Fedora's way forward

Max Spevack mspevack at redhat.com
Sat Jan 12 04:11:37 UTC 2008

To the Fedora community:

The first day of FUDCon is now complete.  78 members of our community 
spent the entire day working on many aspects of Fedora.  It was an 
incredibly productive day, and we expect the rest of the weekend to be 
more of the same.

Over 150 people will be attending FUDCon on Saturday, which will be a 
more traditional day of presentations, sessions, etc.  The opening talk 
will be my yearly "State of Fedora" speech.

I believe it will be videotaped and up on the internet eventually, but I 
want to take a few minutes to share some of the details with you.


Two years ago, Matthew Szulik (Red Hat's CEO) asked me to be the Fedora 
Project Leader, and I was flattered and humbled by the opportunity.  It 
has been one of the coolest jobs that a person could have.

I started about one month before Fedora Core 5 was released.  Only a few 
people within the Fedora community knew me -- I had been at Red Hat for 
a year and a half at that point in the Red Hat Network group, but I had 
not done much with Fedora other than simply *use* the distro.

You, the community, were very fair with me, incredibly accepting, and 
you gave me the opportunity to earn your respect and to influence the 
direction of Fedora.  You trusted me, you gave me a chance, and I 
appreciate that more deeply than I can express.  I hope I have not 
disappointed you.

Now we're a few months past the Fedora 8 release, and the time has come 
for me to hand off the Fedora Project Leader role, though I hope to 
remain involved in Fedora and Red Hat's community efforts.

That's all I want to say about me.  Now I want to talk about the larger 
Fedora Project, and introduce a few new leaders.


Fedora has come a long way in the last few years.  Red Hat has committed 
more resources to Fedora, enabling us to grow the Fedora team when the 
opportunity came up to hire some of the true stars of the Fedora 
community.  This in turn allows the core group of Fedora folks within 
Red Hat to be more effective leaders within the community, because a 
focus on community building is the most important thing that we do.

The people who are lucky enough to get paid to spend their workdays 100% 
on Fedora each have a responsibility to be community builders first, and 
individual contributors second.  A community that does not grow and that 
does not develop new leadership will stagnate.  Red Hat's investments in 
the Fedora community help to prevent this.

Continuing to grow our community, lower barriers to entry, and develop 
new leaders will remain a top priority for Fedora.

We've also made tremendous changes to Fedora at a technical level in the 
past two years -- merging Core and Extras into a single repository, 
working with Red Hat and community engineers to produce a new build 
system for Fedora, and new tools that allow users to create fully 
customized versions of Fedora and deliver Fedora in new ways (Live USB, 
for example).

Additionally, the work that we have done with the branding, marketing, 
and press folks both inside Red Hat and in our community has led to a 
resurgence in the Fedora brand.  Fedora enjoys an identity as an 
independent Linux distribution that focuses on innovation, freedom, and 
community, all while still serving as the upstream for RHEL.


I am very pleased to announce that Paul Frields has accepted a job with 
Red Hat, and he will be taking over as Fedora Project Leader in 

Many of you already know Paul.  He has been part of the Fedora community 
since 2003, not long after the Red Hat Linux Project officially merged 
with the original Fedora.us.  Paul has worked with Fedora's 
documentation, packaging, marketing, news, and artwork teams.  He also 
served as one of the inaugural members of the Fedora Project Board.


Additionally, Jack Aboutboul has recently transferred into a full-time 
job in Red Hat's marketing and brand communications group.  We have 
asked Jack to take an active leadership role in Fedora marketing, 
community building, and Ambassadors.

Jack was one of the original Fedora Ambassadors in our community.  He 
has organized FUDCons, and he has been promoting Fedora with his endless 
energy and enthusiasm for several years now.  While Jack was in school, 
he worked for Red Hat as an intern and part-time employee, and we are 
very happy to bring Jack on full-time to continue building the Fedora 


I have rambled on now for far longer than I planned to.  I shall simply 
say that it has been an honor to be the Fedora Project Leader.

Thank you.


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