[note: CCed to logistics list as suggested; see below]
On 02/22/2011 03:02 AM, Jared K. Smith wrote:
On Sun, Feb 20, 2011 at 10:33 PM, Ruediger Landmann
> This decision has greatly saddened and disappointed me. With all respect
> to Dmitris and his team, to me, it seems like Fedora is giving up a key
> part of our infrastructure and our independence.
Sorry for the slow response -- I wasn't keeping up with email for much
of the weekend, and didn't see this thread until this morning. I
understand your point here regarding our independence, but I don't see
any vendor lock-in here. The software is the same open-source
software we'd be running on our intrastructure -- it's just that
Indifex has offered to take care of the hosting/upgrades/maintenance
of it for us. Because it's open source and we have the ability to
host it ourselves at any time, it really comes down to a matter of
trust. Personally, I can say that I unequivocally trust Dimitris,
because I've seen the work he's done in Fedora both as a contributor
and a former member of the Fedora Board.
Thanks Jared; and sorry for my slow reply too. I don't think anything is
gained by further haste at this point, and I've been taking some time to
think through my responses.
First, can we please clear the air of any notion of vendor lock-in? That
has never been a concern of mine, and I hope that I have not said
anything to suggest that it was. I think we can agree that you can be
dependent on someone or something even without being locked in. You
otherwise understand what I'm saying about dependence, so really, the
point of contention is "only" whether in this case, the dependence is
good, bad, or indifferent! :)
Second, I'd like to put the question of trust aside as well. Dimitris
has certainly established his credentials and bona fides within our
community. When you suggest that the move to Transifex.net
to "a matter of trust" you risk reframing the discussion from "do we
think that moving Fedora's translation infrastructure to an external
provider is a good idea or not?" to "do we trust Dimitris or not?" It's
just not fair to personalize the discussion that way, and I would hate
to think that anybody would equate "doesn't support the move to
transifex.net" with "doesn't trust Dimitris".
> Therefore, I have obtained permission from my manager to put time
> resources into packaging Transifex 1.1 for fedoraproject.org
. I have
> also had the time and skills of two Red Hat sysadmins allocated to get
> Fedora's own instance of Transifex upgraded and migrated ASAP.
That's fine, but you need to coordinate that with both the
Infrastructure team and the rest of the L10N team. Having spoken to
the Infrastructure team about this several times over the past few
days, I know their first concern is going to be the dedication of
these resources. In other words, they're not just looking for someone
who can upgrade us to 1.0 (or 1.1-dev) now, but *guaranteed resources*
to keep it upgraded and maintained and bugs fixed over the *long
Of course! :) I am working on getting something formalized in this
direction. Are the terms of the Fedora Project's service-level agreement
with Indifex a matter of public record? (and will performance reports be
publicly available to the community?)
> I believe that if the Fedora Localization Project is open to the
> we could have an up-to-date and fully functional local instance of
> Transifex 1.1 available within a week.
With all respect Rudi, it's not just about the Localization team... We
had meetings last week between the L10N team, the Infrastructure team,
the Docs team, FESCo, the Fedora Program Manager, and myself. We
weighed all the pros and cons of the move, and we decided as a group
to move forward with the migration to transifex.net
. We migrated the
translations to transifex.net
last Friday. We've got a deadline of
having the transifex client packaged up and ready to go for package
maintainers by this coming Friday. Any delay (or switch to another
platform) adds additional burden to our L10N team, especially when
we're already past the string freeze and into their translation time.
Understood, and I agree that added delay and uncertainty at this point
would pose a significant and unfair burden to translators. I'm sorry
that other options were not made available earlier. Thank you very much
for raising the issue with the Board (as you related in your follow-up
email, not quoted here) and I concur that it makes more sense to revisit
this after F15 is out the door. Your firm hand on the rudder is
I'm a little confused by the nature of the meetings you're talking about
though. I was only at the docs meeting, and that didn't seem to include
any weighing up of options. For that matter, the L10n meeting didn't
either, based on the logs -- it reads to me more like a fait accompli.
On the subject of the L10n meeting: I'm in a difficult position. I'm
proud to number some of the people who participated in that meeting
amongst my friends, so I *really* don't want to single out specific
people or comments in the log. Also, IRC doesn't capture the nuances of
human communication very well and I can't discount the possibility that
I'm badly misreading the tone of the meeting. So, all I can do is invite
anyone who's interested to go and read the log at
One specific thing in there that does confuse me though is the vote that
occurs about 96 minutes into the meeting; I don't really understand what
was going on there or how it fits together with the idea that the
decision about where to host Fedora's translation infrastructure wasn't
just up to the Fedora Localization Project. I'd appreciate clarification
from anyone who was at the meeting.
> I also want to take this opportunity to thank Dmitris for his
> generous offer to host this massive project on behalf of Fedora.
> However, apart from the reasons I gave earlier, I also can't help but
> feel that this direction would be grossly unfair on Dmitris and his
> business. Indifex is, after all, a commercial venture, and server
> resources and bandwidth aren't free of charge -- especially on the scale
> contemplated for Fedora. Just before I came to work for Red Hat, I owned
> a small IT business myself, and know that every penny counts! :)
I don't think Dimitris would have made us the offer to host our
translations if he would have thought that it would be unfair to
Indifex. I agree that Indifex is a commercial venture and that the
work they're offering does cost them money, but if Dimitris and
company are OK with that, how can I argue against it? On the
maintenance/upgrades side of things, that's work they already have to
do for their other clients. On the bandwidth side of things, I'm sure
they'll yell if their bandwidth costs get too high, and then we'll
make a determination on whether to compensate them for bandwidth, move
to being self-hosted again, or find some other solution.
Great :) Like I said, it's a very generous offer by Dmitris and Indifex,
and whether or not I personally agree with the move, I applaud the
commitment that it shows.
So there's room in the Fedora budget to compensate Indifex if the need
May I also suggest that we move this discussion to the logistics
mailing list, since the discussion needs to include more people than
just the Docs or the Translation teams?
of course -- CCing them in.
In conclusion, I'm really conflicted here, because on the one hand I
don't want to strain friendships or to be obstructionist, but on the
other hand I feel compelled to speak up about a decision (and a process)
that disturbs me.