Fedora Community? Nope, 100% Red Hat

2007-02-23 18:04:18

First of all, I have to say that I love the artwork by Diana Fong, so it’s not about that.

The hot-air balloon Fedora 7 theme (hey, they still use "FC7" instead of "F7"?!) is reminding me of Corel’s balloon, otherwise it’s great.

So far, everything seems right. Well, it’s not that right. I’ve just read Next Fedora release delayed, new design theme selected.

I don’t care about Fedora 7 being delayed (although it’s no Debian): which such a thing like the merger of Core and Extras (plus other impossible objectives), this is the only way things can happen.

The problem is (just like with RH’s unhappy choice for a competition) the message.

The first bad message is embedded in Paul Frields’ ML message Figuring out the mission: «we have been stumping hard for the community’s role in Fedora art. The frustration that some of the community members have expressed is understandable, and we’ve tried to carry your concerns to all the parties involved. But unfortunately, we haven’t been completely successful, and to make a long story short, we’ve had to concede the default release theme work to the Desktop group inside Red Hat

"Community" and "Fedora’s artwork" are incompatible. Yep. Red Hat must do the artwork.

Fedora was supposed to be a community project, with only the name and the logo as trademarks owned by Red Hat. Furthermore, the fine print says "The Fedora Project is not a supported product of Red Hat, Inc."

Then... why can’t the artwork be made by the community?! Is Red Hat counting so much on the way Fedora 7 will look in order to boost sales of RHEL5? So, Fedora is not only a test bed for RHEL, but also a way to ensure RHEL’s sales?

Trademark issues are important with Fedora, so Nicu thought of using an alternate logo, but people on the list seem to reject his idea so far. This is not a collaborative environment, eh?

There is a certain idea to ease the creation of derivatives, and here’s the associated message: «As part of the initiative to give users the ability to spin their own distributions built on Fedora, we’d like contributor art to be able to function as a drop-in RPM package replacement for the default release art.» This is the only good part of Paul’s message.

The second bad message: the lifecycle of Fedora Core 5 will not be extended. Between D1 = "F7 Test 3" and D2 = "F7 Release + 1 month", only security updates would be done for Core 5. Basta.

This makes the whole lifecycle for FC5 about 15 months long. Even worse: about one month from now, it won’t be any non-security update for FC5.

But you are running FC6, right?

Have you any clue about why things are this way? Take this, by Jesse Keating: «Currently, Core 5 is maintained by Red Hat engineering and there is no method in place for the community at large to keep Core 5 packages updated, so to keep the release active it will take RH engineering time

Unbelievable. What kind of community is this, the most glorious Linux community after Debian and Ubuntu? (Side note: the Debian community is mostly "developers"; the Ubuntu community is mostly "ranters".)

FC5 is maintained by Red Hat! There is NO WAY to have this taken care of by the community!

Definitely, there is no such thing as "the Fedora community". The Fedora project is 100% Red Hat, and you (the FC user) are a guinea pig.

But I mostly "like" the two messages. Review:

So long for texts like "Fedora is a set of projects, sponsored by Red Hat and guided by the Fedora Project Board. These projects are developed by a large community of people who strive to provide and maintain the very best in free, open source software and standards." Only "sponsored" by Red Hat? Wholly owned by Red Hat!

The governance model is broken. The project management is broken. The whole public image of Fedora Linux is a fake.

I am not at war with anybody. What happens is that I am angry and sad.

P.S.: I was suggested that it’s normal for Red Hat to take care of Core "personally" (especially when comes about maintenance of "oldstable", currently FC5), because the community’s involvement can be seen in Extras, but what will happen now that Core and Extras are merged? Has anyone explored all the consequences of merging Core and Extras? What’s the role of the community after the merger? The unique Fedora pool of packages is larger, and the question about the community needs an answer: will the community have less and less to say, and the packages be poorly maintained? Or will Red Hat get more and more involved? At what cost? The maintenance of a larger pool of packages needs more resources, and I suspect this will lead to a shorter lifecycle for F7...