I am really glad you are having this conversation. I am talking from the perspective of an outsider, enthusiast user. I do not consider myself a Fedora contributor, but I do think that the future of desktop Linux is tied to Fedora, and Fedora is the best positioned project to achieve great things in this world of desktop Linux.
I think the biggest, easiest to solve blocker would be to offer a better first-time experience for Nvidia users. Many technical users I’ve talked to have a great deal of issues because they have an Nvidia graphics card and sometimes Fedora doesn’t even give you a graphical user interface or accelerated graphics without fiddling with difficult to configure packages and kernel patches. Most of them just install ubuntu or pop os because they support this use case with a couple of clicks or, in the case of pop os, with an alternative ISO that comes with Nvidia drivers. Would any of these approaches be viable for Fedora? Could a third party like RPM Fusion host Fedora images that come prepackaged with these drivers?
Long term, the Silverblue approach seems to be the most safe, secure, stable and user-friendly, but some user experience issues have to be solved before. What I think that should be priorized ASAP is to stop making people waste time packaging non-system software as RPM. Developer’s time is not abundant, so maybe that effort could be better spent improving flatpak, helping other developers packaging their software as flatpak, etc.
I know that Fedora is a community-led project, but is there a direct relationship between more contributors and more users? I think right now, as Apple or Windows have shown, corporate collaboration is the key to a polished and stable user experience. elementaryOS is not there in marketshare but from the first second you run elementaryOS you can see that the team behind that distro is focused on the final user experience and that is their only objective. I am trying to learn about how contributions reach Fedora but my first hunch is that improvements like wayland, pipewire, podman, systemd… exist just because the server linux or automotive linux projects need them, and then those projects are reused in the server. What I am trying to say is that maybe Fedora could be that overarching team that coordinates global needs, from the perspective of the user.
Having the right metrics, as said before, is key to get this right. But even before having those metrics, how do we know what problems are Fedora users having? There is not a Fedora bug tracker, but a different tracker for every single package out there. So, what is the prioritization criteria? How could it be possible to know even if Fedora is working well for the many different users that exist out there?
As others said before me, I don’t think this is a technical problem. Users are not coming to Fedora because it has the latest version of BTRFS, but because you install it and it gets out of the way. That is why people is going to pop os, mainly because they know it will work well enough, but they don’t care about the version of the packages. They care about the overall experience and their first impressions.
Anyway, don’t get me wrong. I do think that Fedora is creating something incredible and I am just an outsider so I might be biased or might not have all the needed context. I sincerely hope this opinion is helpful, and will try to get involved to help in a more direct way if I find a way to do so.