Red Hat's new Fedora Project Leader, Robyn Bergeron has a lot of work ahead of her as she helps to grow one of the world's largest Linux distribution communities. Bergeron was appointed the new FPL last week, succeeding outgoing FPL Jared Smith who had held the position since June of 2010.
One of Bergeron's goals as FPL will be get a better handle on all the statistics that surround Fedora.
"People will ask where is Fedora going and I've always been a big fan of knowing where you are first," Bergeron told InternetNews.com. "It's always good to have a good handle on where you are as it makes it far easier to measure your milestones and know that you're actually going someplace."
Bergeron added that it's still early days for her in the role of FPL, but she is committed to getting a better handle on Fedora's statistics to better understand where the project is going.
"One of the things I personally want to see improve is – do we know who are?" Bergeron said.
Today, Fedora has the basic statistics around downloads and unique IP address hits to the update repositories. For example, Fedora's stats wiki currently note that there have been nearly 5 million connections to the Fedora 14 repositories. That number drops to 2.6 million for Fedora 15 and 874 thousand for the more recent Fedora 16 release.
"Some people might say 'oh my gosh the number of unique address are going down', but it is unique and is not counting the ones that came before," Bergeron said. "So what does it mean? Are we slowing down? It's hard to say."
Bergeron added that currently all Fedora does is lay the statistics out and they don't point to an indication of what the data actually means.
Overall, even without the advanced statistical analysis that Bergeron is likely to bring to the project, she noted that Fedora has done a remarkable job at keeping people involved and maintaining order. That said, the Fedora community is an evolving one and there are always complaints.
"One way I'd ever know that anything is wrong, is if no one was complaining and everyone believed we were all going the right way together," Bergeron said.
She noted that there is a large diverse community in Fedora and, as such, one of the greatest challenges and opportunities for her as FPL is to be a good connector of people.
"I want to make sure that people know where to go to help and are making contact with the right people," Bergeron said. "If there are two people that have similar interests that might be a good fit to work together on similar idea, I want to help them find each other."
The Beefy Miracle
At the top of Bergeron's agenda as FPL is also the upcoming release of Fedora 17, codenamed, The Beefy Miracle. Fedora 17 is currently set for general availability on May 8th.
Currently there are at least 62 features lined up for possible inclusion in Fedora 17 and at this point it has not been determined which ones will make the cut.
"I'm pretty confident that this will be the most feature-packed release of Fedora that we've ever had," Bergeron said. "I'd certainly call it a beefy and meaty release -- loaded with condiments."