in Fedora? I seem to rarely run into most of these issues
myself, so when I hear of supposedly large problems in Fedora, it
takes me a bit of guard and I become curious as to their factual

Fedora Core 6 and proud

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