How can we make the Change process more clear to people?

So… from the F40 Change Request: Privacy-preserving Telemetry for Fedora Workstation (System-Wide) discussion:

@avidan2006, I hope you don’t mind me singling you out here — you’re not alone, but you succinctly wrote something that a lot of people have either just implied or said with … somewhat less grace. @kevin already responded (in a nutshell — that isn’t how things are, and would be a bad way of doing things) to the direct question, but I’d like to go a step further. (John, I’d value your feedback in particular, but of course this is open to anyone.)

How can we make this more obvious?

This is the first time we’re using Fedora Discussion for a change proposal. Maybe it would have been better to start with something less controversial, but… hey, here we are. I wanted more engagement, and we got it and this is an important conversation. We clearly have many new folks contributing, and that’s a great time to check assumptions.

The post starts with some boilerplate:

This is a proposed Change for Fedora Linux.

This document represents a proposed Change. As part of the Changes process , proposals are publicly announced in order to receive community feedback. This proposal will only be implemented if approved by the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee.

Should that be made more prominent somehow? Could the wording be improved? Are there specific things that should be said, which might have helped?

Break-out topics

I can see how the break-out topics might lead, somewhat, to assuming that we’re down to rounding out those final details. That wasn’t my intent — I take each of them to be exploring part of the proposal, and implying something like “What exactly is proposed about ____, and what could be improved in that area?” In the past, discussion of Change proposals has lead to significant improvements.[1]

Would it be helpful to add the above text to these as well, or to write a different boilerplate explanation?

What else?

Are there things other than in the way the topics are introduced which could have helped?

We link to the Changes Process in the boilerplate, but that’s over in the Fedora Docs. Would it be helpful to have a FAQ on this site?

What else?

  1. For example, the DNF Countme proposal originally suggested giving each system a UUID (as openSUSE does), but now uses a more clever metric which resists individual tracking (which was never a goal anyway). ↩︎

1 Like

I’m a bit biased since I’m the one who wrote that boilerplate but I’m not sure how much more direct we can be about it. The proposal page uses an admonition to highlight that, so perhaps some formatting would be helpful, but at some point the horse has been led to water.

I think adding text like your quoted description would help clarify the intent, especially since this is the first time we’ve used Discussion for the Changes process.


My brain is a bit addled at this point — time for some fresh air or something. But… which text?

maybe consider doing a “bite sized” video explanation, with a few common scenarios, that the community can direct people to instead of a wall of text.

I guess we need a Fedora version of this?

1 Like

Something like Fedora Changes process - YouTube perhaps?


exploring part of the proposal , and implying something like “What exactly is proposed about ____, and what could be improved in that area?”

My post was partially intended to be funny, however, it came immediately after someone else suggesting something similar

For me, that is a little too in-depth for that purpose. Ideally, the goal here would be to help people understand the overall process.

That being said, I am little saddened that we need a video to do that. Although, we probably do.

1 Like

a classic!

but yea, it’s just know your audience. there’s a bunch of newer fedora users that come from the likes of youtube and reddit that like to assume things instead of taking the time to research. and if you do it right, it could tie into a longer form discussion on the fedora podcast.

just some food for thought.


I don’t mind at all, and I appreciate you wanting to take the time to make things clearer for those of us, like myself, who are very new to this process. I’ve used Fedora for a while, but this is the first time I’ve gotten involved in a decision and, quite frankly, it’s a little exciting, but a bit overwhelming.

I honestly don’t think you can do much more than you have in terms of these topics in particular, but a general thread or even a video that addresses “how a bill becomes a law” like @dalto posted would be terrific. I was a Microsoft Windows user for 30 years, and so I became used to the idea that the OS I used was designed a specific way, and I could like it or lump it.

So this IS new for me, and there’s so much going on with how people were talking, or at least the tone I picked up was that this is what’s happening, now how do we go about it? So I kind of panicked just a bit thinking that we’d already moved past the proposal stage. That one is on me for jumping to conclusions, but I sincerely would appreciate some kind of primer for those of us new to this whole process, or even as a refresher for old pros.

1 Like

yea, it’d just be from a new users perspective and you’d slap it into a “welcome to fedora” playlist so it’s easy to find. then you could make more on governance, the financials, the relationship with red hat and amazon, new spins and editions or whatever else.

if we had something like that, i think it would have helped because a lot of the FUD over these past few weeks was caused by the blind leading the blind. i tried to correct people but i often found myself scrubbing through videos of @mattdm explaining things in search of a timestamp because that’s how i learned the specifics.


Hm. I have some slides from a “how Fedora works” talk I gave at the openSUSE Conference a few years ago. I could probably turn some of those into a video series. Now to find some…time.

1 Like

I agree with the video and podcast ideas as ways of making the change proposal process more accessible!

A community developed FAQ could be good too. We can make a thread to ask folks what questions they have about the change process after reading documentation, then take their questions together with reformatted documentation to make an FAQ that contains the whole story. For some folks an FAQ is a good way of understanding documentation, and adding clarification is simple enough to understand.

We can also post about this more on social media channels like we did with the question of what qualifies someone to be able to submit a change, whether it be linking to longer content or simple posts. That gets the information circling outside of Fedoraland so that people who aren’t as plugged in have a better basis for understanding the news they see coming out of Fedora. I want more onlookers to hear “Fedora change proposal” and know that the Fedora Project has not official announced this change.

1 Like