Red Hat today announced Matthew Miller as the new leader of its Fedora community Linux project. Miller takes over for Robyn Bergeron, who announced on May 19 that she was stepping down as Fedora Project Leader.
Miller is well-known and respected in the Fedora Linux community for a number of reasons. His first involvement with Fedora dates back to the Fedora Legacy project, which ran from 2004 until 2006 as a way to support older Red Hat Linux distributions. More recently, Miller is the developer who first proposed the idea of "Fedora.next," which is a new approach for building Fedora that is currently being implemented for the Fedora 21 release later this year. With Fedora.next, instead of one monolithic general-purpose operating system, Fedora will have specific products for desktop, cloud and server deployment use cases.
In an interview with eWEEK, Miller said that he hopes that his ongoing active participation in the Fedora community makes him a good choice to become the Fedora Project Leader. Outgoing Fedora Project Leader Bergeron has been sharing her insight with Miller to help with the transition in leadership.
"Bergeron has been very helpful and she's going to be around, and she assured me that I can always turn to her for advice," Miller said. "She's very wise and knows what's going on."
What's going on at Fedora now is partially due to Miller's Fedora.next proposal, which has knocked the Linux project off its normal release cadence. Fedora 20 was released on Dec. 17, 2013, and its successor won't debut until August 2014. Normally there are two Fedora releases in any given year, one around Mother's Day in May, the other in October near Halloween. Miller's plan is to restore the normal release cadence when possible, after the dust settles on Fedora 21.
As Fedora Project Leader (FPL), Miller is not a dictator and actually will not lead by decree, but rather by consensus in what is often referred to in the open-source community as a cat-herding effort.
"As the FPL, you've got the responsibility, but no actual authority to tell anyone to do things," Miller said. "So you have to find people that have an interest and are aligned with the direction you want to go."
Miller's leadership style also aims to inspire developers and make their job easier. To that end, Miller has already been active with a column titled "Five Things in Fedora This Week" that runs in Fedora Magazine. One of the efforts that is part of the overall Fedora.next initiative that Miller is helping to drive forward is improved automation to help build the Linux distribution. The new Fedora Taskotron framework for automated task execution is part of the initiative to make it easier and faster to build the next versions of Fedora. Improving automation should enable developers to focus on the value-added tasks.
Fedora Project Leaders have typically only lasted approximately two years in the role before moving on. Miller is hoping to break that trend.
"Maybe I'm crazy, but I have the ambition that I hope I don't become tired after two years, and I would like to see it as more long-term than a two-year job," Miller said. "Fedora really does try to have broad community leadership rather than a top-down style, so I hope I can bring that out more too."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.