Montag, 30. Juli 2007

Overlay repos and dong releases from it?

Disclaimer: I'm a Gnome user and don't care much about KDE

Another disclaimer: KDE is just a example; the scheme I outline below could likely used lot for other stuff as well (other Desktops like Gnome and XFCE; new stuff like AIGLX was in the FC5 days; crucial apps like Firefox, Thunderbird or OpenOffice; there are likely more examples).

People seem to really want KDE4 out in official linux distribution/included in a released Fedora as soon as it hits the street. I can understand that. But well, seems the KDE4 and the Fedora 8 schedule don't match perfectly (anymore; and it remains to be seen if KDE4 won't slip again, as lots of Open-Source-Projects [including Fedora] do).

Which brought me to the idea: Why are we so inflexible? Why can't we ship Fedora 8 with the old KDE, and prepare a KDE4 in a kind of overlay rawhide repo (as well as in rawhide after F8 is ready) within the Fedora project? When KDE4 ships let some people continue to maintain this overlay repo (and a update repo for it) and create a Fedora 8 KDE4 spin composed from the basic Fedora 8 Repo and the overlay repo -- that should make everyone happy and it not that much work afaics, as it's mainly rebuilding the rawhide KDE4 packages for Fedora 8, putting them in a repo somewhere and make sure packages get updated now and then until EOL of F8...

Samstag, 7. Juli 2007

liquidat on OpenSuse Build Service

liquidat writes:
The look into the crystal ball

The OBS could become a central place for distributing software in
the FLOSS world: every software project could create the necessary
binaries there for all bigger distributions. [...]
Well, as someone that maintains rpm packages in different repositories for some years now I tend to doubt that -- the interdependencies of FLOSS software are way to complex: lot of stuff further is moving in parallel forward quickly all the time and makes it ever more complicated.

Sure, for a pure apps that does not provide libs to be used by other software I suppose it will work in a acceptable way (well, as long as the distribution they were build against don't do major updates to library packages without providing compat packages. Which is the case in Fedora; see recent libupnp update -- soname was bumped in new version but no compat package in sight afaics).

It should even work to get one or two apps with libs from the OBS add-on repo for Fedora to have them always in their latest and greatest version.But I tend to think the more uncoordinated repos you mix the more problems users will run into.

Heck, even within Fedora we run into broken dependency's in our own repos often. Then there are the inter-repo problems into which users run now and then when they try to mix the three big 3rd party repos for Fedora. Now just imagine what happens if five uncoordinated mini-repos from the OBS with libfoo, libbar, foobar, baz and barbaz come into the mix... Sounds like major trouble to me.

Well, time will tell -- maybe I'm painting it way to black here. Or tools (RPM, yum, ...) will get better.

The imho real solution for the Fedora project would be to have special experimental repos for special things that are not yet ready for rawhide or stable. KDE4 would be a good candidate for such a repo atm; kernel-vanilla as well. Maybe it would even be the right place for kernel module packages.

Donnerstag, 5. Juli 2007

Got a new Laptop - Dell Latitude D630

After thinking about buying a new laptop I actually went ahead and bought one – a Dell Latitude D630. It arrived last Friday and is my main working machine now; it replaces my older laptop (I have a normal desktop system, but that's only used by my girlfriend these days).

The hardware details, for those interested:
  • Core 2 Duo 7300 – should be a bit quicker then the 7100 due to the 4 MByte Cache and did not cost that much more
  • 2 × 1 GByte RAM – 1 GByte would have been enough for now, but it's a long-term investment (by last Laptop mainly was slow these days because it has only 512 MByte ;-)
  • 1440 × 900 WXGA+ Display 14,1" – I need space on my desktop (but didn't want to buy a 15,4 Laptop)!
  • 80 GB Harddrive – yes, I don't need so much hard disc space
  • 9 Cell battery with 78 WHr – with it I should e able to suffice some time without searching for the power cord
  • Santa Rosa platform (965GM)
  • IPW3945 – should be quick enough for me, so I skipped the extra costs for the 4965
  • Windows Vista – there was no way around Windows here in europe :-(
My first impressions after nearly one week of use from the hardware point of view:
  • chassis seems to be stable (much more stable then the old one)
  • keyboard is fine; I'm slowly getting used to the new layout; some keys like Pos1, End, Page Up/Down where placed better (near the cursor keys) on my old laptop – I miss them in that area a bit
  • I had a 15,1 SVGA+-Display with 1400×1050 pixels in my old laptop – I really miss those 150 pixels in height :-/ And due to 15,1 vs. 14,1 everything is also a bit smaller
  • I adjust the display angle quite often – a bit to often, but well, it's not really bad. The display is quite bright – that should make it possible to work with it outside in the garden/on the terrace; but it gets a bit darker in the edges, which one easily notices
  • much quicker then my old machine; that's likely mainly the memory and the quicker harddisk as well as the dual core cpu
  • fan stays off most of the time and is is mostly silent when it runs
  • The bigger battery is also bigger in its dimensions; I knew that, but seems I forget about it as I was a bit astonished when I actually saw the notebook and it's battery (which makes the laptop a bit bigger) for the first time.
My first impressions from the Linux (Fedora 7, x86_64) point of view:
  • I had expected problems when buying a brand new notebook-model with a brand new chipset; I got what I expected ;-)
  • Fedora 7 (as well as the stock kernel 2.6.21 and 2.6.22-rc7) don't support the PATA-DVD-Controller of the ICH8M yet. I had to install via LAN. A patch is getting discussed on lkml and linux-ide; Chuck (thanks!) added it to the F7 tree already (another user requested it earlier already), so this problem soon should vanish
  • no DRI – supported by the devel kernel/2.6.22, but the system crashes when I enable compiz. So no compiz for now, but I don't miss it much. Need to investigate further.
  • Hibernate and Suspend-to-RAM seem to work ATM – but that needs to be reinvestigated after enabling DRI – one never knows ;-)
  • System tracks about 1 Watt more with Linux then within Vista; Tickless, AHCI-Power Saving stuff and some other improvements that are being worked on should hopefully improve that "problem" soon.
  • Did I mention Sound isn't working? Ohh, sorry, I keep the biggest hassle for the end of this list. Well, in fact, I made sound work roughly in between; first I found reports that sounds works fine for Feisty users. Thus I went ahead and installed the Feisty Kernel (2.6.20 based) – sounds works. Then I install the latest FC-6 kernel (2.6.20 based) and the Ubuntu-devel kernel (2.6.22) as well as the rawhide kernel (2.6.22 based) – none of those where able to get audio output. Found two helpful mailing list threads on LKML and alsa-devel. Recompiled the latest F7-kernel (2.6.21) from Fedora-CVS with alsa and snd-hda-intel compiled *into* the kernel – sound works. But it does not work again after hibernate and produces a warning (hda_intel: azx_get_response timeout, switching to polling mode...;hda_intel: azx_get_response timeout, switching to single_cmd mode... ) during load that it only works in a kind of debug-mode.
Last words for now: There is still much fun ahead, but I can live with the problems for now (by ignoring them manly) and use the new Laptop as main machine now.

Evolution (or) The growth of Fedora

I started to contribute to Fedora(.us) years ago; Fedora has grown a lot since then -- especially now with the merge we are lot more people that have to interact with each other.

What really disappoints me about that: the tone on the mailing lists afaics got and constantly gets worse and unfriendlier (¹). Sure, there were flamewars in the past (and I were part of them as well), but people showed more respect to each other.

I'm not sure if I would start contributing to Fedora today if I would be searching for a project to contribute to.

(¹) -- no, there is not special mail or flamewar that got me to write this blog entry. Just a general impression.