Originally published at: February 2023 Council hackfest summary – Fedora Community Blog
Last month, the Fedora Council gathered in Frankfurt, Germany for our first in-person meeting since January 2020. It felt great to see folks again, but it wasn’t all fun and games (actually, we didn’t even play games until after we’d wrapped up on the last night). With three years of work to catch up on and a five year strategy to develop, there was a lot to do. If you want the Zodbot form, we logged the minutes. For more detail, read on.
Code of Conduct
Fedora’s Code of Conduct is an important part of our community’s expectations about how we treat each other. Fedora is a welcoming community, and the Code of Conduct ensures it stays that way. I know the community believes in it because we get 20-ish reports every year. Most of these are resolved amicably, but dealing with these reports takes time and emotional energy.
To improve the process and share the load, the Council discussed the creation of a Code of Conduct Committee. That proposal is working through the policy change process right now. You can read the details of the proposal in the Discussion thread and provide your input by Tuesday 21 March.
We also agreed that the Code of Conduct itself is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. This allows other communities to freely use and adapt the work we’ve put into developing this. It’s also consistent with the Contributor Covenant, which is the basis of our Code of Conduct.
We also discussed updates to the Council Charter. This is the document that defines the basics of how the Council works. Think of it as Fedora’s constitution. It has served us well for nine years, but there are a few things that need to be updated.
First, we made a few renames. As Justin described in a recent Community Blog post, we renamed the Fedora Community Action and Impact Coordinator role to Fedora Community Architect. Read his post for more details. We also renamed the “Diversity & Inclusion Team Representative” role to “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisor.” This is partly due to the team changing its name to reflect the evolution of their work and partly because we want this role to be empowered to act, not just to be a conduit to the team.
We also renamed Objectives to Initiatives. As you may recall, these are 12-to-18 month strategic efforts led by the community with support from the Council. The rename doesn’t change anything of substance, but we felt it makes the purpose more clear. What is changing is how we work with Initiatives. From now on, new Initiatives will be assigned an executive sponsor — an existing Council member who can help marshall resources and otherwise provide high-level support.
All of these things are relatively trivial, so we voted on them and now they’re done. But there’s a more significant change that will be coming through the policy change process soon: the elimination of the auxiliary/full member distinction. When the Fedora Board was designing the Fedora Council, there was concern that people in functional roles might overstep the bounds of their role. In practice, this is not a problem we’ve had. It adds complexity and makes some Council members feel “less-than”. It’s a solution in search of a problem, so look for the formal proposal to drop it soon.
We spent some time discussing the tooling that the community uses. Source-git has the potential to improve the packager experience, but we’re told the team feels a need for explicit policy approval from the Council. Aleksandra is going to work with the Packit team to open that request.
We’re also in the process of working with GitLab to see if we can get a dedicated, hosted version of their open source project. Many in the community have expressed concerns about using proprietary products to develop Fedora Linux, and we respect that. At the same time, we don’t have a lot of development resources available for Pagure. I’m continuing to work with GitLab to find an option that will serve our needs.
If you know me at all, you know I’m a fan of Discourse. It’s been great as a forum tool and many teams (including the Council) have migrated off of mailing lists as a result. I’d like to see us continue to move away from mailing lists. The Council agreed that we’ll ask the Infrastructure team to stop creating new mailing lists once we have a plan in place. I’d like to start the process of migrating some of the devel list traffic in this order: Change proposals/discussion, FESCo ticket discussion, Introductions, Packaging, Automated messages. I know this will be a big “who moved my cheese?” moment for many of us. That’s why I’m working on a careful, phased plan. I hope when all is said and done, you’ll appreciate the better experience.
Discussing our new five year strategy took up the bulk of our time. You can read more about the background and timeline in my Community Blog post from a few weeks ago. In short, we identified 18 objectives to support our guiding star of doubling the number of weekly active contributors. I’m posting some of these objectives to Discussion every week. This is an exciting time in the Fedora Project, and I’m really looking forward to your input on our shared plan.