FUDCon Toronto 2009 is over and I’m on the way home.

I Attended some good barcamp sessions:

  • Cloud Computing + Fedora and Amazon EC2
  • Fedora, Zikula and Fedora Insight
  • Can’t we all just get along? – Sysadmin & Developer Panel
  • Designing UI mockups in Inkscape
  • MediaWiki syntax for non-experts

My favorite session was the Inkscape session by Máirín Duffy (aka “Mo”).  It was packed with information and gave me just the right level of detail to get started with Inkscape (an open source replacement for Adobe Illustrator).  I was thinking of asking her to do a session like this, but she already had it planned.

I also worked on several wiki pages to help better record our existing release processes.

The biggest monster of them all was finalizing the Release Criteria pages.  I had been playing around with different ideas and drafts since the beginning of Fedora 12.  It was really great to launch the pages publicly a few weeks back, collect feedback and tune them for use in Fedora 13.  They have changed a lot since my first ideas, but what matters most to me is that we have a larger framework now and support for doing it.  Thanks to Bill Nottingham, Tim Burke, James Laska, and Adam Williamson for suffering through all the details and making the pages much better during most of the first hackfest day.  And another big thanks to Adam for circulating the pages to lots of other people and mailing lists for feedback.

For the past few months I’ve also been doodling on some ways to better document our release processes–how to complete specific tasks and how we make decisions.  This is important for running smoother releases and getting more people involved.  So far it has been difficult to know where to start or how to represent things.  Part of what helped me get started was the posts I did on mind mapping.  The release criteria came out of the same effort.  A few weeks ago I was excited to watch a Bugzappers meeting where they followed the housekeeping SOP I painstakingly created a couple of releases ago for creating tracker bugs.  This is a victory because now the process has scaled beyond just me.  The same thing could work in Release Engineering.

I went through all of the release engineering tickets for Fedora 12 to create a starting list of all the tickets that need to be created during a full release cycle. I reviewed and tuned the list with Jesse Keating and am also requesting feedback on the release engineering list. This has all the makings of some great ”wiki-fication” by linking to more detailed pages explaining each task combined with automating the ticket creation process.

During Fedora 12 I found that there was no clear documentation explaining how we decided when we are “done” and the release is “ready.” The new release criteria pages talk to the “done” part.  A new “Go/No-Go” meeting SOP explains the process to bless a public release (Alpha, Beta, or Final) as “Gold.”  James and Jesse looked over the first version.  Next I’ll be sending it out to the lists to get more feedback.

In the scheduling department, I met with Marketing, Quality Assurance, and Release Engineering to perform a detail review of the team schedules I’ve drafted for Fedora 13.  Mel, James, and Jesse gave me lots of feedback and changes for the next revision.

I also had a lot of hall way conversations with people about different aspects of Fedora and things I’m helping to move forward in Fedora.  Many of the things I got done were made easier by having so many people from different places in the same room at the same time.

At past FUDCons I’ve usually left during part of the last day. It was fun to go back to the hotel, have a little down time, and meet up again with people at the hotel for “Hack and Snack.”  Best of all Mo took some pictures for me and created my first ever (and very fantastic) hackergotchi.  I can only dream of being able to use the gimp (an open source replacement to Adobe Photoshop) as effectively some day.  Thanks again Mo!