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Fedora Weekly News #171

 Fedora Weekly News Issue 171

Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 171 for the week ending April 12th,


Our latest issue includes important Announcements about Fedora 11 and
freeze statuses. Ambassadors celebrates the way "Italians Fete Document
Freedom Day" and "LinuxFest Northwest Ramps Up". Developments relays
some fraught conversations about "Emacs, Glibc, Malloc and i586" and
cautions that "Mono Breakage on PPC May Cause Reversion". Translations
keys us in to the "Fedora 11 Release Notes Discussion". Artwork provides
insight into "Finishing the Artwork for Fedora 11". Virtualization
reports on the "Virtualization Technology Preview Repo."

If you are interested in contributing to Fedora Weekly News, please see
our 'join' page[1]. We welcome reader feedback:
fedora-news-list redhat com

   1.  http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/NewsProject/Join

FWN Editorial Team: Pascal Calarco, Oisin Feeley, Huzaifa Sidhpurwala

        1.1 Announcements
             1.1.1 Fedora 11
             1.1.2 FUDCon Berlin 2009
             1.1.3 Upcoming Events
        1.2 Ambassadors
             1.2.1 Italians Fete Document Freedom Day
             1.2.2 LinuxFest Northwest Ramps Up
             1.2.3 Got Ambassador News?
        1.3 Developments
             1.3.1 Emacs, Glibc, Malloc and i586
             1.3.2 Wireless Regulatory Domain Automatically Determined
             1.3.3 Moonlight Still Banned in Fedora
             1.3.4 Mono Breakage on PPC May Cause Reversion
             1.3.5 YUM Downgrade Feature Now in Rawhide
             1.3.6 Multiple Package Ownership of Directories
             1.3.7 Zap DontZap
        1.4 Translation
             1.4.1 Fedora 11 Release Notes Discussion
             1.4.2 New Members/Co-ordinators in FLP
        1.5 Artwork
             1.5.1 Finishing the Artwork for Fedora 11
             1.5.2 Interview with the Art Team
        1.6 Virtualization
             1.6.1 Fedora Virtualization List
        Guest Configuration with augeas and libguestfs
        Virtual Machine Backup virt-backup
        Virtualization Technology Preview Repo
        Fedora Virtualization Status Report
             1.6.2 Libvirt List
        libvirt-TCK Technology Compatibility Kit

== Announcements ==

In this section, we cover announcements from the Fedora Project.




Contributing Writer: Max Spevack

=== Fedora 11 ===

Jesse Keating[1] made two announcements regarding Fedora 11.

First[2], the F11-Beta-x86_64-Live-KDE.iso was re-issued on bittorrent
as well as to the mirors. The image was "accidentally composed with
32bit packages instead of 64bit packages". Furthermore, the Source ISOs
were re-issued on torrent only, where "an older set were first issued
there. The CHECKSUM on the mirrors was wrong as well for these isos and
has been updated."

Next[3], Fedora 11 Snapshot 1 was released to the torrent site, and it
provides "the first and final snapshot before our final devel freeze".
Jesse reminded everyone that "lots of work has gone into the storage
code of Anaconda since the Beta release, please do re-test with these
images if you had difficulty installing the Beta".

The final development freeze[4] for Fedora 11 is on Tuesday April 14th.
John Poelstra[5] reminded the community "that all features and their
associated feature pages must be at 100% completion by this date", and
he listed the features that do not meet this criteria, which includes
several of the more prominent features that are scheduled for the
release. If you are trying to get a feature in to Fedora 11, please make
sure you have completed all necessary steps.

   1.  https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/JesseKeating
   5.  https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/JohnPoelstra

=== FUDCon Berlin 2009 ===

Max Spevack[1] reminded[2] the community about FUDCon Berlin 2009[3],
including registration[4], lodging[5], and the speaking schedule[6].

   1.  https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/MaxSpevack
   2.  http://spevack.livejournal.com/78732.html
   3.  https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FUDCon:Berlin_2009
   4.  https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FUDCon:Berlin_2009_attendees
   5.  https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FUDCon:Berlin_2009_lodging

=== Upcoming Events ===

April 15: NYLUG[1] in New York, New York, USA.

April 17-19: Summer Geek Camp 2[2] in Antipolo City, Phillipines.

April 18: BarCamp Rochester[3] in Rochester, New York, USA.

April 19-22: Red Hat EMEA Partner Summit[4] in Malta.

April 24-25: FLISOL, all over the LATAM region.

April 25: Trenton Computer Festival[5] in Trenton, New Jersey, USA.

April 25-26: Linux Fest Northwest[6] in Bellingham, Wasthington, USA.

   1.  http://nylug.org/
   2.  http://fedora.bluepoint.com.ph/index.php?entry=20090204000843
   3.  http://barcamprochester.org/
   4.  https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Red_Hat_EMEA_Partner_Summit_2009
   5.  http://tcf-nj.org/

== Ambassadors ==

In this section, we cover Fedora Ambassadors Project.


Contributing Writer: Larry Cafiero

=== Italians Fete Document Freedom Day ===

"Document Freedom Day," an event promoted by the Free Software
Foundation, was held March 25 and aimed is to spread free documents
formats and the Free Software culture. Luca Foppiano reports about his
attendance at the event, which was held in Opera (near Milano, where in
2008 was organized "Liberamente") in his blog[1].

Luca spoke at the event about the core values of the Fedora project,
whose aim is to spread the meaning of the 4 foundations in general, and
Fedora’s policies around codecs and firmwares in particular - thus
covering a wider subject matter, not only documents.

=== LinuxFest Northwest Ramps Up ===

A Fedora Activity Day and three Fedora speakers highlight the lineup for
the 10th annual LinuxFest Northwest[2] in Bellingham, Wash., USA, on
April 25-26. Held on the campus of Bellingham Technical College, the
two-day event is free and open to the public.

Clint Savage will be hosting a session on Fedora Remix, Karsten Wade
will talk on the topic "Participate or Die," Jesse Keating will give
those at LFNW a sneak peek at Fedora 11 and what to expect later next
month, and Larry Cafiero will give a Fedora 101 talk prior to the Fedora
Activity Day, which takes place all day Saturday.

Prior to LFNW, Karsten Wade and Larry Cafiero are scheduled to address
classes at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore., on behalf of
Fedora on Thursday, April 23. The pair will also meet with the Linux
Users Group on campus that evening.

Bellingham is just south of the Canadian border in northwestern
Washington, and if you find yourself in the neighborhood, feel free to
drop by.

   1.  http://blog.foppiano.org/2009/03/30/document-freedom-day/
   2.  http://www.lfnw.org

Got Ambassador News?

Any Ambassador news tips from around the Fedora community can be
submitted to me by e-mailing lcafiero-AT-fedoraproject-DOT-org and I'd
be glad to put it in this weekly report.

== Developments ==

In this section the people, personalities and debates on the
@fedora-devel mailing list are summarized.

Contributing Writer: Oisin Feeley

=== Emacs, Glibc, Malloc and i586 ===

As the pressure to stick to the Fedora 11 release schedule built up some
glitches arising in part from the decision to support i586 instead of
i686 (see FWN#162[1]) led to tense words.

Reports trickled in of problems with emacs in rawhide. Per Bothner
reported[2] both that emacs-23.0.91 threw an "Invalid regex: Unmatched (
or \\(" and that emacs-23-0.92 was responding excruciatingly slowly.
Ulrich Drepper speculated[3] to that the regexp problem was due to some
changes to malloc in glibc. A bugzilla report by Andy Wingo expanded[4]
on the problem and drew comments suggesting that rpm and mysql were also
failing to due glibc changes. Jakub Jelinek thought they were different
problems with the emacs errors being due to malloc_{get|set}_state.

TomLane asked[5] what was going on with glibc reverting to an earlier
version in rawhide. Jesse Keating responded[6] that glibc for the i586
architecture was broken for all versions after beta. After Panu
Matilainen commented that glibc.i586 was so broken that rpm could not
even read its own configurations Ulrich Drepper said[7]: "If you want to
complain then to the idiots who made the decision to go with .i586
instead of .i686 for x86 binaries. This is exactly the kind of problem
I've been warning about all along. Using the i586 target stresses code
paths (in this case in gcc) which are hardly ever used since nobody
cares for this target in general." Panu disavowed any intent to

   4.  http://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=494631

=== Wireless Regulatory Domain Automatically Determined ===

John W. Linville posted[1] an update to an old(ish) thread. He reported
that Fedora 11 now has udev rules in place to set wireless regulatory
domains based on the configured timezone.


=== Moonlight Still Banned in Fedora ===

The 2009-04-08 "Rawhide Report"[1] caused some excitement when it
seemed[2] that moonlight[3][4][5][6][7] might have been enabled. It
turned out[8] that this was simply due to a confusion between a mono API
named "moonlight" and the actual moonlight itself.

All that had actually happened[9] was that Fedora Legal okayed the use
of the mono compiler switch "moonlight" in order to facilitate
RPMFusion's request.

   3.  Moonlight is an implementation of Microsoft's "Silverlight" which
   is a virtual machine and framework for creating Rich Internet
   Applications, roughly competing in the same space as Adobe's Flex and
   Mozilla's Prism. It is considered to risky to include in Fedora due
   to legal worries raised by the Microsoft-Novell covenant.
   4.  http://mono-project.com/Moonlight
   5.  http://www.adobe.com/products/flex/
   6.  http://labs.mozilla.com/projects/prism/
   7.  http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/ForbiddenItems#Moonlight
   9.  http://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=492048

=== Mono Breakage on PPC May Cause Reversion ===

Another mono issue discussed[1] with reference to the 2009-04-08 Rawhide
Report suggests that due to breakage on the ppc architecture it may be
necessary to untag the latest mono package.

Objections that the disabling of PPC architecture support on the mono
package was happening too close to the Fedora 11 final freeze
prompted[2] David Nielsen to make the rejoinder that no help had been
given to the Mono SIG despite their reporting a problem. Jesse Keating
announced[3] that in the absence of a fix before the final freeze mono
would simply be downgraded: "[t]his kind of version change shouldn't
really be made after beta anyway."

David Nielsen argued[4] that the changes had been made well before the
beta. Bill Nottingham thrust[5] the responsibility back on him. Alex
Lancaster made[6] a similar point more diplomatically.

Mary Ellen Foster requested, as a mono-dependent maintainer, that
concrete actions be recommended. Jesse Keating and Toshio Kuratomi
asked[7] that all such did _not_ set "ExcludeArch: ppc" and rebuild as
this would cause massive churn on a large number of packages. Instead a
process to track down the failures and fix them with a fallback plan to
revert to a mono release-candidate was proposed by Toshio.


=== YUM Downgrade Feature Now in Rawhide ===

James Antill posted[1] that it is now possible to downgrade a package

yum downgrade <packagename>

He suggested: "[...]this will be most useful for rawhide users when
installing test packages from koji static repos. etc. ... because then
an older version will still be available in rawhide. Whereas if you
upgrade to what is in rawhide there is nothing older available to
downgrade to."


=== Multiple Package Ownership of Directories ===

A query posed[1] by Rahul Sundaram concerned whether it was appropriate
for multiple packages to claim ownership of a directory.

Michael Schwendt and Christoph Wickert were[2] clear that the packages
Rahul mentioned should not own the directory because they were part of a
dependency chain which led up to their ancestor package
hicolor-icon-theme. Contrary advice led[3] to some sarcasm from
Christoph Wickert about Red Hat employees not being familiar with Fedora
packaging guidelines and it worried[4] Peter Lemenkov, who believed that
Red Hat employees all had "provenpackager" status (see FWN#170[5]).
Jason L. Tibbitts III corrected[6] this latter assertion.


=== Zap DontZap ===

Paul Wouters reported[1] that he had needed to ssh into his machine to
fix an X session problem and would like to revert "[...] to the old
behavior of having ctrl-alt-backspace kill the current X session." See
FWN#169[2] for earlier discussion.

Anders Rayner-Karlsson explained that dual-head setup in Fedora 10 was
as simple as:

xrandr --output LVDS --auto --output VGA --auto --above LVDS

to which Michael Cronenworth responded[3] that this would need to be
done in a start-up script as there was also now no xorg.conf by default.
Jesse Keating suggested using the system-config-display tool instead as
this would obviate the need for an xorg.conf. Adam Jackson cautioned[4]
that nVidia's proprietary drivers might not export RANDR-1.2 yet and
thus the latter might not work. Further discussions about whether
xorg.conf was needed for side-by-side wide virtual desktops suggested[5]
that Intel chipsets while currently enforcing a 2048 pixel limit may
be[6] capable of supporting up to 4096 pixels on Intel 915 or Intel 945
in the near future.

Dissent and discussion about Fedora's decision to follow the upstream
rumbled on. Kevin Kofler suggested[7] that "mailing list consensus" was
not a good process by which to make such decisions as that taken by
Xorg. Dave Airlie seemed[8] as though he had had enough of personal
attacks on him, but was also able to joke about it.


== Translation ==

This section covers the news surrounding the Fedora Translation (L10n)


Contributing Writer: Runa Bhattacharjee

=== Fedora 11 Release Notes Discussion ===

After the announcement last week[1] about the availability of the Fedora
11 Preview Release Notes for translation, a number of translators have
put forward their concerns about the difficulty in translating these
notes due to vast coverage of content and complicated technical text[2].

As a solution to this, it has been suggested that the Release Notes be
restricted to information that is important to general users and useful
to migration from on release to another. The additional information
about package improvements etc. may be made part of the SIG pages on the

One of the writers Ruediger Landmann, has put forward the link to the
draft version of Fedora 11 Installation Guide for similar feedback.[4]

At present, some of the teams have chosen to either translate the core
information, divide the translation work amongst multiple translators or
to drop translation for this release.


=== New Members/Co-ordinators in FLP ===

David Leary[1] has joined the French translation team last week.


== Artwork ==

In this section, we cover the Fedora Artwork Project.


Contributing Writer: Nicu Buculei

=== Finishing the Artwork for Fedora 11 ===

John Poelstra asked [1] on @fedora-art about the lesson learned and the
need for a special feedback period embedded in future release cycles
"Maybe we should build a feedback period into the Fedora 12 schedule?"
and the status of the remaining work for Fedora 11 "It is also important
to note that we are targeting the completion of final artwork and
packaging a little less than two weeks from now on 2009-04-16 so that it
can all be in the Preview Release and have two weeks to shake out
anything that needs final fixing before GA", with Paul W. Frields
reinforcing[2] the question "How can we improve the schedule of dates
for Artwork deliverables, so that they're more realistic or

In reply, Nicu Buculei pleaded[3] for early, on-going feedback "I don't
think we need a feedback period, we need to get some graphics (concepts)
as soon as possible to get feedback from the early stages. Is not useful
if one week before the freeze we learn that everything is not good
enough, we have to scrap it and restart."

Appreciating the reminder[4] "Thank you for this reminder and for
helping keep us on track", Máirí­n Duffy outlined a list of the
remaining tasks: Wallpaper Design, Plymouth Splash, GNOME splash, KDE
splash, full screen splash for syslinux, grub splash. gnome screensaver
lock dialog, anaconda square splash, firstboot vertical header, kdm,
wallpaper extras and she set a deadline[5] on the wallpaper polishing
"I'm going to block off Thursday as the day to dive in and polish stuff

Nicu Buculei and Martin Sourada took one of the points, the wallpaper
extras, further[6][7] and concluded "freeze is irrelevant here. It's
highly probable it won't be on any of the official spins, so having the
package released at the same day as GA is IMHO fine"

Charles Brej advanced a Plymouth animation proposal[8] "here is a
possible progress bar in the style of the theme", followed by another
minimalist proposal[9] from Mike Langlie, acclaimed by some[10][11] but
also criticised by its use of proprietary tools under proprietary
operating systems (Photoshop on OS X)[12]. A third mock-up[13] from
C&#259;t&#259;lin Fe&#351;til&#259; is dismissed by Nicu Buculei for the
use of English-only text " Fedora is an operating system for the entire
world, we can't go with an English-only text. Due to localization
concerns, is wise to avoid any texts rendered as graphics."

Also in preparation for the upcoming Preview Release and the General
Release, Paolo Leoni posted[14] a release countdown banner, which
evolved quickly with the feedback received into a complete, polished
tarball[15], ready to run on the website.

Susmit Shannigrahi advanced a DVD label concept[16], criticised by Luya
Tshimbalanga for the use of an obsolete theme[17] "Note that artwork
used for Fedora 11 Beta is not final" an Nicu Buculei for excessive use
of colors[18] "to keep the printing cost down ideally the label will use
only a few colors". Apparently, according to Susmit, in his country the
price is not affected by the number of colors used[19] "Well, here in
India, they don't charge by color. They charge at a flat rate of
11INR(22 cents) each for bulk production."


=== Interview with the Art Team ===

In the previous edition of the Fedora Weekly News we reported about an
interview with the Fedora Art Team being conducted for the Linux
Graphics Users forum[1], now Nicu Buculei reported[2] on fedora-art
about the interview going live[3].

   1.  http://linuxgraphicsusers.com/
   3.  http://linuxgraphicsusers.com/index.php?topic=705.msg5198

== Virtualization ==

In this section, we cover discussion on the @et-mgmnt-tools-list,
@fedora-xen-list, and @libvirt-list of Fedora virtualization

Contributing Writer: Dale Bewley

=== Fedora Virtualization List ===

This section contains the discussion happening on the fedora-virt list.

==== Guest Configuration with augeas and libguestfs ====

After blogging[1] just last week that "Nothing much is coded at the
moment", the prolific Richard Jones announced[2] he has added support to
image:Echo-package-16px.pngaugeas for his latest project, libguestfs[3].
libguestfs "lets you examine and modify virtual machine disk images, so
you can perform sysadmin tasks on virtual machines without needing to
bring them up or log into them."

"Augeas is a configuration editing tool. It parses configuration files
in their native formats and transforms them into a tree. Configuration
changes are made by manipulating this tree and saving it back into
native config files."[4] Now libguestfs "supports Augeas, so you can use
Augeas to edit configuration files within the virtual machine."

Richard will be working on creating a Fedora RPM of libguestfs this

   3.  http://et.redhat.com/~rjones/libguestfs/
   4.  http://augeas.net/

==== Virtual Machine Backup virt-backup ====

The discussion of libguestfs led Jan ONDREJ to reveal[1] a tool in
development, virt-backup[2].

This script can be used to

    * Make online backups, when virtual server is running.
    * Transfer partitions over the network while the virtual server is

   2.  http://www.salstar.sk/pub/temp/virt-backup

==== Virtualization Technology Preview Repo ====

Daniel Berrange followed up the recent release scheduling conversation
(FWN#169 [1]) with a "braindump"[2].

"The obvious problem with what we do for
image:Echo-package-16px.pnglibvirt at the moment, is that we are
introducing major new features into the stable release stream". Adding
"I think it would be desirable to get the stable Fedora releases onto a
pretty strong bugfix only policy..."

Daniel suggested "a 'virt-preview' YUM repository for the most recent
stable stream (ie F10, but not F9)" as a way to achieve this "bugfix
only policy", and allow users access development versions of libvirt
"without having to include & debug the rest of rawhide". Daniel
summaried the "braindump".

"So in summary":

    * All new upstream releases built in rawhide
    * New upstream releases also built in stable preview branch if
    * Only bugfixes built in stable updates/updates-testing branch
    * In exceptional circumstances, rebase for preview branch can be
    built to updates/updates-testing after alot of positive testing 

"This would":

    * Ensure users of stable Fedora release have high confidence in
    quality of the updates/updates-testing stream
    * Allow users to trivially test new upstream rebases while staying
    on the stable distro stream
    * Improve testing coverage of major new rawhide features without
    using the stable release stream users as guinea pigs 

Mark McLoughlin thought[3] "this would be hugely useful to people
interested in the latest virt bits, but without a testing machine for
running rawhide." And even proposed a name for the proposed repository,
"How about 'virt-hide' ? :)". Mark also reverenced these FESCo approved
guidelines[4] relevant to package maintainers who wish to update a
package on an already-released branch.


==== Fedora Virtualization Status Report ====

Mark McLoughlin reminds[1] us "It's only a matter of days until the F11
tree freezes and the list of bugs isn't getting any shorter!"

Read on for more coverage of virtualization developments in the past


=== Libvirt List ===

This section contains the discussion happening on the libvir-list.

==== libvirt-TCK Technology Compatibility Kit ====

In yet another "braindump" this week, Daniel Berrange penned[1] "a very
long email" purporting to be a "short guide" to the new
image:Echo-package-16px.pnglibvirt "Technology Compatibility Kit".

libvirt provides a hypervisor or emulator neutral platform for
manipulating virtual machine resources. This model leverages
"drivers"[2] for each emulator or backend system. The driver acts as a
translator, converting libvirt API calls to the native API. For example,
there are drivers for Xen, QEMU KVM, LXC, OpenVZ, User Mode Linux, and
storage subsystems.

"The libvirt TCK provides a framework for performing testing of the
integration between libvirt drivers, the underlying virt hypervisor
technology, related operating system services and system configuration.
The idea (and name) is motivated by the Java TCK"

"In particular the libvirt TCK is intended to address the following

    * Validate that a new libvirt driver is in compliance with the
    (possibly undocumented!) driver API semantics
    * Validate that an update to an existing driver does not change the
    API semantics in a non-compliant manner
    * Validate that a new hypervisor release is still providing
    compatability with the corresponding libvirt driver usage
    * Validate that an OS distro deployment consisting of a hypervisor
    and libvirt release is configured correctly 

Thus the libvirt TCK will allow developers, administrators and users to
determine the level of compatability of their platform, and evaluate
whether it will meet their needs, and get awareness of any regressions
that may have occurred since a previous test run."

The TCK will utilize Perl's testing frameworks and the libvirt Perl
binding image:Echo-package-16px.pngperl-Sys-Virt (FWN#169[3]).

Daniel created "4 simple proof of concept scripts" which have already
"highlighted some horrible problems" in remote, QEMU, and Xen drivers.
There are even some results "in pretty HTML format":


Daniel goes on to describe how to try out the test suite, talk about
what's still left todo, describe how TCK is expected to be used, and
provide an introduction to writing tests.

   2.  http://libvirt.org/drivers.html
  Oisin Feeley

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