Fedora Magazine http://fedoramagazine.org Fri, 24 Jul 2015 18:19:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Schedules for Flock and F23, Atomic & Workstation, DNF — and a Fedora job opening! http://fedoramagazine.org/5tftw-2015-07-21/ http://fedoramagazine.org/5tftw-2015-07-21/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 18:19:09 +0000 http://fedoramagazine.org/?p=9537 Continue Reading →]]> Fedora is a big project, and it’s hard to keep up with everything. This series highlights interesting happenings in five different areas every week. It isn’t comprehensive news coverage — just quick summaries with links to each. Here are the five things for July 21st, 2015:

Flock to Fedora schedule

Flock to Fedora is our big, annual conference for Fedora contributors and developers. This year, it’s in Rochester, New York, from August 12-15. The schedule of talks is online now; take a look and start planning your agenda.

Note that registration is closed, but we generally do have room for a few extra people if you are in the area and can join us. You won’t get a t-shirt, meals, or evening events, and you’ll have to write your own name tag. (Next time, please do preregister — it really helps with the logistics!)

Fedora 23 timeline

Speaking of schedules, Fedora 23 development is well underway. Last week, Fedora 23 branched from Rawhide, so that we can focus on stabilization and bugfixes for the planned October release while ongoing work on future features — Fedora 24 and beyond! — can continue in the development branch. The Alpha Freeze (where F23 features and changes are supposed to be substantially complete and testable) is scheduled for a week from today, with the actual Alpha release August 11th — the day before Flock starts. The QA team is already working on early test candidates, and Docs has put out a call for help with release notes.

See the F23 schedule wiki for other important dates.

Using Atomic tech for Fedora Workstation?

Project Atomic is a system for running containerized applications, a topic so much in vogue that the Linux Foundation has added “ContainerCon” to this year’s LinuxCon + CloudOpen.

GNOME developer and Fedora Workstation Working Group member Owen Taylor posted a long and interesting exploration of the idea of using these technologies on the desktop. Definitely worth reading if you’re interested in the future of OS design and Linux-based desktop environments.

Fedora Cloud applications programmer opening

Over on his blog, Fedora Engineering manager Paul Frields posted about a new job opening on his team. Red Hat is looking for someone to work full time on our tools for shipping cloud images to various providers, automating our various currently-manual processes, contributing to other Fedora Infrastructure applications, and not at all least, in helping build community around all of that. If this sounds at all interesting to you, you can apply here — or if you know someone who would be a good fit, don’t hesitate to pass this on.

DNF gets a refresh based on feedback

DNF is the new command-line package management tool in Fedora 23, replacing Yum. The new software has a lot of advantages — speed, a more mathematically correct SAT solver for resolving package dependencies, and — probably most crucially — a well-defined and documented API for plugins. But new software is never perfect, and changing DNF from optional to default resulted in a lot of feedback. The DNF team has now released version 1.0.2, addressing a lot of these bugs and feature requests.

The DNF team is very responsive and interested in providing a good experience for users, so please do keep that feedback coming.

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3D printing in Fedora: From an idea to the thing http://fedoramagazine.org/3d-printing-in-fedora-from-an-idea-to-the-thing/ http://fedoramagazine.org/3d-printing-in-fedora-from-an-idea-to-the-thing/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 21:55:21 +0000 http://fedoramagazine.org/?p=9499 Continue Reading →]]> There are a lot of tools and applications connected to 3D printing available to Fedora users. In this article, I’ll guide you through one possible scenario of creating a 3D physical object: from an idea to a real thing.

My friend asked me few days ago to 3D print something for him. He said his kitchen tap is too low for him and that it obstructs him when washing dishes. He would like to move it up a bit using a circular tube with this profile (numbers are in millimeters):

A sketch of the desired object

A sketch of the desired object

Creating a digital 3D model

Already knowing how the object is shaped and sized, it might still be a hard task for someone with zero CAD or 3D modeler experience to create the model. Me being a programmer I like a modeler called OpenSCAD (you can get it in Fedora via the Software application, or using the command line with sudo dnf install openscad ).

OpenSCAD

OpenSCAD

In OpenSCAD, instead of drawing object with your mouse, you code them. I will not try to explain the entire syntax in this article (you can find it in the manual), I’ll just explain the code for the thing we want to make.

difference() {
    cylinder(r=25,h=35);
    translate([0,0,-5]) cylinder(r=15,h=40);
    translate([0,0,30]) cylinder(r=22.5,h=10);
}
$fn=200;

This code takes a cylinder (with radius 25 and height 35) and subtracts two smaller cylinders moved a bit along the Z axis. The last line only makes the object a bit smoother than the default is. With the code entered in OpenSCAD’s code editor on the left, I use Design → Render from the menu to render the 3D model. Then I use File → Export → Export as STL… to save the model in a file format commonly used for 3D printing.

OpenSCAD with the 3D model

OpenSCAD with the 3D model

Now when the STL file is ready, I can view it in various other tools, such as MeshLab (meshlab package) or ADMeshGUI (available from a Copr repository).

ADMeshGUI with our STL file

ADMeshGUI with our STL file

Note: OpenSCAD, as well as STL file format, uses no units. In the 3D printing area, the numbers used are usually considered millimeters, although you might find some files online using some non-standard units such as inches.

Slicing to layers

For the object to be printed it has to be sliced to layers and paths for the 3D printer’s nozzle. There are various apps available in Fedora capable of doing it, one of the most famous tools for this is Slic3r (package slic3r, newer version available from Copr).

Slic3r with our STL file loaded

Slic3r with our STL file loaded

For right result, it is crucial to have the correct slicer settings for your printer and material. You should obtain those from the whoever you’ve obtained your 3D printer (or just create your settings if you have built one yourself). When you select the right settings, just click Export G-code… to generate file with instructions for the printer.

Slic3r 1.2.9 from Copr repository with G-code preview

Slic3r 1.2.9 from Copr repository with G-code preview

The G-Code file is just a plain text with loads of numerical control commands. Here is a snip:

G21 ; set units to millimeters
M107
M190 S60 ; wait for bed temperature to be reached
M109 S195
G28 ; home all axes
G92 E0  ;reset extruder
G90 ; use absolute coordinates
M83 ; use relative distances for extrusion
G1 F1800.000 E-1.00000
G1 Z0.300 F7800.000
G1 X77.706 Y77.667 F7800.000
G1 E1.00000 F1800.000
G1 X78.476 Y76.924 E0.07695 F1800.000
G1 X79.209 Y76.261 E0.07110
G1 X79.963 Y75.622 E0.07108
G1 X80.743 Y75.000 E0.07179
G1 X81.533 Y74.412 E0.07080
G1 X82.348 Y73.843 E0.07150
G1 X83.178 Y73.301 E0.07131
G1 X84.025 Y72.786 E0.07133
G1 X84.891 Y72.296 E0.07151
G1 X85.766 Y71.836 E0.07110
G1 X86.655 Y71.404 E0.07115
G1 X87.562 Y70.998 E0.07148
...

Printing

With the gcode file, all that’s left to do is to feed those numerical control commands to the 3D printer. Some printers might have the ability to print from an SD card, others have to be connected by an USB cable during the entire print. To control you printer from Fedora, you might use Pronterface tool from Printrun (install the pronterface or printrun package). To communicate with the printer, you’re user has to be in the dialout group.

Once Pronterface is connected, user can load the G-code file and start the print. When you are currently printing, be sure not to accidentally suspend your computer by closing the lid.

Pronterface: The print just started

Pronterface: The print just started

And finally, after some time, the real thing is ready, using only free software available in Fedora and open hardware. This article was not supposed to teach you everything about the tools presented here, nor list all the tools available in Fedora. However, you now might have the idea about how it works.

Photo of the printed thing

Photo of the printed thing

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Telegram in Fedora http://fedoramagazine.org/telegram-in-fedora/ http://fedoramagazine.org/telegram-in-fedora/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 15:40:57 +0000 http://fedoramagazine.org/?p=9469 Continue Reading →]]> Recently, there has been a new wave of instant messaging services focused on the mobile world. Examples include Whatsapp, Messenger, Hangouts, and Viber. However, these are all closed and don’t have the best record of security and privacy. A new service with a different approach is Telegram. It’s developed and run by a non-profit organization, has an open API and protocol, provides open source clients, and stresses privacy.

The Telegram instant messaging service was founded by Nikolai and Pavel Durovs. They are known for founding VKontakte, the Russian equivalent of Facebook, which they left after they refused to hand over users’ data to FSB. Telegram is based in Berlin and the service has received accolades all around the world.

I’d known about Telegram for some time, but hadn’t tried it out until I conducted a survey asking what IM services Fedora users were using. It caught my attention because it ended up surprisingly high in the list.

Telegram Features

Here is a summary of what makes Telegram an attractive option for instant messaging:

  • Free of charge and run by a non-profit organization
  • Fast
  • Open (open API, open protocol, open source clients; the server side is currently closed though)
  • Accepts file uploads up to 1.5 GB
  • Secret Chats (end-to-end encryption, a timer to destruct messages)
  • Bot API (API that lets you write your own bots to notify you or deliver content to your Telegram client).

How to Join

Telegram accounts are tied to the phone number of the user. The easiest way to start with Telegram are the mobile apps, because they can scan your contacts and give you a list of friends already using the service. You can join Telegram even without having a smartphone, though. You can create an account in one of the official clients including the web client. You’ll need a phone to receive authentication PINs via SMS.

telegram-account

Account Creation in the Web Client.

Available Clients for Fedora

There are several Telegram clients you can use in Fedora. There is no clear winner, though. Every client has its pros and cons, which I will try to describe in the following paragraphs.

Telegram Desktop

The official client for Linux desktop is open source and can be found in Copr. You can install it by running the following commands:

sudo dnf copr enable rommon/telegram
sudo dnf install telegram-desktop

The desktop client has all the bells and whistles of Telegram. It includes group chats, emoticons, stickers, and sending/receiving files. However, it lacks one important feature: secret chats which provide end-to-end encryption and were ranked by EFF at 7/7 points.

The desktop client is written in Qt, but unfortunately it’s patched. This makes it hard to include in the official repositories of Fedora. Another minor inconvenience is that it uses its own notifications, instead of the standard ones the system provides. Moreover, the app in Copr is not really built from the source code, but a packaged binary provided on the website of Telegram. So instead of relying on the packaging system, it has its own updating mechanism. This may cause some complexity, such as a parallel installation of the app.

The official desktop client.

The official desktop client.

Cutegram

Cutegram is an unofficial alternative to Telegram Desktop and is a well-done client, written in QML. If there was a standard way to install it in Fedora, it would definitely be the best option. However, it’s not available in the official repositories or Copr, and the authors don’t provide an RPM package. You need to download a generic installer which installs the app to /opt and doesn’t create a desktop launcher. Jaroslav Řezník started packaging it in Copr, but hasn’t finished it yet. He might appreciate some help there!

Otherwise Cutegram supports the same set of features as the official client, and adds more. It supports secret chats, is better integrated to the desktop — using standard notifications, for instance — and has more options such as support for multiple accounts.

Cutegram.

Cutegram.

Plugin for Pidgin

If you’re accustomed to traditional desktop IM clients, or want to have Telegram together with other services in one app, a 3rd-party plugin for Pidgin might be a better option. It can also be found in Copr. To install, run the following commands:

sudo dnf copr enable lsof/telegram-purple
sudo dnf install telegram-purple

The plugin doesn’t support Telegram-specific emoticons and stickers. However, you can for example send and receive files, and pictures are shown directly in the chat, like in official clients. Most importantly, it supports secret chats.

Telegram CLI

For those who prefer the command line, there’s also an unofficial CLI client. It’s again available in Copr and you can install it running the following commands:

sudo dnf copr enable iranzo/telegram-cli
sudo dnf install telegram-cli

It obviously doesn’t support the graphical features such as emoticons or stickers, but covers a fair share of Telegram features, such as sending and receiving files or secret chats.

Web Client

The official web client, which you can find at web.telegram.org, supports the same features and has the same interface as the official desktop client which means it also lacks support for secret chats.

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Display and control your music on Fedora Workstation http://fedoramagazine.org/display-and-control-your-currently-playing-music-on-fedora-workstation/ http://fedoramagazine.org/display-and-control-your-currently-playing-music-on-fedora-workstation/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 20:53:45 +0000 http://fedoramagazine.org/?p=9167 Continue Reading →]]> Many Fedora users listen to music through their laptops and desktops. In fact Fedora offers a wide range of media players, such as Rhythmbox, Banshee, and GNOME Music. Some of these players, like GNOME Music, provide notifications that appear when a track changes, but these notifications are easy to miss, and they don’t provide any control over the playing music.

This is where the Media Player Indicator extension (which can be installed directly via the GNOME Extenstions website) can be an excellent addition if you listen to music on your Fedora Workstation. By default, the Media Player Indicator extension  places an additional widget in the system status menu. This widget adds Artist, Trackname, and Album information, as well as Album artwork, and controls for stopping, starting, and skipping tracks.

mediaplayerindicator1

More Media Player Indicator options

The Media player indicator also provides options for customizing how the information about your music is displayed. There is the option to move the indicator out of the System Status area, to its own item on the topbar (with two locations supported; right, and center near the clock).

Media Player Indicator extension with alternate placement to the right of the topbar

Media Player Indicator extension with alternate placement to the right of the topbar

You can also configure the track name and artist to show in the topbar as well, providing a convenient  place  to glance at on your desktop to see what track is playing. There is also an option to replace the symbolic icon in the topbar with a tiny version of the album artwork as well.

topbartitle.png

Media Player indicator Extension with track name, artist name and album cover in the top bar

All these options and more can be tweaked in the extensions settings in the GNOME Tweak Tool (In the Extensions tab).

Supported Media Players

The Media Player Indicator extension is built on the Media Player Remote Interfacing Specification (MPRIS), so most of the features of the extension will work if your media player or streaming player supports MPRIS. Many media players in and available on Fedora Workstation either support MPRIS out-of-the-box, or have plugins that add support for MPRIS, including: Amarok, Audacious (via a plugin), Banshee (via a plugin), Clementine, Dragon Player, Exaile (via a plugin), GNOME Music, Guayadeque, JuK, Nuvola, Pragha (MPRIS needs to be enabled in settings), Rhythmbox (via a plugin), Spotify Player, and Totem (via a plugin).

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Internationalization improvements in Fedora 22 http://fedoramagazine.org/internationalization-improvements-in-fedora-22/ http://fedoramagazine.org/internationalization-improvements-in-fedora-22/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 10:12:59 +0000 http://fedoramagazine.org/?p=9259 Continue Reading →]]> Many Fedora users take advantage of the fact that Fedora is internationalized, which means it can be used by people that communicate in different languages. Fedora provides support for displaying information on the screen for many different languages. There is also support for different input methods allowing users to input text for native languages where the number of characters is greater than keys on their keyboard.

Fedora 22 introduces a wide range of Internationalization improvements ranging from a new character application in Fedora Workstation, improvements to the IBus input method framework, support for Unicode 7, and new locales & fonts.

New Characters application

The Unicode with each new releases introduces interesting and very useful characters for everyone. However, as more and more characters get added, it becomes difficult to remember and use these all these characters, especially if you are trying to remember the Unicode ID of a specific character and, use a compose key combination, or have to install unusual keyboard layouts.

GNOME characters application developed specifically to solve this need. It presents a range of different useful characters that are catergorized and searchable. Simply find the character you need, and copy paste it where you need it. The new GNOME Characters application can be installed via the Software application on Fedora Workstation, or using the command sudo dnf install gnome-characters

gnome-characters1

the new Characters Application

Improvements in IBus

IBus is an integrated input method framework in GNOME. It helps to manage multiple language keyboard layouts. It is also used widely in other Desktop environments including KDE. Users will notice following improvements in IBus

  • On GNOME lock screen Input method engines are hidden now.
  • Users using multiple input method in non-GNOME desktops will see language code rather than layout code in IBus panel.
  • A user’s IBus input method engines will automatically load when logging into GNOME, allowing them to switch engines without waiting for them to load.

Unicode 7.0 support

Unicode 7.0 adds a total of 2,834 characters, encompassing 23 new scripts, two currency symbols (manat & ruble), many new pictographic and geometric symbols, and character additions to many existing scripts. Glibc is updated from Unicode 5.1 to Unicode 7.0, providing added support for 8000 new characters and corrected data for number of existing characters.

DNF Langpacks Plug-in

Users can install packages for particular languages in single command with langpacks. With the migration in Fedora 22 from YUM to DNF, the DNF langpacks plugin allows users to install packages for there languages with the same way, but with DNF.  To list all langpacks, use the command dnf --help|grep lang

New Chechen locale for the Russian Federation

The Chechen language is spoken by more than 1.4 million people, mostly in Chechnya and by Chechen people elsewhere. Fedora 22 introduces the new Chechen locale for the Russian Federation (ce_RU) which helps to setup language environment.

New Rajasthani locale for India

The Rajasthani language is spoken by more than  20 million people, mostly  in India and highly used in the local areas of India (Rajasthan). Fedora 22 introduces the new Rajasthani locale for the India which helps to setup language environment.

Fonts for Odia language

The Google Noto font family was added back in Fedora 19. These font packages are now updated to the latest ustream version, adding support for the Odia language. Install the new packages google-noto-sans-oriya-fonts and google-noto-sans-oriya-ui-fonts to start using these fonts.

New Input method for Marathi language

Minglish is a new Marathi language m17n input method. This input method provides keyboard layout that solve problems with existing phonetic input methods. For more information visit the change proposal on the Fedora Wiki.

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Flock, unified globalization, weak dependencies, end of life vs. end of world… http://fedoramagazine.org/5tftw-2015-07-09/ http://fedoramagazine.org/5tftw-2015-07-09/#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2015 15:04:19 +0000 http://fedoramagazine.org/?p=9424 Continue Reading →]]> Last chance for Flock registration

Flock is our big, annual contributor conference, where we get together to talk about what we’re working on and what we want to do in future releases, and also actually get in rooms together to hack on ideas. It’s also great fun, and a celebration of our “Friends” foundation.

This year, Flock will be held in Rochester, New York, from August 12-15. Anyone with interest in the Fedora community is welcome to come join us. We have a discount hotel rate, but reservations must be made by July 16. Go to https://resweb.passkey.com/go/FLOCK2015 to make yours, and also make sure to register at https://register.flocktofedora.org/ (so we can plan for food and events).

Fedora Globalization group

The Fedora Project overall has many different subgroups, in a sprawling and sometimes intimidating network not closely resembling an org chart. Recently, there’s been an effort to bring some clarity to different groups working on bringing Fedora to the entire world — Internationalization, Localization), and Language Testing Group. And there’s also the Zanata tool used for creating and maintaining translations. Under the new plan, these groups will unite under the banner of “Fedora Globalization”.

For more, visit the proposal wiki page, or join the mailing list conversation. This effort will make it much easier for new contributors to know where to join in, and enhance communications between the groups.

Weak dependencies come to Fedora!

You probably know that Fedora is built from RPM packages. And you probably know that Yum, DNF and GNOME Software take care of resolving dependencies — if something you want to install requires something else, those things are also installed. But where do those dependencies come from? Some of them are auto-detected, but others are added manually by the packager in the form of Requires lines in the spec files (the control files for creating RPMs).

But, Requires is a big hammer. If it’s there, the other package has to be on the system. When the other package is actually optional but useful to have, there’s a judgment call to be made — is the functionality so important that it’s worth requiring it to always be there? If Fedora were just one thing — a GNOME desktop environment, or a minimal cloud image, or a robotics platform — this would be easy. But it’s all of those things, and much more.

So, enter weak dependencies! These allow packages to Recommend or Suggest other packages. We’ve had the technical capability for a while now, but no policy — until this week. Guidelines for doing this were approved by the Fedora Packaging Committee, so packagers can start using them now. Read more at Packaging:Weak Dependencies.

End of life, not end of world

With the end of support for Fedora 20, we’ve gone through our traditional procedure of closing all unfixed bugs for that release in our Bugzilla tracking system. This is always somewhat controversial — users went out of their way to file bugs, and it doesn’t seem fair to close them arbitrarily. But, we think it’s important because it’s honest. And, as a project, it helps us keep track of which bugs ended up this way, rather than being closed for other reasons. That’s why we have a special CLOSED:EOL status for end-of-life issues.

If an issue you care about and know is still unfixed got auto-closed in this way, please reopen it and change the release to a current version.

Continuous Builds with Koschei

This item is for Fedora packagers. We have a new service which can automatically rebuild your packages when dependencies change, and report on failures. That means that you can get warned early if a change to some library requires an adjustment, rather than only finding out when there’s a mass rebuild. (As a tangent, see this thread on rebuild failures from Adam Jackson.) The new service is called “Koschei” — read the annoucement, and the wiki page, and make sure to add your packages if interested (it isn’t automatic).

Vacation Next Week

I will be on vacation next week, so we’ll have another 5tFTW hiatus. It’s a busy time in Fedora, so expect 5tFTW back the week after that with a full installment.

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Call for applications for Fedora Diversity Advisor (A Volunteer Position) http://fedoramagazine.org/call-for-applications-for-fedora-diversity-advisor-a-volunteer-position/ http://fedoramagazine.org/call-for-applications-for-fedora-diversity-advisor-a-volunteer-position/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 16:54:25 +0000 http://fedoramagazine.org/?p=9401 Continue Reading →]]> Fedora is a big community that includes contributors and users from many different countries, each with their own experiences and historical backgrounds that contribute to a diverse mix of cultural, educational, and behavioral norms. To continuously create and foster an inclusive environment in the Fedora community, it’s important to respond to the needs of existing contributors and users, and welcome new contributors and users from diverse backgrounds.

The Fedora Diversity Advisor Search team for the Fedora Council is looking for a Fedora Diversity Advisor (a volunteer position) to act as a source of support and information for all contributors and users, especially those from underrepresented populations, so that issues of inclusion and equity can be discussed and addressed with the planning of multiculturalism and comfort.

Primary responsibilities

  • Implement diversity efforts that will have a big effect on the Fedora community
  • Promote inclusion in the Fedora community
  • Act as a source of support and a mediator should there be any
    concerns or incidents
  • Serve on the Fedora Council, our top-level governance and leadership body

To achieve the above you will work with Fedora community members to identify which of the following and other strategies would be most effective and feasible, and help implement them:

  • Increasing visibility of minority contributors and users through
    talks, feature articles, and awards
  • Making explicit invitations and providing financial support to
    attend conferences and give talks
  • Helping develop skills by offering targeted workshops and internships
  • Creating a welcoming environment by adopting and enforcing codes of
    conduct
  • Fostering communication, networking, and support forums with mailing
    lists and in-person events

Required skills

  • Knowledge of and experience in working with historically
    underrepresented groups
  • Excellent written communications skills, demonstrated through blog
    posts or other written work
  • Understanding of and experience in open source communities
  • Ability to communicate at a moderate technical level about open
    source projects
  • Experience in similar roles in your past is a significant advantage
  • Experience writing grants is a plus.

To apply for the position, please answer the following questions and send your responses and a CV (or link to your online profile) to diversity-app@lists.fedoraproject.org

  • Why do you believe diversity and inclusion are important for Fedora?
  • Why do you want to serve as Fedora’s Diversity & Inclusion Advisor?
  • What specific minority group(s) or issues can you offer insight about?
  • What perspectives, experiences, or knowledge about diversity and inclusion
    could you share with the Fedora community?
  • Do you have experience working across various cultures? (Cross cultural
    refers to various geographies, cultural groups, etc.)
  • To give us further insight, feel free to provide names and contact
    information for up to three people who can speak to your passion,  interest
    or experience with diversity and inclusion.

NOTE: Last date of submission of application is July 31, 2015. Also, this is a volunteer position and NOT a paid position.

Looking forward to a great participation.

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FESCo Elections Interview with Dennis Gilmore (ausil) http://fedoramagazine.org/fesco-elections-interview-dennis-gilmore-ausil/ http://fedoramagazine.org/fesco-elections-interview-dennis-gilmore-ausil/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 11:00:53 +0000 http://fedoramagazine.org/?p=9343 Continue Reading →]]> This is a part of FESCo Elections interviews series.
Voting is open to all Fedora contributors. The elections started on June 22nd and closes promptly at 23:59 UTC on June 28th.
Please read the responses from candidates and make your choices carefully.
Feel free to ask questions of the candidates here or elsewhere!

Interview with Dennis Gilmore (ausil)

What is your background in Fedora? What have you worked on and what are you doing now?

I started with fedora way back in fedora.us as a packager, I got involved in Fedora infrastructure when we had 3 servers and half a dozen builders. Over the years I have been on FESCo and the project board, I worked with Mike McGrath to start EPEL. Worked with Tom Callaway to start Fedora Secondary arches. Currently I am the lead for Fedora Release Engineering and am working to enable us to more flexibly deliver Fedora and making sure that Fedora can grow and embrace the changing IT landscape.

Do you think Fedora should be time based or more feature driven distribution? Or compromise?

I think we have to have a compromise of sorts. I would like to see us work on time based landing of features,  regular points in time where we can talk about new things delivered to users in stable trees, but I would like to see us move more to a series of rolling releases.
The ultra stable series where we land things occasionally, mostly it is bug fixes kinda like Fedora n-1 today. where it is stable and solid but every six months or so we push a new set of rock solid bigger changes out to it, this is what I would install for my mum.
Then we have the stable series which is like fedora releases today. Stable and solid but slightly more change and allow people try out new things sooner.There would be new features more often. Maybe every 3-6 months we promote changes to stable. The user here would be someone tech savy who wants the latest cool things but does not want to deal with a firehose of updates and doesn’t want to deal with some pieces being unpolished and a bit rough.
Finally we would have a development tree, where we land new features  regularly. Changes would get isolated and tested some before landing,  this is where Fedora developers should live, it would not eat babies and kill kittens. But be somewhere that we can land the latest GNOME or KDE and get testing. New features could land any time. Sometimes there is polish that needs to happen, but for the most part everything should work okay.
On top of the development tree we would have env and stacks where people can experiment and try out radically new things.  When they are deemed stable enough for general consumption they get folded into development.

What are the most pressing issues facing Fedora today (from engineering POV)? What should we do about them?

The biggest pressing issue is keeping up with the rapidly changing IT landscape. The traditional IT model will stay around and will continue to need to be supported, but we need to embrace new ways to build, and ship software. We need to try the new thing that comes along, we need to drive the new thing that comes along, we need to be willing to go that did not work and drop it.  We should not continue to offer things that make no sense anymore.

What are your interests and experience outside of Fedora? What of those things will help you in this role?

I play American football, it helps me to keep focused and follow a plan.  I also like photography and showing my daughter the world around us.

Anything else voters should know?

I am extremely passionate about Fedora I love doing what I do. I want to make sure it succeeds and is always deliverable.  I am working to change as Fedora and the IT world changes, and ensuring no one ever says again that “Release Engineering” is a black box.

How can FESCo do a better job communicating with the rest of the Fedora community, or do you feel that FESCo is already doing well here?

There are many many parts of Fedora that do not do a great job in communicating. I do not have a bullet answer to fix that, but it is an area that needs to be addressed. Not just FESCo but many other parts of Fedora.

What can you accomplish as part of FESCo that you couldn’t accomplish as a contributor to Fedora without sitting on FESCo?

Help to ensure that Fedora embraces change, but makes sure we do not Run before we walk.  Given my job I can do some of that without being on FESCo but it would be easier within FESCo and hopefully can ensure that we avoid conflict by ensuring there is better communication and visibility into the release engineering side of Fedora.

With the advent of Fedora Council now, what do you see as the significance of FESCO in Fedora project?

I do not think that the council greatly changes the significance of FESCo. If anything it enhances and gives FESCo somewhere to be accountable to. The way things were before the Board was completely hands off in the engineering side. Now the Council can set long term goals, FESCo can set the short term goals to achieve them and they can work well together for the benefit of Fedora.

Do you think FESCo can help with the reduction of the backlog of >400 packages awaiting review?

FESCo can help by looking at the processes and work to eliminate bottlenecks. By working with QA to get better automated testing setup we can look at automating parts of the review process, and simplify things overall without sacrificing the quality of Fedora.

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FESCo Elections Interview with David King (amigadave) http://fedoramagazine.org/fesco-elections-interview-david-king-amigadave/ http://fedoramagazine.org/fesco-elections-interview-david-king-amigadave/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 11:00:52 +0000 http://fedoramagazine.org/?p=9341 Continue Reading →]]> This is a part of FESCo Elections interviews series.
Voting is open to all Fedora contributors. The elections started on June 22nd and closes promptly at 23:59 UTC on June 28th.
Please read the responses from candidates and make your choices carefully.
Feel free to ask questions of the candidates here or elsewhere!

Interview with David King (amigadave)

dave_speaker_profile

What is your background in Fedora? What have you worked on and what are you doing now?

I work for Red Hat in the desktop team, contributing to Fedora as a GNOME and MinGW packager, as well as an upstream GNOME contributor.

Do you think Fedora should be time based or more feature driven distribution? Or compromise?

Six month release cycles that sync up with upstream projects seem to work well at getting upstream code into the hands of users quickly, for the workstation product, at least. The cloud product would probably benefit from a more frequent release timetable, for example.

What are the most pressing issues facing Fedora today (from engineering POV)? What should we do about them?

Figuring out how much (or little) differentiation will be possible between the different products is going to be interesting over the next few cycles. Additionally, finding a solution to the tide of updates to stable releases is an ongoing task.

What are your interests and experience outside of Fedora? What of those things will help you in this role?

I maintain several GNOME modules upstream, and occasionally write user and developer documentation. I have a broad background as a developer in Free Software, so I help out where I can.

How can FESCo do a better job communicating with the rest of the Fedora community, or do you feel that FESCo is already doing well here?

Meetings already happen in public, with full logs available, so the communication is at least transparent. There is always room for improvement, but I do not think that there are serious communication deficiencies.

What can you accomplish as part of FESCo that you couldn’t accomplish as a contributor to Fedora without sitting on FESCo?

Taking part in FESCo meetings, and voting on Fedora engineering decisions, mostly.

With the advent of Fedora Council now, what do you see as the significance of FESCO in Fedora project?

FESCo is a technical committee to steer the technical direction of Fedora, while Fedora Council is the body responsible for overall community governance, so the significance and scopes are different.

Do you think FESCo can help with the reduction of the backlog of >400 packages awaiting review?

In the same way as all other Fedora packagers, yes, by reviewing review requests.

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Env and Stacks Elections Interview with Stuart Campbell (sic) http://fedoramagazine.org/env-stacks-elections-interview-stuart-campbell-sic/ http://fedoramagazine.org/env-stacks-elections-interview-stuart-campbell-sic/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 11:00:48 +0000 http://fedoramagazine.org/?p=9326 Continue Reading →]]> This is a part of Env and Stacks Elections interviews series.
Voting is open to all Fedora contributors. The elections started on June 22nd and closes promptly at 23:59 UTC on June 28th.
Please read the responses from candidates and make your choices carefully.
Feel free to ask questions of the candidates here or elsewhere!

Interview with Stuart Campbell (sic)

What is your background in Fedora? What have you worked on and what are you doing now?

I have been a long time user of Fedora since it’s inception and before that Red Hat Linux since about 4.1 – which really is starting me make me feel old! :)
Recently, I was one of the inaugural members of  the Environment and Stacks Working Group.

What are your interests and experience outside of Fedora? What of those things will help you in this role?

In my day job, I work at a large scale scientific facility, where we use computing to try and lower the barrier to scientific discovery. This can involve taking on a number of different roles from systems administrator, architect/integrator, software developer and scientist. The foundation for all the platforms we use is either RHEL/CentOS or Fedora. I have spent a lot of time and effort working with how to deploy the latest cutting edge scientific software on platforms that move at a slower timescale. I think that this real world experience of trying to use Fedora for use cases that are covered by this working group will add a useful perspective. I also work on some open source scientific software that have a large number of package dependencies. So I have had a lot of experience (and pain) of various approaches to what you do when the software you need to deploy has dependencies that are either not met (not too bad) or conflict with versions shipped in the base os (not fun).

What are your Future plans ? Is there anything what you can consider as “Mission Statement” in this role?

At a high level, I would like to help Fedora become the Linux distribution of choice for developers and advanced users.  But, closer to home, I would like to help the Fedora Project develop a robust and coherent approach to the use of newer/conflicting package stacks (e.g. different versions of python or httpd than that shipped with the base os) through to user level package management and the maintenance of language stacks (e.g. Python, Ruby, etc).

What are the most pressing issues facing Fedora today? What should we do about them?

I think that one of the biggest hurdles for Fedora is to try and change the general perception from a large portion of users that it is just too fast moving and therefore too unstable to use for general day to day purposes.  I think that the Fedora.Next initiative was an excellent concept and led to a focused approach to develop a coherent product / flavour (i.e. Workstation, Server, Cloud) and which has culminated in the excellent Fedora 22 release.

What interests you from Env and Stacks, and which projects would you contribute to?

I think that Fedora needs to have a coherent approach to how we deal with packages that make up the core OS and those that can be ‘switched out’ with newer or different versions, all the way up to user level package management.  In this area I think that the Aleph proposal from Nick Coghlan is an excellent start to try and develop a project wide approach and I would like to help him make it a reality.

I have also been looking at how we could extend copr in order to allow users to generate a docker container with all their copr packages included.

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