On Fri, Mar 19, 2010 at 10:30 PM, Marcel Rieux <email@example.com> wrote:
> For a while, I've been arguing with very knowledgeable people here
> that there are way too many bugs in Fedora, bugs that either hinder a
> pleasant user experience or plainly break systems to the point that
> one wonders if he's not being hacked. And, for a non-geek like me, get
> rid of them before new ones add to the heap, is just impossible.
> Developers might not be aware of some bugs I'm experiencing because
> they're manifestly hardware related(1), while some others can't have
> escaped their attention(2).
> (1)*The only option available in my Gigabyte MA770T-UD3P's BIOS
> offering only options for entering passwords, for exemple.
> (2) For instance, "New File" entering the clipboard every time a new
> file is created.
> Some bugs reports, even filed by Red Hat employees, have been
> outstanding for so long that most users certainly feel it's no use
> filling reports and following the outcome... unless one wants to make
> a full time job arguing with geeks on what is worthy bug and what is
> In Linux Weekly News, Mr Sorbet... err, make this Corbet, has written
> a nonetheless delightful article on the matter of what is causing this
> avalanche of bugs in so-called "stable" Fedora releases. To me, the
> sorbet of the whole article pretty much freezes down to this:
> "(...) the system which Fedora has in place for the review of proposed
> updates - Bodhi - is often circumvented by updates which go straight
> out to users. The testing and voting which is supposed to happen in
> Bodhi is, in fact, not happening much of the time, and the quality of
> the distribution is suffering as a result. So some Fedora developers
> are looking for ways to beef up the system."
> And rightly so, since not breaking stable releases is the most
> fundamental Fedora rule, as expressed here in the Stable release
> update vision:
> "The update repositories for stable releases of the Fedora
> distribution should provide our users with a consistent and high
> quality stream of updates."
> This, and more very important stuff, under "Vision Statement" at this URL:
> If this is the Fedora's game, I'm wishing to play. Otherwise, I'll
> move to Ubuntu or, as security is important to me, CentOS*or
> Scientific Linux, soon as RHEL*6 is released.
> So, one might ask, what will the contribution of non-geeks to Fedora
> be?*Well, as I said, I have a problem with my mobo. I also can't get
> sound through HDMI*to my TV. A recent update has made playing DVDs
> impossible... except with Kplayer! (not KMplayer) Etc.
> So, if there was a place where I could report those bugs without
> registering to 10,000 different bugzillas and dealing with
> don't-give-a-shit geeks, I certainly would fill them and would be more
> than interested in trying packages in update-testing to see if the fix
> works. But I'm certainly not interested in enabling update-testing
> just to see if new stuff i don't need works, and possibly break my
> If my problems do not concern Fedora/Red Hat developers directly, they
> can address the bug to software developers upstream. If bugs take
> years to be fixed, maybe they can suggest another software... or
> desktop environment be used by default on Fedora. You know, Fedora/Red
> Hat certainly has the clout to wake up developers. OTOH, if Red Hat
> relies on disgruntled users to fill reports on bugs that never get
> fixed, users won't be the only ones to suffer.
> As for users/developers who feel more "adventurous", Rawhide does
> provide enough of a stampede experience, I would think. That's the
> rolling distribution that some are asking for, though, even in this
> case. I wonder if it wouldn't be a good idea to permit new updates
> only every Sunday. But I don't have a solid opinion on this.
> Developers are better placed to make an informed decision on this
> Then, as suggested by Matthew Garrett, before a package is moved from
> Bohdi to update testing, it should receive the signatures, or "karma",
> or whatever, of 3 developers. Developers know each other. If somebody
> doesn't do a good job, nobody will want to sign for him. If somebody
> always output a clean job, others will almost sign eyes closed.
> Signatures put pressure on developers: they know that if their
> software always has problems, nobody will sign for them.
> Of course, certain projects are more obscure than others, their
> software is not as common as, say, a word processor. But the same goes
> for the kernel development and, as far as I know, everything bears 3
> What I*wrote here might be in part ill founded. When you're not a
> developer, you can't comment with insight. It's an outsider's view,
> but a very clear fact remains: whether it's only a rant or a
> fullfledged case study, users must be allowed to express their POV
> freely and it should be taken into consideration.
> Chasing users away with "Why don't you fill (no-use) bug reports?" or
> "You don't like it?*The code is there, modify it!", the way it is
> typically done on Debian and Slackware groups, leads to disaster.
> If flame wars wouldn't have been so common in the community, if user
> needs had been better taken care of, Debian could have achieved what
> Mark Shuttlewort did, which is build a community, the largest user
> base in the Linux world. So that, if you speak to Windows users
> contemplating a move to Linux, the first distro that comes to their
> mind is Ubuntu. That's because it's pretty much the only distribution
> the generalist press talks about.
> Now, Shuttlweworth is planning to offer an iTune look-alike service
> for his users. He's going to bring some money in to pay his
> developers. It's not the financial clout that Google gives to
> ChromeOS, but it's a move in the right direction.
> It's very strange, but it seems that open-source developers like to
> pay their bills just like anybody. As more and more major companies
> are entering the "open-source market", Nokia and Intel, for example,
> who's going to be left developing open-source for nothing in project
> that more and more will look rather futile, compared to mainstream?
> Because, believe it or not, open source is now becoming mainstream, As
> I*explained here:
> (Read from "As Wikipedia puts it". The rest is of no interest.)
> Google is apt to turn competition into confetti.
> Apple, which is certainly far from showing an open-source attitude(1),
> makes billions with BSD-based OS*X*using "repackaged" standard
> no-real-specs-available(2) hardware and still gains market share over
> (1)*Please don't bring forward this nonsense about their contribution
> to WebKit. WebKit was a fork from KHTML, a GPLed project. So the code
> had to be opened. and whatever contribution Darwin makes to the open
> source community pretty much amount to a drop of water in the sea.
> (2)*Try to get the specs of their mobos, for instance.
> At 19 years old. Linux is certainly not a new kid on the block
> anymore. How come, even with Ubuntu, it is still howering at around 1%
> of the market share? How come all the brawlers who invade Linux
> groups/forums/lists are still allowed to bash new users pretending
> that market share is not important in order to be accepted in
> standards definition, that they'll still be surfing the net with Lynx
> ten years from now?
> The benevolent dictator would not permit such nonsense to happen
> repeatedly on this groups. Why does Red Hat, a company listed on the
> NYSE, allow this?*Do all the non Red Hat members on the Fedora board
> agree with this?
> Can't anybody notice that traditional little budget open-source is
> right in the middle of the track where the large corporations'
> open-source is riding full steam head? Brawlers -- and you know, it
> might be two people with 5 email accounts -- ask that they'd be taken
> at their face value as real Linux advocates, and they do provide a
> useful technical hint once in a while, but who's interests, knowingly
> or unknowingly, are they serving?
> Anyways, that's more than enough on brawlers:*some people might think
> I*have somethings against them
> When,*I installed the NVIDIA*drivers, I*went, first place, to
> fedorafaq.org. Since Fedora couldn't provide instructions on
> installing proprietary drivers, it seemed like an appropriate place.
> But the instructions didn't work. It took some time before I*got to
> rpmfusion, the provider of the kmod package. Still, though I*asked the
> maintainer to correct his instructions, the Fedorafaq page is still
> How come anybody is allowed to use the Fedora's name to give wrong advice?
> Now, I*want to remove the kmod-nvidia driver and there's no
> instructions on how to remove it, either at rpmfusion or
> fedoraproject. (I*suppose removing proprietary software is not against
> the law!) Just as for installing, you receive different advice all
> over the place but, if the process can't be automated, how come there
> is no offical information on such a fundamental matter?
> Anyways, I could go on like this for hours. If Fedora stagnates behind
> Ubuntu for a total Linux*market share of ~1% -- servers excluded, of
> course -- it's not because God cursed Fedora, it's because there are
> HUGE*administrative problems. The project lacks direction, a
> benevolent dictator (or an enlightened triumvirate?), somebody that
> could be pointed at if everything turns to a mess like now.
> All along this summary, I've been comparing Fedora and Ubuntu, but
> both are in a very different situations. Ubuntu is based on the latest
> version of Debian, which is already very stable. Then, some packages
> from testing are added and tested. If some bugs in unstable are
> related to hardware architectures that are not supported by Ubuntu,
> the package might also be added.
> Though, due to the wide variety of PC*hardware, all kind of problems
> pop up after an Ubuntu release, after, say, 8 months, inexperienced
> users can feel confident that adopting the past release -- a new one
> coming out every 6 months -- will be fairly trouble free. Every
> release being maintained for 18 months, the user can, 10 months later,
> choose the new release, the last or the second last. And it seems
> Canonical can come up with fairly stable server releases this way.
> With 13 month releases, Fedora users have to upgrade much sooner. And
> the latest version being based on the previous version of Fedora
> instead of Debian, some question the validity of the whole process.
> Here's what Corbet writes about this;
> "Fedora does indeed not hold back on updates; a quick look in the LWN
> mailbox turns up over 600 package updates for the Fedora 11 release -
> in just the last month. This is a release which is scheduled for
> end-of-life in a few months. Many of these updates involve significant
> changes, and others have been deemed "worthless". Regardless of worth,
> there can be no doubt that all these updates represent a significant
> degree of churn in a distribution which is in the latter part of its
> short life. It is difficult to avoid breaking things when things are
> changing at that rate."
> So, when I hear some suggesting that Fedora moves to a rolling stable
> release, this sounds to me like a recipe for disaster. Of course,
> stricter control on updates is often suggested, but getting to a
> non-rolling stable release certainly seems like an inescapable first
> IMO, Fedora releases will have to become much more stable and urgency
> to get more market share will have to be established as a clear
> priority. Very F-A-S-T. The Stable release update vision should be
> followed "à la lettre".
> P.s.:*Many thanks to Jonathan Corbet for providing me with insight on
> Fedora's release process.
> To all:*Brawlers might find my answers have a sarcastic tone... if I
> give any at all.
You make some very salient points. However, you are comparing Fedora
with a something that no longer exits; i.e. a non-enterprise linux
distribution with a Red Hat name and paid technical support option.
That died out when Red Hat spawned the Fedora Project.
Fedora is beta-ware. It has been since the project's inception. You
either live with the churn or choose another distribution. If you
want stability go with a distribution that offers long term support.
Fedora is for those who don't mind bleeding.
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