Some months ago the Fedora Board decided on a ‘Vision statement’, a goal towards the Fedora project should strive in the long term. The vision statement states the following:
The Fedora Project creates a world where
- free culture is welcoming and widespread,
- collaboration is commonplace, and
- people control their content and devices.
I personally believe that this is a good vision statement and no -or at least, not many- contributors disagree with it.
We also have 4 core values. Those are older than the vision statement, and every contributor should know them by heart. The 4 core values are also our foundations.
- Freedom “Sometimes this goal prevents us from taking the easy way out by including propitiatory or patent encumbered software in Fedora, or using those kinds of products in our other project work.”
- Friends “Like any friends, we occasionally disagree on details, but we believe in finding an acceptable consensus to serve the interests of advancing free software.”
- Features “The Fedora community creates many of the technical features that have made Linux powerful.”
- First “The Fedora Project’s goal of advancing free software dictates that the Fedora Project itself pursue a strategy that preserves the forward momentum of our technical, collateral, and community-building progress.”
As for the userbase, most people say “contributors are way more important than users” although I think that you don’t have any contributors without having users first. But who are those users? the now famous girl scouts, or hackers, technical users, developers and system engineers?
My Linux story began when I was 13. My nephew installed Red Hat 9 on my fathers old desktop. I was far from a power user, I had just discovered dial in internet, e-mail and much more. I didn’t know the exact difference between open source / free software and propitiatory software. And still, I was using Red Hat linux, supported by one person, my nephew, not the community. Nobody told me there was such a thing. So I was far from being a power user, or a contributor. Though I kept on using Red Hat and Fedora later on. Made some tours around Ubuntu and Suse, but I kept on coming back. Why? Because I liked Fedora. Not the community though, I didn’t know that existed.
I’m pretty sure that at time the target audience for any Linux distro was a more technical experienced user. Things were much harder then than now. I still remember how much I suffered to install my first software. And still, me, as a non technical newbie (I studies chemistry, not IT) could learn how to work with it and use it.I’m also sure that many people started to use Fedora / Linux just the way like I did it.
From the moment I discovered this wonderful community my technical knowledge about Linux started to grow. I joined the community, and I still feel this was one of my best decisions ever. According to me the Fedora community is about ‘getting things done‘ and about fun.
A lot of people have the perception that because our target group is (or was) technical people. I totally agree with this. we shouldn’t become a second ubuntu. Remember the ‘Features First’? I believe that we should strive towards technical expertise, always be the first, and deliver a stable workable product. SystemD, Gnome3 , 2 good examples that we still lead. But not all costs. Systemd was postponed to Fedora 15 because there were still to many bugs. I believe that was a good decision!
When people ask me for reasons why they should join the Fedora community, one of the things I always tell them: Fedora people are full of awesomeness. And one person can make a difference. So can you. As long as you care about it.
So, dear people, IF you care enough about Fedora, help fix it. I strongly believe in the ‘power user’ camp, but not I don’t believe in the way some people try to enforce it. But in the end, make sure we create some unity ( ) again in the community. We want to be the best at what we do? That will only work if we work together. And indeed, that will never work if we want to make EVERYBODY happy.
WE CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN!