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Fedora Weekly News Issue 134

Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 134 for the week ending July 12, 2008.


Fedora Weekly News keep you updated with the latest issues, events and activities in the fedora community.

If you are interested in contributing to Fedora Weekly News, please see our 'join' page. Being a Fedora Weekly News beat writer gives you a chance to work on one of our community's most important sources of news, and can be done in only about 1 hour per week of your time.

We are still looking for beat writers to cover the highlights of Fedora Marketing each week and to summarize the Fedora Events and Meetings that happened during each week.



In this section, we cover announcements from the Fedora Project.



Contributing Writer: Max Spevack

New RPM version in Rawhide

Panu Matilainen had a very important announcement[1]:

"At long last, we are about to get a brand new RPM version (alpha snapshot at the moment) into rawhide. The list of changes from 4.4.2.x is massive and a full summary needs a separate posting (will follow as time permits), this is just a heads-up of immediate consequences for Fedora packagers and rawhide consumers.

"BACKUP YOUR RPMDB, NOW! We're not aware of any baby-eating bugs in rpm but I'd be shocked if there were no new bugs at all... Better safe than sorry - do something like this before updating to the new rpm:

# cp -avp /var/lib/rpm /var/lib/rpm-`date +%d%m%y`


[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-announce/2008-July/msg00002.html

Bugzilla upgrade coming July 26th

John Poelstra announced[1] on behalf of Dave Lawrence:

"The Red Hat Bugzilla team is happy to announce that the release of the next version of Red Hat Bugzilla will occur on July 26th, 2008. The next version will be based on the upcoming upstream 3.2 code base soon to be released."

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-announce-list/2008-July/msg00000.html

Rawhide Orphanarium Purge: June 18th

Warren Togami announced on fedora-devel-announce[1]:

"Please review the following packages. This is roughly the list of current orphans in rawhide. If they are not claimed by June 18th then they may be removed from rawhide by the F10 Alpha freeze."

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-announce/2008-July/msg00001.html

Planet Fedora

In this section, we cover the highlights of Planet Fedora - an aggregation of blogs from Fedora contributors worldwide.


Contributing Writer: Max Spevack

Robocup 2008

Tim Niemuller posted on his blog[1] that he is en-route to China for RoboCup 2008[2]:

"I will place some Fedora stickers on the robots and I hope to foster some questions and spawn some interest for the Fedora Robotics SIG. We have put this SIG on our team description poster as a community contribution! Next year we will have that funky robotics LiveCD!"

[1] http://www.niemueller.de/blog/show.php?id=225

[2] http://www.robocup-cn.org/

Fedora TV

Jonathan Roberts discussed[1] the Fedora TV idea, as implemented using Miro.

"What is [Fedora TV]?

A way for our community to easily share video and audio related to Fedora with each other - the mechanism we’ve chosen to do this is an RSS feed that also exists as a channel in Miro.

How do I watch?

You can install Miro and subscribe to the Fedora TV channel. You can also add the RSS feed to any feed reader or suitable podcatching client."

Also, Jef Spaleta talked about[2] the current status of Fedora TV on his blog.

"Fedora TV is up and running a work flow. We have a submission que. We have a delivery channel. So now we need is to start looking at what sort of things make sense as content. We have people looking at doing screencasts, and doing interviews... content of an educational or newsworthy nature. But what we don't have to round out our experimental programming is someone looking into generating artistic or entertainment content."

[1] http://jonrob.wordpress.com/2008/07/08/fedora-tv/

[2] http://jspaleta.livejournal.com/24610.html

OLPC call to action

Greg DeKoenigsberg exhorted[1] the Fedora packaging community to pick up some of the items on OLPC's wish list, and gives a general update of the state of OLPC's relationship with Fedora.

"Did you know that the OLPC project is the largest single "customer" of Fedora in the entire world?

The rumours of OLPC's death have been greatly exaggerated. Despite some unfortunate statements by the project's erstwhile CEO, the OLPC project is still *extremely* focused on succeeding in its noble goal -- the education of the world's children -- with the use of free software as the central component of their software strategy. And they are, in fact, succeeding, even though the open source community has largely turned its collective back on that success. Which is, I think, a shame."

[1] http://gregdek.livejournal.com/31067.html

TurboGears 2 slides & code from FUDCon Boston 2008

TurboGears ninja Luke Macken has posted[1] his slides and code from FUDCon Boston.

"So, for this presentation I wanted to start a new application from scratch to use as an example. Turns out, I ended up implementing something similar to brainstorm.ubuntu.com -- but better. Not only does it allow you to share, rank, and collaborate on ideas, but you can also ask, answer, and rate questions as well. The thing that makes this application really stand out is that once you land on the page, the widgets update themselves in *real-time*. To accomplish this, I created a bunch of ToscaWidgets, which are re-usable bundles of xhtml+css+javascript that I can easily use all over my application. When the widgets are rendered in the clients browser, they open a persistent comet connection back to our Orbited server. From here, our TurboGears application sends events to Orbited as they happen, which then get sent asynchronously back to our clients where jQuery handles rendering the results. "

[1] http://lewk.org/blog/TG2-FUDCon2008.html


Paul Frields highlighted some of the early Fedora 10 feature work[1]:

"I was just looking at the proposed Fedora 10 features category on the wiki. There are over a dozen cool features being set up for this next release."

[1] http://marilyn.frields.org:8080/~paul/wordpress/?p=1053

Graphical Boot and Live Images

Jeremy Katz wrote in his blog[1]:

"One of the goals for Fedora 10 is to replace the aging rhgb that has been used for graphical boot since Red Hat Linux 8.0. rhgb is implemented using an X server which started in rc.sysinit relatively early during the boot process and then some feedback is provided to the user. With some of the improvements underway for Fedora 10 we should hopefully have kernel modesetting in place at least for some drivers which will let us set a native resolution graphical mode as opposed to requiring either text-mode, an X driver + server or the use of a framebuffer."

Jeremy has also posted a screencast[2] showing this new functionality in action.

[1] http://katzj.livejournal.com/432195.html

[2] http://katzj.livejournal.com/432586.html

Whence world domination?

Colin Walters muses[1] during GUADEC:

"How do we increase use of GNOME and Free Software in general on the desktop? What's our target audience? What kinds of things can we do? Why haven't we taken over the world yet?"

[1] http://cgwalters.livejournal.com/18327.html

Patented oddness...

Jef Spaleta opined on his blog[1] about ooxml:

"So looking back over the last few months of all the coverage concerning ooxml and how very bad it is... it seems to me that a lot of people have made it a point to question whether the ooxml specification has patented bits. Even in countries where software patents aren't so very important...yet.. the very issue of patents on bits of the ooxml specification made some sort of press.

Compared to the situation we have for patent encumbered audio/video standards..i find such interest in talking about the ooxml patent issue quite out of proportion. Why does the world, the free world, the world where innovation is yet to be shackled by the constraints of enforced software patents care so very much about the patentability of ooxml, but for audio/video format specifications, its barely on anyone's radar at all as something to be up in arms about?"

[1] http://jspaleta.livejournal.com/24410.html

Bug reporting for Planet Fedora

Max Spevack wrote on his blog[1],

"We have received several reports from people who visited parents, relatives, etc. over the 4th of July weekend and saw strange rendering problems with Planet Fedora on various browser/OS combinations.

In response to that, we have set up a test matrix that anyone in our community can use to report either successful or problematic browser/OS combinations.

If you have a Windows box or a Macintosh near you, this is an easy way to do a little bit of testing that will be of benefit to the Fedora community."

[1] http://spevack.livejournal.com/58828.html

A walking little guy

Nicu Buculei made a little animation that your correspondent thought was cute[1].

[1] http://nicubunu.blogspot.com/2008/07/walking-little-guy.html

Fedora EMEA Ambassador Meeting Reminder

Fabian Affolter wrote on his blog[1],

"The next monthly EMEA Ambassador Meeting will be next week.

Day : Wednesday, July 16, 2008 (16.07.2008)

Time : 20:00 UTC

Channel : #fedora-meeting"

[1] http://fabaff.blogspot.com/2008/07/reminder-emea-ambassador-meeting-next.html

Eth-0 and hacking out in the woods

Yaakov Nemoy wrote on his blog[1] about the Eth-0 show in Wieringermeer.

"I think it's really important for people to understand a little bit about how open source in Europe works compared to the US. For many people here it isn't just a development model or a way of guaranteeing some level of code security, but just a matter of life and reality. Many people here, at this event, are pretty involved not only in messing around with fun electronic toys, but also administrating some very complex networks and systems deployments. Being able to apply a certain level of code freedom to playing with complex servers scales equally as well to being able to create new tools for Audio and Video production. In other words, all the cool parties use open source here.

When working with Free Media geeks, having libraries of open media for use in productions is equally as important. It's very common to want to use movies out of pop culture or out of alternative culture (cue obvious cut to a scene from Yellow Submarine for 750 milliseconds.) The sooner most common media, even off-Hollywood films are under licenses like the Creative Commons, the closer artists are able to legally and freely use this media for their performances as well. Open Source and Open Media aren't just philosophical discussions but really affect the things that people her do."

[1] http://loupgaroublond.blogspot.com/2008/07/eth-0-and-hacking-out-in-woods.html

Pushing kernels more aggressively to updates-testing

David Nielsen offered his opinions[1] on how we push kernel updates in Fedora:

"We did the correct thing, to a degree naturally, the update was in relation to a security update something Fedora takes very seriously. As such our users should always feel safe knowing that we will push such updates fast, keeping their systems secure through multiple means including proactive security and rapid updates.

However the problem is that we don’t apply the update to the existing stable kernel, the patch is always applied on top of the progressing kernel, meaning we also end up shipping a lot of other things such as bugfixes, updates to the latest upstream STABLE tree and various other things. This however is confronted with one problem, the kernels in between the current stable and next update are not all being pushed to updates-testing - only selected kernel updates are. In cases where we then have to release a security fix we are forced to ship a bunch of stuff additionally which is not likely to have been tested extensively."

[1] http://davidnielsen.wordpress.com/2008/07/06/pushing-kernels-more-aggressively-to-updates-testing/


In this section, we cover the Fedora Marketing Project.


Contributing Writer: Pascal Calarco

Beat Writers sought for Marketing & Meetings

Pascal Calarco posted [1] a call for volunteers for the Marketing and Meetings beats for Fedora Weekly News. He added, "If you are interested, take a peek at the last few issues of FWN [2] to see what this looks like, and then sign up [3] by joining the fedora-news-list, introduce yourself and claim one of these beats as your own!

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-marketing-list/2008-July/msg00037.html

[2] https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FWN

[3] https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/NewsProject/Join

Rebranding EPEL

Karsten Wade announced [1] that the Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) project was going to go through a rebranding process and invited interested folk on the fedora-marketing list to participate in a teleconference this past week on this work. Stay tuned for more information on this.

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-marketing-list/2008-July/msg00051.html

Red Hat Replaces RHGB With Plymouth

Rahul Sundaram shared [1] a story from Phoronix [2] about Red Hat's replacement of the Red Hat Graphical Boot loader, which is being discontinued and replaced with a new boot loader called Plymouth, engineered by Red Hat's Ray Strode. More information on Plymouth is available on the Fedora wiki [3]

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-marketing-list/2008-July/msg00072.html

[2] http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=NjU3OA

[3] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Releases/FeatureBetterStartup

Top 4 New Features Proposed for Fedora 10

Rahul Sundaram posted [1] an article in Linux Loop [2] where the writer shared his top four suggested enhancements for Fedora 10, including a web-based software portal, Live CD without the CD, improved support for fingerprint readers, and a 'Fedora Lite,' suitable for older computers. The posting generated some discussion on Linux Loop.

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-marketing-list/2008-July/msg00073.html

[2] http://www.linuxloop.com/news/2008/07/09/top-4-new-feature-proposed-for-fedora-10/

Fedora-powered tools on new Phoenix BIOS hypervisor

Paul W. Frields forwarded [1] a recent article from BetaNews that reported [2] "that NEC will be among the first PC manufacturers to use its HyperSpace technology...In a meeting with BetaNews on Thursday at this week's Digital Life press preview, the VP said that the HyperSpace platform allows software tools to run on Fedora Linux firmware, even though Windows is installed on the same system."

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-marketing-list/2008-July/msg00089.html

[2] http://www.betanews.com/article/Phoenix_BIOS_with_hypervisor_to_premiere_Monday_in_NEC_laptops/1215815330

Concept Art for Fedora 10

Rahul Sundaram contributed [1] a recent article from OSNews [2] encouraging readers to check out developments in concept art for Fedora 10 and pointing to a longer posting in Linux Loop [3]. "For many, their first experience with Fedora leaves them in awe of the incredible artwork. This is an important part of Fedora's reputation, so if your a fan of Fedora art, you should definitely check out what the art team has come up with." The poster at Linux Loop briefly looks at six thematic conceptual sketches to be included in Fedora 10, and concludes, "Overall, I cannot wait to see what Fedora 10’s final theme looks like. If the concepts look this good already, I bet they will look simply incredible when they are finalized."

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-marketing-list/2008-July/msg00090.html

[2] http://www.osnews.com/story/20039/Concept_Art_for_Fedora_10

[3] http://www.linuxloop.com/news/2008/07/11/early-fedora-10-artwork/


In this section, we cover Fedora Ambassadors Project.


Contributing Writer: JeffreyTadlock

RMLL Event Report

Pierre-Yves posted [1] an event report for the RMLL at Mont-de-Marsant, France to the ambassador mailing list. The conference had approximately 4000+ visitors and T-shirts, buttons and live media were distributed from the Fedora booth. Be sure to read the event report for the full details.

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-ambassadors-list/2008-July/msg00156.html

Fedora 9 Release Party - Rio de Janeiro

Rodrigo Padula posted [1] pictures from the Firefox 3 and Fedora 9 release party in Rio de Janeiro.

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-ambassadors-list/2008-July/msg00109.html

Event Budget Deadlines

Max Spevack reminded [1] ambassadors that the deadline to have your event on the Fedora Events [2] page is August 1st if it falls between September 1 and November 30. In order to be considered for the FAmSCo budgeting process the events need to be posted to the wiki. The email to the ambassadors list contains the full details.

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-ambassadors-list/2008-July/msg00152.html

[2] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FedoraEvents


Contributing writer Osin Feeley

New RPM Sparks Exploded Source Debate

The announcement[1] of a sparkling new alpha-version of RPM by PanuMatilainen was greeted with congratulations and applause and later some passionate argument. It has been approximately one year since Panu solicited (see FWN#98 "Panu Opens Pandora's Box"[2] and FWN#99 "RPM Roadmap (Cont.)"[3]) suggestions from those not intimately involved in RPM development as to which problems should be fixed. This initiative was taken after deciding to move RPM-4.4 to bugfix maintenance due to artistic differences with the current RPM coder (who then led a very public fork named RPM5[4]). Panu's new RPM-4.6.0 implements many of those suggestions as detailed[5] in the release notes and many of those involved in the initial roadmap process (such as RalfCorsepius who cleaned[6] up the autotool stuff also helped to implement the desired changes. By Panu's estimate over 2300 commits were made[7] to the source since the initiative to get RPM development back on schedule began, and although the wiki provides[8] essential details of what has been implemented there is still a good deal of information lacking.

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00477.html


[3] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FWN/Issue99#RPM.Roadmap..28Cont..29

[4] http://rpm5.org/

[5] http://wiki.rpm.org/Releases/4.5.90

[6] http://www.mail-archive.com/rpm-maint@lists.rpm.org/msg00386.html

[7] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00538.html

[8] http://wiki.rpm.org/Releases/4.5.90

The announcement contained suggestions for users (of Rawhide where the alpha is available) about how to trouble-proof themselves and a more extensive list of notes for packagers. Of note are the changes to the macros to eliminate the old buildroot directory defaults and ignore[9] the BuildRoot in an rpm's spec file, and the addition of support for LZMA[10] compression. Another cool new feature is the addition of a macro to allow iteration over all patches, something which was welcomed[11] by JarodWilson, who noted that RHEL5 needed 1800 lines in the kernel specfile solely to mention each patch.

[9] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00531.html

[10] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LZMA

[11] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00502.html

It seems that a massive amount of work has gone into API changes and internal cleanup of the code in order to set up a framework for the addition of new features in the future.

ThorstenLeemhuis expressed[12] happiness with Panu's contribution but wondered whether the FESCo Feature process[13] had been shown to be unnecessarily bureaucratic by the manner in which this change had occurred. JoshBoyer and JeffSpaleta drew[14] a slightly different lesson and suggested that it ought to be made easier for a developer to determine whether their package upgrade should be filed as a feature. Panu also agreed[15] that Thorsten's points were fair but excused himself on the grounds of concentrating on upstream RPM development and not being sure what the demarcation between feature and non-feature was.

[12] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00549.html

[13] https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/Policy

[14] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00562.html

[15] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00565.html

PaulFrields suggested[16] that it might be useful to think of the "Fedora feature process as leveraging what Fedora can provide for an upstream community. Two things that come to mind immediately are QA/testing and widespread publicizing of the feature." JohnPoelstra also drew attention[17] to the synergistic advantages of the Features process resulting from its public communication of what is being worked on currently. CallumLerwick, responding to Thorsten, gave his understanding of the Features process as "a conduit for the Engineering side of Fedora to collaborate with the Marketing side of Fedora, to allow the Marketing people to build up pre-release hype for new features without having to second-guess us notoriously busy, and quiet, engineering types. It allows the Marketing people to keep tabs on engineering activities and have reasonable certainty as to the status of the feature, specifically whether or not it is going to be finished in time for the final release." He emphasized the voluntary participation of developers and software engineers in the process and the benefit resulting from having marketing clued-in to interesting changes. JesseKeating responded[18] that the process was "way more than just marketing fluff. Features have very real schedule impact, just consider this time around, RPM with a bunch of new features, and a new gcc coming at some point soon. Usually we want to rebuild for both of those. Without some high level coordination, how do we schedule so that we rebuild once for all of the right reasons instead of multiple times individually?" The marketing advantages of the Feature process were confirmed[19] by PaulFrields. MatthiasClasen made[20] some concrete suggestions on how to improve the Feature process. They included the addition of definitions or explanations for each section and the perception that the review of his feature pages felt a bit like getting homework graded.

[16] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00580.html

[17] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00581.html

[18] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00626.html

[19] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00582.html

[20] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00645.html

The point about co-ordination of activities was highlighted when DougLedford confessed[21] that his first reaction had been "Oh hell...what a colossal waste of time" when he realized that he had spent a week studying what was now obsolete RPM source code. Panu's friendly response that Doug "could've just asked" drew out the central problem: "Yeah, I know, I just didn't know a big update like this was in the works." Doug's interest lay[22] in extending rpmdb to add fields to allow interaction with SCMs[23] mostly "to be able to support exploded source repos and usage of exploded source repos as canonical source versions of binary packages." Panu answered[24] that these sorts of changes were probably post-Fedora 10 and that he too was keen to integrate with SCM tools. He pleaded for some more patience to settle this clean, new codebase down before implementing such changes: "I know. People have been waiting SO long for various things to happen in RPM that everybody's out of patience and wants their stuff in NOW. Please try to be patient a little bit longer: once this release stabilizes, RPM can move to a "normal" development-release cycle where folks will not have to wait 5+ years to get their changes in :)" SethVidal and ToshioKuratomi were impatient with Doug's impatience[25,26] with the latter noting that Fedora Policy "to allow using source control repos interchangeably with tarballs would [not] be approved in time for F10 either."

[21] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00683.html

[22] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00694.html

[23] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_configuration_management

[24] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00696.html

[25] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00702.html

[26] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00699.html

Later Panu requested[27] that packagers "refrain from using the new spec features in Fedora to minimize the fuss in case disaster strikes and we need to go back to rpm 4.4.x. The new rpm is on probation for a while ;) Please do test and use the new things as much as possible in private, just not yet in Fedora CVS. A further notification will be sent when the probation is over."

[27] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00703.html

Doug expended a good deal of effort both trying to get an answer as to whether there was any point in him trying to go ahead and add some of the basic features which he thought were necessary, and also explaining why the ability to interact directly with a distributed SCM/VCS instead of through the middle-man of a tarball was a good idea. Among the advantages Doug described were "since you built the binary packages from this exploded source repo, then in order to give people the exact sources you built from, you need to make the repo available for clone/checkout by people. You need never once build an srpm or tarball from this repo if you don't want to [...] the first advantage to this type of setup is that every SCM worth a pile of dog poo will store the different versions of software in some form of change related format that keeps you from duplicating the same things over and over again like tarball after tarball does. You generally take a hit in size versus a single tarball, but end up saving quite a lot in the long run [...] you get to work on the code in native format, try things out, run build tests, and all the while the pain of repetitive rpm source processing is reduced[...]" Doug went on to explain that in the case where the upstream also uses a distributed SCM then things become even easier. He attached his notes (in tomboy format) with yet more detail.

Doug was obviously brimming with ideas about how this would make Fedora development easier and reacted[28] with a certain amount of frustration to Panu's and Seth's assumption that he was asking them to do something which they could not get around to until Fedora 11. Doug also pointed[29] out that the problem of forcing the creators of spins to distribute their own sources was also possibly solved by using distributed SCMs and that he had discussed this with JesseKeating at the recent FUDCon. His perception was that the Fedora Project was actively blocking Red Hat's needs. JesseKeating later returned[30] to the problem of compliance with the distribution requirements of the GPL: "I either have to offer you a CD/DVD of corresponding sources in <insert vague nonlegal terms here> format, or provide you a written offer to provide the above that is good for the next 3 years, or pass along such written offer that I myself may have gotten. Nobody has confirmed nor denied what that <vague nonlegal terms here> means, nor how long the 3year clock ticks on those formats, and whether or not directions on how to get the source from our public source repo is OK."

[28] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00729.html

[29] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00776.html

[30] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00793.html

This has been an inadequate summary of a complex topic. If you are interested in it you are well advised to read the thread especially Doug's posts and the responses to them. They start here[31].

[31] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00683.html

Fedora EDU Spin Preview Temporarily Pulled

A spin targeted at educational environments, "Fedora EDU"[1], was announced [2] as available in preview by SebastianDzillias. He explained that its focus was on mathematical applications with a KDE-4.1 desktop environment and that it was currently x86 only.

[1] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/SIGs/Education/Roadmap

[2] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00628.html

JesseKeating was quick to point out[3] that the use of the KDE-4.1 preview provided by the "kde-redhat" repositories meant that the spin could not use the "Fedora" trademarks. JoshBoyer amplified[4] on this with the information that "you need to get Board/Spin SIG/Rel Eng approval to call a spin a Fedora spin" and that there was no need to use the kde-redhat repositories as Rawhide already had the KDE preview packaged up. ChristopherAillon also noted the existence of the SpinSubmissionProcess and LukeMacken wondered [5] whether anyone wanted to help out in creating a "fedora-spins" mailing list to help unblocked that process.

[3] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00629.html

[4] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00632.html

[5] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00651.html

Further discussion between RexDieter and JoshBoyer revealed[6] that the spin was also based on Fedora 9, which led Josh to suggest that new spins should dovetail into the release process and specifically that this one should be based off Fedora 10. Rex agreed that this had been the plan, but that this was simply a preview to obtain feedback. JeffSpaleta thought[7] that "Preview binaries are great, because it shows that these particular Spin developers are making their best effort to get this working and tested[.]" He asked for confirmation that there was no actual policy preventing such preview spins being built against the current (as opposed to rawhide) release and suggested that the main problems were "they pushed ahead and used non-fedora binaries in what they published [and] [w]e don't want anyone out in the wild to get the idea that this is a baked concept. The generic logos are there specifically so we can do preview spins like this." JoseMatos thought[8] that the question should be extended beyond spins to consider the general case of "non-official" repositories such as the TEXLive, Python-2.5 and other repositories. Although he was aware of the inherent possibility of diluting rawhide testing due to such repositories "I would have expected that by now we had some kind of mechanism to deal with such cases other than the non-official stance of every of those repositories." CharlesDostale thought[9] that an ultra-rawhide as hinted at by Jose would be interesting.

[6] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00637.html

[7] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00644.html

[8] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00650.html

[9] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00690.html

JeroenvanMeeuwen agreed[10] with Jeff that there was no current hard policy against working off the current release and decided to "propose to the spin sig to have the spin-kickstarts master branch use generic-logos (master branch is for development so basically anyone can do anything there)." RexDieter took responsibility and announced on his blog[11] that the spin was pulled until the aforementioned problems had been resolved.

[10] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00653.html

[11] http://rdieter.livejournal.com/2008/07/10/

Later Jeroen posted[12] an explanation and request for how those wishing to produce official Fedora spins should proceed. An exchange[13] between JesseKeating and RahulSundaram focused on the question of whether FESCo should, as the designated body, be the one to decide whether the "desktop" and KDE variants were not spins. Jesse argued that because they were produced as part of the distribution they should be treated as "in essence the non-contrib part" and thus not to be treated as spins. Jesse argued strongly that it was "ill advised [for FESCo to have voted that spins are not features and] Releng and the Spins SIG want them to be features, and I'll use my powers in FESCo now and the board as well if necessary to push that agenda." He returned to the theme that Features were essential to the process of co-ordinating the production of a release. Rahul agreed[14] with the logic of Jesse's argument but disagreed with the over-riding of FESCo's decision "[..] if FESCo makes a decision, it should be the same group reversing it instead of any of us arbitrarily deciding otherwise. There is no point in FESCo making such decisions otherwise." JeffSpaleta also appeared[15] to believe that the decision-making process was slightly off-kilter.

[12] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00686.html

[13] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00720.html

[14] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00724.html

[15] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00721.html

Fedora, Meet OLPC. OLPC, Meet Fedora

Greg De Koenigsberg asked[1] Fedora packagers to help out the OLPC project by taking up the reins as far as package maintenance goes. He noted that contrary to some press reports the OLPC project has not died and quoted some surprising statistics: "OLPC has shipped over 300,000 units to kids around the world. They plan to ship at least another 50,000 more each month, and very likely more than that. It's entirely possible that by the end of 2008, there will be a million OLPC systems deployed worldwide. Of those systems, 100% of them currently run Fedora, and 0% of them currently run Windows despite the press clippings you may have read." Greg argued that this made OLPC Fedora's single largest customer and that the community was exceptionally well placed to help this continue. Some of the tasks were "simple issues that even novice packagers could handle." JeffSpaleta suggested that a "Sugar Desktop Spin" for standard PC hardware with a SIG to help organize around would improve efficiency.

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00433.html

DebarshiRay wondered[2] "Can someone running vanilla Fedora (8/9/etc.) without any physical access to the XO hardware maintain/use OLPC packages?" and DennisGilmore answered[3] unequivocally "Yes, there is only a tiny handful of packages that are specific to the hardware/setup of the XO. the rest should always be applicable for use outside of the XO, sugar is in F-9 there is still some kinks in regards to the packaging that needs fixed. but if it doesnt work right on a normal fedora desktop its a bug and needs fixing." ChristopherAillon pointed out[4] that plenty of packagers maintain their packages for architectures, such as PPC, for which they do not have physical hardware and that XO was no different.

[2] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00461.html

[3] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00462.html

[4] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00463.html

ColinWalters thought[5] that simple manual fixing of problems missed the opportunity to automate the process where appropriate. DanielDrake raised[6] a related point, based on his experience of working on upgrading the OLPC from Fedora 7 to Fedora 9, which was that there appeared to be ever increasing bloat as a result of dependency chains. Due to the limited space on the XO Daniel requested help in slimming things down somehow. MatthiasClasen remembered[7] that when he had been involved with OLPC it had been necessary to do a lot of "dependency pruning." He advised that the best course of action was to "keep fighting this by filing bugs and pointing out package split candidates, since these deps have the tendency to grow back." RahulSundaram noted[8] that the need to produce LiveCDs helped combat the bloat tendency and RichardJones separately mentioned[9] oVirt[10] in the same context.

[5] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00439.html

[6] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00490.html

[7] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00503.html

[8] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00512.html

[9] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00529.html

[10] http://ovirt.org/

After MatthiasClasen told Daniel that gvfs would possibly be split-up for Fedora 10, but that it was unlikely without a fork for Fedora 9, DennisGilmore added that he had been working on always tracking Rawhide for the olpc and that a Fedora 10-based build was possible. DanielBerrange spoke for the oVirt project when he expressed[11] a desire for tools to produce nightly reports on statistics such as the "disk footprint of the chain starting from package 'X', or list of dependencies from package 'X', or perhaps something that given a kickstart file can report the total size of the package set listed in the kickstart without actually going through the full livecd (or equiv) build process." SethVidal offered to take care of this and Daniel added[12] some further desiderata. Shortly afterwards Seth whipped-up an implementation to which JeremyKatz commented "The thing which becomes important to see is growth (or shrinkage) in packages as well as what new packages/removed packages there are. Which involves fiddly questions of growth thresholds and human analysis of the output." DavidTimms was excited[13] by the output, including what it appeared to reveal about the minimal set of install packages. Seth ended up modifying the output to a simple format which allowed[14] the use of standard UNIX text-processing commands to do fun things with the output.

[11] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00519.html

[12] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00525.html

[13] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00649.html

[14] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00685.html

Getting Rid of pam_console for Fedora 10 ?

Currently Fedora sports both pam.console and HAL-based ACL support and BillNottingham posted[1] that it was "time to cut the cord and remove pam.console, so we only have one way of setting device permissions to worry about." He attached a list of affected packages.

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00555.html

ChrisAdams wondered[2] how he would implement HAL-based ACLs for his serial ports to access other consoles. Following Bill's request for an lshal output and a pointer to an example HAL policy Chris's own stab at producing the policy seemed to pass muster. He added "I have another system where I have multiple USB-to-RS232 adapters; one is used for outbound terminal sessions (console user gets access) and one for a modem (no console access). I differentiate between the two with a udev rule that adds a symlink (e.g. "term" and "modem") and then set the permissions with a pam.console match on the symlink. Is it possible to match something set from udev like that (so I don't have two places to keep track of hardware serial numbers and such for matching)?" Bill's reply suggested examining /usr/share/hal/fdi/information/10freedesktop/10-usb-pda.fdi and /usr/share/hal/fdi/policy/10osvendor/20-acl-management.fdi in order to see respectively how varying information in HAL is handled and then ACL management is applied. This led a happy JeffSpaleta to exclaim[3] "that was the first explanation of how to do this sort of thing on how to generate new hardware access control rules that I've actually followed."

[2] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00567.html

[3] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00570.html

DavidZeuthen corrected[4] Bill's description of the surgery to "the plan is actually to move this to ConsoleKit (HAL is going away and all that etc. etc.) but that's most likely F11 material. So suggest to hold off this feature for now." This might reassure DmitryButskoy who commented[5] that pam_console's "auth" features were useful.

[4] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00621.html

[5] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00608.html

New PackageKit and GNOME-packagekit in Fedora 9

RichardHughes drew attention[1] to the availability of API-breaking update of PackageKit and gnome-packagekit in the Fedora 9 "updates-testing" repository. He requested testing and bug reporting via email.

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00304.html

Richard noted that speed-wise there would be a major improvement coming much later based upon his work on profiling yum and working around "slow paths in the API [...] For instance, the group list used to take 14 seconds on my machine, and now completes in less than a tenth of a second using master." SethVidal cautioned[2] against Richard's approach of accessing the SQLite databases directly instead of going through YUM's layers and suggested that instead "I've implemented a searchNames() method to pkgSack in yum which will let you search very quickly for multiple package names."

[2] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00305.html

Most of the other responses reported no significant issues after several days of testing, except that MartinSourada found[3] some non-intuitive behavior when installing local rpms.

[3] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-July/msg00309.html


This section, we cover the news surrounding the Fedora Translation (L10n) Project.


Contributing Writer: MarekMahut

Defining Minimum Criteria for I18N Support

Rahul Bhalerao defines criteria for language support:

"I think the term Language Support has been used in more vague sense so far (please correct me if I am wrong). Also there has been a difference between a language being supported technically and a language that is supported with all the localization. Thus there has been a need to define the terms with more clarity. I think it would be good if we have two different sections for a language support namely, i18n and l10n."

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-trans-list/2008-July/msg00020.html


This section contains the discussion happening on the fedora-infrastructure-list


Contributing Writer: HuzaifaSidhpurwala

puppet and git

Mike McGrath writes for fedora-infrastructure-list [1]

Mike suggested that we have been doing puppet wrong. Not really wrong but there's a better way now using modules [2]. So Mike and probably kanarip, will start converting some stuff to the more module format.

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-infrastructure-list/2008-July/msg00015.html

[2] http://reductivelabs.com/trac/puppet/wiki/PuppetModules

Cron <postgres@db2> /var/lib/pgsql/vacstat.py check

Toshio Kuratomi writes for fedora-infrastructure-list [3]

Since the plan is to move koji to db3 within the week Toshio proposed that he would like to hold off on this. The dump and reload to move to the new server should be more effective than a manual vacuum.

[3] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-infrastructure-list/2008-July/msg00033.html


In this section, we cover the Fedora Artwork Project.


Contributing Writer: NicuBuculei

Continual Echo Icon development

Martin Sourada, the Echo icon theme maintainer, published[1] a new release, 0.3.2: "as you might know, we've recently published our first release on fedora hosted (0.3.2) and I'll probably mark the update for F8/9 as stable tomorrow or in Monday. Also being it first release of echo using the new git layout + git branches, there are some little issues which I'll address in"

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-art-list/2008-July/msg00071.html

He also laid some plans for the next release, 0.3.3: "I've decided that one of the most important places to create icons in the menus for now are the System sub-menus, where there are many icons using neither echo nor gnome style and some of them are even blurry."

In related icon development, both Martin and Luya Tshimbalanga created a number of new icons, with character map[2], firewall[3] and date preferences[4] being a few examples.

[2] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-art-list/2008-July/msg00081.html

[3] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-art-list/2008-July/msg00099.html

[4] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-art-list/2008-July/msg00106.html

When creating one of the icons, Martin Sourada commented[5] "I used some gimp tricks in order to look more smooth on LCDs for the PNGs", a practice questioned[5] by Nicu Buculei "[...] his way the binary (PNG) can't be built directly from source and would make the life harder for derivatives"

[5] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-art-list/2008-July/msg00104.html

Mist icons in high resolution

Andreas Nilsson, the maintainer of the Mist icon set, which is currently used in Fedora 9 and Fedora 8, announced on the art mailing list the introduction of a few icons with really large size, needed by some applications: "As there are requirements for large size icons in apps like GNOME Do and Elisa, I recently started working on Mist icons with a bigger, 256x256 canvas. With some assistance from Kalle Persson and Hylke Bons, I now I have something that is usable and will try to merge these into gnome-themes trunk next week if everything goes well."

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-art-list/2008-July/msg00062.html

More desktop theme proposals for Fedora 10

Still in the Round 1 stage for creating a new desktop theme for the upcoming Fedora 10[1] two new proposals were added: Klaatu and Gort proposed[2] "LiberaProgramo"[3], "A futuristic / sci-fi theme. The idea here is, literally, computing 'with no strings attached'....or, translated into Esperanto: Libera Programaro" and Guilherme Razgriz proposed[4] "Simetrical Freedom"[5], which "concept is the perfection that simmetry can offer with the freedom power of the possibilities of forms and states that it can take and reborn inside the same thing".

[1] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Artwork/F10Themes

[2] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-art-list/2008-July/msg00078.html

[3] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Artwork/F10Themes/liberaProgramaro

[4] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-art-list/2008-July/msg00128.html

[5] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Artwork/F10Themes/simmetricalfreedom

Guilherme's proposal was accompanied by an interesting tutorial[6] (written in Portuguese, but easy to understand by anyone thanks to its suggestive screenshots) illustrating the implementation in GIMP.

[6] http://razgrizbox.wordpress.com/2008/07/11/line-breakers/

Security Week

In this section, we highlight the security stories from the week in Fedora.

Contributing Writer: JoshBressers

DNS flaw

A serious flaw in the way most DNS requests are made was announced[1] last week. It is expected that the details of this issue will be known later this month when Dan Kaminsky presents at Black Hat. In the meantime, if you run a DNS server, be sure to get an update from your vendor.

[1] http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/800113

On a side note about this issue, newer Linux kernels have a feature where the source port of UDP requests is randomized. That means that as long as the requesting application has random transaction IDs, it doesn't need additional logic to ensure random UDP source ports.

Package Manager Flaw?

A report came out[1] last week titled: Attacks on Package Managers. The actual details of this are quite a bit less interesting than the reporter makes it sound. It's basically the same problem as using an out dated mirror.

[1] http://www.cs.arizona.edu/people/justin/packagemanagersecurity/attacks-on-package-managers.html

Security Advisories

In this section, we cover Security Advisories from fedora-package-announce.


Contributing Writer: DavidNalley

Fedora 9 Security Advisories

Fedora 8 Security Advisories