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Revision as of 16:53, 31 January 2014 by Toshio (talk | contribs) (Toshio's answers)

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The collection period ended at 23:59:59 UTC on January 27, 2014.

The following elections will take place in January 2014:

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Fedora Project Board


Do you agree with, and are you committed to, the Fedora Foundations? If no, what do you believe should be changed?

  • Neville A. Cross: I do agree and I am committed. People do asked me about using Fedora in obsolete hardware. Politely I point out that it is not possible to move forward looking back. Fedora is about innovation, cutting edge technology, it is its purpose. If people is not looking for the community drive, they are not looking for our distro. But there is need for a change in foundations. We need a fifth Foundation, Fun. We need to be able to provide engaging task that people enjoy doing.
  • Haïkel Guémar: I am *fiercely* committed to the 4 Foundations, these are the very same values that brought me to Fedora in 2004 (and contribute since 2006).
    No compromise with them, that's what make an unique project and awesome.

    I'll just say that more than often we tend to forget that one: *Friends*. Remember that behind you mail client or irc client windows, there is another human being, so be excellent to each other.

Do you believe that it is incompatible with the Freedom foundation to allow in any way the installation of non-free software from Fedora products without an explicit and informed action on the part of the user/system administrator to allow the installation of such software?

  • Neville A. Cross: I do think explicit information is need for non-free software installation, as it should be explicit notice for collecting user data. Fedora Project is very careful when it comes to licensing. As far as I know there is no way to install non-free software from our repos. A person have to configure additional repos or manually install software to get non-free software. So if a person do so, and do not read the information of whatever is installing from third parties, then it is not Fedora Project fault. I do believe Fedora standards for licensing are consistent and transparent, so people can understand and relay on them.
  • Haïkel Guémar: Yes, it also violates our mission statement that is "to lead the advancement of free and open source software and content as a collaborative community."
    We have to educate and inform our audience about the issues brought by proprietary softwares and why we are promoting FOSS alternatives.
    That works for Fedora the distro, but we're also Fedora the platform used many downstream distros.

    As a platform, we should collaborate with our downstream communities on making it easy for them to customize Fedora for their needs.
    Even if they ship or make it easy to install proprietary *crap*, sadly freedom goes both ways. (FYI: if it's not obvious here, i'm aiming for jspaleta former spot)

With all the changes happening (or proposed) within Fedora, how important do you think it is to attract new contributors (actually, even otherwise - without the changes)? What would be your plan for the same?

  • Neville A. Cross: It is important to keep the flow of people. Voluntary work is subject to people's life evolution. People get married, have kids, got more demanding jobs, grow old or are eaten by velociraptors. We need new contributors no matter what. In any case, we should lay out open our card on the table. We need to inform in a timely and transparent way what is going on, where are we going, why it is important whatever is been done. So people can step down or step up as Fedora evolves, just the same as people evolve.
  • Haïkel Guémar: It's do or die ! won't succeed if we don't bring new contributors to barge in. The most critical area is my opinion are release engineering and QA, we'll need more people and more automation.
    My plan is simple: go spread the word ! I'd like fp.o to get involved in outreach programs (college, women, everyone !) or initiatives like Upstream University.

    Though we have an ambassador program, remember that EVERY ONE of YOU *IS* Fedora: go to install parties, conferences, schools, and speak up, lead workshops, mentor folks etc.
    NB: Well, as we are all Fedora, let's keep calling each other by our first name or it will be confusing. :o)

As a community, do you think that sharing knowledge is important? If so, how can this be achieved in Fedora's community?

  • Neville A. Cross: It is critical to share knowledge. We can start from “hit by a bus” scenario, so we share knowledge to ensure continuity of the project. But more daily needs for sharing knowledge is to create ramps for new contributors. Teaching them basic skills for contributing and the Fedora style of doing things, will help get new contributors. For example, it is not just about design, people can master designing tools. It is also about how the team works, which tools they use to submit work, how it is approved, how the team communicate, from tools to netiquette. This is just an example, the same goes for all other teams. Small events are one way to share knowledge, teach people while they start doing things for Fedora. With the plus of gathering Fedora contributors to keep them motivated.
  • Haïkel Guémar: No, we should keep ALL knowledge to ourselves :o)
    Seriously, if you think that way, you're not fit to join Fedora or any FOSS project.
    We're a highly distributed community covering many timezones, knowledge should be preserved and we have many tools for that (wiki, mailing-lists, bugzilla, many many trac instances, ask fedora, irc -use the log, Luke-, etc.)
    Though we already use these tools, we have to take care that it's properly done.
    Another point is to make all that content *reusable*, i mean easy to understand, easy to *search* or it will be useless. I think that HyperKitty, ask fedora are great for that, but we need to get more people engaged to tag/edit properly content (luring them with mooaarrrr badges !)

    One more thing, we should make sure that knowledge is also reusable outside the Fedora Community, and even tighter collaboration with other communities on that point.

Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo)


To achieve competitive advantage, have defined a strategy? Differentiation? Focus? Both?

  • Stephen Gallagher: I think the answer is to differentiate ourselves from other distributions *through* our focus. This is why I proposed the Products plan and why I'm working hard on the Fedora Server Product.

    Each of the Products we are developing will have their own focus to differentiate them from the other distributions. In Fedora Server - the Product I am working on most directly - I want us to provide a platform that makes Fedora the clear place to deploy the next generation of advanced applications.
  • Dennis Gilmore: I think we need to make it easy to use fedora in ways that we have not yet imagined. If we don't try and shove Fedora into a box we leave the door open to innovation and will allow Fedora to succeed.
  • Miloslav Trmač: Competitive advantage compared to what?

    The current focus on 3 specific products, and the implied willingness to design and implement necessary additions compared to just taking what existing upstreams build, is something that should, and I hope that will, differentiate Fedora from most Linux distributions by making it more useful to users. We are of course differentiated from proprietary products by being Open/Free.

    So, I suppose, Fedora has a strategy how to differentiate, which includes increased focus :)

    As a potential FESCo member, I agree with the current Board-approved direction to focus on 3 specific products, and I don't think substantial changes to this direction are necessary (or wanted - we are still in the early stages, and changing direction at this point would be disruptive and wasteful). So, I don't intend to differentiate myself using a different proposed strategy/focus.
  • Marcela Mašláňová: What?
  • Toshio Kuratomi: Are you asking whether I think the Fedora strategy should be multiple distinct Products or intense focus on a certain niche? If so, I think that multiple different products is the way to go. The reason is that I don't believe we have critical mass on any one thing that we could focus on. So the only way to keep the necessary contributors around is to give people the ability to create different products that suit their needs.
  • Kyle McMartin:

Do you agree with, and are you committed to, the Fedora Foundations? If no, what do you believe should be changed?

  • Stephen Gallagher:

    I am a firm believer that everything that is shipped and installed as part of the Fedora Project (and extension, the Fedora Products) must be fully open-source and patent-free. Fedora must be accessible and distributable to everyone. I think that part of Freedom is also permitting users to make a *conscious* decision about what they install on their systems. I don't advocate blindly allowing closed-source or patented material on their systems, but I'm in favor of allowing users to make an informed choice if they have a driving need to do so. I also consider any situation where a user is forced to make that choice to be a bug in Fedora that needs to be addressed, but workarounds for bugs are an acceptable short-term solution in my mind).

    I am in full agreement. The strength of Fedora and open-source in general comes from "many eyes".

    This Foundation has always been a little fuzzy to me, because it treats all features as equal. To my mind, it's not necessarily enough for Fedora to have *more* features. It's more important for us to have the best-polished set of useful features in the world. Just as I don't need a car that also doubles as a pool table and is made of granola (for emergency snacking), I don't necessarily care that Fedora has nine desktop environments and three different implementations of the Secure Shell. What I care about as a *user* of Fedora is that the features I care about work the way I want them to.

    Fedora is (and should be) the best distribution in the world for making disruptive, world-changing advances in the open-source world. However, that in and of itself is not enough. A friend of mine once used this expression to describe Fedora's apparent love of breaking everything every 18 months: "You can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs. Look, it must be working: See all these broken eggs?" While it's absolutely laudable that Fedora is the first into new territory, it can be very difficult on our users to shift their perspectives on features so rapidly. I think it's okay for us to make haste carefully.
  • Dennis Gilmore: Absolutely committed to the Four F's to me it is a big part of the Fedora Value proposition.
  • Miloslav Trmač: (Focusing on the Freedom Foundation because that's the only one that has been seriously discussed/questioned recently. I think the other Foundations are just fine.)

    Short version: I think there is a good argument for changing the Freedom foundation, but I don't know _how_, so I'd currently rather leave it unchanged. In any case, defining the Foundations is up to the Board, and as a potential FESCo member I'm committed to implementing the Foundations as set by the Board, whether I completely agree with them or not.

    Longer version:

    I'm committed to _truth_ above all else. And the truth that I see that the naive and fully general versions of both the Free Software and Open Source philosophies, i.e. "everyone should _only_ use Free software" (implying "because it's best for them") and "Open Source software is technically superior", have counterexamples; so they can't be true in these naive and fully general versions. (See for a more expanded version of this argument.) That said, I still don't know _what exactly_ is untrue in the philosophies.

    Even if the philosophies are not completely true, it would be perfectly reasonable for Fedora to keep its existing Freedom foundation, "advancing software and content freedom is a central goal for the Fedora Project" (i.e. saying "this is what _we_ do, and while we know users who don't benefit from using only Free Software exist, they can get the rest using other means"). That, however, leaves the world open for some other project to _more_ benefit our shared users by modifying Fedora to work with _appropriate_ non-Free software - and we are doing this all to benefit users, aren't we?

    So, I think it would make more sense for Fedora to benefit our users by working with the non-Free Software as well, instead of having two separate projects (and the associated duplicated infrastructure, communication overhead, repackaging delays). Do do this, however, we need to know _what exactly_ is untrue in the philosophies, so that we can work choose the "appropriate" non-Free software to work with (i.e. when to compromise, and when to stick to the principles of FOSS expecting a longer-term payoff). Because I don't know _what exactly_ is untrue in the philosophies, I don't know how to choose "appropriate" non-Free software; so for now I think it's better to focus on Free Software only.
  • Marcela Mašláňová: Fedora Foundation is fine.
  • Toshio Kuratomi: I agree with the Foundations but I'm open to change. I feel that I have two roles within the Project. An enabler and a historian. In the latter role, I try to remind people of how we've interpreted the Foundations in the past and how they have served us well. In the former role, however, I am willing to see the Foundations changed if the mass of contributors have a need for the change.
  • Kyle McMartin:

Do you believe that it is incompatible with the Freedom foundation to allow in any way the installation of non-free software from Fedora products without an explicit and informed action on the part of the user/system administrator to allow the installation of such software?

  • Stephen Gallagher: Without an explicit and informed action, absolutely. As I mentioned above, part of "freedom" is allowing people to make their own choices that best suit their needs. There are times when our users will be forced to make a choice between a) using a non-free solution in Fedora or b) switching to another distribution or closed-source OS. In my mind, a user who's using Fedora in an "impure" way, is *still a user using Fedora*. This is a person who will still be contributing to Fedora in other ways, even if it's only to answer "I run Fedora" when someone asks.
  • Dennis Gilmore: I think that we need to make it clear via a dialog when enabling non fedora provided repositories. regardless of the contents in the repository. we shouldn't make it too hard on users to install and use the software they choose to use. They have the freedom to use Fedora in ways we may not envision or agree with.
  • Miloslav Trmač: (I don't think this question really cuts to the heart of the recent controversy: the original proposal did include an explicit action to enable the proprietary repositories, and though the original wire-frame didn't make that action particularly "informed", I don't think that would have been controversial either; the detractors of the proposal wanted _something else_, namely absence of any references (e.g. URLs) pointing from Fedora software to the proprietary software.)

    Reading the Freedom Foundation, it asks for:

    1. "Advancing software and content freedom", as "a central goal". Obviously Free Software benefits from contributors, and arguably contributors come from the user base of the software, so we should be also expanding the user base of Free software. However, once a person has decided to use specific non-Free software, I don't think making it difficult for the user to install that software "advances software freedom" - either (if they install it anyway) it will be an useless annoyance, or (if it ends up being so difficult that they don't install what they wanted) Free Software will gain a user that was manipulated into using it unwillingly, and will be very unlikely to become a contributor (also, this is a lock-in tactic of gaining user base, which we dislike when done by proprietary companies, and might be considered unethical).

    2. [Not] "including proprietary or patent encumbered software in Fedora, or using [it] in our project work". Not really relevant for this question.

    3. And it refers to "the free software and content we provide and promote". Implying we should not promote non-Free software (this is a somewhat expansive, but I think perfectly reasonable, reading.)

    So, in summary, we should not promote (advertise, actively offer) non-Free software; however, if the user has already decided to use it (and e.g. searches for a specific product name), I don't think the Foundation at all prohibits making it easy to install.

    Perhaps surprisingly, a strict/expansive reading of the Freedom Foundation does not require "explicit and informed action", but it _does_ require us to "promote free software"; IOW not "this software is proprietary, are you sure you want to do it?", but "here, look at this Free alternative as well!".

    In any case, I believe asking an "explicit and informed action" in the installer would have been fine by the proponents of the recent change; the Board instead seemed to want Fedora software to have no embedded knowledge of/about existence of non-Free software, and I can't see how such willful ignorance benefits "advancing software freedom".

    (As a side note, "informed action" is rather ambitious; you really can't make sure a person is informed, we're all all too familiar with "just click Next".)
  • Marcela Mašláňová: It might be incompatible, but it's the biggest problem for our users after every installation. I would like to see it easier if possible.
  • Toshio Kuratomi: "in any way" is hard to answer because there could be something I have never considered that would be okay once I knew about it. I can say that I would not want to approve any of the methods I presently know about that are lacking in an explicit action on the part of the user/sysadmin.

    As for incompatibility... I don't think it's necessarily incompatible but I do think that if we wanted to allow it we *should* change the wording (and potentially, meaning) of the Freedom foundation. The current wording of the Freedom Foundation, a significant number of the active contributors, and past precedent all weigh on the side of the Freedom Foundation being interpreted as incompatible with installing non-free software without explicit consent. For me, that means that if we want to enable installation of non-free software we would be changing direction. That change in direction should be marked by changing the Foundation and other policy documents to reflect our new interpretation.
  • Kyle McMartin:

Fedora Ambassadors Steering Committee (FAmSCo)


How can we improve the management of budgets in all regions?

  • Neville A. Cross: Specifically about management of budget, there are some bottle necks. One is to track down expenses on regional trac instances to build report in the wiki. Wiki does not have functions, so there is the issue about add manually and recalculate every edition. Going further there is the need for a better evaluation of the budget use. Right now we use blog post as evidence of budget use. But how we really flag budget use that does not have reports? How we go back to those expenses later on to evaluate what has been achieved later. Those are questions to ponder in FAmSCo, and look for ideas with regional budget wranglers and the community. There are some other issues about reaching all ambassadors, some countries have restriction for paypal transfer, some other have restriction with importing goods, even worse there are countries with both. We have improved our reach, but we have to look for more options.
  • Truong Anh Tuan: The first step and also the most important for me is budget planning. Good planning will help us to manage budget better.

    At this time, both EMEA and LATAM are good in budget planning. There is not much information about NA. APAC does not do this well so I would like to focus on this region. These things we can do more to improve the budget plan (we are trying to do a few this year):
    • There should be, at least, an active ambassador per country (this year, there are just three countries making the plan: Vietnam, China and Taiwan)
    • All Fedora contributors (not just ambassadors) should be counted in regional events and activities. It is best to have ambassadors also participate in other teams such as marketing, design, package maintainer...
    • There should have regional events and activities which get Fedora contributors across the countries involved.
The best way to do those stuffs is at a face-to-face meeting like EMEA annual FAD. Of course, people should prepare everything well before coming. So that is the highest priority thing we will try to make this year.

The second thing we can do to improve budgets management is allocating budgets per region. At this time, region like EMEA has a tight budget plan. It does not make sense to cut it off when allocating. Doing that would make them to cut some events and activities out. If there is a limit of total budget, it is better to negotiate among the regions to fit them all.
  • Marcel Ribeiro Dantas: To be honest, I'm very satisfied with budget management in Fedora. There is no doubt there's still room for improvements, after all there are always room for improvements. But FAmSCo (and I'd like to thank Alejandro from my region for doing his part astonishingly well) has done a great job lately!

    I think we should focus even more in transparency. Just like Linus' Law states for code, I think it's also very suitable in here. The more people are watching and understanding how budget management is done, the easier it gets to get nice feedbacks, corrections, suggestions and even more. Having a supportive community that really understands how key things are done, is the sort of thing that builds a solid base of contributors who are always ready to introduce people to the project in a clean and straightforward way.

    I'm sure my fellow ambassadors will have excellent proposals and I'm sure I could think of more things to address here. But I think transparency is something that we must focus now, not only regarding budget, if we really want to make Fedora a project that people feels pleasant contributing and not only filling a gap, but being part of a family.
  • Jon Disnard: I believe that as part of the regional IRC meetings, when decisions are made that have an impact to the budget, that a database or spreadsheet should be kept to track the expenditures.

How can we encourage ambassadors from all regions and maintain that strong bond with the community?

  • Neville A. Cross: We can look for small events where ambassadors and other contributors transfer skills to possible contributors. This will create ramps for contributing, but also will provide face to face contact among contributors. That may help to strength the community. But we can only create opportunities, ultimately it is up to individuals to make that bond. We need to embrace the fedora style of friendliness, transparency and respect among colleagues. Most important of all is to have in mind have fun, that keep people working and sharing.
  • Truong Anh Tuan: In a ideal world, ambassadors should participate in other teams. They can see exactly what other team members feel and do their job much better. So I think we should encourage all ambassadors to do that, even make it an mandatory rule: he/she should be participate in, at least, xxx months in another team before applying to ambassadors group.
  • Marcel Ribeiro Dantas: I love the idea of regional bodies in Fedora (LATAM, APAC, EMEA and NA). It's not that divided, but it's not that "far" from real life either. Often we manage to meet in real life and it's such a pleasant experience. It's not only FAmSCo duty, but I think we should give the example making sure we can connect people and make sure they feel like family.

    I have organized 4 F19 Release Parties (and one F20 so far) plus took part in two other release parties remotely (as a speaker) with one very strong reason, apart from all the other usual reasons. **Connect with people**. And connect them to Fedora! As an Ambassador I feel I must make Fedora "touchable", make it alive. So I bring pins, pens and other things I purchase and give it to people, I tell them news about Fedora, I tell them experiences I have had with the community and I do everything I can to make it like Fedora is just across the corner.

    I have met old contributors in events around Brazil who had claimed to feel like they were forgotten. They kept working with translation, for example, but had no contact with the community. That is sad and whenever I see such a thing, I feel like it's partially my fault, and that's why I feel it's a must to make fedora people feel really FEDORA people. I'd like to take advantage of this text to thank you for contributing to Fedora. I'm nobody, just a regular contributor and maybe telling you Fedora is better because of you may mean nothing. But for some people, it can mean a lot! So thank you! I feel happy that I'm not alone, and I can assure you, you are NOT alone! _o/
  • Jon Disnard: The best way to stay in-tune with the community at large is to attend events, and talk to the community. In terms of bonding with the Fedora community, I would suggest ambassadors strive to actively participate in other aspects of the project.

Could you give us your ideas you have to improve the community?

  • Neville A. Cross: We need more small events sharing skills for contributing withe community. This will keep the community steady grow, but will motivate people. We need to share for fun activities to engage people. It may be challenges, learning opportunities or things that are outside of the usual mind set. For instance, why there is not more Fedora photo boots at events. It is challenging to built one, people will learn building one, it will engage people building a project and engage public looking at the cool stuff that Fedora Community can do. In the end such a project is fun and rewarding in several levels, but it is just one example.
  • Truong Anh Tuan: It is not an easy question. We do a lot right now to make the community more active. However, sometimes, it depends on each single person. I really have no ideas until I understand what happening in their minds.
  • Marcel Ribeiro Dantas: There is no purpose at thinking of a community without a solid contributor base, a real purpose behind the community and willingness to change the way something is. I'm very happy that Fedora has all these three. However, I'm sure we can be bigger and better than we've ever been.

    Right now I'm trying to organize FOSS events more often in Brazil. In my region in Brazil, we're currently 4 fedora ambassadors and we've had events in almost a monthly basis! That's great! It should be no different with Fedora. More events to connect people, more integration with Fedora Magazine and other ways to make sure people know what we're doing, how we're doing.To know that we exist!

    The sharing of experiences, ideas, and so on is what makes a great community.
  • Jon Disnard: My personal concept of improving the community is to end the hemorrhaging of end-users, folks active in the project, etc... the effect of people churning out of the project. In other words I want to find ways to retain people, and attract new people to the project. With quantitative growth come qualitative growth. More end-users, the higher percentage of who elevate to becoming a contributor, or active in whatever ways we have to offer.

Are you going to work on any plans that make budget transactions handling more transparent? What could be those plans?

  • Neville A. Cross: As I commented, having the information in several places makes difficult for a person not involved on the process get an clear idea. If people does not attend to regional meeting, look at regional trac instances and look for the wiki report, people does not appreciate the transparency. That's a lot of work both ways, keeping records and looking at them. We need to make a easier way to report to the community. But in the end it is up to the individuals, for instance in LATAM there is a low participation in building the budget. That may look like few people are in charge, when in reality those are the ones that are taking from their time to keep the budget for the region. Ultimately, regional meeting participation is the key element for transparency.
  • Truong Anh Tuan: AFAICS, it is transparent enough in almost regions. I just have no idea what are happening in NA. We have quite less information about NA budget and spend during the FY 2014. I think the best way is to make all public and up-to-dated on the wiki.
  • Marcel Ribeiro Dantas: It would be nice if we could build statistics about expenses so that the entire community can know not only how much we spent but exactly how (separated by categories, for example), when and compare it to previous fiscal years. There are lots of interesting numbers we can obtain from that and I'm sure we can find contributors to design nice folders showing numbers, charts and drawings that tell contributors in a nice, clean and lighter way what has happened and what has changed.

    Apart from that, not everybody who gets sponsored/reimbursements write reports about their experiences. We should encourage it more (Alejandro has really encouraged us a lot, but I'm not sure how it happens at other countries/regions). It's a sad attempt making FAmSCo attempt to be more transparent if our ambassadors don't want to be transparent themselves. Got reimbursed/sponsored to attend an event? Writing a *complete* and *clear* report makes it clear that the sponsoring was nice or not, and based on that we can take better decisions in the future. In a transparent and fair way.
  • Jon Disnard: Yes.

    I would like to see improve book keeping. The NA region created a shared spread sheet on Google drive with all the FY20013 money, broken down into events, swag, etc. The challenge seems to be ongoing book keeping. The NA region does not have anybody acting as treasurer, but I believe other regions do have people fulfilling that role. One of my personal goals is to join FAmsCO to collaborate with the other regional ambassadors to improve how NA does business.


Questions from previous elections can be found here: