Linux, musical road-dogging, and daily life by Paul W. Frields
Do I need to do the “Jerry Maguire” thing?

Do I need to do the “Jerry Maguire” thing?

Earlier this week I did an interview with Sean Michael Kerner, of, on my background with Fedora and the coming release of Fedora 9. As is often the case, not everything can get included in every interview, but if you think there are some really important things you have yet to hear about in any of the previous interviews here, here, or here, as always I’m all ears.

One of the things I’ve tried to consistently point out in interviews lately is the way that Fedora exposes everything it does. All our infrastructure, our website code, our build systems, our feature tracking, our statistics gathering, EVERYTHING — is developed in the open and anyone can use it at any time. These projects all provide a great basis for reaching out to other open source communities — so we can develop interest in innovations together. We continue to encourage Linux communities to participate in metrics efforts such as Smolt, maps, and usage statistics, for example.

If you’re interested in pointing out Fedora features or better messaging about Fedora in general, we’d like you to participate in the Fedora Marketing subproject, which is deep into figuring out how to promote the usage and support of Fedora worldwide.

We want to hear even more about how Fedora is enabling everyone from desktop users to artists to developers to do what they like, with the innovations that you always find in each release. We want to empower our ambassadors and community leaders to talk about and show off the amazing work being done by Fedora contributors, in the open, and in concert with upstream communities. And as always, we further the mission of open source by BEING open source!

Fedora: The future, first!


  1. @Mace, I think there’s a lot more to the differences between Fedora and other distributions than just security. Look at the way Fedora deals with upstream open source communities. We don’t just consume their work and change things for use in Fedora; we try to make thoughtful changes and submit them upstream for inclusion so everyone in the open source community benefits. We encourage new spins based on Fedora so people can build communities of use around their pet projects using our platform (like CC-Live). We make sure that we aren’t pushing legal encumbrances on our users that subject them to risk if they want to redistribute Fedora. We offer the leading edge (without the blood), and we do it in a way that consistently furthers free and open source software while offering a compelling and useful experience for users of all kinds.

    Anyway, glad you like Fedora, and hope you will keep using it and, hopefully, contribute back to the community too. Thanks for writing!

  2. Mace Moneta

    Paul, you’re absolutely right, but to a new user looking at 500+ distributions of Linux, that’s a muddled message.

    They want to know why Fedora, not [Ubuntu, SuSE, whatever] as an easily digested concept.

    I spend my time converting folks to Fedora, and they all want to know why *this* distribution. The rest of the message will come in its time, but to hook them you need to understand what motivates them.

    For the most part, they are converting from Windows, and usually because their latest virus/trojan/worm was the straw that broke the camel’s back. They want to know that their new OS is the most secure they can get. The ease of secure maintenance is the second part of the same message. The security is the selling point – this is about marketing, right?

    In any case, that’s been my experience with why people switch to Linux. It’s never about the “free”, it’s never about the community. It’s just about “let me read email and browse the web without having to re-install my OS every month”.

  3. @Mace, it’s true — hooking people with features and then selling them on the freedom works for some people. We’re lucky in Fedora because we have the latter in abundance, just as much as the former.

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