Red Hat is hiring for a new Fedora role
Red Hat is hiring for a new full-time role supporting the Fedora Project. The job listing (replicated below) is open now, and if you are interested, you can apply online.Continue reading
Package reviews are an important part of how Fedora delivers well-built RPMs. When one contributor wants to add a new package, another packager has to check it first. It’s how we all hold each other to the high standard we’ve set for ourselves. Of course, that means to add a new package to the repos, you first have to find someone to do the review. Last week, I added a new way to do that: the Package Review Swaps category on Fedora Discussion. Huge thanks to Felix Kaechele for the idea and initial process design.Continue reading
At our hackfest earlier this year, the Council agreed that we want to drop the distinction between full and auxiliary positions on the Council. Instead, we should have all members on an equal footing. The concerns expressed by some on the former Fedora Board (the predecessor to the Council) haven’t come to pass. But we have seen a negative impact: people in these roles feel less empowered to act, and unsure about their standing as a “real” member of the Council.
Last month, the Fedora Council gathered in Frankfurt, Germany for our first in-person meeting since January 2020. It felt great to see folks again, but it wasn’t all fun and games (actually, we didn’t even play games until after we’d wrapped up on the last night). With three years of work to catch up on and a five year strategy to develop, there was a lot to do. If you want the Zodbot form, we logged the minutes. For more detail, read on.Continue reading
The Fedora.Next strategy was a key part of the success we’ve enjoyed over the last few years. But we can’t stop there. It’s time to develop a strategy to meet our goal for the next five years: doubling the number of active contributors. To do this, there are a number of technical and community objectives we need to drive. It looks like that number is 18. The Fedora Council developed a list of 18 objectives to support the impacts we’re looking for. Now it’s your turn. Let us know what you think in the Discussion thread.
This is just the first step. We’re looking for discussion at a high level. Over the next few months, we’ll have a thread dedicated to each objective. Once we’ve had a chance to discuss it together, the Council will vote on the final strategy. From there, we’ll start working on the details to make these objectives a reality. I’m super excited to work on this with you.
We are in the process of merging our user-support forum Ask Fedora into Fedora Discussion — our site geared towards contributor and project team conversations. Historically, we’ve used tags differently on those two sites. This means we need to figure out an approach for combining them. Please take a look at the Adding
-team to (almost) all of the tags in Project Discussion? thread and add your thoughts.
On behalf of all of the folks working on Fedora licensing improvements, I have a few things to announce!
All documentation related to Fedora licensing has moved to a new section in Fedora Docs, which you can find at https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/legal/. Other legal documentation will follow. This follows the overall Fedora goal of moving active user and contributor documentation away from the wiki.
The “good” (allowed) and “bad” (not-allowed) licenses for Fedora are now stored in a repository, using a simple structured file format for each license (it’s TOML). You can find this at https://gitlab.com/fedora/legal/fedora-license-data. This data is then presented in easy tabular format in the documentation, at https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/legal/allowed-licenses/.
Historically, this information was listed in tables on the Fedora Wiki. This was hard to maintain and was not conducive to using the data in other ways. This format will enable automation for license validation and other similar process improvements.
We’re changing the policy for the “
License” field in package spec files to use SPDX license identifiers. Historically, Fedora has represented licenses using short abbreviations specific to Fedora. In the meantime, SPDX license identifiers have emerged as a standard, and other projects, vendors, and developers have started using them. Adopting SPDX license identifiers provides greater accuracy as to what license applies, and will make it easier for us to collaborate with other projects.
Fedora licensing policies and processes have been updated to reflect the above changes. In some cases, this forced deeper thought as to how these things are decided and why, which led to various discussion on Fedora mailing lists. In other cases, it prompted better articulation of guidance that was implicitly understood but not necessarily explicitly stated.
Many software packages consist of code with different free and open source licenses. Previous practice often involved “simplification” of the package license field when the packager believed that one license subsumed the other — for example, using just “GPL” when the source code includes parts licensed under a BSD-style license as well. Going forward, packagers and reviewers should not make this kind of analysis, and rather use (for example) “GPL-2.0-or-later AND MIT”. This approach is easier for packagers to apply in a consistent way.
The resulting changes in practice will be applied to new packages and licenses going forward. It is not necessary to revise existing packages at this time, although we have provided some guidance for package maintainers who want to get started. We’re in the process of planning a path for updating existing packages at a larger scale — stay tuned for more on that!
A huge thanks to some key people who have worked tirelessly to make this happen: David Cantrell, Richard Fontana, Jilayne Lovejoy, Miroslav Suchý. Behind the scenes support was also provided by David Levine, Bryan Sutula, and Beatriz Couto. Thank you as well for the valuable feedback from Fedora community members in various Fedora forums.
Please have a look at the updated information. If you have questions, please post them to the Fedora Legal mailing list: https://email@example.com/
Almost three years ago, we moved the existing Ask Fedora site from an engine which attempted to replicate Stack Exchange to a new system (the current Ask Fedora) based on Discourse, a modern open source web forum platform. We had some frustrations with the software, and the Stack-Exchange-like approach wasn’t really working for us. This has been a huge success, and the new Ask is incredibly popular.
At the same time, we also tried an experiment — we set up Fedora Discussion as a parallel site for community and project conversations. This goes hand-in-hand with the (soft-launch, but we’re getting there) Matrix-based Fedora Chat service — Discussion for longer-form, long-lasting asynchronous communication, and Chat for synchronous connections.
This experiment has gone well, and we have solid and increasing use, with several different Fedora teams (including Fedora Council and CommOps) making it their primary place for communication. We’ve had some nice improvements over time as we’ve learned to use the system (not to mention a nice new logo from Máirín Duffy and the Fedora Design Team). But, the site’s basic structure is still what we arbitrarily came up with when we first launched it: kind of a mishmash of categories and concepts. As we’ve had more requests to use the site, it’s become increasingly clear that these early decisions don’t match what we need.
So, I’m going to take the opportunity of the end-of-year break to do a big reorganization. You can read the background and details, and follow along with my task-list if you like. The important details are: I’m going to do most of the work behind the scenes on a temporary staging site, but there’s a lot of shuffling so I’m not sure how long it will take. I plan to put the current site into read-only mode on the 27th or 28th of December, and have it back up and running by January 1st.
When that’s done, we’ll have a structure that will better handle discussion in all the different areas and teams that comprise the whole Fedora Project. I expect this to continue to grow in the years to come, as part of our overall effort to keep Fedora relevant and growing. (Of course, HyperKitty is still there for more traditional mailing lists — Discourse has a fairly decent email interaction model, but it’s definitely web-first in approach.) More about all of that when the new site is in place and ready to show off!
(Oh, and one more thing — based on discussion and broad community consensus, we’re actually planning to merge the two Discourse sites, Ask and Discussion, so that we have both user and contributor conversations close together. This reorganization will make that easier, but we’re not ready for that for a while yet.)
Copyright © 2023 Fedora Community Blog
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.