FESCo election: interview with Neal Gompa

Originally published at: FESCo election: interview with Neal Gompa – Fedora Community Blog

This is a part of the Elections Interviews series. Voting is open to all Fedora contributors. The voting period starts on Friday, 3 June and closes promptly at 23:59:59 UTC on Thursday, 16 June.

Interview with Neal Gompa

  • Fedora Account: ngompa
  • IRC: Conan_Kudo, Pharaoh_Atem, King_InuYasha, Eighth_Doctor,… (found in #devel:fedoraproject.org, #kde:fedoraproject.org, #workstation:fedoraproject.org, #cloud:fedoraproject.org, #centos-hyperscale:fedoraproject.org, #okd:fedoraproject.org, #admin:opensuse.org, #chat:opensuse.org, #bar:opensuse.org, #obs:opensuse.org, #RedHat:matrix.org, #networkmanager:matrix.org, #rpm:matrix.org, #rpm-ecosystem:matrix.org, #yum:matrix.org, #manatools:matrix.org, #lugaru:matrix.org)
  • Fedora User Wiki Page

Questions

Why do you want to be a member of FESCo and how do you expect to help steer the direction of Fedora?

As a long-time member of the Fedora community as a user and a contributor, I have benefited from the excellent work of many FESCo members before me to ensure Fedora continues to evolve as an amazing platform for innovation. For the past year, I have had the wonderful privilege of serving as a member of FESCo for the first time, and I enjoyed my time serving to steer Fedora into the future, and I wish to continue to contribute my expertise to help analyze and make good decisions on evolving the Fedora platform.

How do you currently contribute to Fedora? How does that contribution benefit the community?

The bulk of my contributions to Fedora lately are on the desktop side of things. Through my work on the KDE SIG, Fedora KDE is the premier KDE Plasma desktop experience using Wayland. As part of that, the relationship between Fedora and KDE has become the strongest it has ever been. Additionally, Fedora has become more attractive to the KDE community from this effort and we have received several new contributors to Fedora through our improving image in the KDE community. I have also been working closely with the SDL community on the bring-up for SDL supporting Wayland natively by replacing legacy SDL 1.x with sdl12-compat and tracking the work upstream on SDL2 to support Wayland properly.

Beyond the desktop and more into the clouds, I have been engaging with folks at AWS to bring them more into the Fedora community in a similar vein to how I helped bring Facebook into the Fedora community. This has also led to a proper revival of the Fedora Cloud Working Group and the Fedora Cloud Edition for Fedora Linux 37.

My hope is that the work I do helps with making the experience using and contributing to Fedora better than it was ever before and that Fedora’s technical leadership in open source draws in more users and contributors.

With the advent of CentOS Stream, where do you think Fedora stands now and what should be the plans for the future?

I do not believe CentOS Stream changes much for Fedora. Historically, Fedora Linux releases were forked by Red Hat, cut down, and tweaked to become Red hat Enterprise Linux. With CentOS Stream, this just happens publicly instead of behind the Red Hat firewall. And Fedora ELN makes this process even more transparent by continuously building Rawhide in the RHEL configuration.

That said, there is still more we should do. There are still gaps in this process. I would like to see the decision process for RHEL features through ELN to be more transparent, where the community’s efforts can be reflected in the further improvement of the RHEL platform. Fedora continues to provide an excellent platform for systems innovation, but I do not see that innovation making its way down into CentOS Stream and RHEL as much as I would like.

So insofar as plans, I think we are doing well for Fedora itself, but we need to continue to advocate for the same kind of transparency for RHEL.

What else should community members know about you or your positions?

To me, the most important thing about Fedora is that we’re a community with a bias for innovation. Our community looks to solve problems and make solutions available as FOSS, and this is something that Fedora uniquely does when many others take the easy path to ship old software or nonfree software everywhere. We work with tens of thousands of projects to deliver an amazing platform in an easily accessible and open fashion, built on FOSS infrastructure and tools. This makes Fedora special to me, and we should continue to hold ourselves to that high standard.

I’m also a big believer in community bonds and collaboration, which is why people tend to find me all over the place. I’m involved in CentOS, openSUSE, and several other similar projects in leadership roles as well as a contributor in order to demonstrate my commitment to this philosophy.

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