Sonntag, 30. September 2007

fedoradev-pkgowners -- get package owners from pgkdb

Could not really sleep last night :-(( -- the cold I had one or two weeks ago came back on Friday and was likely the reason for it.

So I went down into the living room again a 1:00 in the morning and looked to work on something easy. I had a rough "look the owner of a package up by its name using the bugzilla data in the pgkdb" script lying around at which I took a closer look again -- I started to write it some weeks ago, because I got more and more annoyed when people posted mails like "the following 42 packages needs to be rebuild because some good reason" on fedora-devel and then just putting the list of packages names below it. It's better then not sending such mails, but for people with more then n packages (n likely something between 10 and 25 packages) it's not really helpful, as they can easily miss one of their packages in such a list.

Thus I improved and polished that script (nearly 250 lines in total now, including license and comments :-/) and upload it to the wiki today, as it's likely useful for other Fedorians as well. You can find it on the UsefulScripts page (which, btw, needs a cleanup afaics) now.

Here is a example how it can be used:
$ ./fedoradev-pkgowners ntfs-3g enigma gnome-desktop \
kdebase | sort | column -t
rstrode gnome-desktop
spot ntfs-3g
than kdebase
thl enigma
$ #
$ echo "ntfs-3g enigma gnome-desktop kdebase" | ./fedoradev-pkgowners \
--fasfile fasdata --email --pkgdbfile tmp/bugzilla | sort | column -t
rstrode gnome-desktop rstrode_[AT]
spot ntfs-3g tcallawa_[AT]
than kdebase than_[AT]
thl enigma fedora_[AT]
It likely has still some bugs in it as I wrote big parts of it in the middle of the night (which is really unusual for me -- I'm not one of those that works in the night normally), but it's a start and hopefully useful for others as well.

Thinking about it: wouldn't it make sense to put this and some of the other scripts into a fedoradevtools package? That would make it easier for people to get this and similar scripts and keeping them up2date. The idea is similar to the concept from rpmdevtools (which IMHO is a rea success), but putting fedora-specific things into that package seems wrong to me.

How to use the wiki properly

Keeping docs like the Proposed Fedora Features or Schedule pages in the Wiki up2date seems to be boring task for a lot of people (including me) -- often it's done rarely. For the Proposed Features John Poelstra does a good job of poking people when needed and takes care of the pages himself as well (thx for that John).

Matthias Clasen at the moment demonstrates how good the wiki can work if people update the status and proceedings of a task in the wiki properly: he keeps the Clock Applet page update nearly daily (with screenshots!) -- thus it's easy to follow the progress by subscribing to the page, even without being involved directly with the task. Matthias even reacted to a comment I put on the page.

Really nice -- that's how it's supposed to work, but often doesn't. Thx Matthias and keep up with your good work!

Donnerstag, 27. September 2007

"Rapid innovation" (2)

Ajax commented on my "Rapid innovation" post. As stuff in comments easily gets lost in the noise I'd like to quote it here:

Because the one part of 1.4 that's most broken is input, and we didn't think we had enough time to land that and also fix all the bugs in it before F8. That's why the X server contains tons of backports for everything outside of input.

Maybe rebasing earlier would have solved this. But, maybe not. I've seen basically zero patches from the Fedora community for X issues, and at least speaking for Red Hat's X team, reworking input isn't really high on our list of priorities, so fixing that would have taken away time from everything else we're already doing. So I don't have any reason to think rebasing earlier would have helped.

Many thanks for clarifying the issue Ajax. I expected there might be "good reasons" to not update to 1.4, but well, this post sounded much like "feature freeze" and left me (and likely other Fedora contributors as well as our users) totally in the dark why exactly we were not using xorg-server 1.4.

I ignored that for some time, but then came the WhyUpstream stuff and some minutes later I stumbled over that pile of patches that got applied to the xorg-xserver package and got a bit confused...

So thx again for all your work on X ajax, krh, airlied and the other X-heros Fedora and Red Hat have.

Mittwoch, 26. September 2007

Videos auf SPON

I normally write my blog only in English, but today is a exception, as the information is relevant to German-speaking people only in any case...


Ich gehöre wie viele andere deutschsprachige Internet-Surfer zu den Lesern von Spiegel Online (SPON). Kann sein, dass Stern, oder was auch immer qualitativ besser sind, ich bin recht zufrieden mit SPON.

Seit einiger Zeit hat SPON verstärkt Videos. Ich nutze dies Angebot nicht besonders häufig, weil das Verhältnis von Informationsgehalt pro investierter Zeiteinheit meines Erachtens schlechter als bei Text ist. Aber ja, klar, ich hab auch schon das ein oder andere Video auf SPON gesehen und sie würden mich ja normalerweise auch nicht groß stören.

Neuerdings haben die Videos einen prominenten Platz weit oben in der rechten Spalte -- man bekommt so bei praktisch jeder Meldung, die man liest, auch ein Standbild aus dem Video als Lockangebot gezeigt. Soweit auch nichts wirklich besonderes oder störendes -- manchmal findet man ja auch unter den Textangeboten in der rechten Spalte was interessantes .

Das eine sicherlich nicht zufällig ausgewählte Standbild aus dem Video steht aber für sich -- worum es geht, ist nicht weiter ersichtlich, da erklärende Worte fehlen. Das alleine wäre für mich auch nur "schlecht gemacht" -- aber in der letzten Woche viel mir mehr und mehr auf, dass ein nicht unerheblicher Anteil der gezeigten Standbilder gerade einen Moment aus dem Video aufgreift, wo eine attraktive oder zufällig vielleicht sogar leicht bekleidete Frau im Bild ist. Okay, es passiert verstärkt in der Rubrik "Panorama". Aber trotzdem: Muss das sein? Ich weiß, das Menschen so leicht zu ködern sind, aber bloß weil es geht, muss man es ja auch nicht machen, oder?

Also liebes Spiegel-Online-Team: Ein paar erklärende Worte zu jedem Video-Standbild bitte, sonst wirkt das mit den leicht bekleideten Damen wie billiger Kundenfang -- den hat die Bild-Zeitung sicher nötig, aber Ihr nicht.

Mit ein paar Worten dazu habe ich auch nichts dagegen, wenn attraktive Frauen abgebildet werden -- dann weiß ich aber wenigstens, ob Ihr Kundenfang betreibt, oder ob das nur zufällig hübsche Reporterinnen sind, die mir war wirklich wichtiges erzählen würden, wenn ich das Video ansehe.

Rapid innovation

From the Fedora-Wiki-Frontpage: The goal of Fedora? The rapid progress of free and open source software and content. [...] Rapid innovation. [...]

That what I like about Fedora -- you get new kernel versions, new releases from hplip, sane, gutenprint an lots of other stuff during lifetime of a distribution.

But I sometimes get the impression other parts of the distribution follow a different update strategy than for example the software I mentioned above -- the X-Server for example. The Xorg server 1.4 from 7.3 (released about two month(¹) before the currently estimated Fedora 8 release) for example will afaics not make it into Fedora 8. Instead we are backporting lots of stuff to the current Xorg server 1.3.

I completely fail to understand why. At least I'm not aware of any good reasons why we didn't update rawhide some weeks ahead of the official release -- that how we do it for Kernel, GNOME and lots of other stuff in rawhide as well.

But well, it happens more and more often these days that I think the Fedora project is getting worse and not better, as everybody had hoped during the merge. Way to many Committees (often the same people in them(²)) for example make even easy stuff hard to realize -- that slows progress and frustrates contributors. What is missing IMHO is a strong leadership (³) which is more involved with the distribution we create and shows the direction forward.

BTW, Rahul, the current WhyUpstream draft starts with: Fedora Project has a strong focus on not deviating from upstream as much as possible in all the different software it includes in the repository. I agree that that's how it should be, but for the X-Server (which is a major part of our Distribution) it's definitely not the case afaics.

(¹) -- two month are one third of one development cycle!

(²) -- we fail to build new leaders -- most of the active community contributors, package sponsers and FESCo members were in the same or similar positions one or two years ago as well. That IMHO tells us that we fail to build a community and have a to high entry burden

(³) -- Max sorry, I know that you are doing a lot of stuff and really good work that needed to be done. Don't take that as critique on your work