From Fedora Project Wiki

Michael A. Peters

Email: [[MailTo(mpeters AT SPAMFREE mac DOT com)]

... I've been using Red Hat based distributions since 1998, when I made my Beige G3 stable by installing MKLinux DR3 (based on Red Hat 5.1). I've played with a few other distributions, such as Debian (on m68k and x86), SuSE (on PPC), Mandrake, Caldera, and TurboLinux - and I've played with LFS a few time, including RPM bootstrapping LFS and making an installer for it based upon Slinky from the RULE project.

Red Hat though is what I always liked best. LFS was fun but was a monstrous chore to update, that got old pretty quick.

My passion with Linux is Linux On The Desktop (LOTD), particularly the GNOME Desktop Environment. The applications I am most interested in are applications that move Linux towards being a real viable alternative to closed commercial operating systems for the everyday user who doesn't care what a compiler is or why xml is nifty.

I'm a fan of the gstreamer project - gstreamer is the right way (imho) to handle multimedia. I'm a fan of AbiWord/Gnumeric - I don't like OO.o all that much, I think it is slow and bloated. I'm a huge fan of yum - the idea that with one single command I can bring every application on my operating system up to date just absolutely rocks.

Stuff I'm working on packaging that I would like to see in Extras (OK - most of this is in now) -

  • sword/gnomesword - a Bible study tool
  • gourmet (and PyRTF) - a recipe manager
  • libvisual-plugins - plugins for libvisual library. Unfortunately, the gstreamer plugin hasn't been ported to gstreamer10 yet :(
  • some perl modules needed for slimserver, a cool perl app for streaming audio to a SqueezeBox
  • tetex-prosper - a LaTeX class for creating PDF presentation slides.
  • silgraphite - an engine for smart fonts that are needed for some types of scripts
  • pan - it's alive! pan is a newsreader. Like for newsgroups and stuff. I only use it to view a few, primarily comp.text.tex - but with pan, I can do it in style. The new pan, a C++ rewrite, is in rawhide. It tends to get updated weekly on the weekend by upstream, I try to get it updated in rawhide. The src.rpm builds in FC-5 for the brave.

Stuff other people are working on in Extras that really interest me -

  • bluefish - a really nifty html editor
  • fcron - a replacement for cron and anacron
  • AbiWord/Gnumeric - a superior office suite to OO.o
  • BitTorrent - because I have a cable modem, but no cable TV :p

Stuff I want other people to work on -

  • BibleTime - a KDE frontend to the sword project. I won't submit to extras because I'm not a KDE person, and I really don't think I should maintain stuff I don't use, especially for an interface (KDE) I don't use. I am working on a specfile though, just because. The current beta version requires a library not in Extras - clucene (a c++ implementation of lucene). I have a working package for that, but unfortunately I can't get BibleTime to build (maybe because I'm working with the beta release, and not stable ??)
  • Something better than Rhythmbox. I've played with AmoroK - and I really liked it. Too bad I'm a GNOME bigot. Rhythmbox still has quite a ways to go imho. It allegedly has iPod support, it could read my iPod - but I sure could not get it to work with it. Gtkpod does work though (but not the version in Livna as I write, it is broken for me - current upstream works)

Changes since last wiki update -

  • Added Stuff I want other people to work on.
  • I'm not so interested in LyX anymore. In fact, I don't use it all anymore. It's not even installed on my laptop anymore. There is a cool package for emacs called emacs-auctex - it is a vastly superior way (imho) to write LaTeX documents.
  • OK - I now have cable TV. So I can watch Stargate SG1 and Atlantis w/o needing to torrent them. I also have netflix now.
  • Firestarter was a project someone else maintained that I enjoyed. They orphaned it. So I maintain it.

Stuff I'm working on outside of Fedora -

  • tetexrpm - - the idea is that since macros on CTAN are rather modular, the RPM packaging of them should be too, so that a minor update doesn't result in tremendous bandwidth consumption.

Weird stuff that interests me

  • Elektra - formerly known as the Linux Registry

It's really not that bad of an idea - MS just implemented it poorly. GConf in gnome is essentially a registry - and being able to look up values and change them with gconf-editor is really useful, that kind of function for system stuff would rock. Config files suck.

  • criawips - GNOME presentation software.

OK - so I do all my slide stuff in LaTeX and just make PDF slide shows, but it is nice that someone is working on a GNOME solution for those that do not want to use LaTeX. It's not very useful yet, certainly not worthy of submission in Extras, but I decided to package it anyway.

What I Want Out Of Fedora

As long as Fedora is something users have to install on their own, it is not going to have huge market share. I'd like to see a stripped down Fedora without KDE (nothing personal) without install options without a bunch of servers etc - not Fedora Core, leave that stuff in Core - but a stripped down branch that is suitable for OEMS to take and slap on hardware they ship out the door en masse to average joe customers. Average joe wants other stuff, it's just a yum away.

This wouldn't be hard to do - basically just Anaconda w/ gnome desktop option as the only option, maybe add a few apps from extras that are LOTD centric, and add some gstreamer plugins for licensed codecs (from fluendo??) so DVD/mp3 etc. can be done through Rhythmbox/Totem.

A stripped down Fedora would be easier for an OEM to support (they don't need to provide support for the parts of Fedora they don't ship) and thus more attractive to OEM's, and OEM's are the key to LOTD to being a success. IMHO.

I'd also like to see better support for compatibility packages with older versions of shared libraries. For example, every new Fedora release has a new version of GNOME. It would be nice if older versions of the libraries that change, when practical, could be made available to help transition existing applications.

Fantasy Wish List

  • A top quality 3D video card committed to open source drivers (I loved my VooDoo3)
  • Firefox extension that lets me have profiles for bookmarks (ie work, home, school) that syncs with a bookmark server, so that I never have remember which machine I made that bookmark on
  • An end to spam
  • Firefly Season 2