Innovation and focus in Fedora
Fedora Board has been discussing about the target audience for Fedora for a long time and I hope to see some clarity from that process soon. There has been some concerns that defining a audience is going to curtail volunteer freedom to choose their own direction and I think that is a false notion. Any free software has a audience in mind when it gets started along with some natural biases regardless of whether we are explicit about it or not and as it grows it might change over time but sometimes there is a distortion of focus and different parts of it starts acting differently which is confusing for the end users.
We have that problem now in Fedora and it shows up in many places including how maintainers view updates to general releases. Some are very conservative and some are quite happy with pushing the latest upstream software and while some of it can be ustified by the nature of upstream projects themselves it is always useful to some amount of consistency in this.
Fedora has been recognized for a while as a place for free software innovation and many of the fundamental changes in every distribution is driven via Fedora first and this ranges from deep changes in kernel and glibc to desktop changes like Networkmanager or Packagekit and naturally we have gathered a community which prides in being a good contributory base but it is important to recognize that if our contributions do not reach a user base directly they are not going to value it much and we should not lose sight of end users in these conversations ever We need to tilt the focus slightly from speed to scale. Quality and robustness is a big piece of this equation and I am happy to see more visibility for the QA efforts within Fedora.