From Fedora Project Wiki


Fedora Weekly News Issue 123

Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 123 for the week of March 3rd, 2008.

In Planet Fedora, we have "Bonnie in Laurinburg", "RSS feeds of bugs!", "Howto: Test the WebKit engine in Fedora" and "Hints for making Evolution faster"

In Fedora Marketing, we have "Interview with Max Spevack and Paul Frields", "Linux Powers The Spiderwick Chronicles", "Name for Fedora Compute Grid Project", "ext4 Implementation Interview" and many more.

We are always looking for more writers to help us deliver timely information to the Fedora community.

Planet Fedora

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

Contributing Writers: ThomasChung

Bonnie in Laurinburg

AlexMaier points out in her blog[1] ,

"Both car and driver survived the two-day event mostly unscathed, which can't be said about a whole bunch of cones we hit. Here you see Bonnie sporting the numbers and the Fedora sponsorship on the second day. Click on the picture to see a few more from the set."


RSS feeds of bugs!

JonStanley points out in his blog[1] ,

"Just figured that I'd point out here that to assist in bug triage, I've made some Feedburner feeds of new Bugzilla bugs - a shout out to Bill Nottingham for giving me the idea."


Howto: Test the WebKit engine in Fedora

RolandWolters points out in his blog[1] ,

"WebKit is a browser engine which was once forked from KHTML by Apple. Nowadays it is developed by the WebKit project where Apple still has quite some weight, but others are in the boat as well: Trolltech, Nokia, Adobe, some KDE developers, some GNOME developers, etc. Besides, WebKit will be part of the upcoming Qt 4.4, will play an important role in KDE’s Plasma and can also be used as a backend in GNOME’s Epiphany browser."


Hints for making Evolution faster

JesseKeating points out his blog[1] ,

"I've had a long battle with evolution and it's speed. Particularly opening imap folders and checking for mail. However somebody recently clued me into a (new?) setting that has sped my evolution use up quite a bit."



In this section, we cover Fedora Marketing Project.

Contributing Writer: JohnBabich

Interview with Max Spevack and Paul Frields

JonathanRoberts advertised [1] that he "did an interview with MaxSpevack and PaulFrields that has gone online today. I think it reads really well and makes the future prospects of the project sound very exciting...You can read it here [2] "



Linux Powers The Spiderwick Chronicles

MohdIzharFirdaus pointed out [1] "During the production of Spiderwick, Tippett Studio switched to Fedora Linux running on Macintosh desktops. "We currently have 119 Intel-based Apple Mac Pro workstations running Linux", says Tippett Computer Graphics Supervisor Russell Darling. "We decided to go with Apple hardware running Linux for our primary artist workstations on The Spiderwick Chronicles, although it might have been considered a risky endeavor for a show in production. We initially had some problems with sound on Maya and a few other minor issues, but they were resolved. We got a patch from Autodesk that took care of everything." Commercial Linux software vendors work closely with film studio clients."


Name for Fedora Compute Grid Project

KarstenWade warned [1] "Recently under discussion on f-a-b is the idea of creating a million-node compute grid using Condor and other tools. This might include, for example, the ability to join the grid during firstboot. Catch up on that thread here [2] . We are suffering from a cool name; we are in danger of calling it "Fedora Home" in the meantime, and with one pick-up of that name in Fedora Weekly News, someone is going to come pressing trademark rights. Shall we declare it a codename in seek of a replacement?

What this thing is:

  • A cool piece of technology with a grid client and Fedora-run grid master
  • A way to contribute to Fedora with spare CPU cycles from your machine(s); useful for everyone from Web surfing grandmas to kernel hackers with quad-cores
  • A chance to create something that Fedorans can use for good projects:
  • Distributed build-system
  • Social and technical causes that match with Fedora values/ideals
  • Cool research

It's some kind of convergence, which is why it needs a cool name, right?"

JeffSpaleta offered [3] "Okay, assuming we are only going to allow Fedora clients: The Fedora Trellis: The 'open' grid supporting Fedora's growth.

If we are going to allow non-Fedora clients I would just call it The Trellis [4] :

trellis (n) 1. A structure of open latticework, especially one used as a support for vines and other creeping plants."

PaulFrields declared [5] the name "Trellis" as the winner: "*ding ding ding*".






The Effects of Commercialization on Open-source Communities

RahulSundaram reported [1] of an entry in Matt Asay's blog on CNET, giving an "interesting perspective for communities with commercial contributors including Fedora". [2]



Recap of Fedora Marketing Meeting on 6 March

GregDeKoenigsberg posted [1] that we "discussed the Marketing Plan document and made some modifications to the copy currently on the wiki. We discussed Target Audience and Brand Positioning, and our current thoughts are summed up on the Plan page. [2]

We feel like Target Audience is pretty strong, but we're going to continue to iterate over Brand Positioning. Once we have that right, we'll move on to Key Marketing Messages, and then the rest of our lives as a group will probably be spent refining our Strategies and Tactics.

Productive discussions, and exciting for people who enjoy the challenge of communicating The Big Fedora Message. Look forward to seeing more and more join the discussion over time.

Next meeting: next Thursday [13 March] , 2000 UTC. (Note to US Americans: don't get caught by the time change! We will have the meeting at 2000 UTC, no matter what that means after we Spring Forward!)"

Note: The HTML IRC log for the meeting can be found here [3] .




Some Marketing Tips from Linux Magazine

JonathanRoberts stated [1] , "I had the opportunity to ask Joe Cassad from Linux Magazine about how they come across ideas for stories and articles, and what Fedora can do to make it easier for them to find stories about Fedora. The most important part of the response I got was this

Me: In an ideal world, how would you like to go about getting information about a project like Fedora when trying to find material for new articles? Essentially, what can Fedora do for you to make your job easier!?

Joe: I'm not sure where you are on this now, but one thing I have noticed in the past is that it is difficult to get good documentation on Fedora until after the release. If I don't get to see a detailed description of highlights or new features until the release notes appear, this task of finding good article topics can't start until the release. It then takes a couple months to get an article and a couple more months to edit and print the magazine. If there were a way to get better documentation before the release, that would help a lot. I don't know if you're having to content with non-disclosure strategies here, so maybe this isn't possible.

Me: Do you know about our Feature List [2] page?

Joe: OK. That's useful to know about. I'll watch that list. The important part is the description. Some of these features have useful descriptions some are not as easy to understand at a glance.

What do people think? Maybe the SSS could help us here? And the Feature List could be promoted more/cleaned up by marketing or docs people?

RahulSundaram replied [3] "Which descriptions don't make sense either in the summary or after reading the specification. I think these are fairly good descriptions considering they are essentially developer specifications."

IanWeller opined [4] "Maybe an official news blog-type-thing, most likely on the front page, would help get news out to other larger Linux news sites. (I'm not necessarily sure if this has been attempted before already.) Are press releases also an option?"

JeffSpaleta asked [5] "How about this as a compromise....What if we leave the feature process development driven.. but we hook in a way for someone who is perusing the feature summaries to easily drop a comment or a note if they want a layperson explanation. The notes would go to a marketing group..maybe even this answer is formulated and sent back to the person who asked the the explanation and additionally linked in to the feature summary on the feature list without disturbing the development oriented information there.

This might even be useful in figuring out where the next developer interview opportunities are. Both could be used when announcements are made about features, new alphas/betas are available, etc."

KarstenWade posited [6] "+1 ... sort of like a press inquiries address, but offered as part of an already useful document? That way we are asking for targeted questions and not inviting wide-open requests that are mainly covered in the features pages. We could also find a way to cross-tie the SSS with specific features, so one has a press-friendly approach and there is a reciprocating link to find the deeper developer-oriented content."

Karsten continued [7] regarding an official news site: " is in the works, mainly for just that job." Concerning press releases, he said "Yes, but best is; it's a blog output, several of us in the Marketing SIG can post to it as "the Fedora team", and it is watched by a growing number of technical and other press. It's somewhere I'd "post also", that is, output a press release to news.fp.o and make sure a copy gets to press.r.c."








ext4 Implementation Interview

RodrigoMenezes noted [1] "a new interview is up. This time it's with Eric Sandeen and all about the new ext4 implementation that are going to be landing in F9."




In this section, we cover Fedora Ambassadors Project.

Contributing Writer: JeffreyTadlock

North and South America Ambassador Meeting

The North and South America Ambassadors held their monthly meeting on March 3rd. If you were unable to attend the meeting the IRC log has been posted to the Ambassador Mailing List [1] and the wiki [2] .



Help Wanted: NOTACON 5 - Cleveland, Ohio

NOTACON 5 [1] has been added to the Events Help Wanted page [2] . The event runs April 4th through the 6th in Cleveland, Ohio. If you are an ambassador in the northeastern Ohio or Western Pennsylvania area and can help organize a booth for the event please check the Events Help Wanted page [2] or mailing list post for additional information [3] .




FAmSCo Summary

FAmSCo worked on the budget process to be used to obtain funds for events. The initial announcement email has seen its first draft and should be posted to the Ambassadors mailing list this week.

FAmSCo drafted an informal event reporting guideline. The event reporting guideline will assist ambassadors with ideas of what to post in event reports to blogs and mailing lists. It will be posted to the wiki and announced on the Ambassador mailing list this upcoming week.

FAmSCo has also initiated a wiki cleanup effort for the Ambassador's section of the wiki. There are numerous outdated pages in our section of the wiki. The list of pages receiving attention, which will change over time, has been posted to the wiki [1] .

The IRC meeting logs from the FAmSCo meeting on Friday, March 7th have been posted to the Ambassador the wiki [2] .



Advisory Board

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

Contributing Writer: MichaelLarabel

Reinforcing MP3 Patent Issues As A Global Problem

With the authorities enforcing MP3/MP4 patents at the recent CeBIT technology trade-show in Germany, JeffSpaleta had asked[1] whether news articles related to these media patent enforcements going on outside of the United States should be added to the CodecBuddy Wiki page[2] . Sharing this information from the Wiki page would re-enforce that such patents are a global problem and not limited to the United States. Jeff's message was greeted by a positive response.



LWN Subscriptions Setup

For those contributors that requested a complementary LWN 10th anniversary account, if you submitted your information prior to March 1st the account should now be setup[1] . There are still 12 available subscriptions, which the Fedora board will look to distribute.



In this section, we cover the Fedora Documentation Project.

Contributing Writer: JohnBabich

Beta Release Notes

JonathanRoberts announced [1] that "The beta release notes can be found at [2] . I'd appreciate it if people would look over what's there and make suggestions on list or changes to the page itself :)"



SMG in CVS, ready for post-DocBook conversion edit

KarstenWade asked [1] for help with the SMG:

"The Software Management Guide has undergone a bit of a facelift, with these cool changes:

  • Freshly updated content written and edited by Eric 'Sparks' Christensen; edit and wiki conversion to DocBook XML by Jared Smith
  • This checkout is in DocBook but has not been edited for proper Fedora Docs style:
  • At least Paul and I have agreed to have review it
  • Chance to watch fedora-docs-commits to learn how and why we do stuff
  • Informative CVS commit messages guaranteed or your money back!
  • The current development version is available in CVS. [2]
  • Module in CVS moved from 'yum-software-management' to reflect new name and focus
  • All current and old bugzilla entries for 'y-s-m' moved to 's-m-g'
  • New module owner Eric Christensen, QA eye by Jared Smith

Next Steps

1. Big XML crawl over with our Sherlockian magnifying glass

2. Approve for Fedora 9

3. Publish with Fedora 9 on [3]

How to Help with the XML Crawl

Declare to this thread which chapters you want to review; review them and commit changes to CVS"


[2] [This link does not work in a web browser - ed.]

[3] [This link does not exist at present - ed.]

Meeting with RH Docs

PaulFrields talked [1] "with a couple of folks from the Red Hat Engineering Content Services (documentation & translation) groups tonight -- part of a weekly series of meetings, actually. Thanks to the kind participation of Murray McAllister, we have a splendid opportunity to see how our toolchain can fit together with Publican, the RH Docs tool for building documentation. There are probably a few capabilities we have of which the RH Docs team isn't aware, and some pain points that may require fixing as well.

I am hopeful that the developer of Publican, Jeff Fearn, will be able to help out with looking at the FDP toolchain to explore all these issues, since there aren't many of us here with the combination of the requisite skills and the time to work on any remaining problems. Doing this work in the open community is a big win for everyone, especially since it will help seed a whole new group of documentation writers and editors in the FDP. As I told the RH folks, I suspect this is not nearly as long or arduous a process as it sounds. I also think we'll find not only a lot of common problems already solved, but ways to improve both our toolchain and Publican as we go.

Thanks to everyone for your assistance as we explore this opportunity together."



In this section, we cover Fedora Artwork Project.

Contributing Writer: NicuBuculei

The Fedora logo in Black and White

The Fedora logo, the Infinity Bubble uses 3 colors: a dark blue, a light blue and white, which makes it impractical for black and white use (required for example to keep the printing costs very low), so MairinDuffy steps in[1] and updates the Logo Usage Guidelines[2] for this case: "In this scenario, the logotype must be used alone without the logo mark, in a light color type on a dark background or in a dark color type on a light background."



Continual theme development

The theme development for Fedora 9 continues, with a new time extension[1] and more development[2] on the Sulfuric Waves[3] theme.




Security Week

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

Contributing Writer: JoshBressers

Improve security with polyinstantiation

There is a really good article about using directory polyinstantiation in PAM:

I hope to see this used by default in an upcoming Fedora release. All the bits are there, someone just needs to put them together. The basics are that each user gets their own personal /tmp for example. This then (mostly) eliminates things like insecure temp file usage flaws.

Evolution or Intelligent Design?

A quite serious Evolution critical issue was released last week:

This issue would allow an attacker to inject arbitrary code into your evolution process if you view the malformed message. There's not really a good way to protect against this, as the very nature of email is to view the messages you receive. Many people got very little sleep in order to release a timely update for this one.

A big thanks should go out to Secunia for giving everyone a heads up about this. If you're running Evolution and you've not updated yet, you should do so.

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 2008-03-04

Fedora Community Architecture Meeting 2008-03-03

Fedora Ambassadors Steering Committee Meeting (Log) 2008-03-07

Fedora Marketing Meeting 2008-03-06

Fedora Documentation Steering Committee Meeting 2008-03-05

Fedora Engineering Steering Committee Meeting 2008-03-06

Fedora Infrastructure Meeting (Log) 2008-03-06

Fedora Release Engineering Meeting 2008-03-03

Fedora Quality Assurance Meeting 2008-03-05

Fedora Bug Zappers Meeting 2008-03-05

Fedora SIG EPEL Report Week 10/2008

Fedora SIG KDE Meeting 2008-03-04