Fedora Weekly News Issue 176
Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 176 for the week ending May 17th, 2009.
In this week's content-rich issue, announcements brings us Fedora Activity Day (FAD) updates from Maylasia and the upcoming Berlin and Porto Alegre FUDCons, and several upcoming Fedora related eventsin Romania and Brazil. A sampling of the Fedora Planet reveals changes in IcedTea, Eclipse Linux Tools, detail on transitioning from rawhide to Fedora 11, amongst other jewels. In QA news, details from the recent iBus test days and many weekly meeting updates. In Developments, a broken dependency brouhaha flavored the fedora-devel list this week along with discussion of emacs add-ons for the Fedora Electronic Lab spin, and details on being excellent to one another on the list. In translation news, updates to Fedora 11 and news of inclusion of the specspo package in the upcoming release. The artwork team muses about wallpaper gallery developments and needs and final media art prep for F11. Nicu's Fedora webcomic postulates on the F11 pre-release queue, and we complete this week's melange with much news on the virtualization front from the lib-virt list.
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Contributing Writer: Max Spevack
Fedora 11 (Leonidas)
Oddly enough, there weren't any Fedora 11 announcements this week. The schedule continues to list Tuesday, May 26 as the release date.
Fedora 12 (Rawhide)
Some housekeeping in Bugzilla will take place following the Fedora 11 release. All Rawhide bugs will automatically be changed to Fedora 11 -- because the Rawhide under which those bugs will followed will have also changed into Fedora 11. Secondly, all Fedora 9 bugs will automatically receive a notice stating that there is only one month of support remaining for that release.
FUDCons and FADs
This section previews upcoming Fedora Users & Developers Conferences, as well as upcoming Fedora Activity Days.
Fedora Activity Day Malaysia
Planning is underway for a Fedora Activity Day in Malaysia at the end of May, contingent upon gathering together sufficient Fedora contributors to make such an event worthwhile. If you are in the area and are interested in attending or have some ideas on projects that could be worked on, see the wiki page for more information.
FUDCon Porto Alegre 2009
FUDCon Porto Alegre will take place June 24-27 in Brazil. About 30 people have signed up so far, and we're hopeful for an attendance of over 100.
If you would like more information, and to sign up, please visit the wiki page.
FUDCon Berlin 2009
FUDCon Berlin will be held from June 26-28, and we're getting close to crossing the 100-person-preregistered mark.
Consider attending or volunteering at an event near you!
May 22-23: eLiberatica in Bucharest, Romania.
May 29-30: III ENSL e IV FSLBA in Salvador, Brazil.
In this section, we cover the highlights of Planet Fedora - an aggregation of blogs from Fedora contributors worldwide.
Contributing Writer: Adam Batkin
Deepak Bhole joined the blogging world (welcome!) by explaining changes that the IcedTea Java web browser Plugin will be undergoing in order to continue functioning after some ancient APIs (LiveConnect and OJI) are removed from Gecko (Mozilla-based projects) in the coming months.
Dracut is a new tool, designed to generate an initramfs and replace all of the different methods currently employed by various distros. Harald Hoyer appealed for anyone interested in helping contribute, noting that it is one of the Features slated for Fedora 12.
Paul W. Frields linked to a fedora-devel post by Jesse Keating explaining how to configure a system to ensure that a Fedora 11 pre-release properly transitions onto the stable Fedora 11 repositories once it has been released (or how to stay on rawhide if that is your plan).
Jesse Keating was interviewed for a podcast, about the upcoming Fedora 11 release. Jesse also announced some discussions that the Fedora Advisory Board has had about the hostility that sometimes surfaces on the fedora-devel list and ways that it might be dealt with. "This is the "warning shot". Our hopes is that folks will start to figure out what is and is not allowed to happen on the list and things will tone down a bit".
Adam Williamson noted a number of reasons that there can never be a common Linux Package format, but suggested that "what others want is something that would actually be achievable, which is a unified system to make it easier for third parties to independently provide self-contained software packages for various distributions...If you want to do it really snazzily, though, what you want to do is design the App Store for Linux, or Steam for Linux, or something like that." Jesse Keating responded that a potential complication might be "that user buy in is going to be hard when you take a software platform (such as RHEL or Fedora) that uses one tool to manage updates for the entirety of your software set (yum, PackageKit, whatever frontend) and suddenly add one or more tools to specifically manage one or two software bundles".
In this section, we cover the activities of the QA team.
Contributing Writer: Adam Williamson
This week's Test Day was on iBus, the new default input method framework for Asian languages in Fedora 11. Over 15 people came out to test and report their results, and overall the new system seemed to be working solidly, but testing revealed several issues for the developers to work on. Thanks to all who came out for the Test Day.
Currently, no Test Day is scheduled for next week - it is too close to the scheduled release of Fedora 11 for any testing to produce results directly in Fedora 11 final release, but if you would like to propose a test day which could result in changes for post-release updates, or an early test day for Fedora 12, please contact the QA team via email or IRC.
The QA group weekly meeting was held on 2009-05-13. The full log is available. Will Woods reported that he had been doing a lot of upgrade tests, but had not had time to write them up formally as test cases as was planned at the previous meeting.
Adam Williamson reported that he had completed the revision of the Fedora bug workflow page to include the alternative processes agreed for closing bugs in Rawhide at the previous meeting, and had made further changes. He directed the group to his announcement email for further details.
Will Woods reported there had been little work on the autoqa project during the week, as testing for Fedora 11 release had taken priority.
The group discussed how to get feedback on the conduct of Test Days themselves, rather than on the software being tested. Adam Williamson suggested adding a 'suggestion box' to the normal layout for Test Day wiki pages. Jóhann Guðmundsson suggested an email to the fedora-test-list mailing list. James Laska wanted to get in touch with the maintainers who had been involved with Fedora 11 Test Days for their suggestions; Adam Williamson thought it better to simply contact them via email then attempt to set up some kind of survey system.
The group then discussed the Fedora 11 release situation. James Laska explained that Jesse Keating had already led a complete review of all outstanding blocker bugs for the release, trimming the list from over 70 to under 40 by downgrading the priority of some issues, and closing some which had already been addressed, after testing. Jesse thought the planned schedule for a second round of reviews was too late, and decided that it should happen on 2009-05-18. The group agreed that the handling of the final stages of release had not been optimal for F11, and for F12 the group should endeavour to get the blocker bug review done earlier in order to be ready for the release candidate phase, and that it would be useful to hold more blocker review meetings earlier in the cycle overall.
The group then discussed the release candidate phase (note that release candidate builds are generally not widely distributed beyond the QA group, for reasons of timing and available resources). James Laska explained that he planned to create an installation test matrix, with 'how to test' documentation. Will Woods and Jesse Keating were already working on smoke testing early pre-RC builds. Adam Williamson suggested sending an email to fedora-test-list to remind members that now is an ideal time to be testing installation from Rawhide.
Jóhann Guðmundsson raised the issue of the lack of clarity regarding Fedora's target user base, which Adam Williamson had mentioned in discussions on fedora-devel-list. Jesse Keating mentioned that the issue was already under active discussion by the board. After a long discussion, the group all agreed that the QA group did not need to have an opinion on what type of user Fedora should be targetting, but should make it clear to the board that the lack of a clear definition of this issue was actively affecting the ability of the QA group to work effectively, and QA work would benefit immediately from a clear resolution of this issue, whatever the resolution may be.
Jóhann Guðmundsson asked about progress on Jesse Keating's proposal to drop the Alpha milestone for the Fedora 12 release cycle. Jesse reported the proposal had been approved by the Release Engineering group and then by FESCo.
The Bugzappers group weekly meeting was held on 2009-05-12. The full log is available. John Poelstra reported that the planned email to fedora-devel-announce about the housekeeping changes in Bugzilla for Fedora 11 release was ready, and asked for feedback. The group agreed the email looked fine except for talking about Fedora 12 instead of Fedora 11. John promised to fix this and then send out the email.
The group briefly discussed the query used to find bugs filed on Rawhide to be changed to Fedora 11, and mostly agreed that it looked fine.
Adam Williamson reported on the progress of the triage metric system. Brennan Ashton had been very busy during the week and hence difficult to get hold of. He reported that the Python development group was waiting for Brennan to provide test data for them to confirm their proposed fixes to the code were correct, and he was trying to get Brennan to provide this data.
Adam Williamson also reported on the progress of the proposal to include setting the priority / severity fields as part of triage. The request for feedback on fedora-devel-list had produced little response; Adam suggested this wasn't a problem, as the main point was to make sure no developers were actively opposed to the proposal for good reasons. The group agreed that Adam would send a mail to the list to move the process along with a view to starting work on priority / severity as part of the initial triage process soon.
Edward Kirk revived the proposal to create a 000-Not-Sure-What-Component-To-File-Against component to catch bug reports when the reporter was not sure what the component should be. Adam Williamson pointed out the potential drawback to the proposal was that it would encourage reporters not to bother selecting the correct component for their report, thus needlessly increasing the load on the triagers. The group agreed that the current small number of bugs filed against the 0xFFFF component which currently occupies the first spot in the components list indicated this was not a problem worth making an active effort to address, and further agreed to work on correctly assigning all bugs currently filed against 0xFFFF.
The next QA weekly meeting will be held on 2009-05-20 at 1600 UTC in #fedora-meeting, and the next Bugzappers weekly meeting on 2009-05-19 at 1500 UTC in #fedora-meeting.
Upcoming Bugzilla Changes
John Poelstra announced that the regular housekeeping changes to Bugzilla for a new release would be happening on 2009-05-26, with all bugs filed on Rawhide being changed to Fedora 11, and a comment left on bugs filed on Fedora 9 that they must be moved to a later release if confirmed still to be valid, or else they will be closed as WONTFIX.
Bugzappers New Member SOP
Adam Williamson reported that he had revised the new members SOP to be clearer and more explicit, and the page explaining how to join the Bugzappers group to fully explain the revised process, including the self-introduction email.
Priority / Severity Process
Adam Williamson followed up on the priority / severity proposal, explaining that no significant negative feedback had been received from the development group, and asking for votes on which method for setting these fields the group should proceed with.
In this section the people, personalities and debates on the @fedora-devel mailing list are summarized.
Contributing Writer: Oisin Feeley
Broken Dependency Brouhaha
The deliberate introduction of a broken dependency by Richard W.M. Jones resulted prolonged discussion and two FESCo discussion items tabled for the 2009-05-15 meeting. One of those items was the possible removal of "provenpackager" status from Richard.
Michael Schwendt noticed that an update for
libguestfs had been pushed by developer Richard W.M. Jones in the full knowledge that
Fedora 10 users would need to import a
qemu package. An anonymous comment on
Bodhi situated the decision to release the update as an example of Richard not respecting the release process. Richard argued that as the
libguestfs package was completely new only those aware of what they were doing would install it (and consequently would be aware that they needed the
A strong reaction against "[c]reating broken deps when you know they won't be corrected[...]" ensued and led to Seth Vidal deciding to question Richard's suitability as a "provenpackager" on the basis that he lacked common sense.
A sidethread on the advantages of introducing dependency-checking was started by drago01. While Josh Boyer agreed that it would be useful he asked for help in solving the difficult problems which he listed.
The first of the 2009-05-15 FESCo meeting items resolved that Toshio Kuratomi and Richard W.M. Jones should draft a Packaging Guideline which prohibited introducing broken dependencies and submit it for approval by the Fedora Packaging Committee. For the second related meeting item it was decided that as Richard's introduction of a broken dependency was made in the absence of a clear prohibition against such actions, and as he was clear that it would not recur, then no sanction should be taken. The handling of similar requests to remove "provenpackager" status in the future were agreed to be best handled on a case-by-case basis.
Richard added that the necessary back-porting of changes to
Fedora 10 were going to happen. Currently the update has been revoked.
- This exciting library's ability to perform modifications within virtual machine images without the need to actually run those images has been covered previously in the FWN virtualization beat
Verilog Emacs Add-Ons
The prime mover behind the Fedora Electronic Lab Spin, Chitlesh Goorah, asked for feedback on splitting-out "verilog-mode" into a separate package so that upstream changes could be tracked more rapidly. This would also have the benefit of laying the groundwork to support OVM and VMM (see FWN#161).
Jonathan Underwood made some good points concerning the danger of missing out on emacs trunk integration of such packages if they were split out. He suggested instead: "[...] a packaging strategy whereby we don't rip out verilog-mode from the core emacs packages, but we can also have an add-on package which contains the latest and greatest verilog-mode which, if installed, is loaded in preference to the one from the core emacs packages[.]" This seemed to be accepted as a positive direction by Chitlesh and a review of the
emacs-verilog-mode package was started by Jonathan.
Open JDK7 Experimental Package
Lillian disliked the last option: "I am not keen on getting this package pushed into Fedora since java-1.6.0-openjdk already exists, and jdk7 will not be stable until sometime after Feb 2010."
Following several suggestions it was decided that a personal FedoraPeople repository was the best solution as there would be six or seven packages with no interdependencies.
Making Noise About Moksha
When Dimi Paun continued to report problems using PulseAudio (see FWN#174) responses suggested that his use of non-Free
Flash or tweaking of
GStreamer settings was responsible. Debugging using
gstreamer-properties to ensure that "pulsesink" or "autoaudiosink" was the default sink was recommended.
Lennart Poettering wanted a bug filed instead of posts to @fedora-devel and when Dimi explained that
Bugzilla was too slow and he had already spent a lot of time on the problem Rahul Sundaram suggested using
Criticism of the display of possibly thousands of "CLOSED" bugs by
Bugz led Tom Callaway to offer the hope that
Fedora Community will allow developers to "[...] show new/open packages only on a per package basis[.]" This occasioned some apparent criticism from Rahul Sundaram of a lack of openness "[...] it is a giant silo [...]" around the development of
Fedora Community. Tom Callaway offered a list of resources to contradict this. When Rahul returned with the criticism that there "[...]is definitely a big lack of communication on this development with the rest of the Fedora community. There was a very brief mail to fedora-announce list but how much input are you getting input from Fedora maintainers whose job this is supposed to make easier?" there was a distinct lack of enthusiasm for more aggressive marketing. Josh Boyer reaffirmed the involvement of several developers with large package lists and expressed a fear that bike-shedding would result from any more exposure. Paul W. Frields pointed to a useful interview with Luke Macken about the
Moksha web-application framework upon which
Fedora Community is being built.
Moksha is built on a collection of python-based web-frameworks and uses
Orbited instead of
AJAX to connect rich web applications to servers. Reportedly this is more responsive than AJAX techniques.
A test instance of
Fedora Community and
AJAX was reported by Tom Callaway to be up. He emphasized that it was a test instance, currently not to be relied upon at all and a disinclination "[...] to spend time wading through the `OMG THIS IS SLOWER THAN BUGZLILLA!!!1!'" reports.
Be Excellent to Each Other
Regular readers are no doubt aware that flamewars have become more common on @fedora-devel. Project Leader Paul W. Frields posted to the @fedora-advisory-board that the FAB had decided to deal with the "[...] degradation in tone and signal [...]" by appointing moderators.
Mike McGrath worried that this would constitute an extra burden for board members and also objected to any censorship on principal. As a related problem Mark McLoughlin wondered how posters warned privately by moderators that their behavior was problematic could defend themselves. Seth Vidal replied that this was not a court of law and that problems with moderators could be reported to the board. Later posts along these lines drew a response from Luis Villa which argued strongly that over-valuing one's own liberty to the detriment of others' was a problem: "Or to put it another way: The Fedora community exists to work together towards some common goals. Sometimes, in the name of reaching those goals, you have to be polite and adult towards others so that you can work efficiently and constructively with those other people even when you disagree with them, and work with them in the future after you have stopped disagreeing. This use of words like 'freedom' and 'oppression' suggests to me that some people think their highest reason for being here is about them. It's not about you, it's about working together to build something bigger and better than you. And if you can't play nicely with others in the name of those bigger and better things, or don't understand why sometimes you have to play nice in order to get to those bigger and better things, then maybe this isn't the right place for you."
Paul W. Frields reported that a good deal of work led by Kevin Fenzi was going on to moderate the IRC channels. A later post made by Max Spevack referenced IRC bans in the #cobbler channel and suggested that Red Hat employees needed to be tough-minded and hold themselves to higher standards than other contributors.
Best Way to Store Information Across Desktops
Adam Williamson noticed that many applications were storing information in
~/.config files and Mathieu Bridon provided the information that this was an
XDG spec from freedesktop.org which resulted in replacing a plethora of
.app directories with only two:
.config to store configuration and
.local/share/ to store data.
This section covers the news surrounding the Fedora Translation (L10n) Project.
Contributing Writer: Runa Bhattacharjee
Fedora 11 Website Strings Frozen
Confirmation Process for Translation Commits
A wrong commit for the system-config-printer package initiated a discussion about introducing a pre-commit check on translate.fedoraproject.org. The suggestions list included the inclusion of a 'Revert Commit' button, 'diff display', and 'confirmation screen'.
Decision Regarding Inclusion of Specspo
As part of decision making process related to the size of images for Live CD/DVD, Bill Nottingham requested review of a decision to exclude the specspo package due to a lack of updated translations since October 2007 and the uncertainty about the process to submit translations at present. The current maintainer Stepan Kasal apologised for the inactivity and offered to rebuild the package for Fedora 11 with any available translations. Suggestions favoured the retention of the translations but removal of the package from the Live media if space was a constraint. At present, Bill Nottingham announced its return to comps and requested Stepan Kasal to rebuild it with the available translations.
Zero-day Changes to Fedora 11 Release Notes
Due to a last minute decision from the QA team, KarstenWade intimated about zero-day changes to the Release Candidate version of the Fedora 11 Release Notes. Additionally, these changes along with the updated translations would also be displayed in the version of the notes available on docs.fedoraproject.org.
In this section, we cover the Fedora Artwork Project.
Contributing Writer: Nicu Buculei
Easily Customizing the Wallpaper
William Jon McCann forwarded a MSDN blog post about wallpaper customization in Windows 7 and Nicu Buculei observed the similarities with "Wallpapers Extras", a project of the Art Team which lately had little activity. "[T]he plan there is to gather as many as possible images from the larger community and figure out a way to select some which we think are both good and diverse." Nicu was also reminded of an old idea by former Fedora contributor Bryan W Clark: 'background channels'.
From here the discussion went to discuss Máirín Duffy's question about the need for gallery software: "Would some gallery software help us out? E.g. we could maybe talk to Fedora Infrastructure about having a gallery install for our usage" and debates about the way to set the wallpapers from inside desktop applications, which Jóhann B. Guðmundsson identified as important and Matthias Clasen as already solved by Firefox.
Media Art for Fedora 11
Clint Savage asked on @fedora-art about one of the last design pieces needed for the Fedora 11 release, CD/DVD labels and sleeves and he quickly followed with an initial design "I've created some initial artwork for the sleeves, but I think it needs some help" which was further improved by Máirín Duffy: "I've moved much of the lion off the design. I also removed a lot of the styles that were there to get this effect" until a final design. In parallel Susmit Shannigrahi tried a version in richer colors, suitable for printing on a smaller scale.
Fedora Weekly Webcomic
Tracking Rawhide you should be running F11 already... are you?
Nicu's latest webcomic
In this section, we cover discussion of Fedora virtualization technologies on the @et-mgmnt-tools-list, @fedora-xen-list, @libvirt-list and @ovirt-devel-list lists.
Contributing Writer: Dale Bewley
This section contains the discussion happening on the libvir-list.
Status and Plans for Next Release
Work will continue on
"reviewing and adding OpenNebula/Power drivers and try to get the
netcf and secure migration patches in. It's likely not
everything will make the release cut but we can try !"
"So far we have mostly a lot of bug fixes and VirtualBox driver updates commited since 0.6.3."
PCI Passthrough Support
Daniel also noted "you need a machine supporting VT-D" (or IOMMU in general) "for this work - the vast majority of hosts with fullvirt support do *not* yet support VT-D passthrough, but perhaps you're lucky ..."
Converting Between Domain XML and Native Configurations
Daniel's changes enable
Xen guest conversion "to/from both XM config format (
/etc/xen files), and the SEXPR format used by XenD".
"For QEMU, it implemnets export of domain XML into the
QEMU argv format" and conversion from QEMU argv into domain XML.
"With this available, it
makes it very easy for people using QEMU to switch over to using
Virtual Box Support Increases