Blending and Transparency

Things are brewing in the Fedora Desktop community.  Red Hat designers, engineers, and many active Fedora community members have been working hard to make the GNOME user experience great.  Some enthusiasts may notice a bunch of this work showing up in Karmic today (congratulations to our friends on another fine release!).  Though of course we’d encourage you to check out Fedora 12 in a couple weeks too.  We are sure Fedora 12 is going to be our best release yet.

We’ve also been thinking a lot about how we need to improve and where we need to go – and specifically, how we can better serve your needs and improve your experience.  Clearly, we have a lot we need to change and there are many challenging decisions ahead.  But it is my personal promise to you that we will get there and it will be awesome.  Consider this a declaration of intent… to be awesome.

We know what we do well.  We drive innovation upstream.  We have some of the most trusted and talented people around and we are tirelessly producing amazing stuff.  Every day I feel honored to be listed among the rockstars on the Fedora Desktop Planet.  Though sadly, it is our fault that so few know what we’re up to.  And we aim to improve this.  We hope to improve the transparency of our activities.

We know that many of you feel that we’ve been catering to the most vocal members of the enthusiast community and ignoring your needs.  We aim to improve this.  We want to raise our standards and your expectations.

We are one of the world’s most trusted advocates for software freedom.  Free Software runs in our blood here.  But we know that freedom is not enough.

We can’t do any of this without your help.  We need your feedback.  What are we doing well?  What are we doing wrong?  What can we do for you?

As with any good partnership the responsibility runs in both directions.  We promise to listen.  But we also hope that the community is up to the challenge of providing high quality – high signal – feedback.  We need real partners in this endeavour.

So please join us.  Show up, and be awesome.

Follow our latest shenanigans on twitter (as fedoradesktop) or our Planet feed.  If you are a Fedora Desktop user, share our goals, and are an active upstream contributor or contribute to the Fedora Desktop user experience and you’d like to be added to the planet, please let me know.

Or, as always, join us in #fedora-desktop on GimpNet.

Thanks.

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5 Responses to Blending and Transparency

  1. Michael says:

    Twitter? Oh come on… identi.ca plz! :)

    That said, awesome work!

  2. Pingback: Bognár András (bognarandras) 's status on Thursday, 29-Oct-09 22:10:15 UTC - Identi.ca

  3. Rahul Sundaram says:

    I am very glad to see a promise of better transparency. There are a few suggestions from me:

    * Get a identi.ca account and feed from that to twitter

    * Make sure all Fedora Desktop team members are accessible from the primary feed at http://planet.fedoraproject.org so that members are not required to subscribe to a special elite feed to keep track of the changes

    * Post the intention to change something before doing them, leaving room for feedback

    * When you do finalize on the changes, please document them in the release notes and post to fedora-desktop list about it. It would be useful to get some transparency on the rationale behind the changes and who is making them.

    * Work within the schedule as defined by the Fedora project instead of making changes at the last minute. If there is a need to make polish changes, it should figure into the schedule prominently. Changes at the last minute is problematic for a lot of the other teams including the docs team and L10N team which has to document and translate them as well as the marketing team and websites team which will depend on the screenshots and screencasts to match what is actually included.

    * Feedback you receive may be opinionated and perhaps at times seemingly unreasonable but it is not a sign of disrespect or a doubt of the skills and intentions but rather a interest and desire to participate.

    Take from it, what you will.

  4. I have an itemized list of replies too:

    * Thank you for the team’s hard work on so many of the features that I and millions of other people use every day. The Linux desktop everywhere (not just Fedora) is so much better as to be almost unrecognizable from where it was when I started using it in 1997.

    * I use hellotxt.com or ping.fm to keep my feeds (Twitter, identi.ca, et al.) in sync. I’m sure a lot of people who are on “free as in freedom” services will appreciate anything you do to improve presence there, but I agree that we want to reach further than that crowd, and you almost certainly need Twitter to do so.

    * Having team input early and often into our scheduling will be really helpful. I’d be interested in setting up additional slots for community members interested in constructive participation to help with testing and review, whether it was desktop-dedicated Test Days, UI (p)review, or what have you. Wouldn’t it be cool if we had some way of remotely gathering usability data based on some of the stuff Mo and Ray have hooked up?

    * I’m glad that some of the team will be at the Toronto FUDCon where we can make some headway on making Fedora better for more of its audience. There are some real improvements to be made with the way we manage our development branch(es) and issue updates — among others — that need input from affected parties.

  5. “Though sadly, it is our fault that so few know what we’re up to. ”

    It would probably help for you to post to the main planet. I didn’t see this post until a week after it was posted. (Nov 11)

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