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Fedora Weekly News Issue 119

Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 119 for the week of February 4th, 2008. FWN/Issue119

In Announcements, we have "Announcing Fedora 9 Alpha", "Fedora 9 Alpha Jigdo" and "Fedora 8 20080204 Re-Spin"

In Planet Fedora, we have "A word of thanks", "Happy 10th Birthday, Open Source!", "Field report from GNUnify 2008", "SCALE 6x: I’m Here - Saturday in Review", "SCALE 6x: cally four nya" and "Fedora General-Purpose Posters Part 2"

To join or give us your feedback, please visit NewsProject/Join.


In this section, we cover announcements from Fedora Project.


Contributing Writer: ThomasChung

Announcing Fedora 9 Alpha

JesseKeating announces in fedora-announce-list[1] ,

"The Alpha release provides the first opportunity for the wider community to become involved with the testing of Rawhide: representing a sanitised snapshot of Fedora's development branch, which sees rapid changes and will become the next major release, it should boot on the majority of systems, providing both an opportunity to get a look at what new features will be included in the next release and also an opportunity to provide feedback and bug reports to help ensure that the next release is as good as possible."

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

Fedora 9 Alpha Jigdo

JeroenVanMeeuwen announces in fedora-announce-list[1] ,

"Fedora Unity announces the Fedora 9 Alpha release is now also available via Jigdo. Jigdo saves you a lot of bandwidth and time if you already have the data (maybe a local mirror or previously released media), and has been proposed as a feature for Fedora 9."

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

Fedora 8 20080204 Re-Spin

BenWilliams announces in fedora-announce-list[1] ,

"The Fedora Unity Project is proud to announce the release of new ISO Re-Spins (DVD and CD Sets) of Fedora 8. These Re-Spin ISOs are based on the officially released Fedora 8 installation media and include all updates released as of February 4,2008. The ISO images are available for i386 and x86_64 architectures via jigdo starting Thursday, February 7, 2008. We have included CD Image sets for those in the Fedora community that do not have DVD drives or burners available."

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-announce-list/2008-February/msg00003.html

Planet Fedora

In this section, we cover a highlight of Planet Fedora - an aggregation of blogs from world wide Fedora contributors.


Contributing Writers: ThomasChung

A word of thanks

MaxSpevack points out in his blog[1] ,

"I would like to give some public thanks to JeffreyTadlock for the work that he has done with the Store SIG. I started the Store SIG a few months ago when I had some extra time, and as an attempt to bring some sanity to the problems of distributing swag globally, both for individuals and events."

[1] http://spevack.livejournal.com/44818.html

Happy 10th Birthday, Open Source!

JohnBabich points out in his blog[1] ,

"Bruce Perens published the Open Source Definition on 9 February, 1998. He commemorates the event in State of Open Source Message: A New Decade For Open Source. This is a great article and should be read in its entirety by anyone who appreciates Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)."

[1] http://jmbuser.livejournal.com/9080.html

Field report from GNUnify 2008

SankarshanMukhopadhyay points out in his blog[1] ,

"As promised earlier, here’s a quick round-up of the event. I spent the entire two days on 8th and 9th (of February, 2008) at GNUnify 2008. I did not have any specific talks to attend and went more to find out for myself about all the good stuff that I have heard till date about this event. Sayamindu had come down (he had a talk on OLPC) and so on Day 1 of the event we started a bit late and gate crashed into Brian Behlendorf’s talk related to 10 things about Open Source. A fairly straight forward talk introducing Open Source to the hall full of students it also had the old dogs indulging in some back seat fun."

[1] http://sankarshan.randomink.org/blog/2008/02/10/field-report-from-gnunify-2008/

SCALE 6x: I’m Here - Saturday in Review

ClintSavage reports in his blog[1] ,

"Just left Jono Bacon’s presentation on The future of the Linux Desktop. He’s quite an awesome presenter. Afterward, I went down to the exhibit floor and got to say hi to TomCallaway and actually met ThomasChung from the Fedora Project. Both of these guys have such exuberance and joy, I love being part of the fedora project."

[1] http://fedora-tutorials.com/2008/02/10/scale-6x-im-here-saturday-in-review/

SCALE 6x: cally four nya

TomCallaway reports in his blog[1] ,

"Here I am, in Los Angeles, at SCALE 6x. I've never been to SCALE before, but I'm really impressed. Its this mix of extinct old school Linux conferences like ALS and LinuxExpo, trade shows like Comdex, and smart tech conferences like OSCON. Amazingly, they're pulling it off really well. There are just a lot of smart people and a lot of curious people, and a really vibrant feeling to it that can't help but get you excited about it. I'm not sure if the fact that it is in LA Is helping the effect, or merely making it more unique. In the last two days, I've met more people than I could possibly remember, and observed some of the behind-the-scene workings of the open source community that I've always been aware of, but never invited to participate in."

[1] http://spot.livejournal.com/288127.html

Fedora General-Purpose Posters Part 2

MairinDuffy points out in her blog[1] ,

"Thanks to everybody who helped me out with the poster design here in my blog and in fedora-marketing-list. I think this cut is pretty good so if you are willing to translate the poster into another language or if you would simply like to have it printed up, it's ready now."

[1] http://mihmo.livejournal.com/52993.html


In this section, we cover Fedora Marketing Project.


Contributing Writer: ThomasChung

Store SIG Update - a.k.a. State of the SIG

JeffreyTadlock reports in fedora-marketing-list[1] ,

"It is time for a Fedora Store SIG update! To bring people up to speed, the Fedora Store SIG was founded by Max Spevack as a means to solve two major issues - provide an easy way for Fedora users and contributors to obtain Fedora merchandise and help direct Fedora Ambassadors to vendors that are near them who can help fill bulk orders for events they attend. More details can be found on the Fedora SIG page."

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-marketing-list/2008-February/msg00217.html

Generic Fedora Poster Designs for Events

MairinDuffy reports in fedora-marketing-list[1] ,

"I've updated the posters using the color suggestions from JohnAdams and the text PaulFrields gave me in my blog (with one minor mod) and some layout suggestions from RobinNorwood in IRC (the original design had the infinity sign flattened, it's readjusted to resemble its position in the logo and some of the sizing of the logo elements is changed.)"

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-marketing-list/2008-February/msg00202.html

Fedora Project releases alpha version of Fedora 9

RahulSundaram reports in fedora-marketing-list[1] ,

"The GNOME programs in the alpha version of Fedora 9 are derived from the 2.21 development branch from which GNOME 2.22 should be emerging in mid March. The browser will be a preview version of Firefox 3, the core rendering elements of which are in a separate XULRunner package. Preview versions of other applications such as OpenOffice 2.4 or X-Server 1.5 are also used. The development team have also improved the installation program so that existing ext2, ext3 and NTFS partitions can now be reduced in size. In addition, it is now possible to create encrypted Linux partitions directly during installation."

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-marketing-list/2008-February/msg00214.html

Fedora 9 Alpha Preview

RahulSundaram reports in fedora-marketing-list[1] ,

"Among the features being worked on are encrypted file-system support, updating the KDE spin to KDE 4.0, PackageKit integration, and switching to upstart initialization. In this article, we are taking a brief look at Fedora 9 Alpha and the features planned for Fedora 9."

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-marketing-list/2008-February/msg00068.html

Fedora 9 Alpha - digg it

JonathanRoberts reports in fedora-marketing-list[1] ,

"Now that the Alpha is out and the release notes[2] are no longer a draft, how about we try and get it a bit of attention... If you find the information in the article useful, then why not drop by digg[3] and give it a vote :)"

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-marketing-list/2008-February/msg00054.html

[2] Releases/9/Alpha/ReleaseNotes

[3] http://digg.com/linux_unix/Fedora_9_Sulphur_Alpha_Released


In this section, we cover Fedora Ambassadors Project.


Contributing Writer: JeffreyTadlock

LinuxTag 2008 Preparations

MaxSpevack posted to the Ambassadors list [1] asking for Ambassadors attending LinuxTag 2008, May 28th to the 31st, to add your name to the LinuxTag Rooms sign-up [2] . This is only for Ambassadors attending LinuxTag and the entire bill may not be compensated.

Also posted to the Ambassadors list [3] was a call for participation and preliminary look at what is lined up for LinuxTag by Gerold Kassube. Highlights at LinuxTag are to inlude a troubleshooting contest, a mini-FUDcon, Fedora on a Mac, X-Box, OLPC, Eee-PC, a Fedora 9 showroom, meet the developer and more.

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-ambassadors-list/2008-February/msg00019.html

[2] FedoraEvents/LinuxTag/LinuxTag2008/Rooms

[3] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-ambassadors-list/2008-February/msg00021.html

Fedora EMEA Board Elections

FrancescoUgolini posted [1] an announcement of the first Fedora EMEA board elections. Nominations are being accepted February 9th through February 21st, with the election being held at FOSDEM 2008 on February 23rd. Additional information and the nomination page are available on the wiki [2] .

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-ambassadors-list/2008-February/msg00040.html

[2] Ambassadors/EMEA/BoardElections


In this section, we cover the problems/solutions, people/personalities, and ups/downs of the endless discussions on Fedora Developments.


Contributing Writer: OisinFeeley

Baracuda To Replace VNC ?

A query as to the status of the replacement of vnc by baracuda (note the single "r") in Fedora 9 was posted[1] by MikeC. Mike was concerned that there was no mention of either in the feature list and especially wanted to preserve the ability to load a vnc module in Xorg.conf so that the screen could be viewed remotely even without a user logging in via the display manager.

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00254.html

Several replies focused on the client end of the equation and ignored the server part. DanielBerrange pointed out[2] that for GNOME the vinagre package is superior to the old RealVNC vncviewer as it can handle gnome-keyring, avahi discovery and bookmarking of connections. KevinKofler and BenjaminKreuter responded[3] that on the KDE desktop the same functionality is provided by Krfb. Benjamin hoped that vncviewer was going to be maintained in the repositories as there were scripts which depended on it. AdamTkac responded to DanielBerrange that the focus of baracuda was to produce a standalone Xvnc server with a libvnc.so module built against Xorg 1.5 and that the client was subsidiary.

[2] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00259.html

[3] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00266.html

[4] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00337.html

Mike pointed out[5] that a user needed to be logged in before krfb could be run and that his use case involved remote logins.

[5] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00274.html

AdamTkac, responding[6] directly to the original mail, gave an update on baracuda, explaining that it was a fork forced by the need to have an Xorg-1.5 based vncserver and that the original upstream (RealVNC) were not maintaining the source. This is probably because they also sell an "enterprise" edition. The current Xvnc has thus accumulated a significant number of patches which Adam ,as Fedora maintainer, judged unacceptable. Seemingly other projects had made the same determination and once Adam announced[7] the Fedora fork the TightVNC project expressed[8] interest in merging his work and it seems this is going ahead. Mike greeted this good news with thanks to Adam for his work.

[6] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00334.html

[7] http://www.realvnc.com/pipermail/vnc-list/2008-February/058598.html

[8] http://www.realvnc.com/pipermail/vnc-list/2008-February/058619.html

Sins Of Commission: Google Earth

A plea for the packaging of Google Earth[1] was made by DouglasMcClendon. He explained that he was short of time but thought it ought to be easy for someone to whip up a kickstart %post scriptlet to install Google Earth. A quick response from ChristopherBrown declined to attempt to package non-Free software: "When [G] oogle actually release something open source other than obscure OCR software that sucks anyway I'll be more than happy to work a bit harder on stuff like that." Christopher's comment became the focal point of the thread which echoed long-standing unease with Google Earth's non-Free binaries, its reliance upon further non-Free video-card drivers and its restrictive licensing terms on its data[2] . Douglas clarified[3] that what he was interested in was copying Debian's approach which is to use a properly licensed script which grabs the non-Free code, turns it into an rpm and then installs it.

[1] http://earth.google.com/

[2] http://lwn.net/Articles/211153/

[3] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00367.html

Christopher made it clear[4] that he was aware that what Douglas was requesting might not be so different from the autodownload scriptlets on the Fedora Games DVD which pull non-Free game data and asked how far down the slippery slope it was proposed to travel. He described[5] the method as a circumvention of Fedora policy. AndrewFarris agreed[6] that the package should not be in the Fedora repositories but did wish that someone would package it in some other repository. He also disagreed that Google Earth and the autodownload scripts were the same as in the former case the actual program code is unavailable whereas in the latter the code is available and all that is missing is some data. Douglas largely agreed, suggested[7] the Livna repository as a good place and wished that someone would port NASA's worldwind[8] .

[4] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00368.html

[5] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00371.html

[6] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00374.html

[7] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00378.html

[8] http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/java/index.html

ToshioKuratomi summed up[9] the situation concisely and noted that HansdeGoede 's script was "controversial". TomCallaway's opinion was[10] that the distinction between data and code was a fine, but important one and OlivierGalibert thinned it even further when he asked[11] "How much of this data is code for a virtual machine?". Further exploration led ChristopherAillon to state that the games supplied are supposed to have enough data to be somewhat useful without the restricted data and KevinKofler to state[12] that in practice this was not the case. Kevin listed several possible problems in this regard and suggested that anyone objecting should take it up with FESCo.

[9] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00373.html

[10] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00393.html

[11] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00394.html

[12] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00423.html

The situation, as described, was thought by JesseKeating to be unacceptable and Toshio responded[13] that if FESCo were going to revisit the issue then it would be wise and fair to ensure that Hans were available during the discussion as he was shouldering the burden of any work and needed to understand the requirements. Responding to a request from TomCallaway for specifics, KevinKofler ran a quick repoquery --whatrequires autodownloader and listed[14] five games which have licenses which restrict the distribution of their data and are useless without it. AlanCox did not think the situation was so clear cut and posited[15] that a better test was to ask "whether it is possible to produce new free data sets for [such tools] ." He later expanded[16] upon this with examples and with the correction that the important condition was "practicality" rather than "possibility."

[13] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00471.html

[14] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00481.html

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

[16] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00623.html

Autodownloader vs. CodecBuddy

A thread to specifically discuss the ethical and practical problems posed by the use of autodownloader (see this FWN#119 "Sins Of Commission: Google Earth") was opened[1] by HansdeGoede. Hans explained that his own guideline for the use of autodownloader was that it was "only for content [...] for Free engines." He thought that while CodecBuddy (also known as Codeina[2] ) was included in the distribution it was hypocritical to worry about autodownloader. He emphasized that Codeina downloads closed-source code and also offers the user the option to purchase said code, effectively advertising closed-source.

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00476.html

[2] Multimedia/Codeina

A longish sub-thread started[3] by JakubRusinek worked over the exhausted topic of whether or not Codeina/CodecBuddy can do anything further to facilitate the installation of possibly patent-encumbered codecs. There was nothing particularly new to see here, with the situation remaining as it has since the last opinion from Red Hat "legal" which implies that the current web page can obliquely explain the problem but needs to beware of contributory infringement. RahulSundaram supplied[4] a link to the relevant post. Unless the interpretation of software as both machine and copyrightable work (see AlanCox's post[5] ) in the U.S.A. were to be miraculously overthrown then such discussion appears moot, as do comparisons to the non-US based Canonical.

[3] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00480.html

[4] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00540.html

[5] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00523.html

A bizarrely formatted post made by TrondDanielsen suggested[6] that the pursuit of the Online Desktop[7] was another example of the hypocrisy and grey areas to which Hans had alluded. MatejCepl reacted[8] harshly, rebutting Trond's assertion that there was a partnership with Google, or that the purpose was to integrate Flickr and Google with the rest of the desktop. Trond's civil, self-deprecating response explained[9] that "The purpose of the argument was that Fedora already depend on proprietary services and software which makes the argument against the autodownloader invalid" but HorstvonBrand undermined[10] the validity of the argument and explained that while a daily beating with the cluestick may be beneficial to recipients it is tiring for the administrator.

[6] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00492.html

[7] Releases/FeatureOnlineDesktop

[8] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00545.html

[9] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00558.html

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

There were several voices raised in favor of removing Codeina/CodecBuddy. Among them were Dexter[11] and KevinKofler[12] . Kevin added that web browsers should be prevented from offering to install the proprietary flash plugins as there was a Yum repository facilitating cleaner installs. JefSpaleta grew tired[13] of the strained comparisons between different pieces of software. ChrisAdams thought that picking on Adobe's Flash (especially when they provide such a repository) would prevent him from being able to use Fedora in his job. He pointed out that swfdec and other free software Flash players cannot support MP3 audio until possibly 2017. BrianPepple pointed[14] out that the gstreamer plugin was available, just not included in Fedora due to legal reasons and so the thread came full circle to the issue of licensing. Rahul provided links and wondered[15] if this conversation had to occur every few weeks.

[11] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00479.html

[12] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00544.html

[13] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00588.html

[14] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00648.html

[15] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00673.html

The Point Of Mock

An interesting short thread was started[1] by KellyMiller (lightsolphoenix). Kelly sought advice on how to write the spec file for a KDE3 package destined for both Fedora 8 and rawhide now that the package names have changed. IgnacioVazquezAbrams suggested[2] using a %{dist} tag and JarodWilson added[3] that BuildRequires did not need to be versioned to catch devel packages less than version 3.

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00286.html

[2] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00287.html

[3] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00290.html

As a subsidiary issue Kelly mentioned[4] that there seemed to be problems with the ability of mock to build x86_64 packages. Jarod and Jesse both wondered whether he was on an x86 machine and it seemed that he was. Kelly mused[5] "I was under the impression that the whole point of using Mock was to handle that situation". Jesse responded[6] "No, the whole point of mock is to create clean chroots each time you want to build. The x86_64 platforms ability to run i386 code is a side effect." KevinKofler observed[7] that running qemu allowed (at the expense of a massive speed penalty) the building of x86_64 code on an i386 platform.

[4] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00297.html

[5] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00329.html

[6] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00331.html

[7] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00347.html

Glade 2 And Glade 3 Co-existence

DebarshiRay (rishi) drew attention[1] to the dependency of the latest anjuta on glade3[2] and requested that the replacement of glade2 by glade3 be considered. Debarshi thought this would affect the Developer Live spin and the regular GNOME DVD spin.

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00308.html

[2] Glade is a RAD tool to develop GTK GUIs: http://glade.gnome.org/

MatthiasClasen asked[3] whether glade3 could handle all the files produced by glade2. TimWaugh confirmed[4] that although this seemed to work he had seen problems with the converse, where files touched or produced by glade3 were not rendered correctly by glade2.

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

[4] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00326.html

The suggestion by Debarshi that it might be prudent to split Anjuta up or drop it entirely was thought[5] by Matthias not to be necessary as the two glade versions might be able to co-exist. JeremyKatz was happy that there was plenty of space on the DVD for both versions[6] .

[5] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00311.html

[6] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00320.html

Dropping FUSE Group? Security Concerns

As the upcoming GNOME VFS will use FUSE as a backend PeterLemenkov proposed[1] to drop the Fuse group as otherwise all users would need to be added to this group. He asked for objections to be made known.

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00237.html

Initial concern was expressed by WarrenTogami on the foot of the affect this might have on KDE users. He also wondered how upgrades would be affected. ThorstenLeemhuis asked[3] whether a security audit had been conducted as he had suggested some time ago. KarelZak reported[4] that MiklosSzeredi's work on a non-root-privileged mount (which could be used by FUSE) was making its way into the --mm kernel tree. He also made some interesting observations on the Fedora Project package process. MattDomsch suggested[5] a Koji equivalent of rpmlint to search for suid problems.

[2] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00239.html

[3] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00240.html

[4] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00278.html

[5] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00442.html

AlexanderLarsson argued[6] that Thorsten's security worries were only tangentially related to FUSE itself and had more to do with inappropriate use of setuid. He added that SELinux policy for fusermount would be a possibly useful enhancement. Alex also provided[7] the information that it was actually GVFS, a replacement to GNOME VFS which was under discussion and explained its workings.

[6] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00306.html

[7] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00296.html

KevinKofler called[8] the FUSE group "plugdev reloaded" and outlined the problem of having to add users manually.

[8] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00382.html

Further questioning by Warren as to the implications of the change for users of non-GNOME desktops drew[9] a reply from Alexander to the effect that it was an orthogonal issue and Kevin provided some backing on this point with the comparison of KIO functionality.

[9] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00387.html

An excellent summary was made[10] by Alexander in which he pointed out that FUSE provides desired features that GNOME and other software are currently using and that Fedora's security fears will lead to either "punching users in the face" by shipping a setup which they need to correct manually or else just not shipping the software. SteveGrubb replied[11] that the Common Criteria[12] evaluations were for specific mounting mechanisms and that this new, parallel method might necessitate Steve doing a lot of extra, unplanned work. A meaty, information-filled series of posts followed. Alexander described[13] , in another excellent post, the benefits of FUSE, Steve pointed[14] to a potential problem with SELinux auditing and wondered whether FUSE was duplicating some pre-existing functionality in sharing files over SSH, but without the benefit of auditing mechanisms. Alexander's last mail[15] (as of publication date) was a detailed apparent rebuttal of Steve's concerns which emphasized the role of FUSE in exposing non-root users to filesystems which were otherwise awkward to access.

[10] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00386.html

[11] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00402.html

[12] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Criteria

[13] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00447.html

[14] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00452.html

[15] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-February/msg00457.html

Advisory Board

In this section, we cover discussion in Fedora Advisory Board.


Contributing Writer: MichaelLarabel

Where's All The Fedora Spins?

MikeMcGrath has asked on the fedora-advisory-board list where are all of the Fedora re-spins?[1] To date there is just Fedora Games, Fedora Developer, and Fedora Electronic Lab editions. JeffSpaleta had responded saying that a number of localized editions are being worked on, and an Xfce spin is being worked on but was facing technical struggles that has been fixed recently. Jeff also highlighted that a education spin has been proposed recently[2] . RahulSundaram had also commented that Fedora Lite, Security Spin, and Fedora Art Studio are also on the road-map.[3]

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-advisory-board/2008-February/msg00043.html

[2] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-advisory-board/2008-February/msg00044.html

[3] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-advisory-board/2008-February/msg00049.html

Fedora Education Spin, SIG

AxelThimm had asked about establishing a SIG (Special Interest Group) for those interested in bringing Fedora to schools[1] . Announced just four days later, however, was a Fedora Education spin as well as intending to form a Fedora Education SIG[2] .

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-advisory-board/2008-February/msg00026.html

[2] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-advisory-board/2008-February/msg00060.html


In this section, we cover the Fedora Documentation Project.


Contributing Writer: JohnBabich

Meeting to Discuss Publican

PaulFrields asked [1] :

"Can Fedora Documentation folks be available next Wednesday evening [13 February] after hours (EST) for an ad hoc meeting about the new RH Docs team's "publican" documentation tools?

You'll especially want to attend if:

  • You're on the [Fedora Docs] steering committee
  • You do (or intend to) work on the Release Notes or other formal documentation"

A time is being set for the meeting, keeping in mind that the Red Hat Docs team is in Brisbane, Australia in the UTC+10 time zone. Interested people should respond via the Fedora Docs mailing list by Tuesday, 12 February, at the latest.

Note that "publican" does not refer to a tax collector or a pub owner. Rather, Publican is a completely unencumbered FOSS tool chain for producing documentation for open-source, as well as commercial, software projects. Publican is composed of common files and scripts for building documentation using the DocBook XML format.

[1] http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-docs-list/2008-February/msg00051.html

Encryption and Privacy Guide Input

After he finished making updates to the Encryption and Privacy Guide (EPG)[1] and requested input, EricChristensen responded [2] to KarstenWade's remarks asking for more Fedora-specific content.

"Here is what I propose... In order to provide a comprehensive guide that covers privacy and encryption that is available to Fedora I think we should cover in depth the Fedora-specific information while providing a summary and alternate paths for getting information for items that are more Linux-specific."

There is already non-Fedora-specific information in our Docs (like a guide for using GPG ...[3] ...) that could be rolled into the EPG as a summary. This would allow a guide that would be encompassing while not rewriting the book on everything security."

KarstenWade replied [4] :

"I don't see a problem with this idea. You understand what the catch is and avoid it with the summary approach...One way we could help the users is to identify the background they may want to skip and make it easy for them to learn how to skip it."

[1] Docs/Drafts/CryptoGuide

[2] http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-docs-list/2008-February/msg00035.html

[3] DocsProject/UsingGpg

[4] http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-docs-list/2008-February/msg00060.html

Single-sourced Summary

JonathanRoberts announced [1] : "We're going to try something new for the various release notes / summaries / overviews and see how we go. The plan...looks like this:

Create a wiki page...

Flesh out that page with sections for:

a) Press Release style summary

b) Detailed Overview covering all features on / Releases / # / Feature List either alphabetically or by coolness...

c) Technical Summary - brief but aimed at tech journalists

d) Detailed Technical Summary - detailed and aimed at geeks, similar to release notes content now. ...

The idea is that by developing all this in one location we won't duplicate any work - we can see what is done and what's not done."

[1] http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-docs-list/2008-February/msg00050.html

Works in Progress

  • Desktop User Guide (DUG)
  • Administration Guide (AG)

The goal is to include both of the above guides in the official Fedora 9 release. They appear to be on track for inclusion in the March beta.

These, as well as other draft versions of documents, can be found in the draft docs section of the wiki [1] . After joining the Docs Project [2] , feel free to work on any of these documents or create your own Fedora-related doc.

[1] http://www.fedoraproject.org/wiki/Docs/Drafts/

[2] DocsProject/Join


In this section, we cover the Fedora Infrastructure Project.


Contributing Writer: HuzaifaSidhpurwala

This section covers discussions on the fedora-infrastructure-list between 4th Feb 2008 to 10th Feb 2008.

Moin 1.6

MikeMcGrath reports [1]

Moin 1.6 was successfully installed and migrated for testing. This is purely a test instance

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-infrastructure-list/2008-February/msg00025.html

Torent tracker/primary seed software

SethVidal reports [2]

We are setting up a new torrent tracker and are debating which tracker software to use. The primary softwares which are being considered are bittorrent, ctorrent and rtorrent.

[2] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-infrastructure-list/2008-February/msg00027.html

Moin 2.0 (or as I call it, mediawiki)

MikeMcGrath reports [3]

Mike upgraded Moin 1.5.8 to mediawiki at https://publictest1.fedoraproject.org/wiki/index.php/FedoraMain. There is still some work to be done specially on the theme. However, MediaWiki requires MySQL database so it's a bit complex than Moin. Later in the thread there is some discussion about comparing both the wikis.

[3] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-infrastructure-list/2008-February/msg00039.html


In this section, we cover Fedora Artwork Project.


Contributing Writer: NicuBuculei

F9 Theme: Round 2 extension

After a short debate on the mailing list [1] . the Art Team decided, for various reasons, to extend the Round 2 for the Fedora 9 with one week, so the new deadline is February 12. Some artists already took advantage to this extension and updated their work [2] , expect some cool graphics for the next week,

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-art-list/2008-February/msg00016.html

[2] Artwork/F9Themes#Submissions

Promotional graphics: banners and posters

Part of the Art Team work is dedicated to produce good looking marketing graphics. For the Alpha release the team has designed a couple of website banners and it was a good opportunity to create a banner archive [1] holding all the website banners created so far for easy accessibility. In related art/marketing news, MairinDuffy published a pack of general purpose posters [2] , which were acclaimed by the community.

[1] Artwork/PromoBanners

[2] http://mihmo.livejournal.com/52591.html

Security Week

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

Contributing Writer: JoshBressers

New Firefox

This week Mozilla released a new version[1] of Firefox.

As usual it fixes some rather dangerous flaws.

[1] http://www.mozilla.org/projects/security/known-vulnerabilities.html#firefox2.0.0.12

How Does SELinux Work?

I ran across this article[1] this week. it's not too shabby explaining how SELinux works. It's a decent read for anyone interested in this sort of thing.

[1] http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/s-selinux/?n-s-381

Security Advisories

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


Contributing Writer: ThomasChung

Fedora 8 Security Advisories

Fedora 7 Security Advisories

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 2008-02-06

Fedora Community Architecture Meeting 2008-02-04

Fedora Documentation Steering Committee (Log) 2008-02-05

Fedora Localization/Translation Meeting 2008-02-05

Fedora Release Engineering Meeting 2008-02-04

Fedora Quality Assurance Meeting 2008-02-06

Fedora Bug Zappers Meeting 2008-02-06

Fedora SIG EPEL Report Week 06/2008

Fedora SIG KDE Report Week 06/2008

Ask Fedora

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.


Contributing Writer: RahulSundaram

Bluetooth And Fedora: Followup

In response to the question[1] , BastienNocera, one of the bluetooth maintainers in Fedora added a followup:

"Refer http://www.holtmann.org/linux/bluetooth/toshiba.html and the more recent module at http://0bits.com/toshbt/

Explains why the device isn't enabled by default, the latter link is something that should work in recent versions of Fedora (the former will only work if ACPI is disabled in the kernel)."

[1] FWN/Issue117#head-61b401e99bb6abb77fd77434241223fda329a0b7

Prayer Time: Followup

In response to the question[1] on prayer time software in Fedora, MohdIzharFirdaus, a Fedora developer has submitted[2] a few related packages for review in Fedora and they should be available in Fedora repository shortly. Thanks to him for being so responsive to the needs of users.

[1] FWN/Issue117#head-61b401e99bb6abb77fd77434241223fda329a0b7/

[2] http://blog.kagesenshi.org/2008/02/itl-minbar-in-fedora.html