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fedora in 2007 [Dec. 20th, 2007|11:43 am]
[Location |raleigh, nc]

Thorsten wrote a really good post about Fedora in 2007.

He starts with a list of a lot of good stuff that Fedora achieved, which I agree with. So I'll just give that a big "me too" but I wanted to talk about some of the areas where he was unhappy with Fedora.

Mailing lists and Wiki

Really a question of information management. We have the same problems inside of Red Hat too -- too many mailing lists, too much unorganized information on the wiki, etc.

Simplifying and/or cleaning up this kind of stuff doesn't get accomplished because it is a thankless task. No matter what decisions are made, a group of people will be unhappy and grumble. The opportunity cost is also high -- one or two smart people are going to spend a bunch of time cleaning up the mailing lists and/or being a wikimaster, which means they won't do other things. As such, no one does it. This will happen if and when the Board decides that it is important enough to give someone more or less total control, and to insulate them from the flames that will ensue.

The Board not being active enough

This is 100% my fault, and it is one part of Fedora that I will look back on as the place where I feel like I have personally failed. The Board has tried hard to allow FESCO decision making power, but it hasn't really picked up the ball for being a sponsor for other activities that Fedora so desperately needs. The Board needs to do a better job of looking at the problems in Fedora that aren't the day to day running of the distro, and get them fixed.

I think that a fresh face will be able to bring the enthusiasm and new ideas to this challenge that have been lacking for the past while.

New leaders

I think we are developing new leaders -- Dimitris has become a rockstar in the past year, Ricky has done great stuff in the infrastructure team, and there were various other people who I talked about in my "lesser known Fedora contributors" series last month. Compared to the rate at which leaders emerge from other organizations, I think Fedora does fairly well.