Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Re: What is success for Fedora?

On Tue, Jul 1, 2014 at 1:43 PM, Stephen John Smoogen <smooge@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 1 July 2014 09:23, Stephen Gallagher <sgallagh@redhat.com> wrote:
>> Hash: SHA1
>> On 07/01/2014 11:16 AM, Josh Boyer wrote:
>> > Something the Board has talked about recently is defining success
>> > for Fedora. The project has often done this directly through our
>> > main deliverable, which is shipping another Fedora release. We
>> > work hard to create, test, and deliver a high quality Linux
>> > distribution. We look at feedback and try and correct mistakes or
>> > oversights in the next release. These are all fine things, and
>> > things that should continue as we stride towards Fedora.next, but
>> > is that really defining success for the project as a whole? Is
>> > Fedora simply a project to create a Linux distribution, or is it
>> > something larger?
>> >
>> > Our Four Foundations speak to the bedrock that Fedora is built on
>> > and provide guidance in decision making for specific instances.
>> > Yet we seem to rarely stand back and evaluate how Fedora as a
>> > project is doing. Are we achieving some manner of success in
>> > promoting those Foundations? Should we be striving for that? Is
>> > it even measurable? If so, how?
>> >
>> > The Board is starting this thread to have an earnest discussion
>> > around what people see "success" being for the Fedora project.
>> > Hopefully the Board members will chime in with their own thoughts
>> > soon, but we want to get as many ideas around this as possible.
>> > Hopefully this discussion will help the Board, and the community as
>> > a whole, gather some insight as to where we think Fedora is, where
>> > it should be heading, and what we should be doing to get it there.
>> >
>> > Thanks.
>> I've been defining "success for Fedora" for a while now this way:
>> Fedora is successful if a sizeable number (ideally a majority) of
>> developers and system administrators choose to use Fedora as the
>> platform from which they will build and/or deploy their applications.
> Well the question to ask the board is are they looking for measurable goals
> or 'reach for the stars' goals.
> To be measurable, you have to set times when you are going to measure this
> 'success' or 'failure'. Using the above definition, I would have to say that
> Fedora has always been a failure as it has never met that goal.
> Would we ever meet such a goal? If it is unattainable it isn't really a
> measurable goal and is more of a 'mission' that requires smaller goals to
> be used as measures to get there. What are the measurable goals that we can
> use to say the project will someday reach the stars but it might not be us
> doing it?
> This is the problem with asking about success.. you have to deal with
> 'failure' as it becomes more likely if you are going to be ambitious.

Dealing with failure should be something we do regardless of the reach of goals.

> Personally I would prefer us to push more on how we deal with 'failure' and
> embrace it. How do we learn from it, how do we incorporate it into our
> structure and push more towards 'we are aiming to be the #1 choice for
> developers/system administrators' but knowing we are going to fail a lot to
> get there and most likely fail in the goal itself.. instead we focus more on
> the journey.
> Hope the above makes some sort of sense.

It makes sense, but it isn't particularly helpful in answering the
question. Saying "deal with failure" without having targets to reach
or miss is as ambiguous as talking about success. If you have some
goals you think would be measurable, please continue with those.

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