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Fedora Weekly News Issue 87
Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 87 for the week of May 6th through May 12th, 2007. The latest issue can always be found here and RSS Feed can be found here .
In this section, we cover announcements from various projects.
Fedora 7 -- what, when, and why
MaxSpevack announces in fedora-announce-list ,
"The next version of Fedora will be released on May 24th. It will be called "Fedora 7" -- not "Fedora Core 7". It's the most ambitious release of Fedora that we've undertaken, and I hope that when we look back at Fedora 7 one or two years down the road, the decisions that we made for this release will have proven to be as impactful as anything we've done in the Fedora space since the start of the Fedora Project."
In one sentence: "Fedora 7 has been about improving the manner in which all future Fedora releases will be made."
Fedora 7 Deep Freeze/GA release schedule change
JoshBoyer announces in fedora-maintainers ,
"The bulk of the Core/Extras merge has now been finished, and the Release Engineering team has been working hard to get things back in shape for the final F7 release. However, due to the massive nature of this undertaking, we are not coming back online as fast as we had hoped."
"While this slip is unfortunate, it is also in the best interest for the quality of the release. Please bear with us as we strive to make this the best release of Fedora to date!"
Post-merge howto and FAQ
JoshBoyer announces in fedora-maintainers ,
"Due to popular demand, I sat down and wrote up a brief howto for handling packages in the merged world. Given that I'm almost guaranteed to have not answered all the questions, it's living under the wiki for the moment.
Hopefully it will give the package maintainers a high level overview of what to do and how to do it. Feel free to ask questions and I (or others) will try to address them."
In this section, we cover a highlight of Planet Fedora - an aggregation of blogs from world wide Fedora contributors.
Red Hat Summit - Update from the Left Coast
PaulFrields points out in his blog ,
"In the afternoon a bunch of Fedora folks (including your humble reporter) gathered in a posh executive conference room, complete with snazzy lighting and decor, for a video interview conducted by Kim Jokisch and mainly shot by Red Hat filmmaker extraordinaire Tim Kiernan . Tim pops up again later in this post. We talked about all the cool things going on in Fedora, including but not limited to the new release. We also talked about what is so fricking cool about working on Fedora. Why do we do it, beyone the simple “scratch an itch” answers? I’m hoping some of this interview will make it out into public space at some point."
Red Hat Summit - Fedora Unity, Custom Spins of Fedora
MaxSpevack points out in his blog ,
"So I'm sitting here in the first big Fedora talk at the Red Hat Summit . Jon Steffan. Bob Jensen, and Jesse Keating talking about how to build custom versions of Fedora.
The tools that they used? Pungi, LiveCD Creator, and Revisor.
In my opinion, the ability to generate customized versions of Fedora is one of the most important pieces of Fedora 7 ."
Red Hat Summit - ATI and Open Source
ChristopherBlizzard points out in his blog ,
"The (AMD) ATI marketing guy on stage (Henri Richard) at the Red Hat Summit just committed to fixing the ATI problems with open source. To paraphrase “most people are worried about what they will lose…IP, etc…we’re worried about what we can win.” They know it’s a problem and they are committed to fixing it."
Java One and OpenJDK
TomTromey points out in his blog ,
"Java One is huge, much huger than I’d imagined. The opening keynote had a steady stream of corporate luminaries onstage to talk about their Java-related plans. Many thanks to Bruno for saving us some great seats — and also to Tom Marble for making the effort to include me in the various goings on.
The big news is that OpenJDK sources are available, and that Dalibor is on the initial OpenJDK governance board. Next step: replace the remaining binary blobs with free software."
Red Hat Summer Intern: Python Web Programming
WarrenTogami points out in his blog ,
"Paid Intern Job through runs through May 14th and August 14th. This position requires use of the Python programming language with the Turbogears web application framework and a RDBMS database backend. This position would be responsible to drive not just the implementation of software deliverables, but also the creation of a community project that works on its design and implementation.
Location: Red Hat's Westford, MA or Raleigh, NC office. Work Remote over Internet is possible if you have the ability to work closely with our engineers located in the American EDT timezone."
In this section, we cover Fedora Marketing Project.
Liberations fonts from Red Hat
RahulSundaram reports in fedora-marketing-list ,
"Red Hat has released Liberation fonts under the GPL+ fonts exception license. Liberation fonts are metric equivalent to key Microsoft fonts. This is a major milestone and significantly enhances the interoperability of documents and content under these Microsoft fonts in Linux."
Distrowatch on Fedora Repo Merge
RahulSundaram reports in fedora-marketing-list ,
"The long-promised merge of Fedora's core and extras repositories is finally under way: "Merge is going well now. A bunch of hiccups early on as we moved our test scripts into acting with real bits and databases and such, but now that that's over..." As for the hiccups, Jesse Keating explains: "We're scrambling to create ppc64 builds of all the extras packages, as those didn't exist before, but now they will be built for ppc64. Also we need to hook up some software to make rawhide appear. It may just be in package repo form (not installable) to begin with, we'll see. I wouldn't expect anything this weekend." For more information about the merge and other Fedora topics, please check out the latest issue of Fedora Weekly News."
"Digg this up folks ."
In this section, we cover the problems/solutions, people/personalities, and ups/downs of the endless discussions on Fedora Developments.
Rawhide Merge Status
BillNottingham gave us a heads-up  that a huge merged rawhide tree had been pushed out to the master mirror. MichaelSchwendt wanted to know  if the wiki had been updated to document the merge process and whether the tool was available publically. DavidNielsen suggested liquid celebrations  .
DennisGilmore and JoshBoyer explained that the rawhide compose tools were publically available in the form of "pungi" and "mash" and that a rawhide report could be generated using "treediff" just as with the old rawhide.
AlphaCore Project Gets Help Patching The Kernel Spec File
OliverFalk gauged the busyness of the kernel team by posting  a request for help to patch the kernel .spec file so that Fedora can continue to be ported to the Alpha architecture. JoshBoyer asked  for the patches, which DavidWoodhouse then reviewed thoroughly  . JoshBoyer and Jarod Wilson also took the time to provide detailed feedback  .
Zope. A Tale Of Two Threads
Last week we reported  on the problems that the Zope package is facing in living up to the packaging requirements of Fedora, and a changed Python API. The thread was replete with high emotion from Zope users who felt that a compatability package for the EOL'ed Python-2.4 should be included in the distro. A separate thread about a tool for reading the SMBIOS sparked a discussion about what the people maintaining packages should do and should be called  . The issues discussed in both threads overlapped considerably, having at heart the issue of exactly who is responsible for what work and in which manner. And so, it was natural that the threads would eventually merge and overlap. There are two main threads buried in here. One of them contains all sorts of technical goodies about SELinux and packaging, the other contains stuff to do with the random electrical activity performed by the soft, squishy material in our heads.
Disappointment with the decision not to pursue the maintenance burden led JoshBoyer to clarify  that this was a decision by the Fedora python maintainer, backed by the community in the form of FESCo. DavidMackay still wanted to know why the responsibility was being pushed onto the Zope maintainers when, as he saw it, the problem was caused by the Python developers. JesseKeating answered  that the responsibility was theirs because this had been flagged over 9 months in adavance as a major change by the Python developers.
JonathanSteffan made his position as Fedora Zope maintainer clear in no uncertain way  when he posted references from upstream Zope development that suggested that there would never be support for Zope-2 with Python-2.5. Jonathan asked rhetorically whether he should really be expected to take on the massive and potentially futile task that some were suggesting. Following this DavidWoodhouse acknowleged Jonathan's work and opened up a larger discussion about what it meant to be a package maintainer  . David had taken a fair amount of criticism for some of his earlier statements about package maintainers and he took the opportunity to try to explain what he had been thinking: namely that in order to produce a coherent collection of separate codebases that worked together (e.g. a distro) it was exactly necessary for maintainers to take on the sort of task to which Jonathan referred. "Dragoran" was particularly in agreement  with a part of this post of David's in which he mentioned that it was necessary for packagers to deal with SELinux issues. Dragoran, David and ManuelWolfshant were in agreement  that the package review guidelines should be changed to make SELinux compliance necessary.
HansdeGoede expressed irritation at DavidWoodhouse's apparent attitude to package maintainers  and thus began a part of the thread, Gentle Reader, into which you may not wish to delve. Suffice to say it involved accusations of bedwetting, political correctness, Californianism and disrespect. David's essential point seemed to be that a higher standard and expectations should be applied to packagers, while others thought that a higher standard of courtesy was needed.
There were, however, some very enlightening and useful parts to the thread. TillMaas drew attention several times   to the paucity of good SELinux packaging documentation, and the problem of getting help. These points were acknowleged by David  who suggested that packagers could file a bug against their package CC'ing DanielWalsh, while noting that Dan might not be able to do all of this on his own.
JakubJelinek replied to Till's specific problem with the information  that DC_TEXTREL shared libraries should fixed not by massaging SELinux contexts, but by compiling with the appropriate position-independent code flags. TillMaas referenced some material from UlrichDrepper suggesting that it wasn't simply an "-fpic" problem and KarlMacMillan agreed with this  . Further probing from Till and JonathanUnderwood led to a wealth of information from PaulHowarth  and KarlMacMillan  about where SELinux contexts should be set.
Jakub's expertise was further drawn out by a question from Hans about the difference between "-fpic" and "-fPIC" which led to yet more nuggets of information  .
Avoid Inane Regulatory Licensing Shakedowns
A Russian contributor, DmitryButskoy, opened a thread  about potential temporary confiscation of hardware running Free software due to new regulations. Apparently in Russia it is necessary for a business to be able to show a "certificate" attesting to the origin of the software so that the police can determine that it is not pirated. Obviously as Fedora is downloaded for "free" this is a little difficult to obtain. JoshBoyer sympathised but wasn't sure what this had to do with the Fedora Project, pointing out that the licenses for all packages were available. Dmitry answered  that it was an extra hurdle for those that wished to deploy Fedora in a production environment and that failure to address such problems could mean less testing, which would in turn affect RHEL.
In response to RandyWyatt's suggestion of simply printing the GPL, NicuBuculei pointed out that such regulations are usually carefully worded at the behest of the BSA to make this difficult. Nicu also reported that Romania has a registry of acceptable programs and that one is not supposed to use any software not on that list!  . AlanCox thought  that this was a violation of EU single-market laws and hoped that the law was thus now obsolete.
Suggesting that the print-your-own license was a plausible route, AlanCox noted that other people faced with similar situations often made a hard-copy of the GPL, and also suggested  that as Dmitry had a boxed-set supplier that they might be able to do something. The idea was further expanded  to include a webpage of the Fedora Project auto-generating a suitably official looking license and text. All the usual disclaimers about not being lawyers were applied by participants to the discussion.
BenjaminKosnik volunteered  to be responsible for producing an impressive and accurate document, and further discussion with Dmitry about which shiny metal seals would make policemen happy turned up some pertinent counter-examples from the UK  . In response to RickVinyards suggestion that official Fedora cover images be available for CD/DVDs, JeremyKatz pointed  to those which are already available on the wiki and JefSpaleta suggested that they be bundled with the torrents.
RahulSundaram and others provided a link to the Fedora Project EULA, but AndyShevchenko responded  out that what was needed was a Russian-language version which could be approved by the police. SimoSorce had an inside scoop  that promised further information from one of the prominent Russian distributors (of ALTLinux) and suggested that collaboration and co-operation with other such distributors would be mutually beneficial for Free Software. MatejCepl warned of the dangers of meddling with legal matters  .
Missed Contributor Returns
Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams made a return to the list  after an unscheduled absence and was greeted warmly, not least by an offer from DonRussell of a tasty bug in mgetty  .
Fedora Standards For Contents Of /etc/pki
RichardJones wanted  details of what it was acceptable to put into the /etc/pki directory as he was writing an application which needed to generate and store some TLS certificates. DavidWoodhouse objected  to the length of Richard's signature (which was a Red Hat UK corporate one) igniting not so much a flamewar, as a brief brush fire which culminated in AlanCox suggesting that the proper place to put such information was in an "Organisation:" header  and that IBM had succesfully sorted out issues like this in the past  .
Directly addressing the substance rather than the form of the original email, JoeOrton replied  that there was at present no standard being enforced and asked for further details about the requirements of the application. Joe futher suggested that it would be best to put TLS certificates in "/etc/pki/tls/appname". Richard provided links to the background of his problem  , which is the libvirt toolkit for interacting with Xen, QEMU and KVM.
Sun's GPL'ed Java To Arrive Soon In Fedora
Welcoming the release of (most of) Sun's Java SDK HansdeGoede wondered  what strategy should be followed to integrate it into Fedora. AndrewOverholt and TomTromey  thought that platform coverage was going to be an important issue as was the ability to remove the remaining non-Free encumbrances. BillNottingham wanted to know whether these non-Free pieces could just be ripped out, or whether they needed replacements coded  . Responses identified variously: font-rendering  , color-management and parts of Java 2D rendering  . TomTromey pointed out that Sun were keen to do all of this and AndrewHaley is going to figure out a more detailed answer to the question.
Addressing the issue of platform-coverage, RahulSundaram  argued that x86 and x86_64 constituted about 80% of current users, based on the statistics gathered with the smolt-profiler. DimiPaun suspected  that it was more like 98%.
DeltaRPM, YUMPresto plans
ValentTurkovic wanted to know  whether yum-presto and deltarpm would be installed by default in Fedora7. JoshBoyer was able to quickly respond in the negative  , citing the late (frozen) stage of the release cycle, while acknowleging the apparent advantages of the software. Valent posted a couple more examples of the bandwidth savings obtainable and ManuelWolfshant pointed out again that there was no doubt that it was useful, but that F7 was now in a freeze for new features. Manuel suggested  that rawhide might see the inclusion of the software, and Josh clarified  that this would probably be so, but that the repositories might not get changed to enable them to work with the tools.
WillWoods pointed out  encouragingly that in a mere six to seven months Fedora 8 would be under way, but that the repository mirrors would have to be considered.
JonathanDieter drew attention  to the fact that yum-presto and deltarpm were both officially present in (what was called Extras for FC6 and F7 prior to the merge of the Core and Extras repositories ), but just wasn't included in any spins. In a completely separate thread about the merged rawhide push, Jonathan also noted  that i386 updates were available using yum-presto, except for packages that were in the old "Extras" repository.
Wireless Test Request for ipw3945 etc Users
A request from JohnLinville to test  a new wireless driver for the ipw3945 drew lots of responses. (In an earlier issue  we covered earlier investigations of whether iwlwifi or iwl3945 worked best). John wanted specifically to know the version of the last best working kernel, and whether the new DaveJones kernels worked better.
ThomasBaker initially found the new driver (iwl3945) worked better, but then had to report failure  . JohnLinville suggested  the appropriate bugzilla entry  . RichardHughes had a similar experience, which led AndrewBartlett to suggest [4a] possible problems with interrupt handling. Richard started trying to track down the problem by rebuilding iwlwifi. He rebuilt succesfully using a custom linus kernel, but failed with Fedora [4b] , with what looked like an incorrect include.
Both YuanYijun  and AndyGreen  reported instability but still thought it was stable enough to use, comparing favourable to e.g. earlier bcm43xx stability.
A detailed log from TomLondon seemed to indicate a possible renaming issue  as a result of running both drivers alternately. This was confirmed in a follow up post by another user. DennisGilmore and AndrewBartlett had more negative experiences, leading DanWilliams to request the output from "lshal". RalfCorsepius and JarodWilson did as asked, leading Dan to enquire about whether SELinux was in enforcing mode, and explaining the interaction between HAL and NM which might cause this failure. Unfortunately Jarod had already tried to take this into account  and had to still report a failure.
Why Does Nautilus Create Folders in ~ By Default ?
Rubin was searching  for the knob that turned off the automatic creation of three directories in his home directory. JesseKeating and BrianPepple suggested  that there might have been discussion about this on @fedora-desktop or in blog entries in Planet GNOME or Fedora People. "Nodata" was able to point to an @fedora-devel thread  which discussed the issue, and agreed with Rubin.
RahulSundaram provided a fix  (editing ~/.config) and DavidNielsen came out swinging as an unabashed defender  of the technology that does this, Fedora 7's implementation of the freedesktop.org XDG-Base-Directory specification: xdg-user-dirs. RonYorston was unimpressed and mentioned  his partially succesful efforts to remove this new feature.
MatthiasClasen hastened  to clear nautilus of any responsibility and suggested to simply remove the directories, although Rubin reported that this didn't work, but that ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs could be edited. Further down the thread AlexanderLarsson suggested and RahulSundaram confirmed  that it is necessary to re-run xdg-user-dirs after blowing away the unwanted directories with a "rm".
Rubin also thought that this change should be presented and explained to people a bit better. Others echoed this sentiment  in separate parts of the thread, and KarstenWade pointed out the Release Notes 
This section, we cover the news surrounding the Fedora Translation (L10n) Project.
This week saw the translation deadline for FC7 (2359 10 May 2007). PaulFrields had a status report ready for the translation team.
In this section, we cover the Fedora Infrastructure Project.
Cacti (provides system status/usage information) has been in use for a while by the infrastructure team. MikeMcGrath reconfigured it so that the public can now see the information as well.
This week saw a wiki  crash and some Xen issues . The team has been able to track down some possible causes and will be looking to get fixes implemented forthwith.
In this section, we cover Security Advisories from fedora-package-announce.
Fedora Core 6 Security Advisories
- 2007-05-07 [SECURITY] evolution-data-server-1.8.3-6.fc6 - http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FSA/FC6/FEDORA-2007-484
- 2007-05-07 [SECURITY] gimp-2.2.14-5.fc6 - http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FSA/FC6/FEDORA-2007-489
- 2007-05-07 [SECURITY] vim-7.0.235-1.fc6 - http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FSA/FC6/FEDORA-2007-492
- 2007-05-07 eclipse-3.2.2-5.fc6 - http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FSA/FC6/FEDORA-2007-488
- 2007-05-07 eclipse-cdt-3.1.2-3.fc6 - http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FSA/FC6/FEDORA-2007-450
- 2007-05-07 elfutils-0.127-1.fc6 - http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FSA/FC6/FEDORA-2007-460
- 2007-05-07 gstreamer-plugins-base-0.10.11-1.fc6 - http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FSA/FC6/FEDORA-2007-476
- 2007-05-07 libxml2-2.6.28-1.fc6 - http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FSA/FC6/FEDORA-2007-459
- 2007-05-07 man-pages-fr-2.39-7.fc6 - http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FSA/FC6/FEDORA-2007-496
- 2007-05-07 policycoreutils-1.34.1-9.fc6 - http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FSA/FC6/FEDORA-2007-479
- 2007-05-07 smartmontools-5.37-1.1.fc6 - http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FSA/FC6/FEDORA-2007-474
Fedora Core 5 Security Advisories
- 2007-05-07 [SECURITY] dovecot-1.0-0.beta8.4.fc5 - http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FSA/FC5/FEDORA-2007-493
- 2007-05-07 [SECURITY] evolution-data-server-1.6.3-4.fc5 - http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FSA/FC5/FEDORA-2007-485
- 2007-05-07 [SECURITY] gimp-2.2.14-5.fc5 - http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FSA/FC5/FEDORA-2007-491
Events and Meetings
In this section, we cover event reports and meeting summaries from various projects.
Fedora Packaging Committee Meeting 2007-05-08
Fedora Release Engineering Meeting 2007-05-07
Event Report: 2007 Upstate Hamfest - South Carolina, USA
Event Report: LinuxTag at Fachhochschule - Salzburg, Austria
Editor's Note: Red Hat Summmit 2007
It was a great experience at Red Hat Summit 2007 for three days (May 9th-11th) in San Diego. This was my first time in Red Hat Summit and wish I had attended last two summits . I had a chance to meet Matthew Szulik in person as well as GregDeKoenigsberg, MaxSpevack and MikeMcGrath . The highlight for this entire trip was being a part of such a wonderful group called Fedora .
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