[Ambassadors] fedora-fr meeting report

Max Spevack mspevack at redhat.com
Fri Aug 15 15:23:38 UTC 2008

I spent a great day on Saturday August 2nd with a large number of our 
French contributors, ambassadors, and community leaders.  We had a 
12-person meeting/discussion for about 5 hours and then met up with 
another 8 folks for dinner.

In no particular order, here are my notes:

* Fedora-fr was created to be a central gathering point for 
French-speaking Fedora users and contributors worldwide, with a 
non-profit entity (formed in January 2007) backing it up.  It was 
previously "Fedora France" but changed its name to Fedora-fr to indicate 
that it is meant to support the entire French-speaking world.  This 
immediately brought to mind the work that Rodrigo Padula (based in 
Brazil) is doing to support Fedora in Portugal.  I think it is 
*critical* that the upstream Fedora Project always work to empower local 
communities that are solving their own problems, so I fully support all 
the work Fedora-fr is doing.

* The Fedora-fr website contains forums (15,000 registered users), a 
Mediawiki instance with almost 300 pages of documentation (in which 
French is the canonical language), and a French-only planet (which has a 
fair amount of cross-pollenation with Planet Fedora).  I think it would 
be interesting to have some of the Fedora Docs Project guys take a look 
at what the French team has built up, and see if there are any quick 
wins that we can achieve in a information/toolchain sharing point of 

* Fedora-fr currently gets funding from their online store, memberships 
(20 EUR/year or 10 EUR for students), and occasional physical sale of 
swag.  Also from the larger Community Architecture & FAMSCo budget.

* Pierre-Yves Chibon (pingou) and Remi Collet both asked me about the 
status of the MyFedora project, and I realized that I personally haven't 
kept up on what's going on with that idea.  Last I heard, J5 was leading 
it up, but I'm not sure of the current status.  However, there are at 
least two guys in France who would like to see it become a reality.

* We spoke about the relationships between the current non-profit 
organizations that exist in support of Fedora, and also about what might 
happen with any future organizations that are started up.  As I told the 
French folks, in my opinion the ability to communicate with people in 
their native language is the most important aspect of forming a local 
community.  To that extent, I think the Fedora-fr organization should 
clearly be the leader in helping to organize local Fedora community 
activities anywhere in the world where French is the primary language.

* This led to a brief discussion about some of the Ambassadors that we 
are trying to support in Tunisia, as well as the opportunity (if we can 
find the budget) to fund the creation of a Fedora mirror in Africa, 
which currently doesn't have any mirrors at all 

* One of the biggest things that I heard, and that Yaakov Nemoy also 
heard when he attended the Fedora installfest in Paris, was that our 
Fedora France team would like a bit of help in establishing stronger 
relations with the Red Hat employees who are in France (mostly training, 
sales, consultants, and field marketing folks).  This would start in a 
very simple fashion -- just having some better communiation in both 
directions of the Fedora/Red Hat event schedules, and getting some Red 
Hat people to come to a Fedora event and meet some of the local 
contributors and users.  Definitely something I will follow up on.

* From an events point of view in France, the biggest things are Linux 
Solutions in Paris (the largest show in France), and FOSDEM.  Also 
regular install-fests, meetups.  I promised to try to help with a good 
Red Hat/Fedora interaction in planning the next Linux Solutions.

* Dinner was fantastic as well, and I want to thank the entire Fedora 
France team for giving their Saturday to these meetings, and for all of 
the contributions and work that they do for Fedora.  Some folks I had 
met before, others I met for the first time.  Everyone is really nice, 
really smart, and really devoted to free software and Fedora.  It was a 
great day.

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