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fedora summit, day 2 [Nov. 15th, 2006|12:33 am]
[Location |westford, ma]

I can't sleep.

That's not surprising -- I have a *terrible* time sleeping at night, which really sucks because I'm one of those people who needs like 8-9 hours to function well the next day.

But 2 things that have been said over the last week keep resonating in my head, and strike me as one of the more important things that I can try to focus on.

Thing 1 that was said -- by Thorsten most recently -- is that there are too many fedora email lists. He's right. Warren has said this before, others have too. Nothing (except continuing to create more lists) has been done to fix this.

Thing 2 was a discussion about different Fedora Projects -- which are doing well, which are suffering. But the discussion is more than that to me.

What we need to all get ourselves into the mindset is looking at Fedora with the primary unit of action being a PERSON and not a PROJECT on which a person works.

We can modify, kill of, and spawn new projects WITHOUT those actions being seen as a vote of no confidence in any of the PEOPLE who were involved in those projects. It's basically an organizational failing -- the equivalent of the Fedora Board saying "look -- The Fedora Foo project isn't working quite the way any of us hoped. You couple of people have done great work, but it's just not in the right direction anymore. Wouldn't it be better to go over here and spend your efforts on this piece of Fedora, which is more smoothly functioning?"

Basically I think we've got a lot of bureaucracy in Fedora. We laugh about it by joking about funny committee names (and man, there were some funny ones suggested), but in the end I just want to blow them all up and start from scratch.

The simplest way of having governance, and communication. And we make that happen. Quickly, and also brutally. But it's something we're all on board for to make the future better, not something that individuals should take personally.

The ravings of an overtired man? Something that's worthwhile? Do you want to help me?

Not spell-checked.

From: (Anonymous)
2006-11-15 08:56 am (UTC)

I am willing to help you, if you will help me help you, and listen

Hi Max,

Guess I'll bite. I'll help you if you can find the time to help me help you.

One way you might help me help you is if you would review your inbox and
see an email from me to you dated 11/8/2006 08:41 UTC and take a moment to
consider it and respond to it. You all seem to intent on saying, "Oh,
yeah, Fedora Legacy has failed, let's kill it and move the nice folks
over to do something else for us." Legacy is starting to produce again,
and the *reason* there is only one builder is that Keating hasn't recruit-
ed any more since he recruited me, and I haven't begun trying to hold the
reigns long enough to know who else to recruit?

Just when I am gearing up to try and help rebuild it, you wanna tear it
down. Well, sheesh. So what do you want from us community contributors
anyway? Let us start working and then just pull the rugs out from under
us with capricious "high-level" meetings where everything is decided by
everyone *but* the Fedora community?

So please -- have a look at my email. I dare you to show it to any of
the folks there at the meeting and for any of you to formulate some
kind of sane (even kindly) response to it.

-David Eisenstein <deisenst@gtw.net>
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: jspaleta
2006-11-15 06:17 pm (UTC)

Here's where I pimp the Volunteer management Idea again

If you haven't read through
please do.

The first 18 or so pages are good, the rest is example organizational templates for volunteer management. While for RedHat people, the Fedora experience may not be one of volunteerism primarily, RedHat as a managing entity really needs to approach community interaction in the same way other brick-and-mortar groups deal with the organization of volunteer workforces. From volunteer fire fighters, to sports organizations, to habit for humanity to whatever. I think the pdf I list above is a succint discussion of how project development with a volunteer workforce can and should be done.

I've pimped this before to each and every RedHat employee who has been in the steering position of RedHat's management of Fedora. Now that you appear to be on the cusp on blowing the current structures, please, have as many people as you think appropriate review the lead in discussion (pages 1-18) in that document. So far I have yet to hear any negative feedback as to the volunteer management model this document outlines... from anyone inside the hat, that I have shown it to. If you are serious about making deep changes it terms of communication and project management I think you have to seriously address the issues of volunteer management versus corporate directed work... and this is the best short document I have found that serves as a talking point.

(Reply) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2007-01-02 12:34 am (UTC)

My view is that of an outsider to the internals of Redhat, and a member of the Fedora community, though perhaps not as active as I should be.

That being said, I can't imagine that the bureaucracy present in Fedora comes from it's roots at RH. As more independence and community governance comes into play, and people move away from 'structure' to getting things done I think it will have the effects that you see.
That being said, I can't imagine that you can kill off, or spawn new projects and stop people from feeling that it is 'a vote of no confidence' in them. The exception to this being when and if you can get the leadership/membership to generate the change. OSS is different because it's largely about personalities, reputations, and perceived reputations. A lot of ego is involved.

Anyway, I think it is worthwhile, if it can be done without splintering the community and losing much of rebuilding the rebuilding that Fedora has already done. And if you can make use of me, please let me know, I'll be happy to help.

David Nalley
(Reply) (Thread)