What are the best kinds of Fedora users?

Today I gave a presentation with the help of Thomas about the different kinds of Fedora users. I gave the presentation in English, and Thomas translated it on the fly into French. Although my French skills are poor, the parts I did understand seem to express what I was saying. I thank Thomas for helping out.

The presentation itself was mostly a ripoff of a previous presentation I found on the wiki with a few touches of my own. It can be found here (Impress) and here (Evince). I apologize, but the Impress version needs the fonts Copperplate and Calibri to be displayed properly. If you want to use this presentation as your own, please feel free. I ordered the slides to be provokers of discussion, rather than pure factual information.

The trend seems to be pretty simple. Users show up in the Linux world as just users, and progress through various stages of being a power user before they become a contributor of some kind. One of the common speaking points on the American side of the pond is that in some ways we need to encourage all our users to be more than just users. If anything, we want there to be as few barriers to new contributions, in order to encourage this process.

One of the slides in particular is a favourite of mine. It's a set of various 'ideas' that led to the development of some of the more heroic efforts in Fedora. This includes projects like Revisor, Func, and even the Bug Triaging team. They were all started by individuals both inside and outside of Red Hat who simply stood up and got to work. This was the point I hoped to get across. (The people behind these projects, you know who you are, so feel free to stand up and take a bow, even though no one is watching.)

I hope that this approach can also be useful to the French speaking Fedora team. There is a strong language barrier between the French group and the rest of the Fedora world, and because of this, the attitude here is pretty insular. I spoke with alot of people here about it, and I have some definite things to work on to help bridge the gap, but I also want to make sure that this message is available to the French speakers in French. There is a strong and fast developing user base in France thanks to the efforts of all the French Ambassadors. Hopefully my presentation and material can be incorporated into the French team's work as well.

5 flames:

Anoniem zei

Insularity is in the eye of the beholder. More accurately "There is a strong language barrier between the historic anglo-saxon core of Fedora and the rest of the world".

I see it everyday in my Fedora work. Our work language is English, but native English speakers and developers that mastered English are usually more difficult to work with that people who struggle with English but understand i18n needs.

Fedora badly needs to reassess the place of English in its workflows. It's way overemphasized. France, Brazil, Japan... are just the tip of countries where Fedora penetration is not helped by this.

Yankee zei

I don't perceive that as a problem per se. The French team has done a lot out of the view of the rest of the world, and what they have done so far has been really good. The challenge is really just to encourage local communities of volunteers to organize themselves, but make sure they have a point of contact with the rest of the world. I will be writing more about this.

bochecha zei


I am a member of this french community Yaakov is depainting here.

I totaly agree with his analysis. France is certainly one of the worst country regarding it's attitude to english language (that means lots and lots and lots of people in France do not speak a word of english, even in some very high educated environment).

Because of that, the French team (that I only recently joined) had to do more efforts than the others to bring Fedora to everyone. What can I say ? They did a very good job (and I hope I'll be able to do as much).

However, to precise the "insular" idea Yaakov talked about, the French community behaves like an insular community: they don't read docs in english, they don't participate to forums in english, etc... However, the French team does have contacts with other people, and Yaakov coming to see us is just a proof of that.

It's like if the citizens had a very insular mindset while the leaders are more opened to the world.

I know it would be better to open the citizens to the world too, but can we really organize english lessons to everyone ?

So the team had to concentrate on the most important: bringing Fedora to the people.

Kevin Kofler zei

Next time you link to slides, could you please call the formats by their names rather than the default GNOME applications for opening them? Not all the world uses GNOME.

Yankee zei

My apologies. I wanted to draw attention to the Free software rather than the formats. What are the names of the KDE apps, so the next time I can hilight them instead?