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 May 8th, 2015:

Vote on Flock talks

Flock is Fedora’s big annual conference for contributors and developers, where we meet to plan for — and hack on — the future of the project. This year’s event will be August 12-15 in Rochester, New York. The call for papers is complete, and we received 132 submissions. That’s more than we can accommodate, of course, so please vote now on your favorites.

You may remember that last year, the voting required scoring each talk with a number between 0 and the total number of talks — something in the 100s. Thanks to work by our awesome Fedora engineering hackers, we’re now using simplified range voting — put a 3 by talks you love, 0 by ones you aren’t interested in (or 1 or 2 for the in-between cases).

Voting closes 2015-05-18 00:00:00 UTC, so don’t delay. (Tip: convert UTC to your local time with date -d "2015-05-18 00:00:00 UTC" in a terminal window.)

Flock registration still open

Also worth mentioning — conference preregistration was inadvertently closed along with the talk submissions. That’s been fixed, and registration is still open. Hope to see you there, whether you’re a long-time contributor or just getting started!

Kick the tires on new Fedora websites

Fedora designer Máirín Duffy invites us all to kick the tires on the new Fedora websites in staging. She notes that Fedora Websites has been working on several new websites, with a focus on better presentation for Fedora Spins — both alternate desktops like KDE or Xfce and “functional” spins like the Design Suite or Robotics. Robert Mayr (known to many as “robyduck”) has gotten these into the “staging” environment, and Máirín notes that the Websites Team now needs “help from the users of these spins and experts in the individual technologies of what we should be featuring and how we should be describing these spins.”

So, if that’s you, get in touch!

Fedora Marketing update presentation

The Fedora Council is our top-level leadership and governance body. We have a new plan where we will have monthly (at least, to start) reports from various parts of the project, with the first coming this next Monday (May 11) at 17:00 UTC — a report by Chris Roberts of the Fedora Marketing team.

We’re still working out the technical details, but the plan is for this to be a video conference. Details will be posted on the council-discuss mailing list beforehand. Join us to learn what’s going on in this Fedora subproject, and what’s needed in the future.

Packaging guidelines for config variations

This is a note primarily for people working on the separate Cloud, Server, and Workstation editions. Thanks to Stephen Gallagher, the Fedora Packaging Committee (FPC) has approved new guidelines which allow separate configuration in cases where defaults should vary. (For example, different firewall rules for server or desktop use.) We tried one approach for this in Fedora 21, and these new guidelines take the lessons learned from that.

Note that currently this is available only for the top-billed variants on which we are focusing, but theoretically the same mechanism could work for other Fedora Spins. However, such use would need to be first approved by FESCo (the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee).