Fedora Weekly News Issue 118
Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 118 for the week of January 28th, 2008. FWN/Issue118
In Planet Fedora, we have "Updates to anaconda", "linux.conf.au day 1, "Fedora win32 livecd-iso-to-usb tool" and "Video: Simple layer blending in Gimp"
In Fedora Marketing, we have "Tasks set by Marketing Meeting on IRC", "RPM Fusion interview", "2008 Readers' Choice Survey" and "FUDCon Video Torrent"
To join or give us your feedback, please visit NewsProject/Join.
In this section, we cover a highlight of Planet Fedora - an aggregation of blogs from world wide Fedora contributors.
Contributing Writers: ThomasChung
Updates to anaconda
JeroenVanMeeuwen points out in his blog ,
"This morning I tried to provision a Fedora 7 Xen guest using a nice kickstart configuration file. However anaconda showed a traceback. Updates to anaconda are such a great deal, re-spinning (for Fedora Unity) or re-composing (business and pleasure, yes sir!) media will get you to appreciate that. So, here it is, repositories with packages for anaconda."
linux.conf.au day 1
EugeneTeo points out in his blog ,
"Fedora mini-conf went very well today. There were no technical hiccups, and everything went smoothly according to plan. We had an awesome crowd of 30 to 40 delegates which totally exceeded my expectations. David blogged, and summarized all the talks at the mini-conf in his wiki. Alex wrote a nice summary of Dave’s Fedora kernel talk on his blog."
Fedora win32 livecd-iso-to-usb tool
MohdIzharFirdaus points out in his blog ,
"I just noticed LukeMacken's post at fedora-devel-list...Cool!"
Video: Simple layer blending in Gimp
KonstantinRyabitsev points out in his blog
"This little trick is known to pretty much every non-beginner user of photoshop or gimp. In this screencast I show how to quickly and effectively enhance your photos with Gimp using layer blending."
In this section, we cover Fedora Marketing Project.
Contributing Writer: ThomasChung
Tasks set by Marketing Meeting on IRC
ColbyHoke reports ,
"Just updated this - feel free to add anything I may have missed. We'll announce the next meeting soon - for those that could not join us, I hope to have a meeting late at night (for me) where we can discuss any ideas you folks around the world have."
RPM Fusion interview
JonathanRoberts reports ,
"This interview is up now. Hope everyone is happy with it, and if you enjoy it be sure to digg it."
2008 Readers' Choice Survey
RahulSundaram reports ,
"Leave your footprints: "
FUDCon Video Torrent
MaxSpevack reports ,
"The first of the FUDCon videos are up."
Editor's Note Flash version is now available at Google Video
In this section, we cover Fedora Ambassadors Project.
Contributing Writer: JeffreyTadlock
Manipal's First Fedora 8 Install Fest
AnkurShrivastava reported on Manipal's first Fedora 8 Install Fest in the fedora-ambassadors list. The event was a two day event organized by Fedora Ambassadors AnkurShrivastava and DhananjaySingh as part of the Manipal Linux User Group and was held on campus. Day one explained the advantages and importance of Linux and a preview of the next day's actual installs. The install day started with installation steps being shown and explained followed with the actual installs. Any issues encountered during the installs were solved before the install fest was finished. Photos of the install fest are also available.
In this section, we cover the problems/solutions, people/personalities, and ups/downs of the endless discussions on Fedora Developments.
Contributing Writer: OisinFeeley
Net-install ISO Already Exists As rescuecd.iso
MichaelDeHaan reported on a discussion at FUDCon on the use of Debian-style net-install ISOs. He posited large bandwidth savings as one of the attractions. ChrisAdams was less sure , commenting that a DVD download was used multiple times, while each net install would require duplication. LesMikesell recommended a proxy to cache large files to those who do much of this type of thing.
JasonTibbitts thought that he had been doing what Michael described for all his Fedora releases. JeremyKatz added that the rescuecd image was already capable of this and was going to be renamed to emphasize its utility. He added that ChrisLumens had been doing some work to delay repository selection to stage2 in order to allow the selection of mirrorlists and proxies.
Firefox 3 Liberation Fonts
A simple request from MarkG85 to make Firefox 3 use the Liberation fonts as defaults in Fedora 9 prompted and interesting discussion. MarkG85 posted screenshots of his experience in Rawhide and claimed that the Liberation fonts were obviously better than the defaults. NicolasMailhot was highly skeptical and suggested that "looking better" was a purely subjective judgment mostly influenced by familiarity. He also commented that encoding coverage and upstream responsiveness were more appropriate metrics and that DejaVu won on that basis.
FelixMiata argued that if the goal of choosing fonts which matched Windows' font metrics were accepted then LiberationSans proved the best substitute for Arial. The advantage of this would be uniformity of web browsing experience. Nicolas' detailed and interesting response pointed out that Windows fonts have varied widely across time and application and that due to the Mozilla Foundation's lack of stewardship it would be best not to chase fonts. Instead effort might be better spent on "creat[ing] our own solid font set than continue chasing the Microsoft tail indefinitely - it has the financial means to move way faster than us on the font creation front anyway." This exchange between Felix and Nicolas is worth reading. Nicolas pointed out that the page-zoom features of Firefox 3 will result in huge differences between Fedora and Windows systems even if the very same fonts are installed and that "legal issues" cannot be ignored.
Several people argued that the premise of the thread was mistaken. Among them was BehdadEsfahbod who outlined the normal course of events in which a web-browser picks which fonts to use. MarkG85 restated his objectives to make it clear that he was not interested in "mimic[ing] a well known other operating system" but rather trying to recapture the pleasant appearance of Firefox 2.
A suggestion was made by NicolasMailhot that the way forward involved ripping out Firefox's font defaults and making it use desktop font settings so that users with a preference can implement their choice across all applications.
Firefox And Epiphany Crashes
A report by HorstvonBrand that Firefox and Epiphany were crashing after the updates of 30 Jan 2008 led to a request from ChristopherAillon that people testing Firefox 3 would report bugs upstream instead of at Red Hat's bugzilla. JoachimFrieben had experienced the same issues as Horst and pinpointed the changes to a specific xulrunner build.
Christopher explained that he was pulling from CVS HEAD and in general not adding patches to the Fedora package and it would thus be a good idea for Fedora testers to report bugs upstream. JakubRusinek (livio) preferred to pull the nightly snapshot from Mozilla itself although Christopher argued that there would be no final Mozilla-distributed binary so it would be helpful to test the Fedora binary. Jakub noted that he needed fresh vanilla sources for his purposes, to which Christopher responded that he was pulling from CVS, packaging them in RPM format and that the nightly builds at Mozilla were often older than Christopher's own. Jakub still seemed to prefer using Mozilla's builds arguing that it was easier to find changes.
A similar point was made by Horst, who asked how it would be possible to know what Fedora-specific tweaks had been made, what the CVS revision was and also pointed out that these would not be "official" upstream binaries, all of which would make it difficult to report bugs intelligently. Christopher responded that: 1)no upstream binaries exist; 2)there is no such thing as a CVS-wide revision, so snapshot date is acceptable for bug filing; 3)Fedora-specific tweaks are minimal and involve using shared libraries instead of static libraries in the binaries. Also of interest is the building of Firefox as a XULrunner application about which Mozilla is keen to receive feedback. This seemed good enough for Horst who duly opened a bug report .
Cannot Access Hardware Clock Via Any Known Method
Repeatedly during booting of a rawhide machine SteveGrubb noticed the message "Cannot access the Hardware Clock via any known method" and wondered if anyone else running x86_64 rawhide had noticed the message. RexDieter confirmed that he and TomCallaway had noticed it and speculated that hwclock was being fired up before /dev/rtc had been created by udev.
Further discussion led HansdeGoede to point out that there was a bugzilla entry which described the problem and possible solutions. It seemed that the problem is due to there being three possible RTC drivers and mkinitrd creating /dev/rtc with the wrong major/minor device numbering.
A detailed explanatory post from Hans explained his view of the problem, his proposed fix and expressed his desire that some attention would be drawn to the bug. JoachimFrieben suggested a temporary means (synchronizing the system clock before startup with NTP) of mitigating the bug until it is fixed. BillNottingham agreed with Hans that it might be possible to move the setting of the clock later, but still make it available as early as possible in order to co-ordinate log messages and other events. Using the kernel to automatically set the clock upon /dev/rtc instantiation was noted as being limited by the requirement of all users to use UTC. SimoSorce asked and DanHorák confirmed that this was a problem for dual-boot systems. Dan provided an interesting link to a plea to Microsoft to set the RTC to use UTC.
Devilspie And Angelcake: Asus Eee PC Continued
The discussion of the Asus EeePC (FWN#117 "Fedora 9 For Asus EeePC" ) continued with some interesting developments. It seemed that ChrisSnook and JayCliburn, as the main Atheros driver developers, had received a "huge code dump from Atheros" and were producing a unified atlx Atheros driver. Chris requested atl2 testers to contact him off-list.
ChuckEbbert responded to Orion's earlier question with the information that ACPI support for the Eeeepc is being worked on by Debian developers and discussions on upstreaming it into the kernel are happening.
LamontPeterson took up JohnPalmieri's suggestion that avoiding a swap partition, while desirable, might lead to more OOM troubles. Lamont recalled a Linux Journal article on the topic of setting memory ceilings on embedded systems to prevent the OOM Killer triggering.
A quick note posted by OrionPoplawski about the dearth of information on the Eeepc (and his own identification of the drive as "SILICONMOTION SM223AC") stimulated JonNettleton to add that he had been hacking on devilspie (a utility to detect window creation and apply placement and sizing rules to them) in order to make it automatically resize windows in response to window-geometry thresholds. RahulSundaram shared a current discussion with the Eeedora developers who seem to be interested in making their distro work on the 2GB Eee PCs.
Jon clarified that he was not part of Eeedora[11a] , and was primarily interested in a heavily-changed, non-Fedora-branded derivative with many changes to upstream Fedora. His central interests involve dealing with the challenges of the small, low-resolution screen: hence his hacking on devilspie and a possible GUI tool (provisionally named angelcake) to configure it. Jon also expressed interest in updating asus_acpi to handle the keys and improving boot speed. YaakovNemoy suggested using XMonad instead of devilspie but Jon was able to point to the ability of Metacity to do compositing (still in Rawhide) and the simplicity of devilspie. DouglasMcClendon also seemed taken with it and suggested investigating wmctrl.
After all the interest shown Jon was encouraged by RahulSundaram to start a wiki-page detailing his progress, which seems very promising.
PulseAudio Crashing Applications?
A request was made by WarrenTogami for other people's experiences with pidgin, mplayer, xine crashing on a regular basis, especially whether they had backtraces. MatthiasClasen wondered why Warren assumed that his crashes had anything to do with PulseAudio if he had not yet seen backtraces.
Some kvetching about PulseAudio in general and why it had been included in Fedora 8 stimulated ChrisSnook to complain about the general state of KDE in Fedora. He was clear that he welcomed the "Gnome developers [...] pushing ahead with all this nest stuff[.] " When AndrewFarris pushed him on the point, suggesting that the problems were due to the small number of Fedora KDE developers rather than Gnome developers breaking KDE Chris produced a splendid rant. His general point seemed to be that KDE development was too hampered by interference from "Gnomifiers" and that there was a lack of responsiveness compared to, for example, SELinux development.
The wind was slightly taken out of the sails of the complaint when RexDieter explained that the packaging of PulseAudio had been constructed carefully so that it was easy to remove it in KDE with a
rpm -e kde-settings-pulseaudio alsa-plugins-pulseaudio followed by restarting the KDE session. LaurentRineau added some suggestions about how this could be made a per-user choice.
Backtraces were supplied by AndrewFarris of a crash of rhythmbox and also some possibly related to xulrunner.
In this section, we cover the Fedora Documentation Project.
Contributing Writer: JohnBabich
Works in Progress
Work continues on the Desktop User Guide (DUG) and the Administration Guide (AG). The goal is to include both guides in the official Fedora 9 release. They appear to be on track for inclusion in the March beta.
Software Management Guide Ready for Review
EricChristensen reports that "the entire guide is ready for review and editing".
One Summary for All Release Notes and Features
KarstenWade proposed a common wiki location for all the release notes and features summaries . The purpose of this is to collect the release notes, feature summaries and the one-page release summary in one place for easier editing and compilation.
VladimirKosovac followed up : "Is it feasible to start looking at the Release Notes / Release Summary and some issues with timely production of those, mentioned in FDSCo meeting today...I thought something like Rel Notes SIG, acting as an umbrella for all of the ... above might achieve this better co-ordination. Immediate and a very visible benefit would be accurate Release Notes produced on time throughout the dev-cycle (and Rahul and others relieved of beyond-human effort during the last 48 hrs before the mirrors open every 6-7 months). The other, less visible benefit, is the possibility (there was a bit of a talk about it within docs team, too) to use this road to attract new contributors and get them started on smaller, less intimidating pieces of the project."
JonathanRoberts asked : "How does this fulfill the needs of the release notes - i.e. the more technical content? Is there any point maintaining the distinction between the Release Notes and the #/Summary?"
Fedora Overview Translations
Marcelo Martínez wrote to stress the importance of making the Fedora Overview available in other languages besides English.
RahulSundaram queried PaulFrields as to whether he planned to revise this document, to which Paul replied in the affirmative.
DimitrisGlezos agreed that translation of this page is vital and stated that we "have an ongoing effort to move such content (reaching users and not used for development or continuously changing) from the wiki to fedoraproject.org, in order to have it localized more easily and serve it as static content to keep the load on the servers low. So bear in mind that the doc will be revised and probably moved to a PO-based localized form soon."
In this section, we cover the Fedora Infrastructure Project.
Contributing Writer: HuzaifaSidhpurwala
ToshioKuratomi reports 
There has been some vaccuming of the huge rpmfiles tables in koji. The vaccuming took 14 hours and was successfull at removing dead tuples that had accumulated in the database. There was also an increase in the maintenance_work_mem to 1GB.
MikeMcGrath reports 
There was a discussion about collab1.fedoraproject.org and what services we would like to have on that. It would nice to have gobby, a pastebin and mailman on that. Then there was a discussion on which specific pastebin to use for the server.
AnandCapur reports 
Anand asked about getting the fedora.org domain, but the domain was never owned by us and it was registered soon as the fedora project started.
In this section, we cover Fedora Artwork Project.
Contributing Writer: NicuBuculei
The quest for T-Shirts
MaxSpevack challenge the Art Team with a new quest : create a new generation of Fedora themed T-Shirts, both for general use, special events like FUDCons and LinuxTag and crazy stuff based on the Fedora 9 codename. This is preliminary, details about manufacturing are to be determined, but the team started a page to collect those designs . All contributors are warmly welcomed.
Countdown to Round 2
NicuBuculei warned on the fedora-art-list : "The current deadline for Round 2 is less than one week away, February 5th." There is still time, but not much, for the Fedora 9 theme proposals from Round 1 to be updated, expanded and polished and stay in competition for the final look of the distro. Members of the team are invited to play with the current designs, everybody is invited to join the team.
In this section, we cover Security Advisories from fedora-package-announce.
Contributing Writer: ThomasChung
Fedora 8 Security Advisories
- icu-3.8-5.fc8 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2008-January/msg00896.html
- xine-lib-1.1.10-1.fc8 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2008-January/msg00956.html
- rb_libtorrent-0.12-3.fc8 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2008-February/msg00001.html
- SDL_image-1.2.6-5.fc8 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2008-February/msg00008.html
- kdebase-3.5.8-31.fc8 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2008-February/msg00038.html
- rb_libtorrent-0.12-3.fc8 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2008-February/msg00050.html
- deluge-0.5.8.3-1.fc8 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2008-February/msg00079.html
Fedora 7 Security Advisories
- icu-3.6-20.fc7 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2008-January/msg00921.html
- kernel-126.96.36.199-64.fc7 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2008-January/msg00968.html
- xine-lib-1.1.10-1.fc7 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2008-January/msg00976.html
- kdebase-3.5.8-31.fc7 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2008-February/msg00031.html
- SDL_image-1.2.5-7.fc7 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2008-February/msg00039.html
- kernel-188.8.131.52-60.fc7 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2008-February/msg00061.html
- deluge-0.5.8.3-1.fc7 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2008-February/msg00069.html
Events and Meetings
In this section, we cover event reports and meeting summaries from various Projects and SIGs.
Contributing Writer: ThomasChung
Fedora Board Meeting Minutes 2008-01-29
Fedora Community Architecture Meeting 2008-01-28
Fedora Ambassadors Steering Committee Meeting 2008-MM-DD
- No Report
Fedora Marketing Meeting 2008-01-30
Fedora Documentation Steering Committee (Log) 2008-01-29
Fedora Engineering Steering Committee Meeting 2008-01-31
Fedora Infrastructure Meeting (Log) 2008-01-31
Fedora Release Engineering Meeting 2008-01-29
Fedora Quality Assurance Meeting 2008-01-30
Fedora Bug Zappers Meeting 2008-01-30
Fedora SIG EPEL Report Week 05/2008
Fedora SIG KDE Report Week NN/2008
- No Report