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Fedora Phones Home: Fedora Talk and Other Updates From the Community

If you didn’t get to attend FUDCon last month, the community made several exciting announcements including the availability of Fedora Talk, the new Fedora telephony system. Based on the free VoIP project Asterisk, Fedora Talk allows Fedora contributors to use any standard VoIP hardware or software to sign into the Fedora system and make and receive calls to other Fedora contributors.

Fedora contributors can set up ad hoc conferences, further deepening social connections and creating a more efficient method for communication when working on certain projects. In the future, we hope to add web conference capabilites for anyone with VoIP access. There are other possibilities to explore with Fedora Talk as well. What if, in the future, a Fedora volunteer could claim an hour of time to run a VoIP phone and answer user or contributor questions?

Fedora Talk is further enabling the community and providing another vehicle to bring our worldwide contributor base closer together. A special thanks to Digium, the company behind Asterisk, which has provided SIP handsets to many members of the Fedora infrastructure team, engineers and Fedora team leaders operating in remote areas across the globe. We also want to thank our hosting and bandwidth provider, Server Beach, and also Arrival Telecom for their donation of several dial-in numbers in the US and the UK.

More news from the Infrastructure team

Constantly trying to keep all of your passwords straight for the various Web sites you access on a routine basis? Throw out the Ginko Biloba and other memory-enhancing supplements because Fedora Account System is now an OpenID provider. The identity you create in the Fedora Project can be used across thousands of Web sites that utilize OpenID. Any Fedora contributor can use the site name http://.id.fedoraproject.org/ to serve as their OpenID provider, linking any OpenID-consuming site with their single account and password.

What’s new with the QA team?

The Infrastructure team didn’t have all of the fun at FUDCon – there were also announcements on the QA front. The QA team announced plans to use an automated test case management system, which will allow us to better integrate bug reporting with test case run results, providing an overall more reliable test system. That system is on the way, but that’s not all the QA team has been up to – they have also stepped up their role in our feature process for Fedora 10.

The QA team is using the feature process to lend more momentum to test plans, by providing services to the feature owners. With a very minimal statement defining how a feature should work by the time Fedora 10 is released, QA can use their skills to design more thorough testing. That in turn will help ensure the feature is ship-shape by the time the distribution is spun by our release engineers. The result? An even better-tested, better-performing Fedora.

ISVs

Another topic of FUDCon’s hackfests and discussions was how to better engage independent software vendor (ISV) partners with Fedora. This work builds on efforts in partnership with RHX that include the recent forming of a Fedora special interest group (SIG) for ISVs. By having a group that focuses on the problems common and unique to ISVs, Fedora is creating a place where the expertise of the community can be a force-multiplier to the expertise of the ISVs themselves. By using and sharing best practices within the SIG, the ISVs and Fedora gain increased community, users, and quality software.

Friday of the hackfest, several Fedora packagers and Java developers, including Tom Fitzsimmons (IcedTea and OpenJDK) and Andrew Overholt (Eclipse), worked with Lee Faus of Alfresco on a packaging audit. By the end of three hours, the group had a good scope on Alfresco’s individual needs, as well as a good example of what other Java web application ISVs are facing in packaging for Fedora. It was a good example of solving one person’s problem while serving the greater good.

If you are an ISV that wants to get your software into Fedora, please find more information here or join the Fedora ISV special interest group.