Monday, June 10, 2013

Fedora Community Members Are Chumps and So am I

by Dietrich Schmitz

Ok Fedora, it's your turn.

Not everything is black and white.  You really have to dig around to find out how things really are because they are not always what they appear to be.

It seems that while some Distros operate with a community structure, not all exercise 100% community control.

Take Fedora for example.

While this is a well-organized community involved Distribution, which I voted recently to be the best of all community Distros, it is not 100% governed by community-based decision making.

Today, I reached out to Adam Williamson, Fedora QA Community spokesperson about finding the details on what process the Fedora Project undergoes in making strategic decisions.

Of course, they have a board,  "as far as governance and relationship with RH goes, the Board stuff is probably useful:

that explains the purpose and structure of the Board. It's 50% elected, 50% appointed by RH, and the RH-appointed Chair of the board has the casting vote (and indeed an all-out veto), though I don't believe tha thas ever been used. In practice, the FPL is usually the Chair (Robyn
currently holds that position).", reports Adam

This seems to stick out like a throbbing hang nail that you just want to pull off your fingernail when you see it.  Let's get this straight: The chair of the board, Red Hat-appointed, has a veto vote.  Okay, let that sink in for a minute......(taps fingers....)

That means regardless of what the community may or may not wish to have happen on any governance decision determining the 'future' of Fedora, Red Hat can simply override that decision at any time.  The veto.

I have a problem with that.  Where is the balance?

There is none if this is the case.  And, the community will have to decide how important this issue is to them.  I don't think this is a fair way to run a community Distro, do you?

I will continue to use Fedora for the time being, but, don't think that this one niggling issue puts Fedora in any better position than the community members of Ubuntu who want to sincerely effectuate important decisions as much as Fedora members do.

Are Fedora community members 'chumps'?  I am afraid so.  And, I am a chump for thinking they were any better than Ubuntu.  You can't walk on both sides of the street.

I'd like to see Fedora/Red Hat wiggle out of this one.

-- Dietrich 

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