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Re: submitting ideas to Fedora

2008/2/29 Callum Lerwick <seg haxxed com>:
>  You're on a developer list, here. Speaking for myself, I'm not
>  interested in evangelizing Fedora. I don't think it's optimal use of my
>  skills. I'm a Software Engineer. I believe my time is best spent making
>  Fedora and Open Source in general, better. A better system will sell
>  itself.

In general I agree with you.Though it helps to have someone wear a
sexy black turtleneck and look gorgeous on camera while staying on
message when they do the sales pitch for technology that sells itself.
 Luckily we have Paul now.

 As a Board member I do not want the people who are extremely good at
creating and moving the bits, to get bogged down with evangelizism,
unless they want to.  But I do want you more technical minded people
to continue to be open to the sort of interviews like Jon is doing,
where he tries to captures the enthusiasm and vision for what you are
working on and re-broadcast it for other people to see.  It's very
valuable to be able to remind people that each and every one of the
developers who are grinding out the bits, are real people. And for the
most part, real people who have a passionate desire to work together
to make everyone's life better.

With that in mind, I'm really not sure what these idea trackers really
do for an open..collaboration.
They might do wonders for a corporate entity like Dell. Hell, Red Hat
might even run one of these things for the Enterprise customers and
derive value from it.  But those are business entities, with a profit
motive. Popularity for them translates into future income through some
sort of math.

But I don't think it makes any sense at all for someone like Gnome or
KDE or even Fedora to run this sort of 'service.'  What is popular is
not always what is right. And for a collaborative process to work
people need to have that concept in the back of their minds.  Just a
big list of "me toos" on a set of ill-posed features doesn't add
anything.  I understand that users want to feel involved in the
process. But this sort of involvement isn't constructive.  We need to
find a way to be the meeting place between users and developers that
focuses on long term vision and maintainability. A feature farm of
ideas based on popularity isn't it.

But I will say that watching Canonical put up an idea tracker in the
guise of a Ubuntu community innovation makes perfect sense to me.
Because in my mind ultimately Canonical needs Ubuntu to diverge from
upstream in order for Canonical's business model to work out.  I'm not
sure its in Canonical's best interest as a business to be a strong
conduit for upstream development... to be the meeting place between
the upstream's long-term vision and user's current desires.

But I am very sure, that Fedora's interests are best served by working
directly with upstream projects on as much as possible. We are not
going to become a collection of feature de jours... simply because we
have the technical ability in our contributor base to do it that way.
It's not the right thing to do. The right thing to do is to continue
to work as much as possible within upstream projects so that features
as they are developed benefit as many users as possible with the least
amount of effort.  Popularity has to be weighted against
sustainability.  Its the difference between being focused on next
week's hype versus being focused on long term impact.


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