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Fedora Weekly News Issue 81

Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 81 for the week of March 25th through March 31st, 2007. The latest issue can always be found here .

Announcements and Fedora Board

Fedora 7 Test 3 Announcement

The third of four test releases for Fedora 7 was announced by JeremyKatz in fedora-announce-list .

Fedora 7 Test 3 is packaged initially as a Desktop/Development Workstation/Server implementation, called "Prime". This spin is delivered in DVD ISO format only.

This test release includes an i386 ISO for a Desktop Live CD. This Live CD features the ability to install to a hard disk using the same graphical Anaconda installer as the non-live CD variant.

This test release also includes an x86_64 ISO for a Desktop Live image. Due to size, this requires a DVD. As with the i386 Live image, the ability to install to a hard disk is available.

This test release features a new i386 ISO for a KDE Live CD. Note that as of this writing, this ISO is only available via bittorrent. It should be available via the mirrors in the near future. (Editor's Note: It's now available from Fedora Download Site and Mirror Sites .)

Board Meeting: 2007-03-27

MaxSpevack reports in fedora-advisory-board , the first 40 minutes of the meeting was spent talking with Donald Fischer, Red Hat's VP of Online Services. One of the things that was discussed is that Fedora 7 allows a group like Donald's all the tools necessary to put together an "Experimental Desktop" spin anytime they want, which can be really useful for testing and getting their ideas into people's hands in a very consumable way.

JeremyKatz indicated that LiveUSB keys are close to becoming a reality. It is Jeremy's decision as to whether we can do a LiveUSB key or just plain LiveCD for the Red Hat Summit .

MaxSpevack summarized his recent conversation with ThorstenLeemhuis in which they discussed the fact that the Fedora Board is inadvertantly poaching some of the topics that are more appropriately discussed by FESCo .


Presto Debut Shows Great Promise

Presto is a yum plugin that uses deltas, or small changes, between software packages to increase the speed users obtain updates. AhmedKamal and Jonathan Dieter took the initiative to adopt and modify an implementation originally developed within Red Hat and targetted for Red Hat RHN web service. The yum plugin uses delta packages when available. Presto debuted on on March24th . The Presto project seeks testers using i386 FC6 systems.

RahulSundaram reported around 74% savings in download size for an update using this method. The plugin is planned to be packaged in Fedora, and mirrors can be encouraged to make delta packages available so that more users will test it.

Missing /dev/hdX Devices?

A query from a Fedora 7 development branch tester about why there was no longer a /dev/hda on his system was answered by WillWoods with the information that rawhide is using a new libata that passes all devices (PATA/IDE and SATA subsystems) through the SCSI layer so that all disk devices are now referenced as /dev/sdX.

FC6 NetworkManager Gets Some Love

A discussion about why NM was being built against dbus-0.93 but is currently running with dbus-1.0.1 morphed into an investigation of why NM keeps on asking for the user's password each time the WEP key is needed . When it was asserted that this had become even more intrusive in rawhide with prompting at each suspend/resume, Richard Hughes explained that this was a design decision for security where gnome-power-manager tells gnome-keyring to lock on suspend. After some discussion, Richard Hughes decided to add a gconf option to make this behavior configurable.

LSB Compliance of Initscripts

Michal Marciniszyn was concerned that a recent audit carried out by him showed that most of the shipped initscripts returned exit codes of "0" when there was no configuration file. Jakub Jelinek argued that this was irrelevant because Fedora allowed the installation of LSB compliant applications and their initscripts. Further, the current coding idiom resulted in a snappier start-up. Emmanuel Seymann argued that the problem was simply that "6" should be returned instead of "0".

Hplip: Advertising Via Icons?

A very long thread was opened by BernardJohnson on whether or not the hplip package should install its icon to the menu. Hplip is Hewlett-Packard's Linux Imaging and Printing software. The icon is that of the Hewlett-Packard corporation and was removed by a developer who wished not to fill the menus with "free advertising". Bernard objected that the package was 100% GPL and that other packages, such as VNC, did something similar, so for consistencies sake a uniform standard should be applied. Technical objections to hplip were voiced by other developers who felt that HP should instead contribute to CUPS instead of installing a parallel stack. Suggestions of replacement software appear to reveal that functionality is still scattered between different packages and that hplip may provide features not available elsewhere. Leading on from a suggestion by Dan Horák a possible way of installing specific drivers for printers was proposed by JeremyKatz . No blood was shed during the discussion which ranged into interpretations of the GPL, the inclusion of CodecBuddy, and more.

Proper Flags in RPM .spec for Dell Firmware?

Leading on from a query about Dell's firmware package failing to build a debate took place over whether this was an arch/noarch package and what exactly the packaging guidelines say .A strong opinion was voiced in favour of the idea that it was not a noarch package as demonstrated by its failure to build using ExclusiveArch: x86_64 .

Provide "buildsys-macros" in Installed System?

JesseKeating made a favorably received proposal to install the "buildsys-macros" in shipped systems. These macros are used in the current build system to provide essential definitions for package builds. Their inclusion in shipped systems would make it easier for those rebuilding packages for their current system. Those wishing to build for other releases or distributions should probably use mock and redhat-rpm-config. Some objections were voiced to the idea of "vendor" macros. RalfCorsepius and JarodWilson explored the issue, which seemed to pivot about redhat-rpm-config breaking the ability of rpmbuild to cross-build packages for non-Fedora. Ralf mentioned a possible work around and Jarod suggested that this was a very exotic, unusual case that would not affect most people.

KDE SIG Packages Status

Ending off March with the release of Fedora 7 Test 3 there is a bit of activity worth sharing on the fedora-extras-list. KDE-SIG, or the KDE Special Interest Group, has submitted a review request this week for kicker-compiz , which for the uninformed is a replacement KDE panel capable of handling Compiz and Beryl. Other Fedora KDE-SIG packages awaiting review are koverartist, klear, kdebluetooth, and keep. Speaking of KDE, new plug-ins for Kipi and digikam also have pending review requests.

Extras i386 rawhide rebuild in mock status

Last week Matthew Domsch had reported in with the Extras Rawhide-in-Mock Build Results (March 28, 2007 Results ). In total are now 2847 packages for Extras! Though for i386 and x86_64 the number of packages that had failed to build were 34 and 65, respectively. For comparison, back in January of this year were 2606 packages while over 100 packages failed for each architecture.

FC6 Gaim package update and sametime plugin issue

If the recent GAIM update for Fedora Core 6 had caused adverse effects for your system, the issue with gaim-meanwhile is in the process of being worked out. If you use gaim-meanwhile, which is a plug-in for allowing GAIM to act as a Sametime client, it would be wise to not yet update GAIM.

Documentation and Translation

Changes in Docs CVS

Paul W. Frields reports on a change in the Docs CVS. Previously, xml2po -e was used to parse entities when creating POT and PO files; now xml2po -k is used. Translation of the common entities file can now proceed using the same methods, directory structure, and access permissions as the rest of the documentation in CVS. Because the changes create fuzzy entries for translators, there is some minor inconvenience caused in the short term. The long term effect is to make translating quicker and easier.

Fedora 7 Desktop User Guide

To get ready for Fedora 7, the Fedora Documentation team is discussing updates that need to be made to the Desktop User Guide . Known issues in the Fedora Core 6 release to resolved in the Fedora 7 release include:

  • Adding KDE information, now that KDE has a more prominent focus in the spins
  • Add more task focused documentation
  • Push concept material to other documents

There is a general call for writers who can document the KDE desktop for the DUG. Refer to the Documentation Project join page for more information.

More wiki cleanup

As part of a general effort to clean up the wiki, Paul W. Frields requested that someone from the Fedora Documentation Project ensure that all the meeting minutes and IRC logs are correct for the Steering Committee (FDSCo) meeting page . Jason Taylor has taken this up.

Domain for translation statistics etc

Dimitris Glezos requested a decision be made about domain name structures for the new translation-focused web presence that hosts statistics and other project related items. DimitrisGlezos submitted,, and for discussion. No decision has been reached yet.

Events and Meetings

Ambassadors Event Report

Ambassadors Meeting: 2007-03-29

EPEL Meeting: 2007-03-25

Security and Updates


Fedora Core 6 Updates

Fedora Core 5 Updates


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