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Fedora's way forward



To the Fedora community:

The first day of FUDCon is now complete. 78 members of our community spent the entire day working on many aspects of Fedora. It was an incredibly productive day, and we expect the rest of the weekend to be more of the same.

Over 150 people will be attending FUDCon on Saturday, which will be a more traditional day of presentations, sessions, etc. The opening talk will be my yearly "State of Fedora" speech.

I believe it will be videotaped and up on the internet eventually, but I want to take a few minutes to share some of the details with you.

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Two years ago, Matthew Szulik (Red Hat's CEO) asked me to be the Fedora Project Leader, and I was flattered and humbled by the opportunity. It has been one of the coolest jobs that a person could have.

I started about one month before Fedora Core 5 was released. Only a few people within the Fedora community knew me -- I had been at Red Hat for a year and a half at that point in the Red Hat Network group, but I had not done much with Fedora other than simply *use* the distro.

You, the community, were very fair with me, incredibly accepting, and you gave me the opportunity to earn your respect and to influence the direction of Fedora. You trusted me, you gave me a chance, and I appreciate that more deeply than I can express. I hope I have not disappointed you.

Now we're a few months past the Fedora 8 release, and the time has come for me to hand off the Fedora Project Leader role, though I hope to remain involved in Fedora and Red Hat's community efforts.

That's all I want to say about me. Now I want to talk about the larger Fedora Project, and introduce a few new leaders.

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Fedora has come a long way in the last few years. Red Hat has committed more resources to Fedora, enabling us to grow the Fedora team when the opportunity came up to hire some of the true stars of the Fedora community. This in turn allows the core group of Fedora folks within Red Hat to be more effective leaders within the community, because a focus on community building is the most important thing that we do.

The people who are lucky enough to get paid to spend their workdays 100% on Fedora each have a responsibility to be community builders first, and individual contributors second. A community that does not grow and that does not develop new leadership will stagnate. Red Hat's investments in the Fedora community help to prevent this.

Continuing to grow our community, lower barriers to entry, and develop new leaders will remain a top priority for Fedora.

We've also made tremendous changes to Fedora at a technical level in the past two years -- merging Core and Extras into a single repository, working with Red Hat and community engineers to produce a new build system for Fedora, and new tools that allow users to create fully customized versions of Fedora and deliver Fedora in new ways (Live USB, for example).

Additionally, the work that we have done with the branding, marketing, and press folks both inside Red Hat and in our community has led to a resurgence in the Fedora brand. Fedora enjoys an identity as an independent Linux distribution that focuses on innovation, freedom, and community, all while still serving as the upstream for RHEL.

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I am very pleased to announce that Paul Frields has accepted a job with Red Hat, and he will be taking over as Fedora Project Leader in February.

Many of you already know Paul. He has been part of the Fedora community since 2003, not long after the Red Hat Linux Project officially merged with the original Fedora.us. Paul has worked with Fedora's documentation, packaging, marketing, news, and artwork teams. He also served as one of the inaugural members of the Fedora Project Board.

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Additionally, Jack Aboutboul has recently transferred into a full-time job in Red Hat's marketing and brand communications group. We have asked Jack to take an active leadership role in Fedora marketing, community building, and Ambassadors.

Jack was one of the original Fedora Ambassadors in our community. He has organized FUDCons, and he has been promoting Fedora with his endless energy and enthusiasm for several years now. While Jack was in school, he worked for Red Hat as an intern and part-time employee, and we are very happy to bring Jack on full-time to continue building the Fedora community.

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I have rambled on now for far longer than I planned to. I shall simply say that it has been an honor to be the Fedora Project Leader.

Thank you.

--Max


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