RFC: FESCo Future

Max Spevack mspevack at redhat.com
Tue Apr 25 17:28:13 UTC 2006

On Tue, 25 Apr 2006, Josh Boyer wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 25, 2006 at 02:07:37PM +0200, Ralf Corsepius wrote:
>> My point is: I sense not a single trace of democracy at RH and I sense
>> not a trace of supervision/monitoring/control of the community over the
>> boards inaugurated by RH.

I need to chime in here a little bit.

I don't quite understand what the second part of your sentance means, but 
as to the first point -- seriously?  You see *not a single trace* of 
democracy in the way Red Hat handles Fedora?

How can you say that when Fedora Extras itself is a major piece of that 
democracy?  Thorsten is your chair -- he's not a Red Hat employee.  How 
can you say that when Red Hat is adopting *internally* the packaging 
guidelines that came out of the Fedora Extras work?  You feel like Extras 
doesn't have influence?  You feel like FESCO (which drives Extras) doesn't 
make an impact or influence the way things are done?

>> Some examples:
>> * RH has killed the FF, without even informing the community in advance.
>> (Now some projects are complaining about lack of funding - Could it be
>> RH missed the aspect of using a "foundation as means of fundraising?)

Due respect Josh, but just because we didn't inform *you* ahead of time 
doesn't mean that the decision was made entirely within Red Hat's walls. 
A number of non-Red Hat folks knew about the decision ahead of time, and 
had a hand in helping us to come up with the reasoning and messaging 
around why FF didn't make sense, and why the current Board model is a 
superior choice.

Did you read the message that we sent out discussing the reasons why the 
Foundation decision wasn't compelling?  Fundraising was specifically 
addressed in there.

Furthermore, there was a very frank conversation about the way Fedora *is* 
governed, and the main point out of that is that the Fedora Project Board 
is set up *purposely* to have a very strong representation of people who 
don't work at Red Hat.  This is the *reality* of what we are doing right 
now.  The Fedora Project Board is empowered to make decisions about what 
Fedora does.  A significant amount of that Board's membership is not 
@redhat.com -- and I promise you that I have no problem with seeing that 
balance shift more toward the community over time, if that is what is 
clearly the best for Fedora.

> What does that have to do with FESCO?
>> * RH has proclaimed the FPB and has inaugurated the persons at their own
>> will without consulting nor informing the community. They selecting a
>> person as head we never saw in any Fedora Project before nor without
>> thinking about this organs interaction with other Fedora Projects.
>> (In politics such an incident would be called "palace revolution")

As I said above, parts of the community were consulted.  The community is 
consulted now in everything the Board does.  The actions of the board are 
transparent, and everyone has a direct line to contact and influence the 
work that the Board is doing.


In response to your criticism of me as being the Chair of the FPB without 
having been active in Fedora previously:  It's true that I wasn't directly 
involved in the Fedora side of Red Hat prior to beginning in my current 
job, but don't base your opinion of me solely on that.  If you have 
concerns and issues with the way I'm handling Fedora, write the Board and 
complain.  Write to boss and convince him that I should be replaced. 
Make a compelling argument for why things are wrong and how they should be 
instead and your voice will be heard.

My job isn't to be a dictator over Fedora.  My job is to be Fedora's 
biggest advocate within Red Hat, to set Fedora up as much as possible for 
community decision making and empowerment, and to constantly remind the 
rest of Red Hat of the immense value of open source methods, community 
involvement, etc.

I get a paycheck from Red Hat.  But I work for Fedora.  If the larger 
powers that be inside of Red Hat decide that Fedora isn't important, then 
I'll be the one yelling the loudest, and most publicly that they are 
wrong, and I'll be first in line to submit my resignation.

But you know what?  That isn't going to happen.  The very fact that the 
position (that I currently have) was formalized within Red Hat underscores 
Red Hat's desire to see Fedora be a success.

> We're talking about how we, the Extras community, want to govern 
> ourselves. Leave Red Hat out of this discussion please.

I'm not really sure what you're complaining about.  Someone asked the 
Board: "Extras is ready to shuffle up its leadership a bit.  Do you guys 
need/want to have a say in that?"

Look at the first response: it was me say "Nope, you guys do your own 
thing.  And the Board is going to learn from you."


So tell me: where's the lack of democracy?  Where's the iron fist?  What 
are you *actually* angry about?


Max Spevack
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