Author: Amita Sharma

Event Report – May 17, LGBTQA Awareness Day

May 17 is recognized as International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia across the globe. The Fedora Diversity team organized an online event (video call) to acknowledge and celebrate the diversity in Fedora for the first time on May 17, 2017. The event was to raise awareness of existing violence and discrimination of LGBTQA communities worldwide, which in turn provides an opportunity to take actions and engage in dialogues within the Fedora community.

40% of world population is from LGBTQA and they have to live under constant fear of crime. Research on wiki reports that between 2008 and 2014, more than 1000 trans people were killed. Sexual and gender minorities face attacks, criticism and their human rights are being denied on daily basis. One in six LGBTQA people faces criminal attacks and incidents do not get reported. What broke my heart the most is that sometimes these people have to change their behavior while in public so that they can save themselves from the hate.

These facts make it very important to transparently and visibly show that Fedora is a diverse and inclusive community. So that, THIS  message can reach everyone including people who have to live in a constant state of fear. Fedora does not support any kind of discrimination and welcomes everyone regardless of gender, culture, belief, sexual orientation and religion.

We had Adam Williamson  (Fedora contributor) on the call, who helped us understand the topic in more deeper context. We had Brian Exelbierd on the call, whose presence helped us know more about where we are currently in Fedora in terms of Code of Conduct and policies and what is the scope of accommodating several discussed improvement factors during the discussion. Dolores Portalatin (an artist, programmer, social activist), Rhea (a fedora contributor and a bisexual person) and Sumantro (a fedora contributor) , also shared their thoughts on the topic. Many other people joined and helped us making the event successful. I am very thankful to all of them as they participated with time, energy, and activism in event call.

As it was a short call of 1 hour and the aim is to identify actions and providing an open forum to drill down the issues. We had chosen critical items only for the agenda of the call and topics involved majorly:

  • Awareness of any existing problems
  • How to improve and become more inclusive
  • Understanding the challenges
  • Future initiatives or directions

Iit makes me feel great that the take away was quite impressive.

Here are the major highlights:

1. Behavior and Moderation – We all are from different culture and carry different background with us. A small question or even an compliment in your opinion may be correct, but may not be appropriate for others. Before giving comments and also compliments, we always need to be more aware that this should not offend someone. Asking someone’s gender publicly or making raciest jokes is not appropriate. There are IRC user guidelines already present in Fedora wiki and also IRC operator guidelines, but they are not very well known. It will be good and helpful to spread awareness about their existence. Greater visibility of our processes and guidelines will surely help.

2. Code of Conduct Expansion – One of the major point of the discussion was code of conduct in Fedora. Our present code of conduct is concise and to the point. There is an opportunity for  expanding the CoC. Diversity team has done  ground work to offer ideas for expanding our CoC is being considered by the Fedora Council now. In particular we believe that explicitly mentioning diversity &inclusion and the LGBTQA community will both make Fedora’s efforts more visible and provide documented reassurance to members of the community that we understand.

3. Polices and Guidelines – Creation and existence of policies and guidelines specifically for LGBTQA individuals can demonstrate our free and open culture in Fedora community and make it more transparent. It also help contributors to understand the action plan created in case of policy violation. People feel more safe and under less risk when such polices and guidelines are crafted carefully.

4. Reporting Issues and Awareness  – It was noted on the call that there is no documented method of reporting incidents. bex shared that one can open private council ticket for reporting issues, which is good. But, people feel more secure while there is a one to one communication channel provided in such scenarios for privacy and to feel more confident while sharing sensitive data and information. Therefore bex is also going to suggest that specific people be identified when the council updates the CoC to include reporting information.  While we build solutions in this area, we need to make sure that we spread awareness about it. So that people can use it, when in need.

5. Tooling – Other than above points, there is the need for accommodations to help a range of contributors, for example by providing subtitles for videos, transcriptions for video calls, etc. For LGBTQA people, there may need to be additional conversations around room sharing options when traveling on Fedora travel budgets. People may not open up or feel comfortable sharing their gender identity publicly on the registration form too, so giving a contact person’s email ID may help in such cases.

Events like this make our perspective more clear. I am privileged and honored to be part of such a diverse community. I am sure the experience was inspiring for everyone who has joined and we crafted a good line of action items for us as diversity team.

Love Fedora hate homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

University Connect – D. Y. Patil College, Pune

This was not an everyday routine when I get up so early in the morning with my alarm clock bell at 6AM. Definitely it was not an usual morning. Thanks to Red Hat Pune site team to come up with such a fabulous initiative of University Connect. University Connect is an outreach effort in a nutshell. The Pune site team has figured out and short listed some good colleges in and around Pune, where interested speakers can go and reach out to the young, passionate crowd of students and share knowledge about Open Source, Fedora and many new technologies like OpenStack, Cloud, ManageIQ etc.

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University Connect – PCCOE, Pune

Another bright morning and another college visit was planned under the wings of University Connect. Thanks to the Pune site team again for the arrangements. On 15th February 2017, we visited the PCCOE college in Pune. Again the early morning alarm clock bell managed to break my sleep. Though, I was not feeling very well (thanks to my on going illness due to allergies), but Open Source, college students and Fedora makes me feel enough energy to beat a dull me.

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Happily embracing power of Fedora

It was not a usual office morning, as all the testers (quality engineers) were present in the office early in the morning. Of course, it was a training day for all of us and hence we gathered in the training room so early. An unknown but smiling-faced person entered the training room (by these factors, we recognized him as trainer). Our training  subject was heavily theoretical, so we all were not excited about it.

Only one person in the room looked extra excited about all this and that was “Pandy Ji the Trainer” (Gaurav Pandey). Slowly and steadily, that excitement pumped into everyone’s bloodstream by the magical way of a trainer’s methods of training. No wonder by now everyone in the room knew Pandy Ji for his humorous, funny, and unique style of teaching!fedora

But still there was one thing that bothered everyone present in the room (being a true Fedorian by heart) and that was Pandy Ji’s PowerPoint and the operating system on his laptop. By the afternoon lunch time, the trainer made everyone so comfortable and open that we were no longer shy to tell him to “please change your operating system!” 😀

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Migration from Trac / FedoraHosted

Earlier in Kevin’s announcement,  it was announced that Fedora Infrastructure will retire fedorahosted.org. They urge all its active projects to move to pagure.io (or any other place they feel best meets their needs). The tentatively scheduled retirement date is February 28th, 2017.

After this announcement, there are many discussions and movement in different sub-projects.  Some teams have already completed the migration successfully.

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What is the Fedora Code of Conduct?

We all live in a society. Every society has customs, values, and mores. This is how homo sapiens are different from other species. Since our childhood, in school, then college, and then at work, we follow a shared set of social values. This shared set of values creates a peaceful world. In the open source world, we strive for values that lead to us all being welcoming, generous, and thoughtful. We may differ in opinions or sometimes disagree with each other, but we try to keep the conversation focused on the ideas under discussion, not the person in the discussion.

Fedora is an excellent example of an open source society where contributors respect each other and have healthy discussions, whether they agree or disagree on all topics. This is a sign of a healthy community. Fedora is a big project with contributors and users from different parts of the world . This creates a diverse community of different skills, languages, ages, colors, cultural values, and more. Although it is rare in Fedora, sometimes miscommunication happens and this can result in situations where the discussion moves from the idea to the person.

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