Impromptu Fedora 15 Release Party, a Retrospective, and Other Fedora 15 Musings

Wow!  I can’t tell you how pleased I am with the response I’ve seen from the Fedora 15 release.  Once again, Fedora has shown that it can continue lead in features and freedom and still make a very functional distribution in a six-month time frame.  Kudos to everyone in Fedora for your hard work and dedication.  From the packagers to the designers, documentation team, translation team, QA, release engineering, marketing, spins, and everything in between, we’ve built something we should be proud of.  Of course, not all of the response to Fedora 15 has been positive (and I’ll address that below), but I feel very good about the impact of this release on the future of Linux distributions.

This week I’m in Panama City for the annual Latin American version of our FUDCon conference, and since Fedora 15 was released yesterday, we decided to throw a little impromptu release party last night.  It was quite entertaining to watch the planning happen, and to see how the little microcosm of the release party reflected the Fedora way:

A plan was made, packages (of food) were obtained, a “build system” was acquired (and yes, there’s a story about how many contributors it takes to put together a BBQ grill — but that’s a story for another day), an “alpha” was put out there for test consumption, and so on.  We even had a couple of unfortunate schedule slips, too.  Along the way, the people involved crossed political, social, and language barriers to unite for a common cause.  And at the end of the party, everyone left not only satisfied with the food, but happier because of the interactions along the way.  In short, it was the open source way at work on a very small scale.

Now that Fedora 15 is out the door, you might think it’s time to relax a bit — but no, it’s time to get back to work.  Our six-month release cycle doesn’t really give us time to stop.  Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll working with Robyn Bergeron (the Fedora Program Manager) to set the schedule for the Fedora 16 release cycle — but in short, the feature freeze is going to be approximately July 26th.  I’ll also be working with the Fedora Board to do a Fedora 15 retrospective.  If you have items you’d like to add to the retrospective, please check it out on the wiki.  As always, I value your feedback in helping us make each Fedora release better than the previous ones.