Matthew Garrett ([personal profile] mjg59) wrote2013-08-22 11:21 am
Entry tags:

Re: Default offerings, target audiences, and the future of Fedora

Eric (a fellow Fedora board member) has a post describing his vision for what Fedora as an end goal should look like. It's essentially an assertion that since we have no idea who our users are or what they want, we should offer them everything on an equal footing.

Shockingly enough, I disagree.

At the most basic level, the output of different Special Interest Groups is not all equal. We've had issues over the past few releases where various spins have shipped in a broken state, because the SIG responsible for producing them doesn't have the resources to actually test them. We're potentially going to end up shipping F20 with old Bluetooth code because the smaller desktops aren't able to port to the new API in time[1]. Promoting these equally implies that they're equal, and doing so when we know it isn't the case is a disservice to our users.

But it's not just about our users. Before I joined the Fedora project, I'd worked on both Debian and Ubuntu. Debian is broadly similar to the current state of Fedora - no strong idea about what is actually being produced, and a desire among many developers to cater to every user's requirements. Ubuntu's pretty much the direct opposite, with a strongly defined goal and a willingness to sacrifice some use cases in order to achieve that goal.

This leads to an interestingly different social dynamic. Ubuntu contributors know what they're working on. If a change furthers the well-defined aim of the project, that change happens. Moving from Ubuntu to Fedora was a shock to me - there were several rough edges in Fedora that simply couldn't be smoothed out because fixing them for one use case would compromise another use case, and nobody could decide which was more important[2]. It's basically unthinkable that such a situation could arise in Ubuntu, not just because there was a self appointed dictator but because there was an explicit goal and people could prioritise based on that[3].

Bluntly, if you have a well-defined goal, people are more likely to either work towards that goal or go and do something else. If you don't, people will just do whatever they want. The risk of defining that goal is that you'll lose some of your existing contributors, but the benefit is that the existing contributors will be more likely to work together rather than heading off in several different directions.

But perhaps more importantly, having a goal can attract people. Ubuntu's Bug #1 was a solid statement of intent. Being freer than Microsoft wasn't enough. Ubuntu had to be better than Microsoft products on every axis, and joining Ubuntu meant that you were going to be part of that. Now it's been closed and Ubuntu's wandered off into convergence land, and signing up to spend your free time on producing something to help someone sell phones is much less compelling than doing it to produce a product you can give to your friends.

Fedora should be the obvious replacement, but it's not because it's unclear to a casual observer what Fedora actually is. The website proudly leads with a description of Fedora as a fast, stable and powerful operating system, but it's obvious that many of the community don't think of Fedora that way - instead it's a playground to produce a range of niche derivatives, with little consideration as to whether contributing to Fedora in that way benefits the project as a whole. Codifying that would actively harm our ability to produce a compelling product, and in turn reduce our ability to attract new contributors even further.

Which is why I think the current proposal to produce three first-class products is exciting. Offering several different desktops on the download page is confusing. Offering distinct desktop, server and cloud products isn't. It makes it clear to our users what we care about, and in turn that makes it easier for users to be excited about contributing to Fedora. Let's not make the mistake of trying to be all things to all people.

[1] Although clearly in this case the absence of a stable ABI in BlueZ despite it having had a dbus interface for the best part of a decade is a pretty fundamental problem.
[2] See the multi-year argument over default firewall rules and the resulting lack of working SMB browsing or mDNS resolving
[3] To be fair, one of the reasons I was happy to jump ship was because of the increasingly autocratic way Ubuntu was being run. By the end of my involvement, significant technical decisions were being made in internal IRC channels - despite being on the project's Technical Board, I had no idea how or why some significant technical changes were being made. I don't think this is a fundamental outcome of having a well-defined goal, though. A goal defined by the community (or their elected representatives) should function just as well.

[personal profile] hadrons123 2013-08-22 04:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, unity is killing ubuntu already. Xmir might be the next nail in the coffin. I not convinced that ubuntu is moving in the right direction with current proposals. They are sacrificing users for apparently no performance gains.

(Anonymous) 2013-08-22 05:52 pm (UTC)(link)
I can't see Fedora as Ubuntu "replacement" exactly because of its inconsistency and lack of defined goals. I installed openSUSE a while ago because of their "orientation on users who want to get work done" and convenient, flexible, rock-solid stable system is what I've got now. Their mission statement clearly tells what it is and what it's not. I guess it's a key to a well-made product.

CoreOS as an alternative

(Anonymous) 2013-08-22 06:24 pm (UTC)(link)
What about the idea of developing a pared back OS akin to the CoreOS guys?

The goal being that the there's the Linux kernel with systemd.
Gnome sits atop that with wayland and apps in its own container and apps are spun out of that?

That's a beautiful and modular vision right there.

Re: CoreOS as an alternative

(Anonymous) 2013-08-29 01:13 pm (UTC)(link)
You mean this ring proposal? Or something else?

Ring 0: "just enough OS" == not self-hosting aka minimal-cloud-slash-vGuest-fedora

Ring 1: "fedora neo-core" == @standard + @core, 330-or-430 'named'-SRPMs-or-pkgs (1800-or-3915 actual)

Ring 2: "option(al) stacks" == x/wayland/gnome/kde/xfce, mysql/postgres/mariadb, perl5/perl6/py2/py3/ruby1/ruby2/oraJava/openJdk

Ring 3: "enduser applications" == gedit/vim, libreoffice/thunderbird/pidgin, eclipse/netbeans/subversion/emacs... the proposal suggests being able to install straight from git repo (at enduser/spin option), not just from yum repo

Where do I find the actual list of those 430-named-3915-actual packages? No hyperlinks in his talk or his email to current fedora packaging-documentation....

Also, at first glance, I'm against non-RPM packaging like RubyGems, because (as the author of the slides points out) they don't even do simple anti-malware verification. Better to have 99% of ruby gems automagically-available inside an rpm-wrapper... with fedoraProject digisig and fedora quality-standards applied to all 'approved' gems... than to "extend the trust boundary" wholesale to 100% of website contents, as the proposal suggests. Haven't looked into this problem deeply though, so take this paragraph with a grain of salt. (Have also never heard of CoreOS, for that matter.)

the 330->1800 problem

(Anonymous) 2014-02-12 08:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Hi anonymous -- this is Matthew Miller (openid isn't working for me right now). Sorry for the very late reply here -- Just noticed this. Maybe you'll see it, maybe you won't. First, to clarify, the problem isn't that named packages pull in a bunch of _run time_ dependencies. It's probably 100 binary packages resulting in 430 at runtime. The problem is that in order to _build_ those packages, you need an environment with the almost-4000. Make sense? Harald Hoyer (on the new Fedora Base Design Working Group that came out of this proposal) did some more detailed analysis, with pretty graphs. Take a look at

Re: CoreOS as an alternative

(Anonymous) 2013-08-24 03:52 am (UTC)(link)
The "CoreOS guys" are a joke. Hacking out of a garage is a completely forced cliché and is a general metaphor for their undirected naïvety. Garages were the spawning grounds of hardware start-ups, not hipster hackers. The achieved precisely nothing. It's bizarre to be using them as an example of "vision" (sigh) already.

Re: CoreOS as an alternative

(Anonymous) 2014-11-04 06:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Congratulations on being a massive faggot and failing to see the larger picture

Sage goes in all fields, cancer

(Anonymous) 2013-08-22 06:49 pm (UTC)(link)
I moved away from Fedora because I got bored of waiting for the bugs I filed to be looked at. One in particular remained unassigned for several months and spanned two releases (f18 and f19).

Whenever I file a new bug in Ubuntu, there's no guarantee that it's going to be fixed, but at least somebody takes looks at it and tries to help.

No matter what the plans are for the distro, if the support for it is lacking, it won't matter which use cases are covered.

(Anonymous) 2013-08-22 07:11 pm (UTC)(link)
That is amusing as it is my normal experience with Ubuntu - bugs not being looked at or going unfixed, often for years. One simply required a recompile, another had the main binary coredump on startup with a patch published in the Redhat bug tracker. A recent one involved a single character fix and the loss of data, but won't be done due to a lack of a "sponsor". (Apparently it isn't enough for the project to document it as a bug and do a point release.)

(Anonymous) 2013-08-22 07:53 pm (UTC)(link)
I guess I've been lucky so far. I mostly file kernel bugs for hardware related issues. I try to fix user-space programs myself.

My Fedora bug experience is very good

(Anonymous) 2013-08-24 06:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Starting in Fedora 18, I filed a bug about the 3.9.x kernels panicking under EFI boot.

There was a lot of attention to the bug, and Fedora developers resolved it very quickly, even though the trouble was with the upstream (the Linux kernel).

It was a great experience that, for me, instilled a lot of faith in Fedora.

Time to repair.

(Anonymous) 2013-08-22 10:02 pm (UTC)(link)
I am waiting since Fedora 17 for responses to bugs that I registered. There is a glance at first, and then bingo, nothing.
When Fedora 17 reached end-of-life, the Bugs that are release independent got wiped. For most of them, I promoted them to F18, then to F19

Fedora relies on volunteers mainly to do the testing and reporting. There is no central clearing house that redistributes the bug reports to Gnome, kde, Linux, Xfce, etc.

Moreover, there is no ageing of bug reports, so that older ones get raised in priority.

For maximum benefit to users, the quick fix bugs should be highest in priority, with those deemed to be longer in fix time, below, and major effort bugs lowest in priority. The idea, as it is done in every industry, is to satisfy the most users by not respecting FIFO.

Re: Time to repair.

(Anonymous) 2013-08-23 02:19 am (UTC)(link)
Take a look at this list

It is huge, and yet a LOT of bugs are assigned to someone. What I'd like is to every bug to have a fair chance of being looked at. I don't mean fixed or triaged, just looked at.
reddragdiva: (flame war)

[personal profile] reddragdiva 2013-08-23 09:59 am (UTC)(link)
Mine is the opposite - a bug marked NEEDINFO and asking me to upgrade my BIOS try again with 10.04, seven months after I'd noted that my workaround had to upgrade to 12.04. The bug in question existing only in the Ubuntu 10.04 kernel, not in Debian and not in the corresponding mainline kernel. But apparently asking me to trash a working system for a bug that Canonical pretty clearly added is reasonable.

(Anonymous) 2013-08-24 04:03 am (UTC)(link)
Bug handling in Fedora is pitiful. Bugzilla forces you to tag issues against a release and when that release goes out of support, all issues are swept under the carpet, unless someone updates them. From the perspective of many bug reporters, after they've reported it, it's someone else's problem and often the maintainers don't even bother making a single reply and are barely aware it exists. Automation is great, but putting the onus on people to clean up after a crazed ticket-closing bot is *anti-automation*. It creates extra work and obscures real bugs.

Huge numbers of bugs like this still exist, and no one knows, because of some utterly moronic logic that if no one has done any Bugzilla housekeeping recently, it's unimportant. How the fuck can you keep a list of known issues with such a ridiculous triaging system?


(Anonymous) 2013-08-22 07:19 pm (UTC)(link)
The "three products" vision is so obviously correct I struggle to understand why anyone would seriously oppose it. I don't see that they detract from the Spins particularly, and in all honesty the spins aren't that great anyway (and I say this as one of the users).

Fedora should have a great cloud product. It should have a great server product. The desktop should continue to be a great product. You can do the cloud/server stuff right now, but the project should be making a public commitment to those things - and should commit to and excellent fedup experience long-term too imho (although obviously there are various other issues there) which should work with each product.

With those solid products in place, I think it would actually be easier to do stable spins, not harder. I'm sure objectively it would be a lot easier to promote and grow Fedora, involve people, and also cut down some of the silly arguments about holding back some improvements because of some minor piece of software it impacts.

Re: Agree

(Anonymous) 2013-08-23 01:05 am (UTC)(link)
The idea of "only one desktop" will lose me as a user unless Cinnamon is chosen. I imagine others would have similar feelings possibly with Cinnamon replaced by KDE or one of the others that are available. I.e. don't take away choice. The removal of choice/configurability from Gnome is the reason that I dumped Gnome in favour of Cinnamon and Id have no compunction dumping Fedora as well if choice disappears.

Re: Agree

(Anonymous) 2013-08-24 04:07 am (UTC)(link)
You mean you'll stop using Fedora. Nothing will be "lost". Don't flatter yourself.

Re: Agree

(Anonymous) 2013-08-26 10:10 am (UTC)(link)
Heh, you're confrontative for no good reason. Gnome 3 had problems, you've got to respect that.

Re: Agree

(Anonymous) 2013-08-26 10:08 am (UTC)(link)
Gnome 3 became tolerable, mostly due to the now huge amount of extensions published.

Ubuntu's narrow focus

(Anonymous) 2013-08-22 07:50 pm (UTC)(link)
I remember being pleased when Ubuntu came out and I found it didn't ship with a mail server by default. It felt like someone was willing to make something that suited a home/laptop desktop rather than a fixed workstation. This extended to things like boot speed that for a while surpassed that of Fedora and other distros that hadn't been hand tweaked. Does anyone remember all the out of tree kernel patches Ubuntu carried that gave it a reputation of being more likely to work than other distros with your hardware?

Even things like its update applet were good steps forward. Of course in the intervening years a lot of Ubuntu's lead has been reduced. Other distros adopted methods of startup that are just as fast, the mainline kernel has absorbed lots of out of tree drivers, startup splash screens are common, media keys often work (thanks mjg59!) NTP is set by default, live CDs are defacto, multiple releases in common place...

Now I need is a distro that has a super cut down cloud image that is compatible with virtual machines. The more things change...

Re: Ubuntu's narrow focus

(Anonymous) 2013-08-24 04:10 am (UTC)(link)
No, I don't remember any of that. What I do remember is Ubuntu happily accepting credit for work they didn't do. Lying is perfectly acceptable marketing when most of your users are too clueless to know better.

(Anonymous) 2013-08-22 09:38 pm (UTC)(link)


(Anonymous) 2013-08-23 01:42 am (UTC)(link)
"Now it's been closed and Ubuntu's wandered off into convergence land, and signing up to spend your free time on producing something to help someone sell phones is much less compelling than doing it to produce a product you can give to your friends."

I don't think this is fair judgment. In the "old days" you had PC or Mac and you could call it "smart device". Because average consumer (yes your friends included) used it you could give them one of the GNU/Linux based distribution to install and use it on his/her hardware.

What are your friends using today? Smart phones and maybe smart tablet and smart PC or Mac for sure. In a year or two they will probably be using smart TV won't they...

Why wouldn't you be appealed to give your friends alternative to default OS something in the range of GNU/Linux? A GNU/Linux distribution tailored for their hardware and up to your liking.

There might be valid concerns/issues you might have concerning Ubuntu but having the possibility to offer your friends a way to install GNU/Linux based distribution on their smart phones/tablets is certainly not one of them!

And isn't that the reason GnomeShell ended up the way it ended up? Mobile devices? Convergence? First priority project should probably be making GnomeShell more usable on the desktop and on mobile because currently it lacks both! Unity does slightly better job here probably because as you said there is a common goal and they are working exclusively on it to achieve this but when it comes to GnomeShell every critic is dismissed as not founded but the truth is currently GnomeShell is not fitted to be run on desktops/mobile devices and fixing this should be priority. Bluetooth stack can wait a bit longer it newer managed to be "rock solid" in the first place and we are used to it and accepted it but when somebody start trolling with the whole shell well then don't expect to become direct replacement for Ubuntu just because some folk don't like how Canonical is acting lately to do their thing!

Re: Thoughts

[personal profile] msylvestre 2013-08-23 02:08 am (UTC)(link)
IMHO the "average user" has indeed mostly abandoned PCs in favor of tablets and smartphones, as far as home use is concerned.

I'm not sure a convergence a la GNOME Shell makes sense -- the most successful execution in this category is probably OS X/iOS, and notice that they ship the OS X-based iOS *first*, and only gradually tailor OS X later to make the user experience more consistent.

So yes, making the default end-user-friendly is a good idea, but I think "confusing" features should only be hidden by default, not yanked out altogether, and only if advanced configuration tools like gnome-tweak-tool and dconf-editor become first-class supported apps. Otherwise we're chasing a user segment that doesn't exist in sufficient numbers yet.

And someone better do something about GNOME Shell's graphics stack. I've given up using it on a top-of-the-line 2013 Dell ultrabook because it just gobbles up RAM and CPU cycles like crazy. (Yes, it's using an Intel graphics chipset)

Re: Thoughts

(Anonymous) 2013-08-23 10:16 am (UTC)(link)
IMHO the "average user" has indeed mostly abandoned PCs in favor of tablets and smartphones, as far as home use is concerned.

It does not matter how often people repeat this there is no evidence to support this broad claim. People are not replacing their PCs with smartphones (and neither tablets) what happens is that more smartphones and tablets are sold then PCs. That does not mean that people throw away their PCs and use them instead.

Mostly use them in addition to their PCs. People tend to not buy new PCs anymore unless the old one breaks because there is no reason to do so. They consider their current hardware "good enough" for their tasks, so no need to upgrade. So the saved money is spent elsewhere (ex. tablets).

Smartphones otoh are mostly replacing traditional cell phones not PCs.

(Note: PCs in the above text includes laptops and Macs).

Re: Thoughts

(Anonymous) 2013-08-25 05:43 pm (UTC)(link)
"It does not matter how often people repeat this there is no evidence to support this broad claim. People are not replacing their PCs with smartphones (and neither tablets) what happens is that more smartphones and tablets are sold then PCs. That does not mean that people throw away their PCs and use them instead."

This doesn't change anything u still need GNU/Linux distribution(s) to recommend to your friends to use on tables/phones. It's the same story as it was and still is with PCs and Macs. What changed is devices list got longer and that is a good thing.
reddragdiva: (flame war)

Re: Thoughts

[personal profile] reddragdiva 2013-08-23 10:07 am (UTC)(link)
Given that we discovered that GNOME 3 could not possibly have been tested on a touchscreen device ...

Re: Thoughts

(Anonymous) 2013-08-24 04:16 am (UTC)(link)
No, no, no. You've got that all backwards. There are many alternatives to those things. Ubuntu is but one of them. It's disingenuous to pretend that Ubuntu/Canonical are in any way to thank for the state of things now. The vast majority of their infrastructure and progress has come from others. It's quite well known the contribute *very* little upstream.

Re: Thoughts

(Anonymous) 2013-08-24 07:26 pm (UTC)(link)
They are upstream for some stuff now. In the past they where not they just deliver FOSS but now they are becoming FOSS upstream.

They are not that kind of an upstream ATM everybody would like them to be but they will get there eventually. And who knows Fedora might use Mir in the future...

Phones vs Desktop, why should it be less compelling?

(Anonymous) 2013-08-23 07:15 am (UTC)(link)
"Now it's been closed and Ubuntu's wandered off into convergence land, and signing up to spend your free time on producing something to help someone sell phones is much less compelling than doing it to produce a product you can give to your friends."

I don't follow you here: both parts of your statement can apply both to phones and desktop: contributing to a Linux distribution which can either be pre-installed on computers sold at a shop, or installed on a server with commercial goals is "spend your free time on producing something to help someone sell computers/make money using your software", isn't it?
And on the other hand, most non-Canonical people who work on Ubuntu Touch do so because they want to produce a product they can give to their friends (as you can install Ubuntu Touch on many devices sold with Android, the same way you can install Fedora on many computers sold with Microsoft Windows).

You might have a point if Canonical was selling its own phone hardware and prevented/discouraged other phone producers from using Ubuntu Touch, but that's not the case.
Am I missing something?

Re: Phones vs Desktop, why should it be less compelling?

(Anonymous) 2013-08-29 11:56 am (UTC)(link)
Canonical is trying to out-Google Google, by producing Mir for UbuntuTouch-fka-Android devices, which will support *Ubuntu-specific* binary-blob graphics-stack drivers. Mir is under CLA, all changes become copyright Canonical (cf Oracle's ownership of nominally-GPL java source... so that Oracle can relicense it as proprietary under windows/OraRHEL... notably, with 'faster graphics' as one of the main marketing spiels.) To be fair, I'm not sure Wayland has much of a different emphasis -- Collabora just spent a lot of time and energy porting it to the Raspberry Pi, to prove they can work on limited devices just like Ubuntu's Mir, but in the process accepted a binary-blob graphics-stack (the equivalent of mesa/gallium/dri/libdrm/pcieKernel is all in regularly vendor-flashed 'firmware' sitting on top of the actual GPU).

As for your take on Fedora, no, you aren't missing much -- mjg is complaining that Ubuntu is becoming a way to push Ubuntu Phones (with one touchscreen UI to rule them all ... win8-slash-iOS anyone?). But he's kinda quiet about the *financial* purpose behind Fedora, which is to act as a test-bed for later RHEL releases. In particular, the main reason IMPO to want an Official Fedora Server-flavored distro is to try and displace CentOS in the webhosting world -- the free-as-in-beer RHEL clone. (Ubuntu LTS is an attempt to displace Debian, in much the same role... and unlike RHEL/CentOS, nowadays Ubuntu LTS upgrades their kernel every six months, staying one release behind Ubuntu non-LTS. And in fact, a Fedora-server flavor would have as a *second* big purpose: the ability to compete on equal footing with Ubuntu now-with-rolling-kernel-upgrades-LTS.)

Anyways, I'm sure that soon Fedora will soon be offering a server-oriented flavor, featured prominently on their main site. Whether this is merely a way to combat Ubuntu LTS, or is in fact also aimed squarely at boosting RHEL whilst beating down CentOS, will depend on what options the enduser of the Fedora Server is offered when their security-patches dry up, and their installed Fedora version is EOL. If the list is just 1) upgrade to Fedora N+1, or 2) upgrade to current RHEL, then clearly Fedora Server is a lock-in play, intended to boost RedHat finances, pure and simple. Compare with Lenovo BIOS whitelisting of their own wifi chipsets only, albeit less blatant/nasty, since the Fedora-Server upgrades-or-crossgrade *can* be done manually (no firmware mods required).

On the other hand, if the list *also* includes 3) crossgrade to CentOS, 4) crossgrade to SciLinux, or maybe even 5) crossgrade to Ubuntu LTS, then I'm all for a good Fedora Server release! It will help people that 'need' the latest and greatest version of php/mysql/whatever for their new web project... and when their now-year-month-old project is a going concern, where server stability & security is more critical than the latest version-hotness, they will have a clean pathway to move onto a more stable rhel/centos/scilin platform, which by then will prolly have the necessary daemon-versions available in the repo (if not stock then at least EPEL/rpmFusion).

And hey, why not offer Ubuntu LTS as a crossgrade, too? It will be a gesture of solidarity by the fedora/redhat folks, in the face of a quickly-fragmenting linux community. For that matter, go ahead and offer a crossgrade to Oracle EL, too, and Debian Stable. (I'd stop short of putting in a radio-button that offers to downgrade the webserver to Win2k8 ... but for the sake of completeness, you *can* run php and apache on that OS, not to mention redhat's own cygwin, so....)
reddragdiva: (geek)

[personal profile] reddragdiva 2013-08-23 09:56 am (UTC)(link)
I'm slightly reassured by Mark's statements that Canonical makes money from Ubuntu server builds, as IME they're just lovely (if a bit fat sometimes) and I rely on them. On the server, Ubuntu is basically a variety of Debian, but one that upstream software has PPAs for.

(Anonymous) 2013-08-24 04:20 am (UTC)(link)
Lovely? That's an incredibly imprecise, marketing-esque way to describe a system to be used by engineers. Yet another hipster hacker, I presume.

IME? Is that "in my experience"? I seriously doubt you have much.

(Anonymous) 2013-09-21 07:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Which also gets released four times as frequently as Debian.
reddragdiva: (stress relief)

[personal profile] reddragdiva 2013-09-21 07:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, but for server purposes you really don't want to be using anything but an LTS.
What Fedora has always been to me is a test ground for what should go into RedHat. As long as RedHat has some place to let people test and play with technology, it can then bring in what it wants into RHEL. As long as that happens, Fedora is a success.

As far as what Fedora users and developers think is a success, I don't know.


(Anonymous) 2013-08-24 10:10 pm (UTC)(link)
Matthew, what do you think of the Fedora Xfce spin?

Due to trouble with 3D acceleration with my newish AMD APU's graphics component in both the open Radeon and closed Catalyst drivers, GNOME Shell really doesn't work, so I've turned to Xfce.

Fedora and lack of enthusiam

(Anonymous) 2013-08-25 10:09 am (UTC)(link)
Fedora has become a distro of Redhat and other enterprise employees. And there it ends. Besides lack of goal and pushing Gnome too far the biggest problem Fedora has is that it isn't backed by community. Arch Linux has very strong community that actively gives back. They have the best package availability and amazingly great wiki. Both the things that Fedora lacks severely. Fedora doesn't really inspire most people as a consumer distribution.

Re: Fedora and lack of enthusiam

(Anonymous) 2013-08-25 05:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Fedora and Arch have different audiences.

I want newer packages but don't want to go through what it takes to build and maintain an Arch system.

That puts me in the Fedora camp.

Fedora is an echo chamber

(Anonymous) 2013-08-27 01:48 pm (UTC)(link)
I used Red Hat Linux from some very early release - v2 I think? - and paid for it voluntarily long before that was necessary. My employers have just completed a rebuild of our previously RHEL5/6 infrastructure on a pure Microsoft model, which is sad but was entirely justified on cost alone. RHEL has lost at least one customer and quite possibly their future. Fedora's a large part of why that happened. Before Fedora, when Red Hat led development based on a primarily commercial vision, enterprise customers were understood and courted. I don't think the complete abandonment of OpenLDAP (substituting AD-clone FreeIPA) would have happened before Erik Troan left. Fedora's development process is driven by very very young people with lofty but nebulous long-term goals and immediate goals that revolve around "looking cool" (which implies "total GUI interface") and laptop-centric models like dbus and wireless connectivity. That's a poor model for development of a product intended to compete with Windows Server 2012 - it's like the Fedora team is chasing the vision of 1990s Microsoft, at the same time that Microsoft themselves have seen the limitations of this approach and built a Windows CLI (that fundamentally isn't compatible with other systems) for the server room. We now have a dozen or so Windows servers that literally have no GUI, and expect to have more. And the big advantage of Microsoft in the for-profit world right now is Exchange+Outlook. These grotesquely lame products reign as the most desired and best understood person-to-person PC communications interface in the world, and their grip grows firmer every day. Concentrating on a modular system of calendaring, email, business card distribution, and meeting/event management (NOT an all-in-one system, don't just blindly clone Microsoft again) using open standards would be a sensible way to counter the value proposition Microsoft is offering (which, using HyperV and Windows Server 2012, is *cheaper* than using Free Open Source in a regulated industry, and all US industries are now regulated). But I don't see Fedora ever being able to make something like that, because the project's entirely driven by people who haven't worked in anything approaching a typical large business environment. The literally can't envision the needs of the high-profit customer and what really powerful organizations (in the sense of power to drive social change and create world wonders) want.

Re: Fedora is an echo chamber

(Anonymous) 2013-08-29 12:20 pm (UTC)(link)
You forgot to mention the billion-dollar Skype... which can do free-as-in-beer voice calls (skype-to-skype), and simple text chat (proprietary skype protocol). Evolution-aka-outlook-clone no longer ships with Fedora from what I can gather, and Thunderbird is a good OutlookExpress substitute, but not a good OutlookProper substitute. As for text-n-voice chat, pidgin *does* ship with Fedora by default... but the core devs refuse to attempt skype compatibility (because they want microsoft to come to them... and because "you can always install the pidgin beta for windows").

But truth be told, I'm thinking that your worry that Microsoft has a death-grip on the enterprise through their exchange server is a bit out-dated. I'd be more concerned about gmailEnterprise + googleVoice + chromeOSserverEdition, than I would be about outlook + skype + win2k12, in terms of being threats to the viability of corporate-desktop Linux.

Did your company actually use RHEL6 on the desktops, or was it just a server-side thing to run the datacenter? Since it sounds like everybody was using Outlook clients, presumably the latter. But that observation ties back in with the best goals for Fedora flavors: methinks we need to have a strong focus on the CorporateDesktopFedora flavor (which currently does not even exist that I can tell), which supports central IT out of the box (including a powershell port), which tightly integrates with *both* FreeIPA as well as ActiveDir servers, which can cleanly accept GroupPolicy security constraints as well as SeLinux config, and which has all the WindowsPro bells and whistles (image-backup & drive crypto & proper SMB & whatnot).

FedoraCorporateDesktop flavor would then be able to compete head to head with Win8 clients... and FedoraCorporateTabletAndPhone flavor would not be far behind.

[identity profile] 2013-10-03 10:20 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks for this post. Point [2] is particularly depressing, as a still-Debian contributor, whilst your excellent use case on why the similar-to-Debian Fedora philosophy is broken firewall rules, we still don't have a default firewall in Debian…