[FAmSCo] response to Joerg's comments was re: 2010 meetings

David Nalley david at gnsa.us
Mon Jan 11 01:34:33 UTC 2010

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Joerg originally posted this over a week ago, and I have been meaning
to respond but haven't had the time to properly address it. My
response is inline. A majority of issues contained herein are outside
the purview of famsco but I have still provided an opinion.

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On Sat, Jan 2, 2010 at 9:51 AM, Joerg Simon <jsimon at fedoraproject.org> wrote:
> i thought a lot about the future of fedora organization, especially
> Ambassadors and spoke with several people arround the globe.
> There were ideas from - move all ambassadors to a new user group and start
> Ambassadors completely new (glezos)  - to leave it as it is.
> Some open words!
> I spoke also with several "much active" contributors all over the world who
> are concerned about the last obvious activities from RedHat to get back more
> control over Fedora to save RH interests. Here are some more points which are
> also not entirely my pov's but there is some truth in it and i was asked to
> place them for the the decission who become the next famsco chair.

Strangely - I think there is at least a part of RHT that acknowledges
that trying to exert control is counterproductive. You 'gain control'
rather by contributing. They certainly understand this with regards to
the kernel. I am cognizant that this knowledge must not be pervasive

> *  Evangelist German Open Source Affairs EMEA - from RedHat - did not care for
> Fedora since years and rejected to become a Fedora Member again last summer,
> but now he applied in  Marketing but does not answer questions why?

I don't know the answer, nor do I think it's necessarily within the
purview of FAmSCo - or the Board for that matter.
I don't know the situation specifically, nor the individual. However,
this is a common enough situation with open source companies that it
would not surprise me. I do find it strange that companies (certainly
not limited to RHT, as a matter of fact it's been my experience that
RHT has been generally good in this practice, as evidenced by hiring
of community facing individuals like Mel Chua, Adam Williamson, and
Rodrigo Padula) place people who have no interest or experience with
their user/contributor community in place 'managing' them. Inevitably
this turns out, at best ineffective, and at worst a disaster.

> * rh people do not work on the weekend and over the holiday's - these are
> times when i have time to contribute and speak with them

Again this isn't something that I think FAmSCo can solve. We have the
ear of a few RHT employees, and can sound some concern. I don't
begrudge them their weekends. I wonder if 'working' the weekends
instead of say Monday and Tuesday would yield more participation.

> * rh people remove content without discussion from important wikipages - and
> justify it with weak arguments against communities will

Again, not really our issue. But it's a wiki, and thus easy to revert.
The strength of communities depends on openness. If there is a problem
that comes to an impasse (and this goes to the next item in the list
as well) it should be addressed publicly, and if important enough,

As Joerg and I have both discussed at length elsewhere - RHT really
does the best job of any distribution at interacting with the
community. And even the difference between now and 4 years ago is
markedly improved. While I have no real means of affecting such
changes, I hope the relationship continues to blossom.

> * rh people change important ui settings after beta freeze - and justify it
> with weak arguments against communities will

See above

> * paul seems very eager to safe the brand for RH - but strange - making cc-by-
> nd videos as redhat about fedora
> ** strange - from german pov - legal contracts are sent to german contributors
> - among them much active contributors - in result the most accepted and
> important german forum website was closed

This one strikes me as closest to within our purview, as it involves
liaison with users via what is effectively a German version of
fedoraforum. My understanding is that there is some disagreement
around the TLA. Is that understanding correct. Is there something that
FAmSCo can do with regards to facilitate clearing this impasse? I've
been very impressed with how Pam Chestek from RHT has willingly
interfaced with the community. I understand that Paul, Pam, and the
website owner in question have been talking. I know we can't do
anything from the trademark side, but is there anything FAmSCo can
productively do here, Joerg?

> ** the Fedora EMEA e.V. Affair

Where legal and open source matters collide is rarely a happy place.
I suspect that trademark concers will continue to be the bane of
RHT-Community relations for many years.
I also think that unfortunately there is little we can do here, though
is tangentially within our purview.
I would note that Fedora EMEA and the effort to do something similar
were largely hacks designed to overcome challenges with how RHT
handled (or couldn't) money in relation to the community. Wish we
could work around those problems more effectively

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