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Revision as of 00:35, 25 May 2009 by Ush (talk | contribs) (pass2)


In this section the people, personalities and debates on the @fedora-devel mailing list are summarized.

Contributing Writer: Oisin Feeley

In a Flap Over Flags

This week's "frank and open exchange of views" took the (non)inclusion of country flags as its subject. A reminder was posted[1] by Kevin Fenzi of a previous FESCo decision to split flags representing geopolitical or ethnocultural concepts into separate subpackages. Tom Callaway posted[2] the history of how he had come to draft the proposal and noted that the inclusion of the Taiwan/Republic of China flag and possible consequences to the distributability of Fedora in the P.R.C. were the initial impetus. Upon request Josh Boyer provided[3] the relevant IRC log of the 2009-03-27 FESCo meeting.

Lots of discussion was had in several separate threads. FESCo was criticized repeatedly for taking the decision.

When Project Leader Paul W. Frields was pressed to comment he replied[4] that it was not his job to interfere with FESCo decisions of this sort and that he agreed with David Woodhouse's take: namely, that while disapproving of censorship, there was precedent for removing material deemed likely to offend the sensibilities of some users.

Although Bill Nottingham thought that it was absurd Toshio Kuratomi and Seth Vidal explored[5] some ideas about how YUM plugins and a new entry in the Provides namespace might enable a technical solution.

Jesse Keating outlined[6] the advantages of a "no flags" policy in gaining possible contributors from the PRC and also getting wider exposure for software in RHEL.

[[User:|Denis Leroy]] was a persistent critic of the decision and called[7] for most of FESCo to resign.

Patrice Dumas kicked off[8] a fresh instance of the thread which recast the discussion in terms of two separate issues: legality and giving offense.

Christoph Wickert started[9] a fresh instance of the thread because: "[t]he `Package Maintainers Flags policy" thread already counts more than 225 mails, but nobody bothered to answer 7 simple (?) questions I asked in my mail, although it was one of the very first three mails on the topic. So what did I do wrong? Was it that I mentioned the missing FESCo meeting minutes? If 8 out of 21 summaries are missing, IMHO this is a fact worth mentioning. I'm one of the few maintainers who directly is affected by the policy. Would somebody - preferably a FESCo member, who voted for the flags proposal - please be so kind to answer my questions. TIA!" Josh Boyer answered[10] pretty thoroughly. He included the information that the policy would be revisited in the next meeting and an explanation that the FESCo meeting summaries were incomplete due to the failure of an attempt to rotate the onerous minute taking duties. Bill Nottingham added[11] that the missing items should now be available.

Yet a further thread was started[12] by Martin Sourada as a proposal to create icon-themes as a long-term support solution.

The policy, as currently formulated is[13] posted on the wiki.

The 2009-05-22 FESCo meeting voted[14] to overturn the flag policy and to start gathering information on the actual scope of the problem. Kevin Kofler started[15] a thread to this end.

FESCo Election Questions

John Stanley reminded[1] everyone that nominations for five FESCo seats are open until 2009-05-29 for "[a]ny interested Fedora packager [...] the only requirement is membership in the 'packager' group in FAS."

Given the rumblings over the geopolitical flags issue (and other signs of discontent) it may be that this will be an interesting election.

The requirement to be a packager was a new one and raised[2] questions from John Poelstra and Rahul Sundaram. Jesse Keating argued[3] that FESCo was "[...] primarily concerned with the packages and distribution release side of the house." This was disputed by several commenters who referenced decisions made by FESCo which affected documentation, artwork and internationalization.

John Rose wanted to know why the voting-pool was not the same as the candidate-pool and Josh Boyer responded[4] that the issue should be raised by filing a ticket with FESCo. Andreas Thiemann and John Rose agreed[5] that there was a culture of meritocracy in the Fedora Project and John Rose observed that: "The Fedora Board and FESCo and others think of themselves as being part of a meritocracy (at least that is my perception of what they think) but at the same time are trying to encourage more widespread democratic participation which naturally runs counter to perpetuating the meritocracy."

A subsequent 2009-05-22 FESCo meeting addressed the issue of restricting its membership to packagers and ratified the current practice while leaving open the door for further discussion if need be. The meeting summary (posted[6] by Bill Nottingham) noted that no one who lacked packager status had actually expressed interest in running.

Thorsten Leemhuis asked[7] for participation in preparing questions to pose to the candidates once the nominations are closed.

Anaconda vs YUM Upgrades

A brief thread initiated by David Timms explored[1] why it has been easier to upgrade a system with anaconda rather than YUM. David referenced a suggestion that: "anaconda is cheating (ie running --nodeps installs). This would allow it to complete an upgrade where dependencies lead to unavailable packages that are not on the dvd, but are in the complete Fedora, and or non- fedora repositories, that are not available at upgrade time."

Seth Vidal replied[2] that as anaconda was running outside of the system experiencing the update it was free to use "--nodeps [without] a concern for not being able to complete the transaction." Anaconda's ability to use blacklists to exclude particular items from such transactions is now available to preupgrade as a YUM plugin.

Jeremy Katz added[3] that: "It also means that we can do things like use a newer version of rpm or a new kernel with ext4 support to (eventually) allow for migrating from ext3->ext4[.]"

Broken Dependencies in Fedora 12 Development

Michael Schwendt posted three lists of broken dependencies in Fedora 12 development[1][2][3].

Too Many Conflicts

Michael Schwendt reminded[1] the list that packagers were ignoring conflicts too readily.