FESCo Election: Interview with Till Maas (till)

This is a part of the FESCo Elections Interviews series. Voting is open to all Fedora contributors. The voting period starts on Thursday, June 7th and closes promptly at 23:59:59 UTC on Wednesday, June 13th, 2018.

Interview with Till Maas (till)

  • Fedora Account: till
  • IRC: tyll (found in #fedora-releng #fedora #fedora-devel #fedora-admin #fedora-apps #fedora-social #fedora-de #epel)
  • Fedora User Wiki Page

Questions

Describe some of the important technical issues you foresee affecting the Fedora community. What insight do you bring to these issues?

Processes in the Fedora community need to scale better and need more support by automation. After we decommissioned  PackageDB, several previously automated processed got broken or replaced by complicated manual processes. Also when we tried updates gating, the process for packagers became a lot more complicated or impossible, since the tooling did not support the packagers. In a similar way as we thrive to create a great user experience for the users of our distribution, we also need to make sure that we enable our packagers and other developers/contributors to focus on the tasks that need a human brain and provide them useful information and feedback.

To streamline the process of giving update feedback I created the fedora-easy-karma tool. Also I (semi-)automated several task for release engineering to cleanup old packages. Getting rid of old packages/information is another important task to make sure the baggage does not make us slow and another area that I am working on.

What objectives or goals should FESCo focus on to help keep Fedora on the cutting edge of open source development?

We have awesome developers and other contributors that make Fedora great. As FESCo we should make sure that we enable them to do their best and remove barriers/allow an agile development process. Packagers should not be blocked by non-responsive maintainers, broken packages or complicated processes to cleanup non-conforming packages. In my opinion we should move to a more collaborative package ownership model where everyone accepts that there might be sometimes extra work to cleanup something but we remove a lot of friction/stupid tasks with automation.

What are the areas of the distribution and our processes that, in your opinion, need improvement the most? Do you have any ideas how FESCo would be able to help in those “trouble spots”?

To handle all the work we need more contributors. A great source are the new packagers seeking sponsors. All potential new contributors should get timely feedback to ensure that they feel welcomed and get the help they need. Also there seems to be too much outdated information or non-conforming packages that slows active people down.

FESCo can help best by backing up the people that do the work and make it easy for people who would like to automatically adjust packages at a larger scale or to remove old information.

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