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Fedora News Updates #15

by Colin Charles

For the week of: Saturday, August 14 2004

Available at: http://fedoranews.org/colin/fnu/issue15.shtml

Issue fifteen is now out. Big things happening, especially with the porting scene it would seem. The Docs sub-project has been very active, and Rawhide is working well for the most part.

Fedora Core 3 schedule slips; FC1 EOL announced

But not by much, only a week! Test 2's freeze date was to be August 25th, but its now been moved to September 1st. Test 2 is scheduled to be released on September 13th now, and the updated schedule is now at http://fedora.redhat.com/participate/schedule/.

Of other interesting news, the end-of-life date for Fedora Core 1 has also been announced (this being the date that Red Hat stop shipping updated packages, and the Fedora Legacy project takes over). September 13th 2004 has been chosen, as this is also the date Fedora Core 3 Test 2 arrives.

Fedora Docs Project

This project has been very active, sorting out documentation, documentation writing policy, and updating the site. Some of the interesting discussions that have been happening in the last fortnight include:

Fedora Test Plans

Havoc Pennington recently asked for some clear test plans for the Fedora project (http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-desktop-list/2004-July/msg00125.html). This would enable Red Hat QA as well as Fedora Project contributors to have a good idea of what needs testing. Jonathan Blandford responded saying that the GNOME accessibility project had some test plans (http://developer.gnome.org/projects/gap/testing/a11y_sanity_suite.html), as did Christopher Aillon with the Mozilla smoketests that even works with plugins (http://www.mozilla.org/quality/smoketests/index.html).

Jeff Spaleta was quick to jump in asking if the community could help out, and Havoc had a resounding yes to that. He mentioned not holding out on an external wiki, but I don't think that's something we should worry about :)

Ports of Fedora Core 2

Lennert Buytenhek has started porting Fedora Core 2 to the Intel IXP2400, which has a 600MHz Big Endian Xscale (ARM) core. He has about 550/950 packages built, and says it surprisingly requires a lot less patches than he would have thought. He also gives us more information about the architecture at: http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2004-August/msg00272.html. Warren Togami has a few suggestions as to how "porters" might submit patches to Bugzilla and get them integrated quickly.

While not a port, Erik Jacobson has reported that Fedora Core development (Rawhide) runs fine on the SGI Altix (ia64). His tests were centered around the Altix 350, but he's pretty sure it'll work otherwise. While SGI has no official position on Fedora, Erik is willing to help out anyone having issues.

There has also been a lot of talk about running Fedora Core on the Alpha platform. Balint Christian has something saying it'll be really soon now, while Mike Barnes has actually posted a repository of the work he's done, which is basically Fedora Core 2 for the Alpha, called Carmen. The only thing that apparently doesn't work is anaconda, as well as some glibc threading issues, but otherwise, it's all good.

Policy for issuing updates

Ralf Corsepius brings up an issue where bugs are closed as fixed in Rawhide, but updates are never released (or backported, so to speak) for current releases of Fedora. Mark McLoughlin says that if the fix should be backported, re-open the bug report, and provided the maintainer has time, it should get backported. This can also change when the Fedora development process widens. Elliot Lee takes a different view, since Fedora is supposed to be on the leading edge of open source technology, and we only have finite time in each day, so developer time should be spent on the next release; but doesn't exactly discourage getting backports, once the Fedora development process with external contributors is more well-defined. The entire thread is definitely a good read, as this is an issue that will have to get resolved in time.

The Rawhide Report

As testing has begun with FC3 test1, there have been some changes, issues and many other interesting new things that users will be seeing in the near future. Here are some of the recent discussions that circle around Rawhide:
  • FAM has since vanished, with gamin being its replacement. Daniel Veillard has given a brief description of what its all about at: http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2004-August/msg00349.html.
  • gqview has been removed from Rawhide, as it performs similar tasks to gThumb. This is a package that is now ideal for inclusion into Fedora Extras.
  • GNOME 2.7 is what Rawhide is being updated to, with the inclusion of new applications like dasher, evolution-webcal, gnome-keyring-manager, and gnome-nettool.
  • bash is now at version 3.0, and the default prompt has changed. If you want it back, Mike Klinke points to an excerpt from the BASH FAQ.
  • gtkhtml 3.3.0 is being used for FC3, even though it won't be in upstream GNOME 2.8. This is so that there's better Indic support, and will benefit languages such as Hindi greatly.

A few more bits and pieces

  • Pogo Linux has recently signed a deal with Apple Computers to be a reseller of their hardware, with the main intention of selling Fedora Core pre-installed on Apple systems. This is originally targeted at cluster environments, but this might also branch out to individual system sales as well as possibly laptops. So there's more backing for the PPC community now.
  • The Unofficial FAQ has been updated as of August 13th 2004.
  • List statistics from fedora-list, for July 2004.


  • At the Ottawa Linux Symposium, there was also a Fedora BOF that went quite well, where quite a few developers hung out at. Read Justin Forbes report, and a thanks goes out to Jeremy Katz for organsing it.
  • Fedora was well represented at LinuxWorld, including a Fedora BOF Session as well as a Fedora Panel. Read Jesse Keating's report, or even Justin Forbes or Tom 'spot' Callaway. A big thanks goes out to Jack Aboutboul for organising all of this.
Jack has also provided a write-up of the event.

LinuxWorld was held in the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA on August 3 - 5.  There were many activities going on, on the Fedora front. First, there was the traditional Fedora BoF, held on Wednesday, August 4th.  A crowd of about 25-30 people showed up, and were treated to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, as usual.  The discussion topics varied from "when to use Fedora vs. RHEL," all the way to the AMD64 port and general use discussions.

On August 5th, Fedora representatives had the great opportunity to give one of the actual conference sessions, about Fedora.  The panel for the session was made up of Havoc Pennington, Jesse Keating, Justin Forbes and Jack Aboutboul.  The session entitled, "Fedora Project: The Opening of an Already Open Source Project," lasted an hour and 15 minutes and drew a crowd of around 150 people.  This seemed to be the largest attendance for a session at LinuxWorld.  The outline of topics as well as the presentation is online.

This provided many community members, as well as developers, engineers, and generally interested others an insight into the history, status, struggles  and achievements, that the project has achieved thus far.  Many doubts and issues were resolved at the talk.  A large amount of interest was shown regarding the current and future development of the project. This was a great session and great opportunity and we would like to thank IDG for giving us this wonderful opportunity.  See you in Boston.


Pete Zaitcev wrote in about the last issue, when with regards to the "howto" for FC2 and the USB multi-card readers. He mentions that it is extremely dangerous to build kernels that match the EXTRAVERSION of an already installed kernel - its very easy to make your system unbootable. This is why -custom was added. Also, setting max_scsi_luns should be all thats required in /etc/modprobe.conf. If SCSI doesn't scan USB devices rightly, please let Pete (or Bugzilla) know.


QA Assistant

Toshio has come out with version 0.4 of the QA Assistant. The QA Assistant is meant to allow folks to perform fedora.us QA, with a GUI. For more details, read http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2004-August/msg00102.html or visit http://www.sf.net/projects/qa-assistant.

Xapian packages

Alan Cox has recently built Xapian packages, which he thinks is a good replacement to htdig, which scales a lot better and can do a whole lot more.

Helix & Real

The Helix Player will be included in the upcoming Fedora Core 3 (read: https://helixcommunity.org/forum/forum.php?forum_id=143). Also, Real Player 10 Gold has been released, and Thomas Chung has more information at: http://fedoranews.org/tchung/realplayer/.

Xorg CVS snapshots

Kristian has started packaging Xorg CVS snapshots for Fedora Core 2, and they're available at http://freedesktop.org/~krh. Read the announcement if you're testing, since he'd like Bugzilla responses too.


If you thought YUM needed a GUI, Alexander Dalloz points us to gyum. This is a repackaged YUM GUI, by Cobind.

GDM Themes

David Norris has posted some of this GDM themes, while Seth Vidal points to a possibe FC3 GDM theme.

OpenOffice.org with GNOME Print UI demo

Caolan McNamara has posted a little demo of OpenOffice.org 1.9m49, which has the GNOME Print UI dialog. Read more at: http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-desktop-list/2004-August/msg00036.html.

Thank you for reading this issue of Fedora News Updates. Think there's some news snippet you'd like to contribute to Fedora News Updates? Send e-mail to colin@fedoranews.org.

This issue of Fedora News Updates brought to you by Colin Charles.