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The stated mission of the Fedora Project is to advance the state of free software. To meet this challenge, Fedora incubates open source technology projects in which anyone in the community can participate. To support this participation, Fedora offers a feature process to alert contributors to new technology, connect them to community test days where they can try out the feature and report issues, and track progress of the technology into the latest release.
Putting technology in front of a wide audience quickly is part of the open source model, as seen in the "release early, release often" mantra popular among open source developers. Participation results in more feedback about feature functionality, and more opportunities for developers to continually improve code.
Red Hat participates in this process as part of the Fedora community, and its contributions to Fedora help enhance the technology selected by Fedora’s substantial user and contributor base. Fedora helps Red Hat meet a goal of more scalable, extensible, and interoperable Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which is derived from Fedora.
One example of this participation is the evolution of desktop user features over the last several releases of Fedora. Red Hat contributors have played an important role in developing features such as NetworkManager, PolicyKit, and free video drivers, all of which address specific end user problems – from easy connectivity for mobile "road warriors," to scalable frameworks that support secure corporate deployment and auditing, to a more elegant experience for booting and hotplugging monitors or projectors.
This model of participation and contribution isn’t simply confined to Red Hat, but rather is open to anyone in the community. Volunteers make use of Fedora’s feature process to support their interests, from specific software inclusion in Fedora to derivative products that support different types of end users.
In this video, Red Hat’s Vice President of Linux Engineering, Tim Burke, talks about his experiences with the results of Fedora’s open feature process, and how the incubation of technology in Fedora has helped Red Hat as a contributor.
If you watch closely, you’ll see inserts of previous videos covering features of previous Fedora releases to which Tim refers. The insert videos include NetworkManager and free video drivers. To read more information and view videos about these and other technologies in which Fedora has played a role in innovation, visit the Red Hat video page.