Some Clarifications and Concessions

My recent blog post about direction and online updates sparked some interest - and some interesting discussion. Through that discussion, I wanted to post some clarifications and concessions about the original article.

Concession: I wasn't correct about my statement that Fedora has a "lack of direction" - it's direction is exactly that its maintainers can try to do what they want to improve the distribution.

Clarification: Fedora is not an easy place to get along at - Just read fedora-devel list and you will find that most people post messages that are incredibly selfish and full of negativity - this doesn't feel like "community" to me. Even in my discussion on the #fedora-devel channel, my previous post was immediate construed as "OMG apt-get rulz FTW" fanboy love instead of the actual criticism that online updates should be supported. It still took an hour of discussion to get it understood what I was desiring and for some agreement and constructive ideas to come around

Concession: apt-get upgrade might not rock - I don't have strong experiences here and shouldn't have stated that it was great.

Clarification: Fedora should support online upgrades - "Online upgrades" means you can upgrade from release X to release Y without needing to reboot into some installer (rebooting for a new kernel or FS changes are fine). Fedora does have the YumUpgradeFaq wiki page, but the very first bullet point is Don't. This mentality needs to change in order for online upgrades to succeed.

Concession: someone needs take charge to make online updates happen - As gregdek pointed out, things don't change if someone doesn't champion it. At the same time, OSS is not only about "scratching your own itch", it's about community. Just because a user requests a feature doesn't mean we should expect the user to implement it every time.

Clarification: I'm excited about Fedora, and I'd love to help make it be better - I've been a Red Hat user for 8-9 years; and I've tried other distributions in the past. The issues I've pointed out are the ones that have been bugging me for awhile now, and the ones I'd like to see changed. I wasn't really prepared for the first reply to my blog to be "well do something about it", but they're right.

I had a good discussion with skvidal, wwoods, f13, gregdek, and others in #fedora-devel about how upgrades currently work, the progress being made towards media-less upgrades, and the problems faced by online upgrades. I hope to have the ideas and concepts laid out into a wiki page soon where everyone can contribute their ideas on how to improve things.

I'm also a little disappointed that no one made it to my last point - or perhaps they were so enraged by my first two points that they just stopped reading - about packages with optional features. I know it's been discussed a little bit on the fedora-devel list, but I have no idea what it would take or what maintenance would be like. That's probably something else I should work on writing ideas down about.