Fedora News

A few big things in Fedora News. First of all, the Fedora Summit happened recently. They are tackling a lot of things for Fedora Core 7 including blurring the line between Core and Extras (a point of contention for those moved from Core to Extras – they were less important they felt) and finally having a true LiveCD. You can read more about it at Linux.com’s review of the Fedora Summit.

What was more exciting for me, was the following email concerning FC7. Although there isn’t (as of now) a breakthrough technology that I badly want (like XGL/AIGLX, etc), they still have some neat changes on board. Also, it seems to me that they always tend to have less revolutionary stuff on the odd release numbers, although I could be wrong. Exciting for me in this release are the changes to things in the background. They want to improve the boot times, wireless support, firewire, and more. One of the best suggestions, which I hope isn’t a joke, tells the user why MP3s don’t work and how to make it work. This is one of the biggest complaints we always get from new users. Here’s the content of the email (courtesy of LWN):

From: Bill Nottingham
To: fedora-advisory-board-AT-redhat.com
Subject: F7 Plan (draft)
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2006 00:59:05 -0500
Hey, F7 needs a plan. So here's one. It's not in taskjuggler or MrProject.
Nor does it have pretty gantt charts. Those can be added by those that
care about such things.

Section the First: Schedule

Simple stuff. These are availability dates. Freeze dates are minus-1

Test1:	January 30
Test2:	February 27
Test3:  March 26
GA:	April 24

Special dates:

Test2 Freeze == FEATURE FREEZE. If a Feature(tm, see below) of the
release is not in a testable state at this point, it goes out.

Test2 Freeze == STRING FREEZE. Gotta give the translators something
to go with. We know there may be small bits that come later, but the
intent is to be frozen at this date.

Section the Second: Features (tm)

Obviously, there are features that we'd like to have for a release.
Here's what we've got, and how it fits in to the schedule. These
are the 'defined' features of the release. Sure, there will be other
stuff that is part of upstream projects, but this is what we're
Trying To Do for F7.


Q: How did you come up with this?

A: Stuff that's been talked about in one place or another, stuff
that I've heard floating around, and stuff that I've made up.

Q: Why is there names by these things. How did my name get there?

A: Features(tm) need Names Of Accountable People. In other words, these
are the people that we come to harass about the state of Features
if they don't land. If your name is here, it's because you've mentioned
working on it, or you seemed logical. Features without accountable
people may be dropped.

Q: Hey, you didn't list a date for that feature!

A: If not stated, all features must be Testable by test 2, or risk
eviction. All features must be fully functional by test 3, or risk

Q: I've got this great feature idea!

A: OK. Are you going to work on it? Can you cajole/force someone else
to be Accountable? Then we'll add it! (This is going on the wiki
eventually, of course.)

Q: Who decides what gets evicted, or what may land post-freeze?

A: The Committee! TBD, but logical names would be, in no particular
order, Will Woods (QA), Jesse Keating (rel-eng), Dave Jones (kernel),
Jonathan Blandford (desktop), Rex Dieter (KDE), Bill Nottingham
(random bastard), Jeremy Katz (random bastard).

Anyways, in no particular order, the feature list...

1. Build System for merged core and extras
Accountable: Jesse Keating

Important dates: Needs DONE by Test 2. Needs to be TESTABLE by test 1.
Welcome to our short runway.

More info: http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FedoraSummit/NewBuildSystem

2. Merge Core and Extras in source control
Accountable: Jesse Keating, EVERYONE

Important dates: Leaf packages may start to be moved at .
All packages WILL be moved by Test 2, gating on feature #1. Reviews will
take place, there will be an automated system to determine what needs

3. Use Pungi for tree building
Accountable: Jesse Keating

Must be nearly fully functional by Test 2, as it is a prereq of later

4. A Fedora Desktop spin of F7
Accountable: Jesse Keating (rel-eng), Jonathan Blandford, the Fedora
Desktop SIG (what, you say there isn't one?)

One of our release targets. Needs defined by Test 2. Test 1 can
be an old-style tree.

5. A Fedora Server spin of F7
Accountable: Jesse Keating (rel-eng), YOUR NAME HERE!

Another one of our release targets. Needs defined by Test 2.

6. A Fedora KDE spin of F7
Accountable: Rex Dieter

Like Fedora Desktop, but with KDE.

7. Fast User Switching
Accountable: David Zeuthen

We want the ability to easily and quickly switch between user sessions,
without logging out.

More info: http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Desktop/FastUserSwitching

8. Rock Solid Wireless
Accountable: Dan Williams, Dave Jones

For every wireless card we support, we should have working, tested
support - it comes up on boot, it associates, it works with WEP and
WPA, all out of the box. A requisite for hitting the laptop market.
Drive fixes through NM, wpa_supplicant, kernel.

9. Wireless Firmware
Accountable: Fedora-legal, me!

For every wireless card we support and can get firmware to, we should
work to make it included so things work out of the box.

10. Boot and shutdown speedup
Accountable: me!, David Zeuthen, YOUR NAME HERE

We do enough Stupid Stuff that we can make easy improvements to startup
and shutdown time without large systemic changes. Includes: tagging of
scripts that don't need shut down, profiling of boot, potential changes
to how we organize disk blocks, and more.

Does Not Include: init system changes

11. Init system work
Accountable: YOUR NAME HERE

Evaluate: upstart, launchd, initng. Compare, contrast, benchmark. Define
usage cases, see what fits what, and what is useful. Lots of research.
Not much code.

12. rpm/yum enhancements
Accountable: Jeremy Katz, Paul Nasrat, Seth Vidal

We feel the need for speed. Profile the rpm/python/yum stack. Find the
hotspots. Fix them.

13. LobbyBuddy
Accountable: Greg DeKoenigsberg

Given your locale and timezone, determine where you are, and who your
elected representative is. Allow you to easily send them information
about how the laws should be changed with respect to patents and other
important issues. If it determines you do not have a duly elected
representative, offer a special initiative to lobby foreign representative
to install a new regime. (I'M KIDDING!)

14. MP3Buddy
Accountable: Greg DeKoenigsberg

Detect the usage of MP3 without appropriate support. Explain to the user
why Freedom Isn't Free, but offer to point them to a site where they can
obtain legal MP3 support (or other codecs for which legal support

15. RandR 1.2
Accountable: Adam Jackson

RandR 1.2 is the new black. Even if you don't know you want it, you
want it. Potential exists for a backport to the code we will be using,
but there are no guarantees.

16. KVM virtualization support
Accountable: Dan Berrange, Daniel Veillard

Get KVM support, including QEMU, into virt-manager and libvirt. Make
it so the same tools can use KVM and Xen. Integrate networking support
so the same networking can be used for Xen, KVM, and maybe baremetal.
Special bonus: lhype?

17. Fix the dictionary problem
Accountable: Caolan McNamara, Chris Aillon, Jeremy Katz, AND YOU

Split out hunspell. Make FF use it. Make OO.o use it. Split out the
dictionaries. Write an aspell compat layer for those dictionaries.
Woo, only one set of dictionaries for the distro!

More info: http://bugzilla.redhat.com/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=207571

18. Move to using libata for PATA support
Accountable: Dave Jones, Peter Jones, potentially other Joneses

Make upgrades seamless, because not booting is bad. Must be done
by TEST 1.

19. Move to syslog-ng
Accountable: YOUR NAME HERE

Hey, people ask for this. Evaluate it, package it, make sure there
are no regressions.

20. Improved firewire support
Accountable: Kristian Høgsberg

Make it sane/supportable/etc.

21. Real-time kernel
Accountable: Ingo Molnar, Dave Jones

Because fake-time kernels are so last year

22. Tickless kernel support
Accountable: Ingo Molnar, Dave Jones

Saving power is good, mmkay?

23. Fix wakeups across the distribution
Accountable: me, EVERYONE

Because, without this, having a tickless kernel is pointless.

24. Encrpyted filesystems
Accountable: YOUR NAME HERE

Encfs, fuse, eCryptfs - Evaluate. Choose. Implement. Deploy.

25. LiveCD
Accountable: David Zeuthen, Jeremy Katz, Jesse Keating

Get LiveCDs built and shipped as part of the release process. Make
them installable.

Section the Third: Additions, Constructive Criticism, and Bellyaching

Got more? Let me know!

Got quibbles with me dropping stuff in your (or your people's) lap?
Let me know!

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Author: Eric Mesa

To find out a little more about me, see About Me