Fedora Engineering Steering Council badge, awarded after Fedora Elections - read the Interviews to learn more about candidates

Fedora Engineering Steering Committee

This is a part of the FESCo Elections Interviews series. Voting is open to all Fedora contributors. The voting period starts on Wednesday, January 17th and closes promptly at 23:59:59 UTC on Wednesday, January 24th, 2018.

Interview with Dominik Mierzejewski (rathann)

  • Fedora Account: rathann
  • IRC: rathann #fedora-devel, #fedora-pl, #fedora-science, #ffmpeg-devel, #mplayerdev, #rpmfusion
  • 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?

Fedora is a member of one of the fastest changing industries. Our community members are mostly doing an excellent job staying on top of the latest and greatest technologies and integrating them into the distribution. However, I think the role of a Linux distribution is to provide an integrated experience, so introducing new technologies or making disruptive changes to existing ones should still take that into account. Sometimes, that might mean delaying a change or putting in additional work with upstreams. Some of the recent changes were not done as smoothly as they could have been and resulted in some avoidable pain for the users. The Firefox 57 update was one such case. I’d like to see FESCo put greater focus on avoiding breaking the user experience, as is done in the Linux kernel project, for example.

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

Being on the cutting edge is a laudable goal, but that’s what upstream projects are for. Fedora, as a distribution, should provide a smooth, integrated user experience while including the latest usable versions of those upstream projects as the primary deliverable. Providing convenient playgrounds to aid in development, testing and integration of new technologies is a goal we fulfill quite well already, with COPR giving packagers access to Fedora infrastructure to experiment freely without disturbing main repositories. There are also initiatives like Modularity happening in parallel to releasing traditional Fedora editions. FESCo should focus on ensuring that changes do not break things for Fedora users and developers.

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”?

Speaking with my packager hat on, package reviews are still a chore. However, relaxing the packaging guidelines is not the answer as that will lower the overall packaging quality. More automation in package reviews would certainly help here and I’m disappointed that projects like Fresque can’t seem to make it. More automated testing is also needed, especially for updated packages, which surreptitiously add dependencies or break ABI often enough to cause issues for users. Such things can and should be caught before an update reaches stable repository.