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tl;dr [Mar. 14th, 2011|10:03 pm]
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I installed the Fedora 15 Alpha on my netbook a couple weekends ago. It boots well. What I can't figure out though is why people seem to see war and deterioration and disease and hate in it. I didn't get some Gnome ninja jumping out of the screen trying to decapitate me for opening a terminal. I didn't have a bunch of girl scouts show up at my door when I hit the expose key (though I would have gladly bought some Tagalongs if they did). The notification noises didn't sound like condescending hipster know-it-alls chiding me for changing a default or not wanting to be an OS-X-but-not-quite-fanboy.

That's not to say that I didn't have things I found annoying. Having xchat running seems to produce an endless stream of notifications on the bottom that can only be cleared by clicking each and every one. My first yum update resulted in a broken login. I found the title bar to be a bit too large (and then later realized it wasn't, it was just that the menu bar in most apps is the same color but I digress). All of these were annoying, but not rage inducing. Nothing is perfect.

I'm beginning to think people can't separate the product from the personalities that make it. Or maybe it's more that they invest a lot of time and effort into one thing, and automatically think anything not similar to it is horrible. Or maybe people just hate change. Whatever way, it's just software.

I've been "away" from Fedora a while. Perhaps that has given me a bit more relaxed attitude when it comes to something changing in the distro. Perhaps I'm just getting mellow in my old age. However, I sometimes believe that it is the constant and ever continuing grind of producing a distro every 6 months that is leading to a lot of the friction. 6 months is a really short time to cram the newest EVERYTHING into Fedora and expect it to have a high level of collaboration, cooperation, and integration while cranking it through. Developers are already stressed about getting their niche in order, and making sure they don't break something they don't care about is hard for anyone to do.

I have no real solution to that. 9 months isn't all that much better, and then you're staggered against upstream release cycles. LTS style solutions don't fit well with the direction the project tends to go. We don't seem to be attracting tons of developers interested in cross-distro collaboration either, and attempts to "help" are often seen as forced and unwelcome.

While I value Fedora's 4 foundations, sometimes I think #3 and #4 are in constant tension with #1 and #2. I wonder if all of this leads to the massive flames on the lists, the snide remarks on IRC (which I am more than guilty of myself), and the general distrust of any form of leadership within Fedora by some. I hope the hate in-breeding will stop at some point. Otherwise the foundations just turn into Free, Frustration, Feuding, and Fail.

That's it. Now I know I'm getting too philosophical in my old age. I need to go find a piece of code to rage about.
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Comments:
From: adamwill.id.fedoraproject.org
2011-03-15 07:21 am (UTC)

releases

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I keep telling people I want to set up a working group to look at the release cycle (my personal feeling is that a rolling release would turn out to make the most sense for Fedora) but because I'm a horrible flaky flake I never get around to it. sigh.
From: (Anonymous)
2011-03-20 08:06 am (UTC)

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it was very interesting to read. I want to quote your post in my blog. It can? And you et an account on Twitter?
From: batiberk
2011-04-15 08:56 pm (UTC)

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Great post! I wish you could follow up on this topic!

From: toshio.id.fedoraproject.org
2011-07-15 05:21 pm (UTC)

Rings true

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Your identification of tension between the Foundations makes a lot of sense to me. Not sure what to do about it... maybe need to take some time off from fighting fires to think about it.