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Sheogorath's Blog


Depending on the time of the day a friend, a colleague, a wise guy. The beauty of the world is its sense of humor to show humans their way by letting them search their own.


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Fedora, where are you?

Looking at the most recent wiki changes by the Debian project, I love to say: Welcome to the Fediverse, Debian! I’m looking forward to wonderful people to exchange about tech and social topics!

Sadly I can’t say the same about my favourite Linux distribution, Fedora. We still wait for an official Fedora Fediverse account. Of course, there are lots of contributors and people on the Fediverse already talking about Fedora, myself included, but there is nothing official. And that’s sad, because I had to learn that official accounts, as we created with CodiMD, easily find a lot more followers than developers and friends talking about something.

And I consider this especially sad, because at Fedora we talk about “being first” when it comes to new technology. Don’t get me wrong, the community is aware of the Fediverse and there were already various tries to push there:

But we didn’t make it to go forward properly yet. Therefore I hope with this article I can motivate some people to push for this as well.

But not just the Fediverse

As someone who runs a bunch of services, I also advocate for bringing Fedora to Matrix. Right now, there are a bunch of plumped rooms, like #fedora:matrix.org, that provide a rather bad experience to Matrix-only users. Reason for that are the channel modes set in the IRC channels. But let me explain this properly.

Plumped Matrix rooms are Matrix rooms that were created on Matrix and then use an integration to bridge with IRC. In order to make those channels easy to moderate, permissions are shared between the IRC and the Matrix channel. It also creates an IRC user for each matrix user as well as the other way around. This allows moderators and admins to kick people no matter if they are in the IRC channel or in the Matrix room, which makes the operation of those rooms easier from a mods perspective.

But the Fedora rooms have one major problem: They require people to have an NickServ1 account in order to join these channels. Everyone who hasn’t, will be kicked as soon as they join. Sadly that’s not really a thing on Matrix and of course also not obvious for non-IRC users. People will join the channel and be kicked out immediately because their IRC nick is not registered. It’s just a bad experience and the reason I don’t recommend people to join the Fedora rooms on Matrix.

What I would like to see

I would love when Fedora would become one of the leaders on those federated technologies. And I don’t think it would hurt the community. Why? Because others are already there. For the Fediverse we have so many examples in the proposals above:

Some even running own instances for communities. Like Ubuntu or Debian.

As well I would like to see Fedora stepping forward on adopting Matrix like various other communities, that are closely related to Fedora, did:

Most importantly using Matrix allows easy collaboration while keeping sovereignty over rooms and servers for each project. It means we don’t need an external group of people like Freenode or GIMPNet to keep things up. Users and their servers will make things sure by themselves. No Netsplits, no Disconnects, everyone always available and of course interconnected and diverse as the Fedora community is in its nature.

Conclusion

To me all this makes me asking why Fedora isn’t yet in all those places. Being first, being collaborative on a modern level and getting together as friends from all over the world and from many different projects. Come on Fedora community, we can do better, let’s get on the Fediverse, let’s get on Matrix and show the world how great free software and collaboration can be and that we can use privacy-friendly alternatives to the big players without sacrifice usability or ending up in more silos.

Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

  1. NickServ is a possible implementation of a services bot, that adds account features to IRC, because they don’t really exist on a protocol level. Usually NickServ has special capabilities to rename a IRC user or remove the user from the network entirely when they don’t authenticate to NickServ with a password in a given time.