Fedora has always lead the progress of FOSS by closely following
upstream and making non-trivial contributions. I see this is a great
strength, and like many other people it's my primary reason for using
it. But it's not without trade-offs, such as giving Fedora a
perception of being 'beta' software and balancing new software without
burning the large user base is not easy either.
This hit home today, after being impressed with the work you guys have
done with plymouth, I did a quick Google search to find out a
little more. The first result is a "Ubuntu brainstorm" page about
implementing it in their own distribution and the second comment is "I
support the idea but I do think that it should only be considered
after Fedora has done all the dirty work of getting it to work". This
is no way intended as a criticism of a Ubuntu, but it's a realization
that distributions like Ubuntu are able to offer a better user
experience by using stable software on a longer support cycle.
So what I propose is that Fedora goes to a rolling release cycle.
Implemented properly I believe we can better achieve Fedoras
objectives of rapidly progressing Free Open Source Software, while
providing a more user centric focus (and bringing something new to the
easy-to-use-table). While I would prefer to not get bogged down in the
technical details at this stage, we would need to provide software in
varying levels of stability.
Users should be able to very easily and freely move through the
levels, especially on a per-package basis (with PackageKit). It should
also be easy for users to "freeze" their system/package to only
receive security (and optionally bug) patches, as many aren't
interested in the constant upgrade cycle.
New features/software/functionality would be easily tested by the
masses without needing to upgrade the entire distribution. It would
give the open source community a massive user-base they could call
upon to test easily.
The average user would sit at the 'stable' level while perhaps
testing/using a few of their favorite software from rawhide. Servers
would typically sit at the rocksolid level, and use stable packages on
a needs-only basis.