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Re: KDE vs. GNOME on F10

On Thu, 2009-08-06 at 12:46 +0000, Matej Cepl wrote:
> Adam Williamson, Wed, 05 Aug 2009 14:26:53 -0700:
> > Well, I think it's really the same issue. The problem is one of
> > expectation: we have two similar components, GNOME and KDE, in the same
> > distribution, following different update polices - GNOME favours stable,
> > KDE favours adventurous. This confounds expectation.
> > 
> > Yes, my problem is potentially almost solved with the tools at our
> > disposal and some little tweaks to interfaces, except for the problem
> > raised by Jesse, see my reply to his post. :)
> Adam, I see where you are coming from, but aside from the unclear 
> definition of the Fedora's target audience (which is IMHO clearly defined 
> as developers needing bleeding-edge distro with huge engineering support; 
> we just live in denial for not saying so clearly) you are getting into 
> much deeper organizational problem ... how manages Fedora. Actually, it 
> seems to me the answer is no-one really ... this is really a community of 
> packagers held together by very rough consensus and necessity to support 
> each other.

Actually I agree with you, I'd just really like this to be more out in
the open and generally agreed-upon, so we can make saner decisions in
certain cases and not have to worry about things we shouldn't need to
worry about in the first place. It seems like we're happy to be that
kind of distro _in effect_, but not to just come out and say it :) Don't
be ashamed, people! We can come out of the closet! We're not your
sysadmin's distro! ;)

> I am not sure about Mandriva, I have never had it installed ever (even 
> though I got kindly LiveUSB disk at Guadec 2007 -- it was wonderful free 
> 3GB USB drive before I lost it ;-)), but if it is smaller distro, it 
> could be true it was smaller community with more centrally controlled 
> strategy?

There is slightly more central control possible in MDV's structure, but
really I think the difference is just that MDV started off with a
traditional update policy, properly enforced (there's a gatekeeper at
MDV; official updates go through the security team, maintainers can't
push them directly). So at MDV the process was to add a /backports
repository to satisfy the adventurous tendency (which, by the way, took
me a year and half to get done...). Fedora is the other way around.

> Or in other words ... read “Nature of the firm” (Coase, 1937) and “The 
> Problem of Social Cost” (Coase, 1960) ... to understand one way how to 
> get grasp of this community. In the situation where opportunity cost of 
> cooperation is quite low, transaction cost is perceived as quite high, 
> and cost of leaving the community quite low, there is no way how to 
> centralize management of the community.

This is rather a simplification. There is a degree of central control
over Fedora. If you wanted to be cynical you could say it was based in
Raleigh, but I'd never do such a thing ;). Otherwise we wouldn't be able
to have packaging policies, release freezes...or releases, really. But I
agree with the thrust of your argument, yeah. Oh, and the only
non-fiction I read is the newspaper :)

Adam Williamson
Fedora QA Community Monkey
IRC: adamw | Fedora Talk: adamwill AT fedoraproject DOT org

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