Fedora is a big project, and it’s hard to keep up with everything that goes on. 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 October 17th, 2014:
Introducing the Fedora Council
Last week, the Fedora Project Board unanimously approved its replacement, a new top-level leadership and governance body we’re calling the Fedora Council. Read more about it in John Rose’s announcement message, and our previous Fedora Magazine article about upcoming elections.
This didn’t happen overnight — Christoph Wickert, Toshio Kuratomi, Josh Boyer, and others have been talking about this and working on related proposals for the last couple of years, and Toshio and Haïkel Guémar led a great session at Flock — Fedora’s big annual planning conference — this August. We’ve been thinking about and discussing what to do ever since, and now it’s time to put the result into action!
Translation team switches to Zanata
Fedora’s L10N team — the L-10-N is short for localization, because there are 10 missing letters there — does an amazing job of translating our software to dozens of different languages. (If you’re a Fedora user who speaks a language other than English, this is a great and fun way to get involved, by the way — see the steps to join in the Fedora Localization Guide.)
All of this work is accomplished using some specialized tools. For a long time, Fedora has used Transifex, a project by Dimitris Glezos which actually grew out of Fedora. Unfortunately, recent versions of Transifex are not open source. As a project, we always prefer to work with open source tools whenever possible, and the L10N team started a project to migrate to a different and completely free and open source tool, Zanata.
Last week, all translation teams for different languages discussed and voted whether to move ahead with this, and the result was 19 “Go” votes and none against. With the active contributor community overwhelmingly in favor, it’s an easy decision to go forward, and according to the plan, the new “stage 1” service should be live any day now.
FUDCon Managua 2014
This year’s FUDCon — that’s Fedora User and Developer Conference — in Latin America will in in Managua, Nicaragua next week. Organizer Neville Cross tipped off 5tFTW with a few particularly interesting notes:
- Robotics will rock FUDCon: Valentin Basel will present on a Fedora-based robot, and lead a session on building from parts. (See this video from FUDCon Panamá 2011.)
- Small computers will be big: the FUDCon team is bringing Raspberry Pi and Arduino boards to demonstrate.
- FUDCon on TV: The Fedora revolution will be televised!
New QA Automation framework goes live
As I’m sure everyone knows by now, the Fedora 21 cycle has been one of the longest ever. We did this on purpose, and one of the primary reasons was to give our Quality Assurance team time to work on tooling and infrastructure rather than just cycling through tests over and over. This has borne fruit, and our new QA automation framework Taskotron has gone live, replacing AutoQA for checks on package updates.
Right now, the effect on end users and developers is very small, but the change will enable many more important features in the near future, including user-submitted tests to run automatically. This will increasingly offload repetitive testing tasks so that humans time can be focused where it’s most valuable, resulting in an even better Fedora going forward.
Upgraded Retrace Server includes CentOS collaboration
This is another infrastructure thing which sounds kind like it might be boring but which also will pay off in a better, more bug-free Fedora. The Retrace/ABRT Server debugging tool which generates useful information from automated crash reports. This has been upgraded with newer hardware, enabling a few changes which directly benefit Fedora developers and users.
First, if a package is updated and the same crash doesn’t occur for two weeks, those issues are automatically closed, reducing bug noise and overload. Second, these reports are now cross-referenced with those from CentOS 7, allowing us to collaborate on debugging and fixing problems And third, it is, of course, much, much faster.