September 27th, 2007

max

writing about preparing to talk

Well, I'm leaving tomorrow for Ohio Linux Fest. My keynote speech, entitled "How Red Hat Continues Learning to Stop Worrying and Love the Community" is on Saturday morning at 9:00 AM. Clearly, this has taken up a large portion of my time this week.

There are a few items that I am, therefore, a bit behind in getting to, mainly some Fedora legal-related stuff and some help that Gerold needs for the next Fedora Ambassador Day in Europe. I assure you all, I will get to that stuff once I am back from Columbus.

I have also been building LiveUSB keys out of F8Test2 and Rawhide for demonstration purposes at Ohio Linux Fest.

So for those of you who read Fedora Planet, I thought I'd offer a sneak peek at some of what I'm going to talk about on Saturday.

I don't have many slides -- only 6 that have any actual content on them -- and those only have about 4 or 5 words each.

The general flow of the talk will be as such:

* It's pretty safe to assume that in a crowd of 1,500 to 2,000 there might be some folks who don't understand what Fedora is, what our purpose and goals are, etc. The jokers among you will say that there are plenty of people in our own community who have that problem! So I'm going to start with a slide that has the "once free, always free" Fedora Promise on it, and use that as an explanation of our philosophies and general goals for Fedora.

* From there, it's on to the basic history of the Fedora Project. This will require a digression into Red Hat's general business model. Ultimately the point of this section is to explain not only the actual ways in which Fedora and RHEL are different, but the reasons why the Fedora and RHEL separation makes sense for Red Hat, and ultimately, for the Fedora community.

* The remainder of the talk focuses on the three character traits that I think are most important to any successful free software project. They are INNOVATION, COMMUNITY, and HUMILITY.

I have a slide for each, and for each of those characteristics, I will give some examples of where the Fedora Project has been successful, and when appropriate, acknowledge the areas where we have had difficulty or need to improve.

The innovation section is comparatively technical, as it talks about a lot of the actual code that Fedora folks help to produce, as well as the ways that Red Hat shows technical leadership and innovation via Fedora.

Following that is the community section, which has a series of examples related to areas where Fedora has been successful because it has built up a solid volunteer community.

The final section is humility, which I'm hoping comes off ok, but basically focuses a little bit on the governance structure of Fedora, and also on the fact that a commitment to meritocracy and transparency ultimately produces a better product, even if it is sometimes a more difficult process because of the free software "rules of engagement".

For the rest of the details, you'll either need to come to Ohio Linux Fest, or check out a video later on (at least, I hope the Ohio Linux Fest folks are recording this!). I have to leave people some reason to turn up for a 9:00 AM speech.
max

either succeed spectacularly or fail miserably

Either it's last minute panic or it's an amazing bolt of clarity, but I've been working all night on what I think is a vastly superior speech than what I initially planned for Ohio Linux Fest. Of course, this has to happen 30 hours before I get up on stage, but that's just the Way Things Are.

Anyway, I'll be getting on the plane with two speeches prepared, and I suppose I can make a game time decision.

Ironically, a similar thing happened at FUDCon this past year, and that one turned out pretty well.

I hope they have video of this because (regardless of how it turns out) I think that the Fedora community at large would enjoy hearing the speech. Plus I don't want to spend my entire Christmas hearing from my mom about how there's no video of it for her to watch. :)