Meetings:Town Hall Board 2009-06-05 0200UTC

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inode0 so who's here? 20:55
Action: ke4qqq is 20:56
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Action: inode0 will start collecting questions for ke4qqq shortly 20:58
stickster Just for the record, jwb said he might not be able to make it. 20:58
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stickster I'm sure he'd be happy to take any questions by email 20:59
inode0 I will mention that next door too 20:59
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inode0 if he doesn't make it 20:59
jwb_ i have arrived 21:00
inode0 Time for us to begin this evening. Welcome candidates! 21:01
jwb_ all 2 of us! 21:01
Action: ke4qqq thought mmcgrath was here too 21:02
inode0 While we collect questions from the public let's do some brief introductions 21:02
ke4qqq Hi everyone, David Nalley here 21:03
jwb_ Hello. Josh Boyer. Go Red Wings! 21:03
jwb_ (NHL team for people that don't follow hockey) 21:03
inode0 mmcgrath: ping 21:04
inode0 spot ping 21:04
inode0 dgilmore: ping 21:04
inode0 we'll being with a question from marth 21:05
inode0 Are you content with the sort of "walk in" approach to recruitment Fedora currently has, or should the project promote contributions more actively? 21:05
mmcgrath pong 21:05
Action: mmcgrath was in wrong channel :) 21:06
ke4qqq [1] So traditionally we have trusted self-selection and at best some one on one recruitment among friends. That's worked OK for Fedora - as evidenced by the quality of work that's performed. I think self-selection is the only way to go personally as you need passionate people. That said one of the problems I see is that people don't know of the opportunity to participate, particularly if they have experience with another distro or some of the really 21:07
ke4qqq [1] I don't think we'll get to the point where we go 'head hunting' or that it would even be successful for Fedora long term. 21:07
jwb_ [1] i think it has served us well. i don't think we should be beating the streets for contributors, but we could try leveraging some of the people subscribed to our mailing lists that aren't contributing 21:07
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mmcgrath did I miss a question? 21:08
jwb_ mmcgrath, possibly 21:08
Action: mmcgrath scrolls back. the first question he sees is "so who's here" 21:08
inode0 Are you content with the sort of "walk in" approach to recruitment Fedora currently has, or should the project promote contributions more actively? 21:09
mmcgrath oh, I see it. Missed the [1] :) 21:09
mmcgrath [1] I think sponsors and long-timers need to take more responsibility for identifying new people and brining them in. 21:09
mmcgrath [1] I don't think training on how to work with volunteers would be a bad thing. 21:09
dgilmore inode0: pong 21:10
mmcgrath whats next :) 21:11
jwb_ i have one 21:11
inode0 Feel free jwb_ 21:11
jwb_ do you all think the overall tone of the project has turned sour as of late? as evident by the fedora-devel-list and the new moderation proposal? if so, how do we turn that around? 21:12
jwb_ (i'll note that i literally just thought of that, so i'm not stacking things in my favor) 21:13
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mmcgrath [1] I think there's a lot more going on besides fedora-devel-list. And while people hate more mailing lists, I think we need to let sub groups be sub groups. By that I mean, fedora-devel has become a place where too many people come to talk about too many things. 21:13
mmcgrath [1] and we developer types aren't known for keeping silent about things that aren't that important to us. I myself am guilty of this from time to time. 21:13
jwb_ [2] mmcgrath 21:14
jwb_ we're on 2 21:14
jwb_ sorry 21:14
mmcgrath ugh :) 21:14
mmcgrath [2] Though overall I think things are going well. 21:14
jwb_ [2] i think we have a tendency at times to focus on the problems, and that can certainly bring issues like this to the forefront 21:14
ke4qqq [2]overall - not really- I still see the vast majority being very cordial. That said a very vocal minority has sparked a lot of ill behavior, and that spreads unfortunately. and when you look at the list and see a few 100+ message threads per week you can see it flaming up. That's really a small portion of what's going on. I think it does have some ill effects if left unchecked. 21:15
dgilmore jwb_: i think we have some people who are having a negative influence. i think its part of growing. but it is something that needs to be adressed before things become toxic 21:15
jwb_ [2] so i think we need a two fold approach. the first is the moderation. i think that will help with the outright abusive things. the second is to actually blog, email, IRC about the _positive_ aspects and achievements of fedora. a bit of a positive grassroots PR campaign if you will 21:15
jwb_ dgilmore, indeed. i worry about toxicity in the long term 21:16
ke4qqq [2] I also think that we aren't stopping threads when they reach the point of being toxic - which only makes things worse IMO. 21:16
mmcgrath [2] I should clarify what I said earlier by "a lot more going on besides fedora-devel-list". My intention was that many of the other lists are very up beat, down to working and hopeful about Fedoras future. 21:16
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jwb_ mmcgrath, ah. yes. thanks for clarifying 21:17
inode0 Ready for another public question? 21:18
jwb_ sure 21:18
dgilmore inode0: please 21:18
inode0 G_work asks [3.12.4-2] What are your thoughts on the state of Fedora (as a whole) and where do we go from here? 21:18
mmcgrath BRING IT! 21:18
mmcgrath [3] I think the state of fedora's doing well. We're at a critical turning point in our industry and in Fedora. The linux market is growing considerably. 21:18
jwb_ state of what? 21:18
jwb_ the release, the project? 21:19
Action: inode0 notes that parenthetically it says as a whole, so yes 21:19
dgilmore [3.12.4-2] i think overall we are doing well. there is measurable growth. our releases are getting better, we are reaching out to communities that we have not done so well at in the past 21:19
mmcgrath [3] I think Fedora's role in this newer market (IE: with ubuntu) is to be the upstream for as many distributions, organizations, and contributors as we can. 21:20
dgilmore we are slowly seeing kde devs using fedora. i think thats a positive thing 21:20
mmcgrath [3] We're positioned for dymanic growth. We've got some of the smartest contributors which makes us flexable and able to adapt to change, even massive changes. 21:20
ke4qqq [3.12.4-2] I think we are starting to experience some growing pains (not that we haven't in the past, just that a new series is starting) I think we have largely settled into our current identity, though maybe that's not yet known by everyone outside fedora yet. we still carry the stigma of being 'the beta for rhel' in a lot of circles. 21:20
jwb_ [3.12.4-2] as a project, i think we're chugging along well enough. though we do seem to be staring at our navel and contemplating an overall direction for Fedora. which is a good thing to do, particularly right now 21:21
dgilmore mmcgrath: i think we handle massive change very well. much better than any other distro. i think its evidenced y other distros slowing down the rate of change 21:21
mmcgrath [3] I'd love to see a future where people come to Fedora to try new things out, to be the first to present things to the end user. To get good at finding new technologies and good at finding failures. But at the end of the day, it comes here first. And I think that's something we can all be proud of. 21:21
jwb_ [3.12.4-2] from a technical point of view, i think we are making great progress. we tend to live on the leading (bleeding) edge at times, but i continue to be impressed 21:21
inode0 marth asks [4] Do you believe Fedora's supported release cycle would be better for developers if it was shorter or longer? How about for maintainers? End users? 21:23
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mmcgrath [4] I think Fedora's release cycle is about right for our developers, for our maintainers and for our end users. I'd say the same isn't true for other distro's users, etc. 21:24
jwb_ [4] shorter would be crazy. as for longer, i haven't heard anyone screaming lately for an extension. i think if we had a really hard technical item or particular goal that required a longer cycle, we could do it on a per release basis. but overall, it seems to work out well enough 21:24
mmcgrath [4] Releasing often allows us to take HUGE risks that other distros can't (and shouldn't... we do it for them). The worst case scenario, we re-do everything in 6 months. 21:24
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ke4qqq [4]I think that largely it wouldn't matter - we'll never mesh perfectly with everyone. our ~6 month cycle seems to be a nice middle ground between insane and and never getting it done. 6 months is a reasonable time period to bring a feature in, though occasionally that turns into two releases, but still - a year to bring a change like openchange into a distribution isn't a bad timetable. 21:25
dgilmore [4] any shorter and we will overwhelm everyone with new releases that change little 21:26
dgilmore [4] we could maybe go for longer. but i feel 6 months is good for everyone 21:26
Action: inode0 adds that the only requests for longer that he hears come from users who don't like to upgrade so often 21:26
dgilmore inode0: for those people we have RHEL and CentOS 21:27
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inode0 as a followup on that 21:27
dgilmore fedora is not for everyone or every use case 21:27
inode0 RHEL and CentOS can't really replace Fedora to these users 21:28
jwb_ i'll note that the 'support' cycle is longer than the development cycle as well 21:28
jwb_ F9 is still active 21:28
dgilmore jwb_: right 21:28
jwb_ it will be for another 5 weeks or so 21:28
mmcgrath inode0: you can't have new forever. 21:28
mmcgrath inode0: unless you want rawhide. 21:28
dgilmore no new packages will be accepted for F-9 in one week 21:29
mmcgrath Someone who doesn't want to upgrade regularly is someone but still wants the latest and greatest isn't being realistic 21:29
dgilmore mmcgrath: correct its not possible to not upgrade and have the latest, those two things cotradict each other 21:29
inode0 ok, next question is from mdomsch and is directed to ke4qqq (for reasons that will become clear) 21:29
inode0 Since you haven't been as visible to some in the project as the other candidates could we hear more about what you've done for Fedora as an Ambassador and in other parts of the project? 21:31
inode0 How do these experiences relate to Board activities? 21:31
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ke4qqq so I have been around, comparatively a short amount of time, joining fedora in early 2006. I initially worked in the Ambassadors and to a slightly lesser degree in marketing 21:32
ke4qqq honestly the NA Ambassadors suffered because we essentially relied on RH to do everything for us, which meant we did precious little 21:33
jwb_ i would like to say that ke4qqq and the Ambassador's group are both made of awesome 21:33
ke4qqq we relied on people like Max and Greg to do all of the speaking, we relied on people like Alex Maier to do our swag - and we provided a nice cheering section 21:33
ke4qqq along with several others (our moderator included) we worked on an aggressive plan to essentially start taking control of a lot of that. 21:34
dgilmore ke4qqq: that has been visable :) 21:34
ke4qqq and within 6 month we made all of our own swag, we represent fedora at a ton of more conferences - our conference count is averaging double to triple what it was when we were cheerleaders. 21:35
ke4qqq really it exemplifies, what I think we want for all of Fedora- which is a place that people can come in, do work, take ownership and hopefully make it awesome. 21:35
Action: stickster notes that ke4qqq appears prominently in the FUDCon Boston 2009 video 21:36
ke4qqq I also maintain a few packages and try and help with documentation. 21:36
jwb_ ke4qqq, did you and herlo work the session videos for FUDCon as well? 21:36
ke4qqq I think that having represented Fedora to the outside world it's been eye opening to see the effect we have and some of the misgivings that are still present and I hope that experience is helpful to the board. 21:37
ke4qqq jwb - herlo did some audio - ctyler did video - and ianweller and I made a video of herlo dancing :) 21:37
ke4qqq with photos from mo 21:37
jwb_ oh yes. the dancing herlo video. that in itself is awesome 21:37
inode0 the next question is from marth [7] It seems to be up to individuals/groups what updates are pushed and when. Does individual judgment create too many inconsistencies because each maintainer has different criteria? Is this level of independence one of Fedora's strengths? 21:39
jwb_ oh man. that one hits home for me 21:39
dgilmore [7] the independance plays into fedora's core values, however i do feel that we push too many updates during a release. i would like to encourage not pushing new release to all releases 21:40
jwb_ [7] so i get impacted by this daily now, since i decided to be crazy and do the actual updates pushes. for a while, i thought we were doing too many, too often, and for no really good reason other than 'higher numbers' 21:40
mmcgrath [7] Updates are now, finally, pushed by a small group of people instead of individuals. And that's awesome. As for what updates go out and when, I think becoming a packager makes one responsible for that package. And they can do with it as they want, as long as it meets our guidelines. 21:40
dgilmore [7] but allow a release to slow down its updates during the second half of its life cycle 21:41
mmcgrath [7] I do generally think there should be a push to send fewer updates, but at the end of the day, its up to the packager and the packagers judgement what to do. You have to empower them to make the decisions they feel are best. 21:41
jwb_ [7] but that isn't really true. lots of the updates are entirely new packages. sometimes they are bugfixes in the form of new upstream versions. so i think we have package maintainers for a reason, and we have to trust their judgement 21:42
ke4qqq [7] the level of independence is a strength I think, I'll admit frustration when a package lags for several releases, but there is much that I probably don't know going on with that packager and the package. I didn't sign up as a comaintainer so it's hard to complain when I am not doing the work. 21:42
jwb_ [7] my only request would be to think a bit harder sometimes :) 21:42
dgilmore jwb_: agreed 21:42
ke4qqq [7] I think a more active use of updates-testing could alleviate some of the update flood - but it's hard to get people to participate 21:42
jwb_ ke4qqq, yes and no. it would help end users i think 21:43
ke4qqq jwb_: yes it would help end users - and stop some of the massive bandwidth complaints, though I am excited to see what people think of presto and deltarpms.....that may be enough 21:43
jwb_ ke4qqq, that helps users greatly. unfortunately, i makes getting updates out take much longer 21:44
jwb_ i still think it's a win 21:44
ke4qqq right - and thats a big growing pain 21:44
ke4qqq it's still a win for end users - for those having to push updates maybe not so much 21:44
ke4qqq  :) 21:44
jwb_ yeah. i'm ok griping about my own little world being harder if it's going to help a bunch more people 21:45
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inode0 wariola asks [8] how do you grow fedora out of the active region and reaching more into the passive region e.g. APAC? 21:46
ke4qqq those types of challenges are going to be interesting to see in the next year - our scale continues to increase and making that manageable will be a big challenge. 21:46
jwb_ [8] that was asked last election. do i have time to lookup what i answered with? 21:46
jwb_  :) 21:46
jwb_ [8] so personally, i dont think i can make a lot of impact there myself. the best way to grow a market is to get people from that market involved, and grow the ambassador pool there 21:48
mmcgrath [8] You start by finding active users in those regions. 21:48
mmcgrath [8] Then empowering them and providing resources for them to spread. 21:48
ke4qqq [8] A lot is already going on in APAC in some ways - but like other regional Fedora communities there are barriers to communication that stop us from knowing everything that's going on. APAC is also very large and varied, and we haven't even tapped users in many ways there yet. 21:48
jwb_ [8] that is a bit of a chicken/egg scenario, but it's true. world domination is an end goal, but you can't achieve that without participants from all over the world 21:49
dgilmore [8] since im originally from APAC i try to keep an eye on things. im actively invloved in humbug a users group in Australia. I think we can do better to help grow things in the region 21:49
ke4qqq but mmcgrath is right - we need to start findign the active users, and empowering them. Fedora specifically has me as a contributor because they it's crazy enough to let me package software, and write documentation and run my mouth about the project. Take away that empowerment and it's a lot less interesting, and that will make it interesting for users regardless of where they are on the globe - we just need to show the opportunity. 21:50
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dgilmore for large parts of APAC language is a barrier to participating in the regular fedora community. some of them are quite active but only in there small corner. im not sure how we can bridge that gap 21:52
Action: inode0 follows this up with a related question 21:52
inode0 Fedora has a marketing message, does trying to "make the sale" in the same way worldwide work? 21:53
inode0 Or are their regions where the things that hit home in EMEA maybe don't register so strongly? 21:53
mmcgrath Fedora has "make the sale" as a marketing message? 21:53
jwb_ confused 21:53
dgilmore [9] it does not cutural differences in differentparts of the world mean we need to take different approaches 21:53
dgilmore im assuming by "make the sale" meaning getting user uptake 21:54
ke4qqq [8+1] The tactics used to communicate assuredly change, the 'message' of software freedom, innovation, and empowerment do not. 21:55
inode0 For example, we can stress freedom in places where that deeply resonates. In other places it might not so much. 21:55
jwb_ i see 21:55
jwb_ what ke4qqq said 21:55
jwb_ i cant answer it much better 21:55
dgilmore indeed ke4qqq said it very well 21:55
inode0 followup from wariola: what kind of assistance will be provided to grow the passive region? 21:56
Action: mmcgrath can't speak on what will be provided. 21:56
dgilmore [10] it really depends on what would work whats available, and finding people to help us in the regions 21:57
jwb_ do we have contributors with requests? 21:57
mmcgrath but what could/should be provided includes support for marketing, anything grass roots (the ambassadors are masters at this) to put a great feel together for what Fedora is. 21:57
dgilmore there really is no way to know for sure 21:57
inode0 Do you think this is more for FAmSCo to initiate? 21:57
mmcgrath yes 21:58
jwb_ probably as a start, yes 21:58
ke4qqq I don't know that it's a board issue per se....probably famsco since they dole out the kind of resources for growing communities globally already. and my answer would be to ask wariola to show us a plan of what he wants to do (someone has to do the work, right?) and then let famsco or commarch provide the resources. 21:58
ke4qqq I'll be honest and tell you I don't know what resources will provide results.....but I'd be happy to provide resources for someone on the ground who has a plan to try and get results. 21:59
inode0 last question from marth [10] What do you think has gone right with F11 as development draws to a close? What lessons can we learn from it? 21:59
jwb_ 10) that sometimes progress is one step back, two steps forward 22:00
jwb_ 10) the anaconda changes were huge, but i think people are giving that team too much of a bad wrap for them 22:00
dgilmore [10] i think at this point its not so much a board issue. but a fesco issue. the reasons for the slipage are technical. but we certainly seem to be doing a good job of getting the message that fedora 11 is coming out there 22:01
mmcgrath [10] Freeze sooner, always have plans to revert if a commit / feature doesn't work out right. We've gotten much better about holding people responsible for their changes. I think we need to move a bit farther. 22:01
dgilmore jwb_: from a technical side i think we need to have the anaconda team land there bits much earlier in the release cycle 22:01
jwb_ 10) aside from that, i think F11 went really smoothly. we did a whole gcc 4.4 upgrade, changed to i586, and really the impact of that was fairly well containable 22:01
mmcgrath [10] Slips hold up not only the OS but all the teams that work around it. Delays release parties that have been planned, Infrastructure and the web team will have been frozen for a month when F11 ships. 22:01
jwb_ dgilmore, possibly. 22:02
ke4qqq I think the QA process did well in catching critical bugs - hopefully all of them. Sure we'd have liked to see it sooner, but better when it occurred. A LOT of things (Anaconda, gcc, sound, etc) changed in F11 and most of that went relatively smoothly for the scale of change. 22:02
mmcgrath [10] I agree with dgilmore critical pieces of our OS need to be in much sooner, and need to have a fallback plan if X isn't done by Y. 22:02
mmcgrath s/need/should/ 22:03
ke4qqq while I agree with mmcgrath, I think it's a fesco issue..... I'd personally like to see a tighter reversion policy with hard dates for features. 22:03
Action: mmcgrath agrees, this is a fesco issue. 22:03
dgilmore ke4qqq: it is a fesco issue 22:03
mmcgrath but I do have an opinion on it :) 22:04
ke4qqq so do I :) and it mirrors your and dgilmores 22:04
inode0 Anything further or is this a good time to adjourn? 22:05
Action: mmcgrath can stay as long as people have questions 22:05
jwb_ sooo sleepy 22:05
jwb_ and grumpy. the Red Wings lost 22:05
Action: dgilmore is always avaiable for questions 22:05
jwb_  :) 22:05
inode0 I'd like to take a moment to thank all the candidates tonight who participated in this town hall 22:05
jwb_ i really do have to drop though. i'd be happy to answer questions via email or irc later if people are curious 22:06
inode0 I'd also like to thank everyone at the event earlier today and the FESCo town halls yesterday 22:06
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inode0 These have really been valuable to me and I hope to many others. 22:06
inode0 We are adjourned 22:07
Action: inode0 bangs the gavel 22:07
ke4qqq thanks inode0 22:07
mmcgrath Thanks all 22:07
jwb_ thanks 22:08
inode0 jwb_: we get to see 2 or 3 more is all :) 22:08
jwb_ inode0, exciting hockey is good with me :) 22:08
Action: jwb_ sleeps 22:08