21 Mar 2010 ianweller   » (Journeyer)

Repositioning myself within the Fedora Project

After talking with a few people recently and doing some self-analysis, I feel like it’s time to make a major shift in what I do within the Fedora Project. My Fedora résumé so far has consisted mostly of wiki czaring,1 package maintenance and other odds-and-ends jobs others kindly ask me to do.

I’m presently concerned with the second in that list — a combination of increased stress and decreased time available due to school and the speed of discussion on package maintenance and release engineering is a losing game. In the next few weeks, I’ll be checking all of my packages and determining which ones have dead or slow upstreams or bugs that I can’t resolve on my own. Those packages will likely be orphaned, and if nobody wants to care for them, so be it.

The two others? Wiki czaring is fine, but I need to improve on it a bit (see the footnote), and I always enjoy the random problems that I can help quickly solve for people. This being said, development on mw, supybot-fedora and other convenient software is (hopefully) Not Going Away™ any time soon.

With the pushing away of my first Fedora love, package maintenance, I’ve found something new to focus on. Through my internship with Red Hat last year, I discovered that there is a large deficit of good statistics about our community. There’s a large deficit of good statistics about most free software communities, according to some random Google keywords I just tried, apart from “this is how many times our product has been downloaded.” I really loved the opportunity to combine my self-proclaimed mad Python skillz with answering other people’s questions, such as:

  • How many contributors does Fedora really have? And according to these standards/filters?
  • How often is the wiki edited and when?
  • How many “things” has this random dude over here done? Do we consider that “active”?
  • How many vague statistically-related questions can we come up with on devel@l.fp.o or during a marketing meeting?

Some of these, obviously, have no answer. Yet.

When I finally graduate from high school, I’ll be pushing full swing into answering these sorts of things. Until then, you can help me make Fedora a better place by simply telling us what you want to see tallied up. I asked this about 9 months ago and I got a lot of responses — thank you. But with recent discussions about the future of Fedora and a lot of claims about our user and contributor bases not being backed up (not pointing fingers), I think there are even more questions that can be answered. Please add your statistically-inclined questions to [[Statistics 2.0]] and I’ll do my best in the near future to get them answered with statistics on our community.

I also love help. (Shout out to joshkayse who is taking the lead on making it simple to find a single contributor’s actions within Fedora, taking inspiration from Mel’s FAS scraper.)

Quick summary: Maintaining packages is a drag (for me) right now. I like taking questions and answering with numbers. I graduate soon. Ask questions.

1 While writing this I decided to Google for “fedora wiki czar“. What I found was a mysterious character who was appointed as such in a community touting full transparency. Mel brought this to my attention the other day — I really suck at providing transparency into the process of administering the wiki. It’s pretty much on a whim. It shouldn’t be this way.

Syndicated 2010-03-21 04:10:19 from Ian Weller’s free software blog » Advogato

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