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Re: Contributors v. Writers v. Editors

Mr. Smith,

I sure hope what you say isn't true.  It may seem like it, but from what I've seen comparing Fedora 9 to RH7.3 (where I used to be), the desktop has improved considerably.  Also, since this project is a collaborative effort, it requires people to focus on the important issues.  If you feel that the desktop is the top issue, then I'd like to suggest you help make it so.  Based on what I've been seeing on the fedora-list, there are gobs and gobs of bugs that need to be fixed that have nothing to do with the desktop (your issues with sound are an example).

Could it be that individuals are focusing on their pet projects rather than the desktop?  My guess is the average individual working on Fedora is Linux-savvy and doesn't care about the desktop for themselves, so they put their efforts into the bugs or features that interest them.

I also believe that the desktop is extremely important.  For Linux to be accepted in place of M$, it *must* be idiot-proof.  Unfortunately, the underpinnings seem to be changing so rapidly, things that used to work don't anymore, and no one wants to go back and fix them (or at least very few do).  So, the system gets lots of features, but the desktop drifts.

I myself want to work on the desktop (presuming I have the time).  Unfortunately, it seems that this has become an ominous task as I now have to learn yet another language (gnome script or kde script), and that isn't on the top of my priority list right now.  Working with X, Xt and Motif was so much easier 10 years ago.  I could develop a Motif window much like Gnome's or KDEs, but it seems that the world had abandoned Motif.  By the time I get Gnome understood, there'll be yet another window manager that will be the favorite. :-)

Anyway, I wouldn't say that the desktop is dead; it's just dormant while other things are more pressing.

Thanks for your view, though.  It helps me to understand where efforts need to be placed.


Dan Smith wrote:
Some folks contribute in multiple ways. I've not been able to make a
big contribution. Life has been a challenging for me the last year or
so. Another issue that has come up is Fedora's abandonment of the
desktop. That is a real problem as a key issue with Linux adoption is
the desktop.  It is where you win the hearts and souls of most users.
Which is also a key issue between me and the group in philosophy. I
see our key duty in this project is to help adoption of Linux.
Documentation being the bridge for novice users to gain enough ability
and confidence in Linux to switch from M$ products to Linux. Fedora
being for years the easiest to use and most powerful distro out there.
The official abandonment of the desktop, something you could see
coming by the official policies of Fedora is the eventual death knell
of the distro if that course is not reversed fairly quickly. Inovation
on the desktop is what will prove most vital in adoption rates. Fedora
in the last 2 years sank from the top used distro to a distant third
or fourth last year in a Linux journal survey and the same trend has
been reflected in other distro surveys over the last few years.  An
even more telling sign is three years ago if Linux support was offered
it was offered as an RPM.  Today you are just as likely to see a .deb
package as an RPM.  Many sites don't offer RPMs at all any more. A
huge change from a few years ago when RPM based distros like Fedora,
Mandrake and SUSE ruled the Linux market.

I strongly feel that Ubuntu's desktop innovations is the key factor in
this. I have strong issues with Ubuntu's unfriendly attitude toward
KDE and it's live CD only distrobution methods. I've not been a big
fan of Debian distros over the years either so Fedora has remained my
primary distro where 3 years ago it was my only distro.

Ubuntu for example has tackled the multi-media issues with a gusto. It
also has worked hard to support the JACK audio system which for some
reason is the backbone of choice with Linux audio recording software.
Fedora is almost anti-Jack. It is a real challenge getting Jack to
work on Fedora for some reason. I've gotten tt to work once so far but
it was so buggy that I never could use software like Rosegarden with
any success.

So there is also the issue of enthusiam. Fedora is still easily the
best free server distro out there. I prefer it even over CentOS which
is a knock off of RHE. To be honest I prefered Fedora over RHE. Been a
few years since I was at a shop that used RHE and since there's no
personal distro no way to keep up with RHE except to use CentOS.
However what an admin uses at home is going to be what they use at
work most of the time. Most people will go with what is comfortable,
known and familuer to them over something that might have a couple
nice features but is something they don't work with every day on a day
in and day out basis. As such I feel Fedora's decision to not continue
to compete on desktop innovation is distrocide, which makes our
efforts rather pointless and leaves me struggling to find a new
favorite distro. What I use every day will be what I will be most
likely and willing to contribute too. Albiet my contributions to this
group have not been great. In fact I've started a couple arguments
LOL. However I feel it's important that we keep things open and folks
on this list have responded in that spirit. Even if they didn't agree
with me, my disention has been taken in the spirit it was meant, that
is as constructive criticism. Not sure I can really be listed as any
of the above any more. Been a year since my last writing contribution.
Two contributions which never got submitted still sitting on my hard
drive. I'm considering bowing out of the effort completely however.
Right now I'm spending more and more time in other distros. I am
desperately attempting to find drivers for my break out boxes and
software that I can use for multi-track recording under Linux. My
laptop is running Kbuntu since finding Fedora drivers for it would be
a real nightmare. Dell puts out Ubuntu specific drivers that work
quite well. No point breaking something that works fine. I'm trying
out 3 Debian based musician specific distros for my recording box and
considering going with Kbuntu on a new machine for the multi-media
aspects that I've struggled with on Fedora using FC 6 and 7 on 64 bit
machines. If I go with the 32 bit version I can get things running but
would love to use the 64 bit version instead. Not real sure what I'm
going to do with my file server. FC 7 complained about not having
enough RAM on it so it's still running FC 6. 128 megs should be plenty
for a headless server but FC 7 didn't like it.  Wasn't even attempting
to install X on it.  So I have to find a less Ram intensive modern
distro for that machine. Still running FC6 on my other 32 bit machine
because the scanner drivers break on FC7 but work great on FC6. I also
lose the sound card on FC7 while it is autodetected and runs great on
FC6. Problem is it's getting harder to find support for FC6 and when I
do upgrade the machine it'll probably have to be a non-Fedora distro.
There are probably solutions but the time and effort to get it working
compared to using a distro that still supports the rather common
hardware (Nvidia sound and video) just makes more sense. Less hassle
and potential for accidentally knocking out my sound & scanner and
having to redo everything. Last year I had 5 machines all running
Fedora. In a few months I'll probably be down to one or two Fedora

So in short. People contribute on multiple levels. The level of
contribution I feel has waned a bit. Still lots of people wanting to
help. Unless your looking for somebody specific for a specific task
dont' see how it really matters much.  Important thing is generating
enthusiasm and getting bulk work done initially. That's kind of been
the weak point of the project the whole time I've been a member. Once
started work seems to flow very well. Getting the initial documents
started seems to be the most difficult aspect.  There are
knowledgable, friendly and willing people to carry the task from there
to completion.

My 2 cents on the topic.

On Thu, Jun 19, 2008 at 11:43 AM, Chris Carlson <cwcarlson cox net> wrote:
That won't drive me away.  As I said, I'm trying to figure out the lay of
the land here.  Now I take it there is some documentation that is considered
Fedora documentation while other documentation is from other organizations.
I guess I presumed if it was accessible from "fedora" via yum, it was
considered Fedora documentation.

Thanks for the insight.


Sulyok Peti wrote:

2008. 06. 18, szerda keltezéssel 22.38-kor Chris Carlson ezt írta:

Given this background, I thought I could be of some use to the Fedora
documentation project.  I'm not sure how much time I'll have, but I want
to help.  I've already found a minor typo in the documentation for
glXIntro.  The example program sets an attribute to GLX_DOUBLE_BUFFER,
but the symbol doesn't exist; it's now called GLX_DOUBLEBUFFER.

I do not want to drive you away, but this problem is not a Fedora Docs
issue. If you type

$ rpm -qif /usr/share/man/man3/glXIntro.3gl.gz
Name        : mesa-libGL-devel             Relocations: (not
Version     : 7.1                               Vendor: Fedora Project
Release     : 0.31.fc9                      Build Date: 2008. máj. 10.,
szombat, 07.43.18 CEST
Install Date: 2008. máj. 30., péntek, 18.39.24 CEST      Build Host:
Group       : Development/Libraries         Source RPM:
Size        : 938090                           License: MIT
Signature   : DSA/SHA1, 2008. máj. 28., szerda, 13.32.44 CEST, Key ID
Packager    : Fedora Project
URL         : http://www.mesa3d.org
Summary     : Mesa libGL development package

So this doc belongs to http://www.mesa3d.org

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