summary of internal RH changes that impact Fedora

Max Spevack mspevack at
Mon Jan 28 21:35:32 UTC 2008

This is a bit long, but I hope it will be useful to folks.  If there are 
things that are unclear, please ask, and assume that I left something 
out or didn't explain it well rather than any sort of malice. :)


Inside of Red Hat, March 1 is always a magical date, because that 
represents the beginning of a new budget year.

Part of the preparation that has been going on with regard to that in 
the Fedora space has been:

(1) Establishing Paul Frields as the new FPL.
(2) Establishing Tom Callaway as the Fedora Engineering Manager.
(3) Setting up a "Community Architecture" team inside of Red Hat.
(4) Having a solid budget for Fedora Engineering and also for Community 

The first three things have been completed -- Paul's first official day 
at Red Hat is next Monday, and the Community Architecture stuff is 
pretty much all set (more on that later).

The fourth is pseudo-complete, pending approval of all the budgets and 
such that will be happening in the next month, but I am optimistic.

The success that Fedora has achieved in the past two years has made the 
case for increased Red Hat investment in Fedora a (comparatively) easy 


It is important that the Fedora community has an idea of how things are 
laid out in Red Hat's organizational hierarchy.

Before I say anything else, I want to make one point INCREDIBLY CLEAR:

There is a lot of overlap in Fedora in terms of roles, responsibilities, 
etc.  We are interested more than anything in simply GETTING STUFF DONE. 
Within Red Hat, the people who are paid to spend their days on Fedora 
are all catalysts and community builders.  But while Fedora itself has a 
relatively loose organizational structure, Red Hat is a company, and 
people all have to be slotted somewhere.

The people who work 100% on Fedora are not the gatekeepers -- we don't 
want or need to be "authority figures" on the work that people are 
doing.  It is about ACCOUNTABILITY rather than RESPONSIBILITY.

We don't do everything ourselves, but we are accountable for making sure 
that certain things get done.  The Fedora Way dictates that we do this 
by being transparent, open, and building communities around different 

Both Paul and Spot are part of the engineering department.  In the 
Fedora space, this also includes lots of the "usual" names that you 
expect like Jeremy, Bill, Toshio, Seth, Luke, the kernel guys, etc.  So 
for the most part, the Fedora engineering guys are all collected 

Paul's role as FPL obviously gives him the ability (and mandate) to 
reach into any part of the Fedora organization that he likes, but 
organizationally it was determined that it made most sense to have him 
in engineering.


Separate from that is Red Hat's Corporate Marketing department, and this 
is where the Community Architecture team is being created.  This is a 
new name to an old idea -- with Greg doing what he has always done, me 
in need of a new job, and Jack coming on full time in a 
community-building position, it made sense to formalize ourselves.

The Community Architecture team is responsible for all of Red Hat's 
community efforts, and to achieve its goals by encouraging and 
developing new leadership within the Fedora community.

By its nature, most of this work will take place directly in Fedora, and 
therefore we "report" to the Fedora Board, but we will also be 
responsible for community related activities that are within Red Hat's 
scope, but outside of Fedora's.

The details of my own role are still being worked out, but that is a 
side point, and when there is more to say, I will say it.


We are committed to making sure that Fedora Board and Fedora Advisory 
Board know what we are up to, what we are working on, etc.

Additionally, by discussing our objectives and goals in public, we hope 
to be able to build on the work that others are doing, and to allow 
folks anywhere in the Fedora community to help us out.

NOTE: by its very nature, the community goals that we have require us to 
*work with and build community* while we achieve them.  That is implicit 
in all of this.  In some cases, the goals that we list are already in 
progress elsewhere.  The names that we put next to them simply reflect 
the *Red Hat employee who will be held accountable for the result or 
lack thereof*.

For example, on our list of goals is "mini-FUDCon at LinuxTag".  Gerold 
Kassube has ben (and still is) the point person for LinuxTag.  But Max's 
name is next to it.  That simply means that Max is accountable by Red 
Hat for the end result.  The best way Max can be successful is to work 
with Gerold and give him everything that he needs.

Similarly, there are some "Fedora Marketing" related goals.  Karsten and 
Colby Hoke have been doing a lot of work in this area... they are 
leaders in the effort, but we still need a name of someone whose job it 
is to make sure that the leadership continues, thrives, etc.


This email is just a really long way of pointing you here:

None of the stuff on here is necessarily *new* -- it's pretty much 
business as usual.  It is simply an attempt to formalize some of the 
things that we have always done, and in so formalizing them, be able to 
justify significantly higher budget (and therefore 
responsibility/accountability) than we previously had.

Welcome your comments, questions, etc.

--Max, Lame Duck Fedora Project Leader

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