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Re: FESCo meeting summary for 2009-06-26

On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 01:54:37AM +0200, Kevin Kofler wrote:
> Matthew Garrett wrote:
> > I think you're using the wrong metric here.
> I'm just pointing out that we're providing services the GNOME packagers
> aren't providing. And those are packaging-level services which I consider
> to be an important part of a desktop's user experience on a distro. We
> shouldn't forget during all this talk about features that the primary
> purpose of Fedora packagers is packaging, not upstream development, and
> we're doing a great job at that. Sure, I'd like more Fedora involvement in
> upstream KDE development, but upstream development is not primarily what
> our SIG is for.

But when we talk about Fedora features, we're not talking about 
packaging updates. When we talk about what differentiates Fedora from 
other distributions, it's rarely the quality of the packaging that's the 
focus. People choose between distributions based on the features that 
they provide. If the primary focus of Fedora is to produce a compelling 
operating system, then upstream features and development are a 
significant part of making that argument to potential users.

> > I work on power management. I think this is an important and worthwhile
> > feature, and so I spend a lot of time ensuring that Fedora has
> > bleeding-edge power management functionality that sets us apart from
> > every other OS. This requires desktop integration. KDE does not have
> > that level of power management integration. KDE has, in fact, a power
> > management UI that commits almost every single power management error
> > possible. If KDE is to be considered equivalent to Gnome, then that
> > means we can't say "Fedora has awesome power management". Instead, we're
> > limited to saying "Fedora (Gnome spin) has awesome power management".
> > That's not a useful way to communicate what we're doing.
> Are you really sure that PowerDevil is objectively bad and this it not just
> a personal opinion? I don't think the people who work on PowerDevil are
> idiots, so they must have had some reason(s) to design the UI the way they
> did. And I haven't personally noticed anything obviously bad with
> PowerDevil.

I'm sure, yes. It makes several mistakes that I've been arguing against 
for years (presenting power management in terms of profiles, making it 
easy for users to change cpu frequency governer mode without making it 
clear that almost anything they change there will consume more power and 
will probably compromise performance, implying that "performance" and 
"pwoersaving" are a tradeoff) and whenever I bring these issues up I'm 
either told that I'm wrong or that it doesn't do that. It's heavily 
based on how people think power management works, as opposed to how 
power management actually works on modern hardware. There's a lot of 
counterintuitive results in this field.

> > [...] or we need to alter the fedora feature process in such a way that
> > features are flagged for the desktops that implement them.
> This is obviously the right solution.

Ok. This is a solid change that you can present to fesco and have 
discussed. It's got a lot more bearing on how we treat Gnome and KDE 
than the layout of the download page, and I'd consider it as something 
that would need to be done if you're going to argue for parity in that 
respect. Because, fundamentally, your argument isn't about CD naming. 
It's about how these two desktops are treated in the distribution. 
Changing the names doesn't change the treatment, whereas changing the 
treatment eventually results in the name change ocurring naturally.

> > I agree. The multiple years of unpaid work I spent on Debian and Ubuntu
> > ought to demonstrate that. I care enough about Fedora that I spend a
> > significant amount of time working on it outside my paid hours. Many of
> > the contributions I've made to Fedora are entirely out of the scope of
> > my job, but I do it because I care about producing an OS that's
> > competitive with anything else on the market.
> Excellent! So please try not to sound like volunteers' work is somehow
> inferior to paid engineers' work.

I don't think it is. I think that volunteers are capable of producing 
work of equal quality to full-time workers. But I also think that 
full-time workers are able to produce more of that work, and if there's 
more of them to start with then that makes an even larger difference to 
the total contribution to the project.

Matthew Garrett | mjg59 srcf ucam org

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