I introduced myself, told him a bit about my history with Red Hat and the Fedora Project, and we had an interesting chat for about half an hour or so. John has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, and has ties to Cal Tech, MIT, Harvard, and Massachusetts General Hospital, where he is working with a team of researchers on artificial vision as a means of restoring sight to the blind. Since he's based in Boston, I promised to give him information about our next FUDCon.
In response to John's query about the 13 month support cycle for Fedora, I talked about the relationship between Red Hat and Fedora, the stability vs. innovation themes of our enterprise and community distributions, and how Fedora's focus in the past few years has been to promote innovation and developer utility, because the "Red Hat family" has RHEL providing the operating system for people who want conservative changes to their package set, and the ability to install a machine, run it for 7 years, unplug it, and throw it away.
John is still using Fedora 8 in part because he's not a big fan of KDE 4 -- an interesting data point. When I mentioned that Fedora 10 would include KDE 4.1 (addressing a lot of the stability problems that people have disliked in Fedora 9), he indicated that it wasn't KDE 4.0 versus 4.1 that was the problem, but more that he simply preferred the general KDE 3 architecture. This is not the first time we've heard about loyal KDE users who prefer KDE 3 to KDE 4, but it's an anecdote that I thought our KDE team might want to hear. I wonder if there is sufficient demand for the older KDE as to warrant a Fedora Spin that is essentially "Fedora 10 but with the latest KDE 3.x code instead of KDE 4.x code". I use GNOME, so I don't presume to make suggestions. I'm just trying to offer some reporting, and let the KDE experts make the decisions that they think are best.
I also showed him powertop, and the changes that I'd made to my rc.local script in response to powertop's suggestions. Everyone who uses a laptop, and who hasn't already heard of powertop, enjoys learning about it.
When I get back to Amsterdam, I will be mailing him some Fedora swag.
I'm about to land in Athens, where I will head to my hotel, hopefully get on the internet for a bit, and then meet up with Dimitris and Diego for some dinner and wandering around the city.