Reposted from <http://fedoramagazine.org/5tftw-2014-12-17/>.
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
December 17th, 2014:
Fedora 21 Retrospective: What was awesome? What wasn’t?
While Fedora 22 is already rolling into the target zone, we do want to
make sure we look back at this previous cycle and identify things we
can improve — ideally, specific and actionable changes. In the end, we
came out with (another!) great release, but there is always something
to learn. In particular, we ended _yet again_ in a last minute scramble
to get a release we could feel good about signing off on out before the
holidays, and next time around it would be nice to put less stress on
all of our contributors (including the quality assurance team and the
developers needed to make those late fixes.)
There will be more to it than this, but to get started, we have a F21
Retrospective wiki page, to help collect comments and ideas.
Fedora 22: Coming up fast!
FESCo (the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee, the elected
organization which oversees technical decisions in the project) has
indicated that we’re back to aiming for the traditional May/October
Fedora release cycle, and although the F22 schedule isn’t finalized yet,
we have a tentative plan calling for a release about 6 months from
now. When you work back from that, it means that there’s really not much
time to think about change proposals for F22, especially if we
subtract out holiday time. So, if you’re thinking of working on
something big, please start getting your proposal formalized — the
tentative deadline is January 20th, 2015.
Fedora 19: End of Life
And on the other end of the cycle: it’s time to say farewell to Fedora
19. If you’re running this release, please plan to update before January
6th, 2015, when the last updates will go out. After that, there will be
no further security fixes. The good news is that Fedora 20 was a great
release, and Fedora 21 is *even better*, and I think you’ll be happy
with the upgrade.
Fedora Workstation firewall discussion
This week’s big devel-list thread concerned the default firewall
settings in Fedora Workstation. The Fedora Workstation Working Group was
not happy with the user experience offered by blocking incoming “high
ports” by default. Out of the box, nothing is listening on these, but if
one installs software that expects to, it won’t work, and because we
don’t have a good way yet to tie *attempts* to access ports to listening
applications and communicate that to the user, the resulting failure is
On the other hand, if you install something and it starts listening and
you didn’t know that, that’s *also* invisible. So, pretty much everyone
recognizes this as a not ideal situation. Everyone involved in the
discussion also is concerned with enhancing user security in practice —
the question is just how to best get there from an imperfect state.
Originally, the Workstation WG asked to disable the firewall entirely.
FESCo asked instead that it be left available, possibly with a
less-restrictive out-of-the-box configuration — the path taken for F21.
If you’re not running Workstation, this doesn’t affect you. If you are,
and would like a different configuration, run the firewall configuration
tool and either edit the Fedora Workstation zone or change the default
zone. (There’s a long list of options, but “public” is a
You can also change the per-network zone. Unfortunately currently wired
networks are all considered as one per interface, but wireless networks
are distinguished individually. This can be done in a number of ways,
but the easiest is to run the network configuration tool (in GNOME
control center — press the overview key and start typing “network”),
select the wifi network in question, press the little gear icon next to
it, go down to Identity (?!), and choose the appropriate firewall zone.
(Again, there’s a long list — go back to the firewall config tool to see
exactly what they all do.)
This is clearly, not the most friendly approach; it’s my understanding
that the desktop designers, network tools team, and security team are
going to work together to develop a better overall solution for Fedora
22 and beyond.
Overall, the mailing list thread stayed relatively positive and
constructive and avoided personal attacks, although there were some
accusations of bad faith actions which do not seem warranted based on
the actual history. It is, however, a case where more transparent
discussion and communication could have helped; that’s something we’re
continually working at making better and might make for a good component
of the F21 retrospective mentioned above.
Of course things in Fedora never really stop, but it’s vacation time for
many of us. Before I was a Red Hat employee, I was used to seeing
extended days off as ideal for getting in some serious work on Fedora.
Now, things are strangely inverted, and I’m going to use the time to
unplug a bit. I’ll be back in January all recharged, and will catch up
with everything that’s happened in the meantime — FtFTW will resume the
week of January 15th — or possibly the week before, but let’s save the
hard-to-keep resolutions for New Year’s Day. :)
Check out the Fedora vacation calendar to see who else will be away,
and make sure to add yourself if you will be too. (There's even a
Fedora badge for doing so!)
Matthew Miller mattdm(a)mattdm.org <http://mattdm.org/>
Fedora Project Leader mattdm(a)fedoraproject.org <http://fedoraproject.org/>
A bug is open for perl-XML-TreePP since July (for opening a epel 7
branch) with no reaction
I need this package so I'm volunteer to maintain it
Cheers and seasons greetings
Marianne / Jehane
Marianne (Jehane) Lombard
Geekfeminist and sysadmin
I've been meaning to write this for a week, but I wanted to do some
research first. The more I read and thought on it, the issue became
broader, the subject line kept changing and this message starting looking
like an article. I will try to choose my words carefully; I do not intend
to offend anyone nor do I want to appear biased.
I hadn't used any graphical package manager on fedora for almost a decade
(yumex was the last one) because I had been burned too many times and I
don't trust them, but after doing a little work in the AppData area, I
thought I'd take a look at gnome-software. It is one of the most beautiful
UIs I have ever seen. It is elegant, simple yet functional, tidy, gorgeous
to look at and it manages to stand out from all the other "market" or
"store" applications. It incorporates some of the competition's best
features, while avoiding their pitfalls (try living with Ubuntu's software
center for a couple of days). I wholeheartedly agree with Richard Hughes in
that software centers compliant with the AppStream specification help
promote applications and are beneficial to both the users and the
About a week ago, while wondering why MATE applications do not appear in
gnome-software, Richard was kind enough to point to a blog post from
I thought that developers and users might find it useful, so to quote
> *tl;dr:* If you want to run GNOME Software on MATE or XFCE you need to
> set an environment variable like
This might have gone unnoticed since then, but I think it is an issue worth
I can understand and defend the design choices that have been made;
allowing a user to mix and match packages from different DEs with different
aesthetics, compiled against different/incompatible libraries or having
three different applications appear as "Text Editor" or "Dictionary" would
lead to a sub-optimal user experience. From that standpoint it makes sense
to hide from the user packages tied to other DEs, especially if the same
functionality is provided by Gnome packages. Of course, a user might
install an application e.g. compiled against gtk2 and the result would be
I have not tested this much in other Fedora versions, only in F22 with
GNOME. There, the default value in org.gnome.software compatible-projects
is set to 'GNOME', 'KDE', 'XFCE'.
I do not understand this particular choice to include some DEs and exclude
others. Why not enable or disable all of them? LXDE and MATE developers
might be prone to attribute this to malice. Personally, on almost every
machine I use, I have mixed packages from various sources - some due to
personal preference, others because they offer unique functions.
Then again, does gnome-software aspire to be a "universal" package manager
on Fedora? If it does, then why not offer packages from every DE and
metapackages for other environments? If gnome-software aims to be
novice-user-friendly, at least the latter should definitely be an option. Let's
not forget that Gnome is a modern desktop environment, that requires fairly
modern hardware to run on and that is not always available. Also, can
gnome-software be the distro-wide default package manager while adhering to
Allow me to digress a bit. Sometime in 2000, my professor told me that in
order to use some molecular modeling packages and to modify their FORTRAN
source code, I had to get linux, so after some searching, I went to a local
bookstore and bought SuSE 5.3 or 6.0, can't remember any more (on a 56k
analog modem at the time, downloading the iso or doing a network install
was out of the question). The box came with two massive manuals (and some
cute stickers) from which I learned the concept of the window manager or
desktop environment. The choices I had been given got me really excited
(almost as much as when I got my mouse wheel working) and after some weeks
of playing with each DE, I routinely switched from KDE to enlightenment or
to fvwm, according to the requirements of the task at hand, or just my
mood. For years I kept the habit of alternating between almost every
environment that was packaged for my distro, until I did not have the time
to keep up with every change, so I settled with GNOME (mostly). Then came
GNOME 3 and in the ensuing upheaval I gave every other DE another try.
These days I use GNOME on my workstation, MATE on a netbook I take with me
whenever I have field work (which sometimes literally means working in a
field) and on an ancient dual Athlon MP workstation. On some other systems
I manage or have lying around, I run E19, XFCE, MATE and GNOME.
I have converted many friends and acquaintances over to linux, but for the
past 2-3 years I don't think I have pointed anyone to anything but Ubuntu
and I feel some guilt about it. For a number of reasons I can't quite put
my finger on, Fedora does not "feel right" for newcomers. The upgrade
process, software management and support time-frame are certainly among
them. Most of these otherwise bright people have their IQ drop to the value
of its logarithm when they sit in front of a computer screen and they all
seem to suffer from a natural aversion towards the terminal and towards
RTFM. I'm sure you are all well aware of them. When you tell them to go to
fedoraproject.org and download the iso, you can be certain that a phone call
is imminent, asking for step-by-step instructions, even though everything
is well-documented. Explaining to them the difference between linux and
distribution is hard and if you start talking about spins, they lose you.
If they decide to search for a solution to an issue by themselves, they
have no problem executing any commands they may find in a blog post from
2005, ignoring all the error messages that inevitably come along and then
they will look genuinely surprised because something broke. Last week I
upgraded my old workstation to F21. It has a GeForce 6800 that whenever I
had used nouveau instead of nvidia's driver, seriously overheated and the
computer sounded like the vacuum cleaners of yore. After the upgrade, I
couldn't get to gdm, but entering MATE manually worked, so after a little
digging, I found out about an issue with mutter and nvidia's driver. I
tried a newer version of the driver from rpmfusion's build system, that
didn't work, so I switched to lightdm. Now imagine one of those people,
being faced with the same issue right after the adrenaline rush of
upgrading with fedup. Even I have kept my main system on F20 because I need
CUDA and I can't switch to OpenCL.
Many of these people however exhibited an excitement far greater than mine,
when after complaining about Unity for various reasons, I presented them
with the alternatives. They were happy to spend time trying out other DEs,
pointing out what felt right and what wrong. Some of them tried all of KDE,
Cinnamon, MATE, LXDE, XFCE, GNOME and Enlightenment, for weeks even, before
deciding what worked for them and their workflow. To my semi-surprise, some
of those on higher-spec machines ended up on GNOME, which I thought had a
steeper learning curve compared to most of the others (I still had to tell
them about hidden stuff like gnome-session-properties or to get
gnome-tweak-tool and look in extensions.gnome.org for extensions).
Having said all that, I hear a lot of people complaining about losing users
to Ubuntu, Mint and others, or why things like project Sputnik
involve our community. The biggest issue here is which is the targeted user
base of Fedora, if there is one? And what are the use cases we want fedora
to cover? Can we have "Freedom" and be "First" and still cater to
Well, that's it.
Happy holidays everyone!
We have xkb layouts and m17n input methods to type Indian languages and both gets installed on GNOME by default. So it always creates confusion for uses that which are input methods and xkb layouts. However with xkb layouts one can't write conjuncts or complex characters.
So it would be nice to have include m17n based input methods only, we discussed it over IRC and its log can be found on https://fedorahosted.org/i18n/ticket/36
Please let us know if anyone has better thoughts.
On Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 03:13:59PM +1000, Noriko Mizumoto wrote:
> Hi Fedora developers
> Having the consensus with FESCo , we FLP (aka translation team) have
> started the process of migration to new fedora.zanata.org instance from
> Transifex . First all translators started to migrate in November 2014
> (still going on).
> Now it is time to migrate all projects. This is expected to start after
> F21 GA. For the owners of the projects, there are two options to choose
> for the migration below.
> One: Delegate us to implement migration
> If this option is chosen, partially automated migration will be
> performed by Zanata team. Once it completes, then the owner visits new
> place and confirms everything intact (Some manual adjustment may be
> Two: Manual migration
> If this option is chosen, the owner performs all the migration process
> by his/her self. Please advise the estimated completion date.
> I have attached the list of all the target projects below. If any
> package is missing and it should be added into the list, please let me know.
> Could all Fedora developers please go through the list and advise which
> option is preferred for your project, so that we will be able to
> schedule them? For option One, we need to know current
> maintainer's/owner's contact.
> Package Name Group
> Anaconda main
> Blivet main
> Firstboot main
> initial-setup main
> pykickstart main
> python-meh main
> system-config-kickstart main
These are all installer team projects. What are we required to do with the
move to Zanata?
David Cantrell <dcantrell(a)redhat.com>
Manager, Installer Engineering Team
Red Hat, Inc. | Westford, MA | EST5EDT
RichiH, author of vcsh (one of my packages) and Debian contributor
asked my whether we could upstream Fedora packaging (more precisely
any packaging metadata). I simply showed him where the package's git
repo and we agreed I would notify him when I commit stuff. Btw, is there
a simple way to subscribe without a FAS account?
It occurred to me that we are encouraged to upstream Gnome Software
app metadata, but I don't use Gnome. Are CLI tools welcome in Gnome
I guess I could contribute a French translation, and we could take
screenshots of Gnome's terminal. Would it be relevant?
Am Wed, 31 Dec 2014 11:25:58 +0000
> Message: 3
> Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2014 13:58:47 -0800
> From: Luya Tshimbalanga <luya(a)fedoraproject.org>
> To: Development discussions related to Fedora
> Subject: Re: Ramblings and questions regarding Fedora, but stemming
> from gnome-software and desktop environments
> Message-ID: <54A32017.7080707(a)fedoraproject.org>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8; format=flowed
> On 30/12/14 12:34 PM, Alec Leamas wrote:
> > On 30/12/14 20:57, Luya Tshimbalanga wrote:
> >> On 29/12/14 04:33 AM, Alec Leamas wrote:
> >>> This certainly works, but is it really a reasonable trade-off in a
> >>> developer context where things like compilers and interpreters are
> >>> part of the very core? What role does Gnome Software play here? How
> >>> fruitful is the idea to hide packages in this context?
> >> Compiler and interpreters i.e.Glade having GUI and implements app-data
> >> (supposedly mandatory starting on Fedora 22) will be displayed on Gnome
> >> Software.
> > Glade is neither a compiler nor an interpreter, it's an IDE.
> My bad.
> >> Gnome Software is to abstract the package concept to only
> >> focus on applications accessible to desktop.
> > Agreed. And I can see some usecases where this makes a lot of sense.
> > But the question then becomes if this is the proper thing to do for
> > the Workstation target user which is a developer. As such, she will in
> > many cases want to install things like gcc, different python stacks
> > using collections, text processing tools and so on. None of which with
> > a GUI. She will also sometimes be interested in multiple desktops for
> > testing etc., causing the "MATE apps not visible" problem.
> What about DevAssistant that comes with Fedora Workstation? Have you
> tried it?
> MATE apps not visible means they needed app-data included on their
> .desktop files hence the pleas from Richard Hughes.
This is all done since some months in upstream and will land in fedora with mate-1.10 soon.
But i don't think that mate devs are very happy and motivated to do more because of the restricted
gsettings defaults of gnome-software.
[rave at fedora-21 ~]$ gsettings get org.gnome.software compatible-projects
['GNOME', 'KDE', 'XFCE']
In general mate desktop don't need such a software because outside from fedora most other major distros don't use gnome as default desktop.
And for fedora mate use yumex and for f22 we will use yumex-dnf.