U.S. politician Daniel Webster described the U.S. government as, “… the people’s government, made for the people, made by the people, and answerable to the people.” Similarly, the Fedora Project is “a community of people working together” and it is “led by contributors from across the community.” In other words, “It is what you make of it.”
The Fedora community invites you to join the conversation and help advance the Fedora Project and free software in general. Traditionally much of the collaboration in the Fedora Project had occurred over IRC. And IRC support will continue for the foreseeable future. But Fedora is also rolling out some newer technologies that we think might improve the user experience. Fedora has moved primary communications to Matrix for real time communication and collaboration. If you haven’t already done so, we encourage you to sign up for a Fedora account, open the Fedora Matrix space at chat.fedoraproject.org, and explore the vast world that is the Fedora Project via Matrix. As much as possible, the Fedora Project strives to be an open community. Anyone can contribute to Fedora and everyone of good will is welcome to join.
A high-level overview of the Fedora communication channels
As the saying goes, “Communication is key.” But communication comes in many forms. One subdivision of the various forms of communiction is synchronous and asynchronous. Traditionally, the Fedora Project has used email for asynchronous communication and IRC for synchronous communication. The forum discussion.fedoraproject.org is a new option for asynchronous communication and Matrix via chat.fedoraproject.org is a new option for synchronous communication.
Regarding the synchronous — asynchronous differentiation: It is good and important to differentiate our instruments in this dimension, and also to explain something. Synchronous does not mean that you get a reaction immediately, it can take a few days, if only because of the different time zones. But you can also “ping” someone specifically or invite them to a direct conversation. After some time, however, the topic will often be forgotten about on the timeline. Asynchronous tools, on the other hand, are organized thematically, bringing a topic to the front again and again as something is added to it. This provides a more systematic approach.
Importantly, the new tools are being provided as an option that you can choose. There is no requirement to use the new tools. You can expect both email and IRC to be around for a long time to come.
If you prefer email, you might want to check out the post: Guide to interacting with [discussion.fedoraproject.org] by email. If you prefer the IRC chat protocol, many of the rooms on Matrix at chat.fedoraproject.org are bridged to corresponding rooms on libera.chat.
Blog posts are yet another form of communication that will continue to be available at communityblog.fedoraproject.org and fedoramagazine.org. The former provides information expected to be of interest to the Fedora developers and Fedora special interest groups (SIGs). Posts about the tools used to build Fedora Linux, for example, are often found on the Community Blog. In contrast, this site — fedoramagazine.org — hosts articles expected to be of interest to the general Fedora community.
In a way, blog posts can be thought of as a super-asynchronous form of communication. The trade-off, as the forms of communication go from less-synchronous to more-synchronous, is that they tend to become somewhat lower in quality. That is, you can expect a much quicker response on IRC or chat.fedoraproject.org than if you request that a blog post be written about a subject on communityblog.fedoraproject.org. But of course, there is no guarantee that you will get a response on any of the channels. All contributions to the Fedora Project are voluntary. No one is ever obliged to provide any service to anyone else. But also don’t take a lack of response personally. Your question might just be outside the area of expertise of those who noticed it.
I like to think of the relationship between the various forms of communication that the Fedora Project uses as having an inversely proportional relation between frequency and contemplativeness.
The point is that these communication methods each serve different needs but they are complementary. You won’t want to limit yourself to just one of the communications channels. If you need rapid responses to simple questions, use the chat server. If you want to go in-depth on a complex topic, it might be something that would make a good blog post. And the forum is for everything in between.
So what are you waiting for! Sign up! Explore the community! If you come across something you think you can help out with or even just something that you think you might want to get involved with, jump in and offer to help! And above all, have FUN!
See also: What can I do for Fedora?
Thanks to Peter Boy, Kevin Fenzi, and others who provided helpful feedback and content for this announcement.