Five Things in Fedora This Week (2014-04-22)


The Join team spins up, Fedora Docs “beats”, Fedora Workstation (and an alternate view), Fedora Atomic, and other (automated) Fedora weekly data….

Fedora is a big project, and it’s hard to follow it all. 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 April 22nd, 2014:

Making it easier to join Fedora

The Fedora Join SIG is our special interest group dedicated to improving the new-contributor experience. It’s been dormant for a while, but it’s back with a bang thanks to Ankur Sinha, Amita Sharma, Sarup Banskota, and others. A recent IRC meeting came up with a couple of immediate ideas, including a Fedora site inspired by What can I do for Mozilla?

If making Fedora more welcoming to contributors is interesting to you, join the mailing list and help keep up the momentum.

Fedora Docs “Beats”

Speaking of things you can do for Fedora… how about contributing expertise in your area for the Fedora 21 release notes? I know F21’s October release target seems a long way off, but there’s a lot to do and the summer is going to fly by. Docs team leader Pete Travis recently announced that F21 Beats are Open, noting:

If you’re new to Docs, Beat writing is a good way to get started. Simply choose a package, service, or functionality that interests you and do a little research to see how will change in F21. You can check rawhide package changelogs, read the software changelogs in /usr/share/doc/$pkgname, scrape upstream mailing lists and commit logs, and reach out to package maintainers or developers.

As always, Pete also provides great, non-intimidating guidance for new docs contributors.

Fedora Workstation, and an alternate view — both part of Fedora!

Fedora Workstation developer Christian Schaller wrote a long blog post explaining some of the mindset and background behind the upcoming Fedora Workstation. If you care about Linux on the desktop, this is an interesting read, whether you’re a GNOME fan or not (and whether or not you agree). And if you do disagree, remember that that’s absolutely okay too. Longtime Fedora contributor Stephen Smoogen (a self-described “411 year old Linux administrator”) has another short but also great blog post responding to one particular somewhat-contentious Fedora Workstation decision and why he’s not worried.

Our “” efforts are additive rather than restrictive, and are centered around our Friends Foundation; we may disagree on details, but we can all work together to advance free software as a project.

Fedora Atomic?

atomic logoAt last week’s Red Hat Summit, Red Hat announced a new initiative called Project Atomic. This isn’t really new software, or a new operating system or distribution — it’s best described as a pattern for putting together some pieces we already have. Not surprisingly, a lot of these pieces were (and are) worked on by Fedora contributors, including rpm-ostree, Docker, systemd, and a new orchestration building-block called GearD (you can read more about GearD on the OpenShift blog and of course you can `yum install geard ` to check it out).

So… (you may be thinking…) how does this fit into Fedora? Well, most of these are parts that we have already been talking about in the Fedora Cloud Working Group, and it may be that GearD provides one of the key missing pieces. We’ve filed a Fedora 21 change proposal for a specially-tailored Docker Host Image, and although we haven’t made any decisions yet, I think the Atomic patterns are very well aligned with what we want to do (and overlap with what we are already doing anyway), so that may end up being a sort of “Fedora Atomic” cloud spin.

One of the pieces of Project Atomic that the Cloud WG hadn’t looked at is Cockpit, a web-based server management GUI. The interesting thing is that this is one of the key features proposed for Fedora Server, and if we decide to include that part in our Docker cloud image, that will be a point of coherence across the products. (See the Project Atomic docs on what that might provide.)

Automatic Weekly Data!

If I had been paying attention and knew about before I started doing these posts, I might have named this something a bit less similar. Oh well! Names aside, though, these articles and that site are actually complementary. I pick out things to feature as they strike my attention, while This Week in Fedora presents automatically-collected statistics every Monday. You won’t really learn any news there, but you will find data on all sorts of contributor activities, from package builds to user creation to meetings logged. If you’re data-oriented, it’s an interesting way to get a feel for the technical pulse of the community.

Fedora Project community Five Things in Fedora This Week


  1. Pete Travis

    Thanks for plugging the Beats effort, Matt!

    If anyone needs extra incentive to participate, there are badges. The counts work for each beat contributed to, not beats owned or per-release, and they’re cumulative across releases. A few solid reports across a few categories can be a painless way to pad your badge inventory.

  2. What programming languages are more popular among Fedora developers? I come from non-technical background and I have recently learned Java for Android development.

    • There is quite a diversity. There’s plenty of Java code in Fedora, of course. A lot of higher-level tools are written in Python, and I think it’s fair to say that Python is the preferred language for Fedora Infrastructure — the bits that enable the rest of the project to function. Right now, the Go programming language is getting a lot of attention in the cloud space — Docker and GearD are both written in Go. What are you interested in working on?

  3. Relly Good – Thanks!

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