"Well I have to say that I also felt it took a long time for Fedora to open up."
No one is going to deny that it took longer than would have hoped to clear the huddles
presented in opening up what use the be completely internal infrastructure used to build rhl
and build an open community infrastructure that would allow the eventual merging of Fedora
Core and Extras. I personally remember a few rounds of discussion concerning issues with
compliance of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act which came into effect in 2002.. a new law that affected
every single publicly traded company in the US. Maybe in hindsight, the discussions concerning
sarbox compliance as it relates to opening up things for Fedora were unneeded..but in the
context of what was happening at the time.. it was probably an unavoidable reality which
slowed the process down.
I'm sure there's a great coffeetable book to be made of the anecdotal stories related to the
building of the Fedora Project. I'd probably buy it too..as long as the proceeds were churned
into the Fedora Scholarship program. I'd love to read seth's and gafton's recollections of
the process of getting a public cvs system up and running for Fedora Extras.. with a lovely
cartoon illustration of them in a boxing ring fighting about it.
Yes, it was a painful process, and an important one, but in a way that most probably don't
think about. The great achievement is not the building of an external community around Fedora.
Debian proved well before Fedora came into its own that you can build a community of
volunteers and get something significant done. There was a community already in place at
Fedora.us before RHL was ended and the Fedora project began. The community organization was
already happening on its own..that's how cool the open ecosystem is.. RHL users were already
self-organizing at Fedora.us before Red Hat decided to take the plunge.
No the most important result of what Fedora as a project has achieved is the deep
internalization of an open development culture inside of Red Hat itself. The fact that Red
Hat continually re-invests in the community in ways that allow technology to grow outside of
its direct control. The most recent battle in the culture war was won with the release of
Spacewalk as an open technology. And now Red Hat is taking its experience earned in that hard
fought cultural war and helping its own customers better understand how to internalize and
benefit from the same open development culture that powers Debian or Fedora or hundreds of
other individual project pieces out in the ecosystem.
As members of a larger open development ecosystem.. larger than Fedora or Debian or whatever
project you have a personal commitment to... we are better off now with Red Hat as a full
partner, than we would be by encouraging Red Hat, the corporate entity, to stand outside of
We can nitpick previous mistakes in the process of how we got to where we are forever, but its
not particularly helpful. Hell, its not even the same group of people in the discussion that
was happening in 2002, there are a lot more voices now, because the project has grown so much.
People who use to be external 'community' are now 'red hat' and there are new external voices
doing new work and pushing things forward in new ways. What matters is understanding how
Fedora exists right now and whether its doing its job to push open innovation forward in a way
that every single person using a linux distribution benefits from the work.