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Re: Distrowatch on Fedora this year

Subject: Re: Distrowatch on Fedora this year
From: Greg DeKoenigsberg
Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2007 11:39:47 -0500 EST
On Mon, 17 Dec 2007, Rahul Sundaram wrote:

Even a lot of long time Fedora users don't seem to be thinking of Fedora as a newbie friendly distribution though and this is to some extend because our focus on the desktop has not been immediately evident.

Small steps every release. PackageKit is a great step. Codeina is a good step. Rootless install will be a good step. Encrypted homedirs will be a good step.

Most Fedora users still download the DVD where we don't even enable NetworkManager yet.

Which is a problem.  Who's pitching in to fix it?

"More NetworkManager" is already listed at:


We also have sacrificed many features like good webcam support (requires third party kernel modules like gspca) in favor of upstream focus which is a conscious trade off.

One which we *should not* walk away from, btw.

If we are thinking of the next major milestones after the merge of Fedora Core and Extras and custom spins, a clearly conveyed focus (IMO on the client - desktop, laptops, embedded devices) is what we need.

Want to know the direction?  Look at the proposed feature set.

Want to drive the direction?  Propose features.  :)


I have heard this as a complaint fairly often and Oracle even recently ported Yast from SUSE to RHEL (for "Unbreakable Linux") so there does seem to be some demand for it.

Meh. Everyone will have their own opinions; my opinion is that YaST is an ugly hammer that breaks as much as it "simplifies".

Awesome! (Seriously.) Configuration is evil. With few exceptions, things should "Just Work" without needing configuration. See NetworkManager, gnome-power-manager, work we're doing with bluetooth, killing off xorg.conf, etc. etc.

You are looking at this from the desktop perspective where you are right. Things like Postfix, Apache and Samba are always going to need tweaking in various circumstances. As a former sys admin who was managing data centers, I don't see configuration requirements just going away anytime soon on servers. We can make it easier but system-config-httpd doesn't seem to be the answer here. Microsoft Management Console goes way beyond that for example.

Desktop config tools are the 100% wrong approach to this problem.

Highly customizable server/web-based config tools are the 100% right approach to this problem (which is, incidentally, a whole class of problems that are different for different admins.)

Which is why func matters:


But guess what? That has *nothing* to do with the newbie users to whom the reviewer alludes.


Greg DeKoenigsberg
Community Development Manager
Red Hat, Inc. :: 1-919-754-4255
"To whomsoever much hath been given...
...from him much shall be asked"

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