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Hate loves hate, but love loves love

Driving back from San Francisco, I thought the whole time about the fairly incredible afternoon I just had. Sometimes you are present, involved, or even instrumental in something that just might be the beginning of a whole new world of love, and the after glow is pretty sweet. OK, this wasn’t really like that, that’s just the poet in me. But there was something pretty cool about this: Barton George, a guy who works for Sun as a liaison with Linux communities, pulled together Zonker from OpenSuse, Jono from Ubuntu, Glynn Foster from OpenSolaris, and myself from Fedora. This meeting occurred at CommunityOne, a no-cost community developer event from Sun. Kind of an unlikely grouping to occur at an unlikely location. So of course, we proceeded to largely agree with each other on the various issues we face, while keeping fairly well to the agreed party line from our projects.

Next morning, after not being able to write last night when my mind was hot with the topic, a bit of cement has settled in. Maybe that wasn’t a milestone moment. Shouldn’t I have emphasized more what makes Fedora unique. After all, isn’t that what the players and fans have come to expect? When you get a few football captains together and it turns out that, aside from the uniforms and different team names, we’re all footballers and think the game should be played the same way, etc. What then? What do you tell your team?

It turns out that, surprise surprise, for the vast majority of concerns, we are all in violent agreement. When you get down to where the differences exist, the less than 5% area, it is hugely gray.  People tend to paint such disagreements in black and white terms, with each person drawing a line closer or farther from white. That is a lousy picture. It is more like, we’re on a very small island with the waves lapping in all directions, and I draw a line in the sand on one side of the island, and you draw it on another side. From a certain angle, it appears the ideas are in opposition.

Another way to put this is, when you are all standing in a circle, how do you take sides?