Solutions → Fluids or Liquids
“Blend” is (kind of) used by Debian. Debian Pure Blends
I’m honestly fine with our current Spins and Labs!
That was also my first spontaneous thought while reading. And I second to avoid this term for Fedora. It is too negatively prejudiced by corporate speech. Maybe not for their employees, but for those who, as customers, have to endure these solutions for years and somehow get around them.
And I’m really not sure whether I want to work on a “Server flavour”. That sounds very fleeting and ephemeral in the short term.
I would like to second that term, too. Linguistically, it has the appropriate meaning and connotation, as a special variant of a work for a special purpose and with a special long term goal. And that is exactly what our current editions (i.e. Workstation, Silverblue, Server, CoreOS, IoT and Cloud, and maybe Kinoite) are. And it sounds “serious” and not just “fashionable” or hype.
Linguistically, blend refers to a slight amendment by changing the composition of the components (tea blends). This would fit very well with the different desktop variations.
And our labs are probably more applications than labs, appliance might be a bit too strong.
I agree “Editiions” for the official releases, but I understand the desire to keep the distinction between the official edition and what are now spins, or labs. For that matter, things like Silverblue and FCOS which are not official editions but are potential future editions, also deserve distinction of some sort. It is all Fedora Linux under the hood, just different iterations per se. It is also all from the Fedora Community, so for what are now Spins, why not forget naming the end result but instead promote the SiG and showing off their “flavour” of Fedora Linux, or the Lab SiG and their excellent toolkit that comes ready to start … For Silverblue/FCOS and their cousin Fedora Linux IoT, the technology difference and lineage from WS and Server could be stressed/explained better possibly.
I have been thinking this through since the thread opened yesterday… Tbh, I don’t have any ground breaking input. I will mention that I have heard folks say things like “what is the difference between spins and labs?” or “I am not even sure what all of these things are, I just care about XYZ thing and focus on that”, so there is definitely some confusion around some of the current terminology… tho a quick search shows enough documentation to get the message across:
I wonder if getting those up onto the main docs site would be helpful? Ik there was some working going on to update that, so maybe that is already in the works for the next version.
I see they are on the current getfedora site and it’s my understanding they are being worked into the new version of that site, as well.
I never realized “Solutions” was a thing, and as FCAIC for the last 2+ years, I feel like I would have if it were catching on. So I am +1 to removing the “Solutions” term in an official capacity. I am hesitant to bring on the “Flavors” term that might have the same fate, as I think Spins and Labs might have actually caught on, although they probably need a bit more promotion/visibility. I can see the desire to bring on an umbrella term to fit over those, but I am not sure its necessary?
Last but not least, I really like the point that @jakfrost made- what do the various SIGs involved have to say about this topic? I think we need to make sure they know this conversation is happening in order to provide input.
Linguistically, I think flavor is problematic. In BE the spelling of the word is flavour.
However, staying in the kitchen environment, I think recipe could work well. Using different ingredients (from the Fedora set of ingredients) one can come up with new recipes that suit one’s own taste. That certainly applies to the different DE spins, which are variations of the workstation recipe.
For what is now labs, think of it as new recipes catering for a different audience. Audiences with particular requirements/needs - diets if you will.
Carrying this further, without, hopefully, getting carried away, one could envision Fedora as being a restaurant or a cook book catering for all kinds of customers. Choose from the menu what suits your taste and/or diet or come up with an entirely new recipe based on the ingredients Fedora provides - now and in the future. Ingredients can be freely chosen from the store known as repository.
Enjoy your meal!
+ + + + =
I’m afraid any terminology that focuses on differences between our deliverables raises a question in one or the other.
Many decades ago a sales / marketing guy told me a product name should describe exactly what the product does - so, why not define the variants by just their names? eg:
Fedora Workstation Sway (for the traditional RPM variety)
Fedora Workstation Sway OStree
This is why we went with “Fedora Server”, “Fedora Workstation”, and “Fedora Cloud” for the Editions at the beginning of the Fedora.next plan. But then things like Silverblue and CoreOS came along and complicated the narrative.
Ah, see, because while “Workstation” describes what it does, “Sway” describes an underlying technology variant, as does “OSTree”. This could be something like “Fedora Provisionable Tiling Desktop/Laptop OS” — but that’s a mouthful.
Also, this aspect is separate from question of “what do we call these different things in aggregate”?
Also, this aspect is separate from question of “what do we call these different things in aggregate”?
We need a silly laughing emoticon on this forum lol
My vote is to use “editions” for the official distributions and “spins” for the variants that spin off from the parent edition.
For example, the Fedora Workstation Edition has various spins for other desktop environments like KDE and Sway.
The Editions are the main distros to get featured and marketing, but other spins can be marketed under the edition in a similar way to how features for the edition would be marketed. This would also require defining what are the agnostic features of an edition so that the marketing for spins focuses on the criteria that separates all the spins.
To continue with my Workstation example, we can advertise that it’s got Pipewire updates, Wayland updates, Gnome updates, and DE updates across its various spins.
To me these would be the editions. Each distro is designed to fit into slightly different use cases.
- Fedora Workstation
- Fedora Server
- Fedora Core OS
- Fedora IoT
- Fedora Silverblue
- Sorry if I missed one
The spins would fit under each edition where it is fulfilling the same use case as the edition. So you click on Fedora Silverblue and find info on the Silverblue spins that are available.
At most we can call the ‘unofficial’ editions something like Experimental Editions, with the goal of becoming confident enough one day that this project can be listed as a regular old Edition. Even then I would prefer to just call them Editions outright and slap warning labels on them if they’re not ready for prime time in the opinion of the community.
Lastly, while my preference is for spin, I don’t think “flavor” is the end of the world. What I really care about is the naming structure. I agree that we should get away from having several different but equal names for all the variants of Fedora we have.
TL;DR - I think we should have just two terms to describe the different ISOs we provide. One is a top level term to define a specific use case that this distro is meant for, and a second term is to indicate that it is just a variant of the top level option. My preference is to have Editions and then spins off of those editions.
I agree with this part (although I’m open to a term besides “Spins”), but…
This doesn’t work. Kinoite isn’t a spin of Silverblue, it’s a derivative of the KDE Plasma spin that happens to use rpm-ostree. In fact, Silverblue is a variant of Workstation, so it doesn’t make sense to have them at the same level as in your proposal. I wouldn’t even say that the KDE Plasma spin is a spin of Workstation, since it has different decisions beyond just the desktop environment. And it’s not clear to me where you’d fit something like Python Classroom Lab or Astronomy Lab.
Disclaimer: It turns out I had a lot to say. You can breeze past this, it’s ok. Also, I may be very wrong and remain open to criticism and outright dismissal. Sorry for the wall of text.
If we can decide on how the naming framework will work, it may be worth it to collect ideas for what the names can be and then run a ranked choice poll to see what the community wants. Maybe that is a future step in this process but I’m not sure.
I’m not married to “spins” as an option, and “flavors” isn’t that different at the end of the day, to me at least.
For this piece, I was just suggesting a framework to use. While the way we do the work may be one way, I think we want the user-facing side of Fedora to be as organized and simple as possible.
There are lots of ways to organize the brands, but I think splitting them based on use case makes the most sense. That way, if you’re new to Fedora (or old to Fedora but just in a different corner of the community), you can make your way through all of the different brands we have and know roughly what it is for - it was made with a specific use case in mind.
Caveat: I know that just because a distro was made with a specific use case in mind does not mean that we should market it as being only for that use case. The idea is that you likely want to choose the brand that is closest to your actual use case. Sometimes we will have hit the nail on the head by providing a clean desktop, and sometimes you’re going to run Doom on a Tamagachi and therefore want something closer to that goal. Having categories by use case helps to narrow down the options to the ones that are closest to what you’re looking for.
In my non-committal, flexible proposal, here are the use cases as well as the “editions” I would slot for each:
- If you want a desktop OS experience > Fedora Workstation
- If you want an immutable desktop OS experience > Fedora Silverblue (or Atomic, TBD)
- If you want to run a server > Fedora Server
- If you want to an IoT device or something similar > Fedora IoT
- If you want a container focused OS > Fedora CoreOS
- This list is not comprehensive
Each use case is different enough from the others to warrant its own edition.
Does this reflect the actual lineage of each flavor in terms of which brand is a derivative of which? Apparently no, lol. My bad, I wasn’t aware, but it makes sense now that I know. Silverblue is technically derived from Workstation and Kinoite is technically derived from Fedora KDE.
However, if the idea of presenting our brands based on use case is something we want to do, then we should slot brands under the use case that best fits them regardless of their technical history. Even though Fedora KDE may have other changes compared to Workstation, they are both still desktop OS experiences. One of them would be the official edition while the others become flavors. Similarly, even though Silverblue comes from Workstation and Kinoite from Fedora KDE, they are both immutable desktop OSes and should therefore be marketed together. One would be the edition and anything else that’s an immutable desktop would be a flavor.
As far as Python Classroom Lab and Astronomy Lab go, I think those would work fine as editions because their use cases are unique from the other proposed editions and from each other. If we imagine this hierarchy on a website, it’s more likely that Fedora Workstation and Fedora Server will be listed near the top while Python Classroom Lab and Astronomy Lab are listed toward the bottom while still being referred to as editions. Ultimately it’s up to us, of course.
I understand that all of this thought process can be perceived as opinionated, and to be honest, it is. It’s just what I, as a single non-technical dude who hangs out in the non-technical side of Fedora, think could work as an option. Still, if we’re trying to pick a naming framework into which different terms and brands will fit, at some point lines will be drawn that don’t account for all the other ways Fedora can be presented.
And that’s the key thing to remember: how Fedora is being presented. There is a whole lot that goes on in the Fedora Project that the majority of the Fedora community is unaware of. For most people who use our distro, the Fedor-o-sphere is limited to their installation, YouTube videos, and participation in r/Fedora or Ask Fedora. When we present Fedora on getfedora.org, it should be reasonably broad so as to be useful to more people.
If we wanted to, we can slice up all Fedora brands into all kinds of categories:
- By desktop environment
- By tenure in the project
- By casual versus serious use
- By removing all structure and just letting each variant have its own top-level brand
- By proximity to CentOS Stream and Red Hat
- And probably more
We all know that ideally we will pick one naming framework rather than sticking to the status quo (that seems to be the direction we’re heading in). So in as far as picking one option means saying no to all the others, I think we should chose to focus on how Fedora will be presented to users. To that end, I think splitting the categories based on use case regardless of how the variants are made behind-the-scenes makes the most sense. It will bring the most value to the current or potential user who’s trying to decide what kind of Fedora is right for them.
Thanks for coming to my TED talk, lol.
I think Flavors is good. Spins has been around forever and people need to be attracted to take a look. Flavors, being new term for Fedora Linux, is likely to attract a look see. Terms like “solutions” are used by everyone that has something to advertise. Such terms are worn out.
That being said I think the questions that Matt brought up at the start “What unique problems does it address? Why would someone want it?” are the most important thing to be addressed. As soon as someone clicks “Flavors” they should be presented with not only a list of links to the Flavors, but each Flavor should have listed very close to the Flavor link and additional link. “The problems this Flavor solves and why you might want it” Then clicking either link will take the curious person to the same page which starts with the answers to the questions then followed by the usual images and information about the Flavor.
I think if we start from the premise that, for any user, Fedora has an ISO for the user that is going to be better than the equivalent Ubuntu ISO - then, how do we organise the naming convention to allow people to quickly and painlessly navigate to what they need?
I still think just calling it Fedora Linux, that happens to come in 3 Official Editions which have complimentary derivatives comprised from what comes available in the Fedora Linux distribution, all covering a myriad of use cases, makes the most sense. I also think the SiG’s need to chime in officially here on this topic since they’re the derivatives for the most part. Spins are about personal style preferences, while labs are ideally a set of (software) tools to use in a particular and specific use case. The presentation of this concept needs simplification for someone from outside of the Fedora community that recently joins, including from other Linux distro’s. I think it is a testament to the diversity of the Fedora Community that we have this problem to solve.
As a home user:
I found the difference between Ostree and RPM is important. As the way to set it up and keep it updated are completely different.
If I just want it use the OS, knowing the difference between Server, Workstation,
IoT is helpful.
If I have any components preference, then knowing it defaults to Chrome/Firefox, Gnome/KDE/Sway will help me to locate which ISO I needed.
I think Streams
is good differentiate between RPM / Ostree
Edition for Server / Workstation / IoT.
Selection for Gnome / KDE / Sway for components difference.