This is a part of the FESCo Elections Interviews series. Voting is open to all Fedora contributors. The voting period starts on Thursday, June 7th and closes promptly at 23:59:59 UTC on Wednesday, June 13th, 2018.

Interview with Stephen Gallagher (sgallagh)

  • Fedora Account: sgallagh
  • IRC: sgallagh (found in #fedora-devel, #fedora-modularity, #fedora-meeting-[1-3])
  • Fedora User Wiki Page


Describe some of the important technical issues you foresee affecting the Fedora community. What insight do you bring to these issues?

I think that with the advent of Fedora Modularity, we’re going to see a whole new category of issues start appearing in Fedora. With our users having greater control than ever before of the content on their systems, it will inevitably lead to the discovery of new ways that things can go wrong.
Having been a primary contributor to the Modularity efforts, I have a relatively strong sense of where these problems will come from and domain-specific knowledge about how to address them.

What objectives or goals should FESCo focus on to help keep Fedora on the cutting edge of open source development?

I’ve said this in previous FESCo interviews, but I think it still holds true: the most important thing FESCo could do for the Fedora Project is to find ways to reduce the barrier to entry to potential contributors. I think we can all agree that Open Source won the mindshare battle; it is now the default choice for new projects, rather than the exception. So how do we help people choose Fedora for their development and deployment platform? We need to focus on finding ways to help people produce and consume newer projects built on a wide variety of technologies… and we need to make sure that it’s either easier or more fun to do it on Fedora than on other platforms (open-source or otherwise).

What are the areas of the distribution and our processes that, in your opinion, need improvement the most? Do you have any ideas how FESCo would be able to help in those “trouble spots”?

While it has improved since the last election cycle I participated in, I think I still need to give the same answer I gave then: communication. As a project, we’re not great at helping each other understand where we are with our efforts. I’d like to see the Change Process be made into less of a “checkbox” and more of an ongoing effort to involve the wider Project in tasks. I think FESCo needs to work a lot closer with the Fedora Program Manager and I believe that the FPM also needs to become more involved with the day-to-day work of the people developing Changes for Fedora.
In fact, I’d like to see a biweekly check-in on the current status of the approved Change Proposals, submitted to the PGM and summarized to FESCo at the weekly meeting so that the committee can have earlier knowledge of projects that are falling behind or planning massive changes so they can be coordinated. Today, FESCo mostly approves Changes and then doesn’t hear anything about them again until it’s time to see if they need to have their contingency plans initiated. This is an area that can be improved with only a little effort for a high return.