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

Fedora Engineering Steering Council badge

This is a part of the FESCo Elections Interviews series. Voting is open to all Fedora contributors. The  voting period starts on Tuesday, December 08 and closes promptly at 23:59:59 UTC on Monday, December 14th. Please read the responses from candidates and make your choices carefully. Feel free to ask questions to the candidates here (preferred) or elsewhere!

Interview with Germano Massullo

What is your background in Fedora? What have you worked on and what are you doing now?

I am a Fedora user since 2009.

I co-maintain various packages: BOINC, darktable, LemonPOS and ownCloud client package.

I do tests of Fedora pre-releases in order to have the most stable releases and I am proudly involved in the bug reporting process because I think that the best help you can provide to developers, is helping them finding issues in their software.

I participate in English-Italian translations, documentation editing and I actually provide support to users in the Fedora website and mailing list of my country.

Given that I am a KDE Plasma user, I hope to have, soon, some free time to study the KDE infrastructure, in order to give my help to the KDE SIG.

Do you think Fedora should be time based or more feature driven distribution? Or compromise?

I think that the actual Fedora paradigm is a good compromise between them: we have two releases per year and each of them with a 13 months support. Fedora updates policy states that package maintainers should introduce a major update for each release, providing to users the possibility to use the old version (using the n-1 Fedora release) or the bleeding edge version (using the latest ‘n’ Fedora release).

What are the most pressing issues facing Fedora today (from engineering POV)? What should we do about them?

One of the pressing issues I have been personally involved in last months is about softwares that ship bundled libraries. There is a very important photo editing software that ships a library that concerns the core of its features. We contacted the upstream developers and we came to the conclusion that it was not possible to de-bundle it, so the Fedora “authorities” had to decide if not ship the affected software or to create a temporarily exception. Fedora Packaging Committee decided for the second solution.

Personally I am for being as much as possible in compliance with the Fedora Packaging Guidelines, but the temporarily exception procedure allows us to deal with problems such the one I just mentioned. I think that it is important especially when we are dealing with softwares that are too important to be rejected, obviously keeping security needs at first place over all.

What are your interests and experience outside of Fedora? What of those things will help you in this role?

Concerning information technology, my main interests outside Fedora are in grid computing platforms, in geodata handling and metropolitan area wireless networks. I don’t know if they can help me in this role, but I think that the grid computing platforms can apply in Fedora Cloud area of interest.

Anything else voters should know about you?

I am from Rome, Italy. On my wiki page here you can find more details about me.

I really care about distributed computing for helping medical research. If you have some time, please give a look to the BOINC project here.

How can FESCo do a better job communicating with the rest of the Fedora community, or do you feel that FESCo is already doing well here?

I had and I am having good experiences in communicating with FESCo, I am very often in contact with some of its components for many various reasons and they always have been nice, polite and available to provide their help.

What can you accomplish as part of FESCo that you couldn’t accomplish as a contributor to Fedora without sitting on FESCo?

As FESCo member I could help Fedora contributors in solving their problems and listening to their needs. Moreover I can bring my vision of things in the decision process.

With the advent of Fedora Council now, what do you see as the significance of FESCO in Fedora project?

Council is the top-level community leadership but I don’t think that we have overlap between FESCo and Council areas of interests. FESCo is pretty technical, Council instead has many other responsibilities.

Do you think FESCo can help with the reduction of the backlog of >400 packages awaiting review?

I think that the FESCo could propose some new guidelines: for example suggesting that each proven packager/sponsor should do a certain amount of review during a year or the person will be removed from such teams. On the other hand, what we need the most, is some new contributors, the community is doing a great job, but sometimes we feel that if we had more contributors, many problems could be solved in less time. For this task we need a support from Fedora ambassadors that everyday do a wonderful work in promoting the Project and seeking for new contributors.

What’s your point of view about library bundling in packages?

I have already explained previously my point of view about this in my answer to “What are the most pressing issues facing Fedora today (from engineering POV)? What should we do about them?”  🙂