This is a part of the Elections Interviews series. Voting is open to all Fedora contributors. The voting period starts on Friday, 16 December and closes promptly at 23:59:59 UTC on Thursday, 22 December.
Interview with Aleksandra Fedorova
- Fedora Account: bookwar
- Matrix: Fedora Council, Fedora Devel, Fedora CI
- Fedora User Wiki Page
What is something you’d like to see improved in Fedora and how should the Council work toward improving it?
In recent years Fedora achieved great results in becoming a user-friendly, easy to use, polished and reliable Linux distribution. I would like us to continue this work, but also to push towards more people becoming not just consumers of the Fedora distribution, but members of the Fedora community and contributors to the Fedora Project.
For that I think we need to continue updating and modernizing our communication channels and reduce barriers for people willing to contribute changes. We should create paths for occasional contributors to get deeper into the Project’s internals, so that they can eventually take over larger tasks and initiatives.
Fedora Council can not do this work on its own, but it should support initiatives and provide tools and frameworks for others to do it.
What do you see as Fedora’s place in the universe?
I think Fedora Project should be the environment, where we build a flexible but integrated platform which represents the latest state of the Free and Open Source Linux development.
Let me elaborate.
First of all Fedora Project is not defined by the code we write or the artifacts we build, it is defined by the community, processes and policies which lead us to those outcomes. Thus it is an environment, where we as Fedora community achieve our goals.
Now the platform, which we are trying to build, should be flexible enough so that it allows people to be creative and not artificially restricted to specific technologies or use cases. While Fedora Workstation edition may be the project’s most popular deliverable, it is not the only one. We should aim to make it easy for people to build their own variants, flavors and editions.
The flexibility of the platform though should be balanced by the constraints, which make Fedora unique. One of such constraint is a commitment to provide only Free and Open Source software. The other is to provide the software which is configured as close to the upstream as possible.
The additional constraint which I have added is that the platform needs to be integrated.
I think that the value which Fedora as a platform brings to the software development world is the commitment to do that extra effort to make different pieces of upstream code work together. The effort to deduplicate and to unbundle, to create compatibility and to find compromises.
It is an incredibly complex, conflict-generating and often underappreciated work. But it is that step from “make software run” to “make software run according to the shared standard and properly integrated” which for me makes all the difference.
How can we best measure Fedora’s success?
Increasing number of contributors, some measurable goals on cooperation with upstreams (for example how close do we stay to latest versions, how far do we diverge..)
The Council’s primary role is to identify the short-, medium-, and long-term goals of the Fedora community and enable the project to achieve those goals. Right now, we are working on a new plan for the next 3-5 years. How will you help?
There are a couple of ideas which I would like to bring to the Fedora Council’s table. And I hope that my experience with downstream development (ELN, CentOS Stream and RHEL CI) will be useful in designing a sustainable model for the Fedora development infrastructure.
I also plan to continue working on the Fedora Annual Contributor Survey, which we will run in June.