The future of Fedora Community apps

The Community Platform Engineering team (formerly Community Infrastructure) indicated in July of 2019 that they have a higher workload than the team can bear. To ease this, they evaluated the applications that fit their mission statement. The applications that didn’t fit the mission were proposed for hand off to the community. 

I am happy to say there is a lot being done to preserve the applications that our community values. I have been working with the Fedora Project Leader (FPL), Fedora Program Manager (FPgM), Community Platform Engineering team (CPE), and the Open Source Program Office (OSPO) at Red Hat to transition app hosting and maintenance from CPE to OSPO.

These applications store data protected by GDPR and are therefore required to continue to be hosted with Red Hat. Once we were notified that this was the case, we went to work on finding a new place for the applications to live, with OSPO being the obvious choice. Currently, OSPO is evaluating the list of applications to see exactly what they are able to provide for our community. 

I have been facilitating things with the specific people whose these responsibilities will end up falling on. The confirmation that this plan would be followed through was secured in the last couple weeks. I truly hope that folks are going to be happy with what we have all been working to accomplish. 

Moving forward, the plan is to address things based on need. The first thing we decided to work on is Fedora Badges (really, it was going to break in half so we saved it, thanks Badges crew!). We all LOVE Badges, and I know many would be sad to see this go. That is why we are sponsoring a Fedora Badges Back-End Engineering intern for this upcoming session of Outreachy running May 19th–August 18th. The goal is to have Fedora Badges revamped by the end of the summer and hosted with OSPO.

Breakdown of the process:

  • CPE presented a list of apps of selected applications they wanted to hand to the community with a long term schedule 
  • Individuals started to make efforts to make plans for apps of interest (for example I had a badges hackfest last year at Flock to work on a solution for this exact topic)
  • Things were put on hold until GDPR’s impact was more clearly defined
  • Meetings between the FPL, FPgM, and FCAIC to review each app/tool line by line, looking at a variety of qualifications. For example: use case, scale of need, is it currently being maintained/developed, does it *have* to be this particular solution, is there personal data to be taken into account.
  • From there we proposed owners for the apps. At this point, we have presented OSPO with a list of apps and they are evaluating their needs from CPE to effectively transition them over. From here, the idea is for OSPO to move each app over one by one.

I hope this helps shed some light on what we have been working on. The best way to get involved is to stay up on further communications and keep pitching in to improve your favorite community apps. Keep using and contributing to the apps as you normally would and we will do our best to communicate outages or future plans. The work OSPO is going to take on is focused on maintenance versus development. They are happy to support continued community development. 

These are the things that we hope to move to OSPO’s administration:

  • Apps.fp.o
  • Asknot
  • Elections
  • Badges stack – Fedbadges, tahrir, tahrir-api
  • Fedmenu
  • Fedocal
  • Fedora Packages
  • Fedora-gather-easyfix
  • Magazine
  • Mailman stack – Mailman-core, postorius, hyperkitty
  • Mediawiki
  • Nuancier
  • Websites

Stay safe and healthy, Fedora!

Categories: Infrastructure

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  1. Justin W. Flory

    May 7, 2020 — 17:12

    This is good news to hear. Thank you to all the folks representing the Fedora Community interests in these discussions. I’m looking forward to a more sustainable future for these apps that a lot of the community depends on or makes our work in Fedora more enjoyable and personally valued.

  2. Hi Marie,

    Thanks for this nice write-up.

    With the amount of work that has gone into Badges by so many different people over the years it would be a crying shame to let it go, it’s good to know there’s still a place and a future for it.

    Could you please summarize in as little legalese as possible how GDPR affects data availability of the different projects and any other pertinent implications it might have? Just the gist of it, I’m not asking for a detailed review of the matter.

    • You’re welcome! I am glad to have some news to share on the topic.

      In regards to GDPR, aiui, the hosting of the various applications must remain with Red Hat as the data contained in them it has been gathered under their oversight. Therefore Red Hat is liable for any potential GDPR requests, issues, or lawsuits. Beyond liability, the types of issues that can come up surrounding GDPR are not something we generally want to put upon our contributors, their time is better spent.

      Contributing to these applications will stay the same for the foreseeable future. Afaik, we have processes in place so only trusted contributors have permissions to pertinent things. I think it comes down to this: Fedora community applications are changing homes within Red Hat. CPE will continue to focus in on their mission. OSPO will help support the community applications with hosting, occasional maintenance, and support to those who want to develop on them.

      I hope that helps!

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