Fedora 11 schedule proposal

Paul W. Frields stickster at gmail.com
Thu Nov 13 02:02:30 UTC 2008

On Wed, Nov 12, 2008 at 03:15:47PM -0500, Josh Boyer wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 12, 2008 at 12:00:08PM -0800, Jesse Keating wrote:
> >On Wed, 2008-11-12 at 20:44 +0100, Thorsten Leemhuis wrote:
> >> Fedora is a Red Hat sponsored project and a lot of Fedora developers are 
> >> payed by Red Hat. Nevertheless: What really irritates and annoys me is 
> >> that it at least *looks like* the idea to delay Fedora 11 a bit to help 
> >> RHEL 6 seems to come from *within* the project.
> >> 
> >> That's IMHO totally wrong way around and IMHO should not have happened.
> >> 
> >> Fedora IMHO should try to more act like a independent project if Fedora 
> >> wants to get taken serious; otherwise Fedora will always stay a RH pet 
> >> project that is unattractive to other medium or big sized Linux 
> >> companies that might want to get involved in Fedora as well.
> >> 
> >> Things like that also won't help to get rid of the "Fedora is just a 
> >> RHEL beta" fame most of us dislike.
> >> 
> >> Note that I have *no* problem with the idea itself that RH might want us 
> >> to delay F11 (apart from the fact that I belive that predictable release 
> >> dates are quite important). But RH should clearly have asked the project 
> >> in a kind of official way "Can you please consider a one month delay for 
> >> F11 as it would suite us very well".
> >
> >That's just it.  "Red Hat" isn't asking us to delay.  They're asking us
> >to pick a schedule and they'll deal.  Knowing what "Red Hat" is going to
> >do in the next year or so as RHEL 6 gets under way, I wanted to give
> >Fedora the biggest benefit to that extra attention as possible, and to
> >me that meant giving F11 a full 6 month cycle.  After F11 is out, I
> >can't guess when RHEL will import Fedora sources and "branch" CVS.  At
> >that time, it would be harder to get RHEL resources looking at Fedora
> >things, and harder to get RHEL fixes done in Fedora.
> Not just Red Hat resources either.  There are business partners that
> track RHEL releases.  Who knows, maybe they are willing to focus on
> a Fedora release in order to make sure what they care about is in good
> shape for RHEL.  That means more people testing and using.

Red Hat Engineering has been working on a set of features for Fedora
10 and 11 that will be substantially important for future Red Hat
Enterprise Linux (RHEL) products.  These ambitious efforts span
multiple releases, and include code development, debugging, testing,
and so on.

In a few cases having two entire six-month release cycles is going to
be crucial.  Fedora's roughly six-month release calendar provides some
reasonably good expectations for timing in that regard.  Our
time-based releases allow Red Hat teams to coordinate with Fedora and
the upstream communities where they participate, to ensure these
features are worthwhile not just when they're completed for RHEL, but
along the way in Fedora as well.  Naturally there are cases where the
upstream roadmap spans several Fedora releases as well, and must be
taken into account.

I don't feel some of the proposal's detractors are giving due
consideration to the effects of the intrusion earlier this summer,
which had a substantial effect on that work.  In the context of where
much of our community does so much important work, delays were
unfortunate, but we overcame them without too much struggle.
Certainly the infrastructure effort didn't just jump back into place;
I gratefully acknowledge it required a lot of work to rebuild.  In
large part work like packaging, ambassadors, translation, art, and
many other efforts were able to continue relatively unabated once our
infrastructure was back in place.

Recall, though, that Red Hat engineering teams across the board spend
a significant amount of their time developing in (and on) Fedora.  In
terms of the larger-scale software engineering efforts at Red Hat,
making Fedora inflexible on its release date would essentially cut
those lost weeks out of Red Hat's development time.  Now I have yet to
meet anyone in Red Hat, in Engineering or elsewhere, who doesn't
realize that the Fedora community is its own vital organism, and that
we set schedules like any other upstream.  Red Hat continues to be a
participant in this community and not a dictatorial force.  So
although it's completely within Fedora's purview to not budge, I feel
our schedule can and should take into account its effects on the whole

We aren't being asked for an "indefinite stay" for Fedora 11, but
rather a very clear target date.  Jesse brought this proposal to the
community in everyone's mutual interest, and was very open about the
importance and impact of the Fedora schedule on RHEL.  Perhaps there
is confusion because he happens to be part of release engineering,
which usually develops and publishes the Fedora schedule, as well as a
Red Hat employee.  But Red Hat managers did not internally dictate
this schedule.  Jesse put a proposal on the table the same way we ask
of anyone in the community who wants a deviation from a process we
feel works well.

The cost to Fedora for these few weeks is relatively minimal, and
retains the spirit of our project as an advocate of free software
advancement, and as a partner, not a subordinate, in Red Hat's
engineering initiatives.

Paul W. Frields                                http://paul.frields.org/
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