Fedora Weekly News Issue 180
Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 180 for the week ending June 14, 2009.
In this week's issue, we open with useful links announcing the hot-off-the-bitpresses Fedora 11 (Leonidas) release, and also reminders about voting for the code name for Fedora 12 and other Fedora elections. There are many FUDCons, FADs and other Fedora events, helpfully listed as well. From Planet Fedora, two interesting samples: news from Fedora blogs and contributors including an interview with Eric Sandeen about ext4, linux filesystems and Fedora 11, and rave reviews on Presto, Fedora 11's enhanced DeltaRPM service that can be configured. In the Quality Assurance beat, review of the Bugzappers weekly meeting and changes this will have to triage work, as well as availability of a set of Fedora 11 delta ISO images. In Translation news, announcement of new localization team members for Norwegian and Arabic, and reports on work to convert the Translation Quick Start Guide (TQSG) to a format usable by Publican. In Design team news, detail on the recent discussion to potentially redesign the fedoraproject.org homepage, and summary of a heated debate over distribution branding in general and spins in particular. The 20 year-old hacker e-zine, Phrack 66, is noted in the Security Week beat along with a Firefox security update, and in virtualization news, details on how to add a custom-built vm to virt-manager, and discussion about how to restrict VNC to specific VMs per guest. We finish this week's issue off with AskFedora, which answers general questions posed by the community. In this installment, find out what Fedora's official policy on Mono is. Read on, and enjoy!
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Contributing Writer: Max Spevack
Fedora 11 (Leonidas)
Check out the Fedora 11 tour for more information about features and screenshots.
Similarly, as Fedora 9 moves closer to its end-of-life, no new Fedora 9 CVS branches are allowed.
The current round of Fedora elections is currently taking place. All the information that you need for voting is included in the reference link.
FUDCons and FADs
This section previews upcoming Fedora Users & Developers Conferences, as well as upcoming Fedora Activity Days.
Fedora Activity Day: Southeast Linuxfest
A Fedora Activity Day focused on documentation will accompany Southeast Linuxfest this weekend (June 14th).
About 10 people will be participating, and a variety of activities are planned, with more details available by following the reference link.
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, please visit the wiki page.
FUDCon Berlin 2009
FUDCon Berlin will be held from June 26-28, and we're got almost 150 people pre-registered for the event.
If you would like more information, please visit the wiki page.
Consider attending or volunteering at an event near you!
June 13: Southeast Linuxfest in Clemson, South Carolina.
June 14: Docs FAD @ Southeast Linuxfest in Clemson, South Carolina
June 17-19: Open Source Bridge in Portland, Oregon.
June 24-27: FUDCon Porto Alegre in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
June 24-27: LinuxTag in Berlin, Germany.
June 26-28: FUDCon Berlin in Berlin, Germany.
In this section, we cover the highlights of Planet Fedora - an aggregation of blogs from Fedora contributors worldwide.
Contributing Writer: Adam Batkin
Mel Chua has worked to bring "open-source educational technology to the Philippines. The OLPC and Sugar projects serve as convenient starting places for this." Along the way, objections were raised, to which Mel posted "Responses to objections on transparency" which can serve as a starting point for other projects experiencing similar issues.
"I was asked to take my notebook out of my bag and put it on the belt by itself. Easily done. Usually the security guys ask you to switch it on for a moment. No idea why that is though.
Anyway, this time it was a bit different, the security guy asked me if the notebook sporting the Linux advertisement (lovingly applied by Alex Maier) is actually running Linux. After confirming this and stating that it's only natural as I've been with Red Hat in the past, was wearing my Spacewalk Hacker shirt and am still doing Fedora work, the guy was very happy as he seemingly could vent his frustration with Linux at someone knowledgable."
Peter Gordon wrote about some of his favorite new features in Fedora 11, including
Presto: "Size of all updates downloaded from Presto-enabled repositories: 14M
Size of updates that would have been downloaded if Presto wasn't enabled: 128M
This is a savings of 89 percent"
In this section, we cover the activities of the QA team.
Contributing Writer: Adam Williamson
There was no Test Day last week, as we finally released Fedora 11.
Currently, no Test Day is scheduled for next week - it is still very early in the Fedora 12 cycle. If you would like to propose a test day which could result in changes for post-release updates for Fedora 11, or an early test day for Fedora 12, please contact the QA team via email or IRC, or file a ticket in QA Trac.
The QA group weekly meeting was to be held on 2009-06-10, but was cancelled for the week due to many key group members being busy with the Fedora Development Cycle Activity Day. Next week's meeting will cover the ground.
The Bugzappers group weekly meeting was held on 2009-06-09. The full log is available. The group discussed revising the components and active triagers page, as is traditional at the start of a new release cycle. Adam Williamson suggested that, once the planned change to have the FAS 'triagers' group automatically grant membership of the 'fedorabugs' group, have new members apply to 'triagers' rather than 'fedorabugs', and ensure all current triagers are members of 'triagers' went through, the 'triagers' group membership list should become the canonical source of active triagers. The group agreed, but also decided to keep the Wiki page up to date. There was some discussion about whether changes directly from FAS, or from FAS via the triage metrics system, could be automatically fed into the Wiki page, but no decision was reached. In the end, Niels Haase volunteered to update the page by hand.
Edward Kirk proposed removing yum and anaconda from the list of components requiring triage, as their maintainers did not want help from the Bugzappers group. This prompted Adam Williamson to report that he had been working on engaging the kernel and anaconda teams in the Bugzappers process, at the request of James Laska. Andy Lindeberg, who currently works on triaging anaconda, is working on a Wiki page that will document the process used in Bugzilla by the anaconda team, and then Adam will try to work with her and the Bugzappers group to reconcile the process with the normal Bugzappers process.
Matej Cepl pointed out that the group had made a conscious decision at the start of the Fedora 11 cycle not to triage kernel bugs, as in the past it had taken a lot of time for little result. However, two group members - Brennan Ashton and Richard June - said they were interested in attempting some kernel triage, if a good process could be found. Adam Williamson promised to continue the discussion with the kernel maintainers and bring in Edward and Richard with a view to agreeing a workable process for kernel bug triage.
The next QA weekly meeting will be held on 2009-06-17 at 1600 UTC in #fedora-meeting, and the next Bugzappers weekly meeting on 2009-06-16 at 1500 UTC in #fedora-meeting.
Fedora 11 Delta ISO availability
Andre Robatino announced that he had built and made available delta ISOs - files containing the difference between two ISO images, allowing the reconstruction of the latest final image - for Fedora 11 final release, from the Fedora 11 preview image. He also noted that he had built but could not publish ISOs for Fedora 10 to Fedora 11, and suggested that these could be provided as torrents on the official Fedora torrent tracker, but this has not yet been adopted.
Components and Triagers page revision
Niels Haase announced that he had revised the Components and Triagers page as agreed at the weekly Bugzappers meeting, to list only triagers known to be active. He recommended everyone check the diff for his changes, and make appropriate corrections if they had been incorrectly added to, removed from or kept on the list.
QA, Bugzappers and others involvement in release documentation
A post by Scott Robbins, suggesting a particular issue in Fedora 11 be noted on the download page, led to an extensive discussion of how those involved in the QA and BugZappers group, as well as those involved in front-line user support, could best document important issues at release time. Adam Williamson opposed documenting common problems on the download page as it would be hard to draw a line to prevent too extensive a list of problems complicating the page and discouraging people from downloading Fedora at all. In that post and others in the thread, Adam advocated trying to have all teams contribute known issues to a well-defined set of canonical pages, so that these pages would gain widespread use and acceptance among the community, particularly the Release Notes and Common Bugs pages. Adam also suggested that members of the QA, BugZappers and other teams with an interest in documenting significant issues with releases should join the Documentation project in order to improve the communication between these teams and the docs team, and hopefully ensure that future Release Notes cover all the material they would like to see covered.
This section covers the news surrounding the Fedora Translation (L10n) Project.
Contributing Writer: Runa Bhattacharjee
Changes to translate.fedoraproject.org
The translate.fedoraproject.org page now points directly to the main page of the Transifex instance. This move and related changes were waiting to be implemented when the freeze on Fedora Infrastructure was slated to be lifted post the release of Fedora 11.
TQSG Transformed to Publican Format
The Translation Quick Start Guide (TQSG) was converted to a format suitable for compilation by the Document compilation tool Publican. Additionally, Shankar Prasad from the Kannada team has reviewed the Guide and posted his suggestions for change.
FLP Meeting Proposed
Runa Bhattacharjee put forward a proposal for the next meeting of FLP, following the Retrospective meeting of Fedora 11 on June 16th. The date under consideration is currently June 18th, 1900 UTC.
New members in FLP
In this section, we cover the Fedora Design Team.
Contributing Writer: Nicu Buculei
A New Design for the Fedora Frontpage
Máirín Duffy posted on @design-team a mockup idea for a fedoraproject.org front page redesign "I don't know if it's a good idea or feasible to redo our look & feel yet again. I do think our current site is a bit too sparse though." Ricky Zhou (周家杰) appreciated it for styling "I like the large tabs and your colors... From a CSS point of view, this layout would probably be a lot simpler than what we have now, which is great" with some concerns about some elements "Another thing that I'm a bit worried about is that the placement of the banner might look a bit strange right next to the large banner on the left side". Henrik Heigl also apreciated it "Wow, its cool" but haslo had some concerns "Also I personaly dislike 2 things on such a design[...] that first the navigation is on the right side and not on the left side as most people would expect it[...] and second this textbased-sidemap-thingy at the bottom". On the contrary, the position of the navigation block was one of Nicu Buculei's favorite parts "I *love* you moved the navigation bar on the right", who pleaded for simplicity, easy readability and not-fixed (liquid) layouts.
A heated debate was fired after Ujjwol Lamichhane forwarded to @design-team a controversial article about KDE and distribution branding in artwork from the prominent KDE developer Aaron Seigo. It was seen as not useful by Kevin Kofler "don't think this offer is of much value to Fedora at this point because we don't have our logo in the wallpaper anyway" and Jaroslav Reznik "Short conclusion: we have to lost our Fedora identity...", two of the top Fedora KDE contributors.
William Jon McCann was more radical "Eventually, the Fedora board will realize that today's conception of spins is a failed experiment and force this change" and suggested Fedora KDE contributors should go the Kubuntu way "If I were working on a KDE desktop that is based on Fedora packages the first thing I would do is make sure I differentiate it from Fedora since Fedora is a GNOME based project - and that is not going to change[...] his is not a new idea - Kubuntu has been doing this for years now". He was countered by Jeroen van Meeuwen "GNOME is not upstream for Fedora in it's entirety. Without GNOME, there would still be a viable Fedora Project. Where did you get the impression Fedora is a GNOME based project?" who defended the spins concept "Today's conception of spins is not a failed experiment although maybe in your opinion it doesn't meet your personal needs and/or expectations" and outlined the Fedora KDE spin as a positive example "I think the KDE spin in this regard has been one of the most outstanding examples of building a show-case spin exactly doing what is the purpose of spins to begin with."
In this section, we highlight the security stories from the week in Fedora.
Contributing Writer: JoshBressers
Phrack 66 came out this week. If you're not aware, Phrack is the longest running hacker zine, it's impressive that after more than 20 years, it's still going.
Yet another security update for Firefox was released, be sure to update, it's important. 
In this section, we cover discussion of Fedora virtualization technologies on the @et-mgmnt-tools-list, @fedora-virt, @fedora-xen-list, and @libvirt-list lists.
Contributing Writer: Dale Bewley
Fedora Virtualization List
This section contains the discussion happening on the fedora-virt list.
Adding a VM to Virtual Machine Manager
Dennis J. asked
"How do I add a custom-built vm to
This is a two step process with a few ways to accomplish them.
- Create an XML representation of the guest, or domain, configuration.
- Import this definition into
virsh define guest.xml
tool was suggested and worked for Dennis.
There is also a perl script that can be used to create an XML definition from the set of
qemu-kvm command line arguments used to create the guest. There is a public API in
libvirt for converting back and forth between the native hypervisor configurations and XML representations.
virt-install added an
--import option which allows creating a guest from an existing disk image, bypassing any OS install phase.
libosinfo: Library for Virt OS/distro Metadata
posted a request for comments on "the initial work for a new library,
libosinfo (better name
recommendations appreciated). This library will provide OS meta data for use
in virt applications, replacing the dictionary we currently keep in
." The work was based on
a post by Daniel Berrange.
This section contains the discussion happening on the libvir-list.
VNC Authorization per Guest
Daniel Berrange said "there is no way to specify authorization data on a per-VM basis. So if you authenticate successfully you have access." Hugh Brock added "It is on our wish list for Real Soon Now, but we haven't identified anyone to actually do the work yet... patches welcome :)"
In this section, we answer general questions from Fedora community. Send your questions to askfedora AT fedoraproject.org and Fedora News Team will bring you answers from the Fedora Developers and Contributors to selected number of questions every week as part of our weekly news report. Please indicate if you do not wish your name and/or email address to be published.
What is the official Fedora policy on Mono?
Arthur Pemberton asked: "Fedora traditionally holds fairly strict guidelines for inclusion of software, and the pursuit of Free Software. As such I consider their decisions on such things to be quite important. With that in mind, I would like to ask: what is the official Fedora policy on Mono? Specifically in terms to its FOSS nature and legality."
Paul W Frields, Fedora Project Leader responds:
Until certain ambiguities such as those concerning Mono's patent licensing and redistribution are resolved, there is no formal policy that I'm aware of. We have concerns which are being researched, and any official policy would likely come through Fedora Legal and the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee. The substitution of Gnote for Tomboy on the Desktop Live image and in the default installation for Fedora 12 reduces package load in the standard Fedora Desktop Live image, but for now Mono remains in the Fedora repositories.