words of wisdom from a systems engineer

A response to Infoworld’s confusing article about Fedora

Working with the Fedora community is something I really enjoy in my spare time and I was baffled by a article I saw in Infoworld earlier last week. Here’s a link:

Red Hat confuses Linux users with latest Fedora moves

The article dives into the productization of Fedora 21 that hopes to deliver a better experience for workstation, server, and cloud users. The article suggests that Red Hat drove Fedora development and that the goals of Red Hat and Fedora are closely aligned.

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

I was heavily involved with the changes as a Fedora board member in 2013 and we had many lively discussions about which products should be offered, the use cases for each, and how development would proceed for each product. FESCo and the working groups trudged through the process and worked diligently to ensure that users and developers weren’t alienated by the process. It was impressive to see so many people from different countries, companies and skill levels come together and change the direction of the project into a more modern form.

Some of those board members, FESCo members, and working group members worked for Red Hat at the time. Based on the discussions, it was obvious to me that these community members wanted to make changes to improve the project based on their own personal desires. I never heard a mention of “Red Hat wants to do…” or “this doesn’t align with …” during any part of the process. It was entirely community driven.

Some projects and products from Fedora eventually make it into the Red Hat product list (Red Hat Atomic is an example) but that usually involves Red Hat bringing a community effort under their umbrella and adding formal processes so they can offer it to their customers (and support it).

Fedora’s community is vibrant, independent, and welcoming. If anyone is ever confused by the actions of the community, there are many great ways to join the community and learn more.