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Re: Fedora 10 is a 10

On Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 8:06 AM, Rahul Sundaram <sundaram fedoraproject org> wrote:

Apparently, artwork is considered a waste of time by this user. A response is in order.


"Ok, I think they're grasping a bit with some of those to get to 10 new and improved features but I'll allow it since Fedora 10 impressed me as much has it did.

But, I won't let them get away with "prettying" features like new artwork and themes. That has nothing to do with functionality, stability, or usability. As far as I'm concerned, that stuff is a grand waste of time for a team bent on improving the operating system.

Come on guys, focus here. You're trying to compete with the likes of Windows, Mac, and the other Linux distributions. You're on the right track with improved support for WebCams, video cards, and making software management easier and more intelligent--keep your eyes on the goal of making those kinds of improvements."


If Fedora is trying to compete with the likes of Windows, Mac, and other Linux distros, as he states, then the logical goal to be drawn from that statement is truly to expand the number of people using Fedora.  I don't think anyone can say that focusing on improving the user experience as far as the "prettying" features is a bad idea to get new users; making things just look nice and more organized has been a good part of why Apple is now in the double-digits of their market share of PCs.   (Obviously there are other factors here, but I'm just being very topical here.)

Contributors contribute in different ways.  The guy working on making a desktop look nice probably wouldn't be very efficient at making video cards "just work."  The fact that other components of the operating system which aren't necessarily absolutely core to increasing functionality only indicates that there is a wider community of people contributing to a variety of improvements - not that all the video-card guys just decided that they'd rather do something else this week.

It's like buying a car: If I buy a car, I don't expect to have to mess around with the engine. I expect that it _just works_.   However, I'll probably noticing whether it looks nice on the outside.  A Nascar driver, on the other hand, probably wants to know everything about the engine, and could care less about how it looks.  The pool of Nascar drivers is a lot smaller than the pool of all people driving cars.  Same thing for computers - a small portion of the market for PCs, which is a pretty big market, are hard-core, technical people.  The majority of the market is composed of general, consumer and business-type end-users. Yes, they want their computer to work, just like I want my car to turn on.  But they also need eye appeal - if things look too complicated, or not as nice as what they currently have, they get turned off.    For Fedora to expand their user base, the non-technical portion of the market has got to be addressed in some way or another if those users are to be converted.

So in my (marketing) perspective, making things look good is very important.  I don't care how superficial it sounds - in the end, another user is a good thing, and if they can be converted into a contributor, then even better. :)

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