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Re: What Fedora makes sucking for me - or why I am NOT Fedora

On Tue, 9 Dec 2008, Robert Scheck wrote:

128 Euro per year is IMHO too much for the current level of what seems to happen with the money. And for that money I could support the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) with multiple membership fees per year. And sorry, just one cool bathrobe isn't a good reason for spending 128 Euro away per year. Without enough transparency and communication, it's like throwing the money out of the window of my room.

As I mentioned in another email (just to Ambassadors list), there are a couple of points I'd like to make:

(1) Since I started as the FPL in February 2006, I've tracked the money spent on Fedora publicly on the Fedora wiki not because I needed to or because someone told me to, but because I believed it was the right thing to do. That's almost 3 full years of total financial transparency. The money given to Fedora EMEA e.V. is a small piece of that budget, and it is repoted along with everything else. I can't think of another Linux distro that is as transparent with its finances as we are.

(2) I never understood why the membership fees are anything other than nominal. The purpose of a legal entity like Fedora EMEA e.V. is *not* to collect money from Fedora contributors, but to serve as a legal entity that can hold onto resources from Red Hat (freeing us from having to spend resources in a 3-month window or watching them vanish) as well as to hold resources from other organizations that want to contribute directly to Fedora without having to contribute to Red Hat.

But nobody really follows, is having a look to these issues and problems or even takes care of it...why? I think, this should be the job of the Fedora Project leader, shouldn't it? I don't want to blame neither Paul nor Max in this e-mail, I think everybody of us needs to be more sensitive to issues around the Fedora Project and needs to take more care before developing or forking something.

There has long been a difficult balance between the overall day to day leadership of the Fedora Project, and the manner in which specific technical decisions are made. Many of the things you mentioned in your initial email fall into the latter category.

I won't speak for Paul, but for me, I always knew that it would be inappropriate for me to try to micromanage individual technical pieces of Fedora, because that wasn't my expertise. So I never tried to, and instead tried to make it clear that FESCO and other engineering leaders within Fedora take that on.

Looking back, I think that things have ended up going well enough, but I definitely could have done a better job in that area of my old FPL job.

Recognizing this weakness was part of what led me to advocate for the creation of a Fedora Engineering Manager position (which Spot holds) at the same time that we brought in Paul to take over as the Fedora Project Leader.

If the FPL is Fedora's "CEO" then the FEM is Fedora's "CTO". I also don't want to speak for Spot, but I think that it would be very appropriate for him to give a talk at FUDCon that represents his view of what Fedora's roadmap and critical path are from an engineering perspective in 2009. Maybe that should be the keynote, actually, since Paul gave the "Fedora State of the Union" in Boston back in June.

I could write a few more paragraphs, but I think I've said enough for one email.


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