"What is the Fedora Project?"

Jeffrey Ollie jeff at ocjtech.us
Thu Oct 8 16:45:37 UTC 2009

On Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 11:19 AM, Josh Boyer <jwboyer at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm struggling to come up with how a project member could go in a direction
> that was detrimental to Fedora in a non-obvious, non-malicous way.  There's
> a difference between reacting to malice and what we're talking about I think.

I don't want to name names and point to specifics, because I don't
want this discussion to degenerate into recrimination and finger
pointing.  But there have been a number of incidents where individual
developers made changes (or were about to make changes) that would
have been detrimental to the project, yet were not done maliciously.
I don't think any of them ever got to the point where formal board
action was required but the potential is there.  In any case, the
board should have the ability to restrict a developer that is being
detrimental to the project (whatever their motivations) if that person
can't be convinced through gentler means.

> At the very least, we don't control upstream development of the packages
> we include in the distro for most cases.  Influence, sure.  But we have no
> recourse for locking an upstream developer out of something if they are
> developing in a manner the project doesn't think would benefit Fedora.

We have the same recourse as any downstream user - stop using the
software or fork it and become own upstream.

>>Hopefully controlling developers though such a negative method is
>>never necessary.  Hopefully the board would be able to persuade
>>developers that the board's vision is the correct one and would then
>>work together with everyone else to accomplish that vision.
> About the only cases I can see the Board having actual control over are
> things like the contents of a Spin in terms of package set.  And we don't
> want to discourage someone from making a derivative or alternative Spin,
> so I don't view it as any sort of control at all.

In my view, the board has ultimate control over everything in the
distribution.  The fact that they delegate 99.999% of that control to
individual developers doesn't change that fact.

Jeff Ollie

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