Fedora Engineering Steering Committee

FESCo is the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee. It is a fully community elected body and represents the technical leadership in Fedora.

Overall Mission

FESCo handles the process of accepting new features, the acceptance of new packaging sponsors, Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and SIG Oversight, the packaging process, handling and enforcement of maintainer issues and other technical matters related to the distribution and its construction.

Common tasks and responsibilities

FESCo is responsible for technical issues and coordination of technical resources for the project.

Issues FESCo handles include:

  • Approval and coordination of Changes for Fedora releases.

  • Package maintainer disputes

  • Larger changes to the Fedora Package collection

  • Guidance and technical direction for other parts of the project

  • Setting the schedule for Fedora development cycles.

  • Reviewing and approving technical content from Fedora Working groups (Product Requirement Docs, deliverables, processes).

  • Responsible for what software is offered to end users under what conditions.

  • Oversight and approval of new spins and other media that doesn’t fit under a working group.

FESCo has empowered the FPC (Fedora Packaging Committee) to handle management of packaging guidelines, so those items are usually deferred to them with occasional FESCo oversight.

Candidates for FESCo should be people who have a wide breadth of knowledge about the Fedora Project as a whole and who understand how the many different pieces fit together. Ideal candidates should also have a history of fostering inter-team coordination.

FESCo has a designate for each Working Group that coordinates with that Group and communicates back to FESCo any issues or concerns. Currently there are: Workstation, Server and Atomic Working groups.

Members

Chair is rotating.

Their interviews for previous elections are published in the Community Blog.

The Previous committee members page contains a list of previous members. The Updating FESCo members page outlines the necessary steps to update FESCo members after an election.

Ticket Votes (Preferred)

FESCo tracks all ongoing decisions using the FESCo Ticketing System. Generally, tickets are of two types: tickets asking for FESCo’s advice or tickets asking for a specific policy or technical change to occur. When FESCo’s opinion is sought, a ticket is opened and then FESCo will reply to that ticket with either a proposal or by adding it to the next weekly meeting agenda for discussion.

Once a formal proposal is made in a ticket, voting will proceed. A Change ticket is assumed to be a a formal proposal upon creation.

Eligible voters on FESCo tickets are all currently-serving members of FESCo.

An official vote in a ticket must be one of +1, 0, -1:

  • +1 — I am in favor of the proposal as currently written.

  • 0 — I am removing myself from the list of voters required for majority for this proposal. This has no effect unless the ticket votes are used for a meeting vote.

  • -1 — I am opposed to the proposal as currently written. This topic must be discussed live in a meeting.

At the end of one week, if a proposal has at least 3 votes of +1 and no votes of -1 in the ticket, it is approved and may proceed with implementation. If there is at least one -1 vote, the ticket must be added to the upcoming meeting agenda and is subject to the Meeting Votes rules.

The person submitting the proposal or a FESCo member may request a proposal for "Fast Track", causing it to get approved immediately if it receives +7 without any -1 votes. Any -1 vote or an explicit request from a FESCo member removes the proposal from Fast Track, causing it to follow the normal procedure.

If there are insufficient +1 votes at the end of one week, one additional week will be granted. At the end of this period, if there is at least one +1 vote and no votes of -1, the proposal is approved. If there is at least one -1 vote, the ticket must be added to the upcoming meeting agenda and is subject to the Meeting Votes rules. If there are no votes at all, the proposal is considered rejected and the status quo will be maintained. The submitter may at this time make a new proposal which will be processed following the usual rules.

Tickets which are labeled as "Fast Track" must be retitled to include "[FastTrack]" and if they have not received enough votes in 48 hours, a FESCo member should send a reminder.

Meeting Votes

FESCo meets usually on a weekly basis, check the FESCo meeting process. You should verify the meeting date and time from the devel mail "Plan for tomorrow’s FESCo meeting" being sent in advance.

All requests for consideration by the steering committee (including group sponsorship requests and maintainer-ship issues) should be submitted as a ticket:

Meetings require a majority of FESCo to be present; if fewer than five of the nine members are able to attend a meeting, the meeting is cancelled.

At the meeting, a reasonable amount of time must be given for discussion. Once a proposal is made in the meeting, the vote will be tallied as follows:

Votes must be one of +1, 0, or -1, as described in Ticket Votes (Preferred).

In a meeting vote, a vote of 0 reduces the denominator of the fraction required to achieve the 51% majority. In effect, it says "I am agreeing to vote with the remaining majority, whatever they decide."

Any FESCo member is assumed to retain the last vote that they made in the ticket prior to the meeting. Note that this does not carry over to new proposals, with the exception of clarification edits.

If a vote in the meeting achieves a 51% majority of eligible voters, regardless of their attendance at the meeting and accounting for any explicit 0 votes, in favor of a proposal, that proposal is accepted.

If a vote in the meeting achieves a 51% majority of eligible voters, regardless of their attendance at the meeting and accounting for any explicit 0 votes, against a proposal, that proposal is rejected.

If a proposal in a meeting fails to achieve a majority either for or against, the FESCo members present must either:

  • Present a new proposal, restarting the meeting voting process.

  • Return the proposal to the ticket, restarting the ticket voting process above. All votes made in the meeting will be transferred to the ticket. (Note: negative votes recorded in this way do trigger discussion at the next meeting as normal). Once FESCo agrees to return the proposal to the ticket, all discussion in the current meeting on the topic is ended until that ticket vote has concluded with either a decision or is transferred to another meeting.

Agenda

You can find FESCO’s weekly agenda in the FESCo Ticketing System with this report.

Meeting Minutes

You can find FESCO’s meeting minutes at the fedora meetbot site as well as posted to the link:devel@lists.fedoraproject.org list after each meeting. Note that meetings prior to the 2010-10-20 meeting were on Tuesdays.

Mailing List

FESCo has a private mailing list for sensitive matters. This list will have as subscribers only the current FESCo members and the Fedora Project Leader. This list should only be used in very rare situations with private information. The FESCo chair will make sure any discussion on this list that doesn’t need to be private will be resent to a public forum (FESCo issue tracker, devel list, etc).