Objective Review: Each Edition has a story for each release

We’re working on Fedora Strategy 2028 — our next five-year plan. We are now reviewing those Objectives and their associated Impact. Read this guide for details on the current planning phase.

This Objective is part of the Theme “We build on the success of Fedora.next” and the Focus Area Editions, Spins, and Interests. For general discussion of this focus area, please see the topic Fedora Strategy 2028: Focus area review (Editions, Spins, and Interests).

Objective and Impact

Objective: Each Edition has a story for each release.
Impact: Better fuel for marketing, leading to more interest and press.

This is a relatively simple one, as strategy2028 Objectives go. It’s inspired by something the Fedora Workstation Working Group is developing: rather than new releases simply being a collections of updates, each will have a theme like “developer improvements” or “gaming” or “better a11y”.

We want each Edition working group to do this.

Fedora Editions are specific operating system variants we’re intentionally making to grow and support key user segments. So, maintaining a story-based approach is fundamental to being an Edition.

It gives Marketing something to promote to the press and to the enthusiast community every release — and it gives me something clear to talk about.

And, of course, it gives the teams concrete improvements to focus on — and to get people excited about, bringing in new contributors with expertise in or passion for that release’s theme.

Our goal now

For this Objective and related Impact, validate that:

  1. If the 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. That 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.

Bonus. If you can improve the longer explanatory paragraphs at the top of this post, that’s helpful too!

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

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In general, I think this is a good idea. And specifically for Fedora, it can help not only to create a (technically) top sophisticated Linux distributable, but also to make them actually usable for a wide audience and increase their popularity (where the latter is currently the weak point).

But I can’t help but make a few critical comments.

In reality, that’s kind of something to chuckle about. We attract — hopefully — new users, but then when a new user wants to start with Fedora, they fail because there is no documentation on how to get started and how to tackle typical tasks. And the frustration is then all the greater. And said Workstation is a “nice” example of this.

Instead of “putting the cart before the horse”, substantial documentation should be a requirement for an edition, or at least both should be introduced at the same time.

This is not a matter of logic at all, but a matter of effectiveness — and the latter is an empirical matter.

It is definitely not a “sufficient condition”, it’s at best a necessary condition – but surely a helpful condition. It only works together with other conditions like technical excellence, documentation, support.

The former is given, everything else is deficient. And we make the same mistake over and over again – for example, on the brand-new Fedora websites, the “Documentation” item is ignored/does not appear in a prominent place. The community simply ignores it.

We can always use better documentation.

Those things are necessary for overall long term success, but here the Impact is “more interest and press”. It’s about the initial buzz.

I think, maybe, you’re suggesting going back a step — do you have an alternate or additional Objective/Impact pair to propose?

Or, let me suggest another way to look at this: “improved documentation”, “easier getting started”, “make typical tasks obvious” could all be stories for an Edition for a given release. What do you think?

Yes, everyone will agree. But beyond that, the Fedora community doesn’t care, and hardly anyone draws the conclusions from it.

Maybe, my scientific professional side ‘went through’ with me. “sufficient” (condition) has a fixed meaning in the general logic, namely effecting alone. And that is not the case here. But that is perhaps also rather a side issue.

Much more important:

No, never a “step back”. I would prefer

  • Explicitly include “documentation” as one of the main points, possibly under impact feedback / communication tooling.

  • Regarding the point of “Reaching the World”: missing or hidden documentation is one of the main shortcomings in the public discussion and perception and reason why Fedora is not “reaching the world” right now. Instead, comparatively new distributions like ArchLinux are easily overtaking us. And you can find Debian, Ubuntu, OpenSuSE, sometimes CentOS (disappearing more and more) everywhere, but Fedora appears very rarely or not at all at providers and hosters. Titles and subtitles create an unrealistic impression
    We need a strategy for documentation. I could think of a lot about that. Perhaps this can be a topic at the Flock meeting in August (assumed it takes place).
    Anyway, the thesis is that if we don’t raise documentation to a similar level as we have with technology and downloads, we will never “reach the world”, but fall further behind. Fedora Linux, as it currently presents itself, is not fit for everyday use!

  • If we make “story” a new requirement for editions, we should urgently make “documentation” a new requirement at the same time.

  • In the short term, perhaps we can promote what we already have in a highly visible and prominent place.

    • On the new get fedora home page, documentation doesn’t even show up as a term at the top bar. Instead, “Help”, something complete different. At the very least, we should rename the item to “Documentation and Help”. But there is a lack of understanding even for this (see the remark at top).
    • For our server page, I have stated several times, Server WG would like to have “Documentation” in a line with “Download” and “Community” (on the server hero graphic). Even for something as simple as this, there is obviously no sensitivity.

Well, it’s long enough now. I could easily fill many pages with this topic.

I think the topic here boils down to visibility. Prime location for that one appears to be the web 3.0. I created a ticket for my suggestion on naming and location of documentation.

Issue closed by commit

About the main point here on ‘each edition has a story for each release’, we could turn release notes into more of feature announcement in story-telling format.

We do that in the Fedora Magazine, Comms blog, and release party.

Docs team could be actively present on various online events to tell stories behind documentation.

Storytelling does not have to be in written format. There are visual learners and people who are more attracted to podcast, video or animation than written piece. In parallel, we can continue to improve documentation. Yes, almost everything starts from written draft, script.

What I’m saying here is not meant to dilute @pboy 's point. Until we have more docs writers and reviewers, we still need to promote casual and pass-through contributions to improve docs.

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