Fedora and long threads - positive rather than negative!

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Occasionally there are long threads in the Fedora forums which start
with flame baiting by one or other poster and quite often run for ages
without reaching a sensible conclusion but generate bad feeling and
not much else.

As a long standing fedora user and tester (since FC1) I have to say
that I have had the pleasure of being able to run an operating system
at no cost on not only my own machines, but also those of relatives,
and at work, which in general run both more securely as well as more
efficiently than the alternative (at cost) operating systems.

Sure there have been occasions when one or other package has failed to
work as expected, and on occasion one or other machine has had some
serious problems with graphics, but overall machines have run without
issue over generations of Fedora releases, and other colleagues and
friends who are hooked on proprietary OSes have expressed their
admiration for how much more efficient workflow seems possible on my
machines than their own.

What kind of response do you get when running XP if you come across a
problem - where do you go to get a bug fixed within a matter of days
or perhaps even a few weeks when running XP or Vista? Is it even
possible to get fast turn around and a response direct from a
developer or packager (if the latter exists for those OSes)?

Here we have forums where problems can be openly discussed and more
often than not are fixed within a reasonable time frame (and with the
vast army of people using Fedora in many and novel ways there will
certainly be bugs found!). We have Bugzilla where responses are
(mostly) open and interactive - sure some bugs are harder to fix than
others - but in general the system does work - and we have many
hundreds of excellent packages available to install almost
instantaneously - no need to go and get a CD every time a new printer
is added to the system (mostly!) - no need to run  CD when you buy a
new camera to install specialist picture processing software - no need
to run a CD to install graphics drivers - they are all just part of
the system. Yes we do need to spend a little time looking up what to
do with a new package, or to work around some problem or other - and
occasionally quite a bit of time - but the hints and tips are public
and shared around everyone.

I recently installed F13 on an old laptop - and updated it this
afternoon - in general it works very well indeed and we are still only
just at the freeze stage with some bugs to be worked through before
release -but hey, it works, and I could probably almost use it for
production already even though it is in a pre-release phase.  Could
this be said of proprietary OSes at a similar stage of development?

I think all of us who use Fedora need to be aware of the fantastic
service that so many people provide, often voluntarily, to package
code, and develop code, and then fix code that we all download at no
cost but our time. I for one am extremely grateful for the existence
of Fedora and despite past issues with KDE major changes, Intel and
Nvidia and ATI graphics support, major upgrades to Gnome and
Openoffice, as well as to other packages, I am very pleased to have
the privilege of running Fedora on all of my machines.  Yes I still
have a need for a few of them to dual boot XP - For example I can only
update my satnav/GPS unit via proprietary packages in Windows, and
often syncing/backup of mobile phone data (cellphones) can only be
done in Windows - but progress is being made. I recently received a
.docx encrypted file that could not be opened under Fedora - but even
that problem will be resolved with F13 as Openoffice 3.2 supports
encrypted .docx files.

I hope that the long whingeing threads do not make those who
contribute so positively to the Fedora project feel negative - but
remember the silent majority who are very happy with its progress.

So all in all I am happy to thank all the fine people who make Fedora
what it is - and hopefully it will continue to be both cutting edge
and highly usable through F14 and beyond.

Happy Easter

mike c
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