Last week, I was at the Usenix LISA conference in Washington, DC. If you are
not familiar, LISA is "Large Installation System Administration", and this
is the premiere conference for professional sysadmins.
We had a Fedora booth and evening "birds of a feather" session, and I was
pleased by how popular and positive the response was. Almost everyone who I
spoke with Fedora in some capacity (or else apologetically said that they
run only RHEL). I think I had one Ubuntu user and a couple of FreeBSD
advocates come by. This was in contrast to LinuxCon, where people were
generally *positive*, but often ran other distributions or had run Fedora in
the past but didn't anymore. Here, even the people just coming by the booth
to get a sticker for the raffle usually talked about their use of Fedora
when I asked.
I would say that about a third of the people I spoke with ran Fedora on
servers only, another third on their desktop only, and another third with a
mix. It is very important for Fedora to continue to appeal to this group in
every capacity, including on the desktop. I didn't keep careful stats, but
there seemed to be a pretty even split between Gnome and other desktops.
There were two particular themes that I heard over and over about desktop in
- need for better multi-monitor support
- handling of many multiple terminal windows
And, not particular to desktop, the general theme of managing updates and
upgrades in a less overwhelming way.
I don't think any of those bullets are a surprise to anyone. Sysadmins as a
class generally aren't shy about their opinions on software, and while as
noted the response was generally positive (a couple of people noted how
good-looking the Fedora desktop is), there was a lot to say about the above.
One specific complaint I heard several times is that the overview just gives
a wall of rectangles -- I introduced those people to the Native Window
Placement extension. That's getting into the details, though.
The basic take-away was that this is, after all these years, a _really_
loyal base of Fedora desktop users. I *really* think it's worth our while to
listen to their needs and make their experience the best possible.
Matthew Miller ☁☁☁ Fedora Cloud Architect ☁☁☁ <mattdm(a)fedoraproject.org>