This is a part of the FESCo Elections Interviews series. Voting is open to all Fedora contributors. The voting period starts on Thursday, 6 June and closes promptly at 23:59:59 UTC on Thursday, 20 June 2019.
Interview with Aleksandra Fedorova
Describe some of the important technical issues you foresee affecting the Fedora community. What insight do you bring to these issues?
This is my second run for FESCo, thus my answers do not change much from the last interview.
We are moving towards more flexible and varied ways of delivering the software. And this flexibility is going to become an issue on its own.
On a technical side, extended list of deliverables requires extended testing effort which is hard to achieve via semi-manual workflows. As a CI Engineer and member of Fedora CI Working Group I want to make sure that CI effort is aligned with current engineering goals. And while we work on improving the CI infrastructure and user experience we also find the ways to incorporate CI in the development process.
From the process and policy point of view, as a former DevOps Engineer, I have worked on the “other” side – in cloudy environments flexible to the point of becoming chaotic. And while I believe that there are things Fedora needs to catch up with in terms of modern development practices, there are a lot of things “modern practices” need to catch up with in terms of processes and workflows, which are widely known and established in the Linux distributions world. The idea of maintainership itself, for example.
I hope that bringing this perspective to FESCo would help us find the
right balance between providing the flexible and powerful tooling and
keeping the solid foundation for it to be usable.
What objectives or goals should FESCo focus on to help keep Fedora on the cutting edge of open source development?
Same as the last interview, I would say that one of the big goals of FESCo and Fedora community in general is to prevent Fedora from becoming stable. In this case by stable I mean “freezed” not “free of bugs”.
We need it to be easy to change things, even most core features. We need certain loose ends hanging for everyone to come and take care of.
One of the objectives to achieve that big goal is to provide people with the toolchain and services to make their own unique flavors of Fedora or on top of Fedora. Custom repositories, modules, images, flatpaks… you name it. And we need it to be a self-service available for any contributor to use. We should provide pieces for community to play, build and create.
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”?
Unlike the last interview, I now think that the main focus should now go into the discoverability of all the things Fedora. With the lack of proper package database, and with more tools coming we now make it hard for users to actually find out what is available, what needs work and how they could contribute.
We have built the end-user Fedora experience, with decent tools to install apps on a target machine, but we need to focus on contributor experience, with tooling to manage package lifecycle and package appearances in various bundles: main repo, modules, flatpacks, containers..
With CI and gating included in the lifecycle, of course 🙂