Every year, Red Hat holds a conference for customers, partners, and open source contributors — Red Hat Summit.This year’s was last month, in Boston, Massachusetts, and of course Fedora was there. We had our booth in the “Community Central” area of the expo floor, and ran a birds-of-a-feather (BoF) session for open discussion with community members. I was joined by Brian Exelbierd, Ben Cotton, Adam Šamalík, and a dozen members of the Fedora community.
We used a “lean coffee” format to drive the topics, letting the attendees propose and vote on what we discussed. (It’s basically the same format we use for Fedora Council’s open floor meetings, but in person rather than via IRC.) I expected a lot of questions about the new features of Fedora 30, which was released eight days before. But the community members who came to the BoF seemed pretty well-informed on this. Instead, the most-voted topic was Fedora Modularity.
As you may recall, we introduced Modularity in Fedora 28 Server and brought it to all variants in Fedora 29. Modularity solves the “too fast, too slow” problem by allowing package maintainers to provide multiple available versions of a package (or a bundle of packages). Since it’s still a fairly new concept, not everyone was familiar with it, while others were not sure of the use cases.
We also talked about Fedora Silverblue and Flatpaks. The group was very interested in the idea of immutable OS and safer OS upgrades. One person asked how we can make Fedora a mainstream desktop. I don’t think we’re going to see a full Linux-based OS like Fedora win the general consumer market, but there are important focus areas where we can definitely make an impact, and I believe Silverblue and Modularity are two key pieces of that.
We only had 45 minutes for the BoF, so we weren’t able to cover the breadth or the depth that we would have liked. Fortunately, we had a booth on the expo floor where we had a lot more conversations. I’ll have another post about that soon.