Lessons Learned

Thorsten Leemhuis fedora at leemhuis.info
Wed Mar 21 11:35:56 UTC 2007

On 21.03.2007 12:08, Michael Schwendt wrote:
> On Wed, 21 Mar 2007 07:20:22 +0100, Thorsten Leemhuis wrote:
> [...]
>> FESCo was good (but still far from perfect) in getting the community
>> involved, as it had influence in certain decisions and meets in the
>> open.
> Different than that. It had started as a group with the desire to move
> several things forward at the Extras front *actively*, which included
> boring but necessary tasks. 
> Red Hat in turn made a few allowances for FESCo in order to remove some
> road blocks. A necessity. Else Extras would not have taken off. I wouldn't
> call the result "influence", though. The influence is mostly by a very few
> individuals, who sponsor hardware and access to it or who make things
> happen inside Red Hat.

Well, I think you are painting it more worse than it is, but I agree
that you have some points in between it.

>> With the merge happening now it seem FESCo seems to me much less
>> important then before; to much small to medium stuff gets simply done
>> without even bothering to ask FESCo -- that's a fault IMHO. A lot of
>> medium to big stuff gets directly taken to the board -- FESCo afaics
>> often gets circumvented, even if the tasks are engeneering tasks. And
>> that's what FESCo is for afaics.
> FESCo fails to define its field of activity. The moved Wiki pages for the
> new FESCo don't add any description,

The thing important for me is: it seems the pages were simply moved,
without asking the public or FESCo for opinions first. Yes, the topic
was discussed once in the public some weeks earlier (without a real
outcome), but now it was simply done afaics, without even discussing
FESCo first. Was such a hectic really necessary?

Side note: I think the moving in general was a good idea, but how it was
done without asking or announcing it beforehand was simply bad bad bad.
I think even a board member should be a bit more careful and ask the
proper committee (in this case FESCo) and the public for opinions before
doing such a major task.

Sure, simply doing stuff is easier often. But people that operate in
"heads down, I don't care what other people think and do my way without
asking the public or committees that are responsible for it because that
is painful work" is as far as I can see not the way to get a community
interested in Fedora.

> but are still in CategoryExtras, and
> it seems FESCo just picks random things that pop up here and there. There
> is no hint as whether any group still leads Extras -- trying to remove the
> word "Extras" everywhere is not the full show.


> What I'm missing is the regular presence of FESCo or its members in
> official day-to-day decisions and state-of-the-union addresses, so the
> community of contributors gets the feeling that there is some kind of
> leadership actually. Instead, it has increasingly become a sit-and-wait
> process, where hardly anyone seems to care about some things until
> somebody else complains.


> It also takes too long to create a low-traffic announce list, where to
> reach package maintainers actually. fedora-maintainers apparently is not
> the place where to reach them. Cross-posts to at least -devel, -extras and
> -maintainers are way too popular. Annoying. Surely the reason is that
> hardly anyone knows what the purpose of those lists is. Well, I don't
> either, looking at the thread index.

Well, the list fedora-maintainers-announce actually exists, we just
don't use it (and even worse -- there are people questing is usefulness...).

> When I remember how often we've practised preparing Extras for the next
> release of Core, I believe this time we perform badly. We have Matt
> Domsch's rebuild reports, the broken deps report, the broken upgrade paths
> report, a FE7Target tracker bug filled with lots of bugs. Are any of the
> reports on the mailing-lists evaluated by anybody in FESCo? It's
> interesting, for instance, that Zope and Plone, which are in the broken
> upgrade paths report for a very long time, don't support Python 2.5. Yet
> Extras bugzilla did not cover that. Huh? So:
>   https://bugzilla.redhat.com/233187
>   https://bugzilla.redhat.com/233185
> Nearly all the other upgrade path problems were not in bugzilla when I had
> a look yesterday. A big bunch now is in the FE7Target tracker, at least.
> Several I've fixed myself, but ACLs block access to other packages. I'm
> disappointed that FESCo (with 'E' as in Extras) in no longer involved in
> trying to reduce crap in the distribution, not even with a roll call.
> I don't mind the AWOL process, which I've tried with one maintainer I'm
> unable to reach for several weeks. But we're at test3. Time is getting
> short if we still want to offer something that doesn't bear too much of a
> risk of confronting users with broken deps and non-working components --
> especially after Eric Raymonds complaints about [albeit house-made]
> dependency problems in Fedora-land.

Yeah, you have some point here.


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