Fedora Strategy 2028: Focus area (and objective) review (Ecosystem Connections)

Hey, look! it’s a post about Fedora Strategy! This process got a little derailed, but let’s finish up the Focus Area review part, so we can move on to the next phase. We want focused Fedora community input about this particular component of our overall strategy (see Fedora Strategy 2028: February/March Planning Work and Roadmap 'til Flock for a refresher!).

Once we’re done with this, and after the current Council election cycle is complete, we’re going to take all of this — plus, awareness of a lot of change over the past year — and discuss as the Fedora Council and come back with a next iteration.[1] Then, it’s time to get to actually making things happen!

But for now, review this guide for what we’re looking for here. For most of the previous Focus Areas, I made separate posts for each related Objective. For this one, since it happens to be an area where we’ve had a lot of change, I’ve decided to just leave it combined.

Focus Area: Ecosystem Connections

This is about how we, as Fedora, connect with other projects in our ecosystem: downstream distros, peer distro projects (that is, Debian, openSUSE, Arch, etc.,) and upstream projects (GNOME, KDE, lower-level OS infrastructure components, compiler tools, libraries, etc., etc.)

I don’t think the things we had here are bad — and in fact, I think they’re generally good — but we may also want to approach this differently. I don’t want to multiply the number of Objectives we’re aiming to accomplish, so re-imagining and re-scoping are better than adding a lot of new parallel ones.

Remember, the measure here is: is focused effort in this area likely to increase the number of active Fedora contributors? There are many things which are probably good ideas but which don’t fit that goal. That doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t or won’t do them — they’re just not a fit for this plan.

Objectives & Impact

Objective Impact
Better collaborative workflow with CentOS Stream and RHEL. More resources for us — and a bigger potential contributor base through EPEL and similar.
Get people working on Amazon Linux directly involved in Fedora as an upstream. More resources for us — and another source of resources and vested-interest paid contributors.
Collaborate on tooling, practices, and offerings with peer distros and upstream projects. Make Fedora less alien to people from other projects. Working collaboratively multiplies our efforts.

The work at hand:

  1. In this topic, discuss the overall focus area and how the three Objective / Impact pairs fit in. If you think we should re-word or re-orient “Ecosystem Connections” to better describe the concept, this is the place. It’s also where we want to identify any crucial alternate or missing Objective / Impact ideas that fit the focus.
  2. For for each Objective and related Impact, validate that:
    1. If that Impact is achieved, it’s reasonable to expect an increase in active Fedora contributors.
    2. Success in the Objective logically results in the intended Impact.
    3. The link is reasonably sufficient — that is, it represents everything needed to have the Impact.
    4. While there might be other ways to have similar Impact, the chosen Objective is the right one for Fedora right now.
    5. The wording is precise and clear. The Objective is concrete, and the Impact is (at least a little bit) inspirational. Together, they fit into this Focus Area.

Thank you everyone for your input!

As outlined in the roadmap, this post will close in one month.

  1. That won’t be a radical change the overall direction, but based on feedback, we’re going to try to make that feel a lot less sprawling. ↩︎

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I think that all three objectives are reasonable, but I especially want to highlight the third around working with peer and upstream projects. I think we should include downstream projects as well.

Nobara and Ultramarine are two Fedora-based distros that tackle their own use cases by trying to give users more of what they want or expect out of the box. A good chunk of what they add is something that the Fedora Project can’t do, but maybe there are opportunities or pain points that they are addressing that we can learn from. If it’s something that we can address at our level, then that becomes one less thing they have to worry about when putting together their distros. Nobara and their use of the Calamares installer is one example of a need potentially being met by our new Anaconda installer.

The other major downstream project is Universal Blue. They are focused primarily on the Fedora Atomic spins with their “batteries included” approach and also offer opinionated distros like Bluefin and Bazzite. Much of the user oriented tweaks they do are learning opportunities in a similar vein to Nobara and Ultramarine, but they would also benefit from the way we bake Fedora Atomic spins. The work @siosm is doing to provide OCI containers will be a help for us and them. Another opportunity could be trading toolbx for Distrobox as they do in their images. The more we can take on upstream, the more they are supported downstream.

How does this help increase contributors? By encouraging the downstream desktop projects to do more of their work in Fedora rather than keeping it independent. They benefit from increased support and community from Fedora if they collaborate with us. Similarly, the people who like and use those projects can be incentivized to do the work upstream.

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