This is a part of the FESCo Elections Interviews series. Voting is open to all Fedora contributors. The voting period starts on Monday, 20th May and closes promptly at 23:59:59 UTC on Thursday, 30th May 2024.

Interview with Michel Lind


Why do you want to be a member of FESCo and how do you expect to help steer the direction of Fedora?

I have been a Fedora contributor since the very beginning – circa 2003-4 – and over the years have contributed on the packaging side, as an Ambassador (I can still remember burning CDs and shipping them via the local post office), and more recently on the policy side with Fedora (starting the Lua SIG) and EPEL (reestablishing the EPEL Packagers SIG, establishing a workflow for escalating stalled EPEL requests).

I am fortunate enough to have a day job at a company (Meta) that heavily uses CentOS Stream and contribute to many core Linux projects, where my main focus is on upstream work – so if the Fedora community entrusts me with this position, I hope to advocate for Change Proposals that advance Fedora’s four foundations (Freedom, Friends, Features, and First) – while accepting that not all Fedora features can be supported in CentOS Stream and RHEL. I feel that having experience in packaging software and working on tooling and workflows across Fedora, EPEL and CentOS Stream gives me a vantage point where I can understand where different parts of the community are coming from.

How do you currently contribute to Fedora? How does that contribution benefit the community?

I am a proven packager (using it to help out with mass rebuilds or to help out fixing major issues) and a packager sponsor, a member of several packaging SIGs (Go, Lua, Python, Rust) and several SIGs that bridge the gaps between Fedora, CentOS Stream, and RHEL (ELN, which is a rebuild of Rawhide with EL macros; EPEL, which provides extra packages for EL distros; and on the CentOS side, the CentOS Hyperscale SIG, which provides faster-moving backports and additional functionalities (typically sourced from Fedora) for use on top of CentOS Stream.

I wrote ebranch to help with branching Fedora packages to EPEL and heavily use it in bootstrapping EPEL 9; a rewrite is in the work to turn it into a suite of related tools for dependency graph management, branching, and inventory tracking.

I have done, and am working on, various Change Proposals.

Oh, and I helped migrate my company’s Linux desktops to Fedora (Flock 2019), FOSDEM 2021

How do you handle disagreements when working as part of a team?

I have been vilified because of where I work; I have learned to accept that people might have very strong opinions on certain issues that they won’t budge on, whether the opinions are (IMHO) justified or not, and still find a way to be civil and collaborate on topics of shared interest.

What else should community members know about you or your positions?

I have been a part of the Fedora community (and before that, a user of Red Hat Linux doing my own rebuilds) for several decades; my involvement predates and outlasts working for several employers (some of them not RPM shops). I am also a Debian Maintainer – and I hope to bring my experience contributing to different distributions to inform FESCo discussions. I dislike NIH (not invented here); ideas should stand on their own merits and it is good to learn from others (both adopting good ideas and avoiding past mistakes).