= Fedora Weekly News Issue 83 =
Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 83 for the week of April 8th
through April 14th, 2007. The latest issue can always be found
== Announcements ==
In this section, we cover announcements from various projects.
=== Fedora Wiki Accounts ===
MikeMcGrath announces in fedora-announce-list - In response to our
wiki woes, we have decided to delete all wiki accounts that are not
watching any pages and are not in the EditGroup.
This will help speed page saves up because of the way moin iterates
over users to see who to notify. Those wishing to keep an account
should simply sign up again.
Please direct any questions to admin at fedoraproject.org
=== Fedora-Extras-List going to be closed end of this week ===
ThorstenLeemhuis announces in fedora-extras-list -
fedora-extras-list will thereby get closed soon, probably on Friday or
Saturday this week; no further posting will be possible here.
fedora-devel-list will be the mailing that acts as the direct
successor for fedora-extras-list; all subscriber on this list that are
not yet on fedora-devel-list got invited there some minutes ago.
=== Fedora Development (2007-04-11) Live i386 image available ===
JeremyKatz announces in fedora-test-list - I've put up a copy of a
live CD image based on the current Fedora Development tree as of
today for those that are interested in some pre-test4 testing.
For package bugs, please file them against the specific package. For
more general bugs with the LiveCD, you can file them against the
LiveCD component for Fedora Core, version devel.
== Planet Fedora ==
In this secton, we cover a highlight of Planet Fedora - a aggregation
of blogs from world wide Fedora contributors.
=== Fedora's Pidgin Plan ===
WarrenTogami points out in his blog - The Gaim project signed a
trademark settlement with AOL, and will be changing their name to
Upstream is planning on a pidgin-2.0.0-beta7. They are trying to
settle a pref migration blocker before cutting this beta release.
This beta7 will give Fedora critically important window, where we
must move quickly to prepare for the final 2.0.0 release. We must fix
all dependencies by fixing up and renaming the numerous gaim-* plugin
packages, and be sure the entire collection automatically upgrades
cleanly with yum. That should smoothen our upgrade into 2.0.0 that is
expected soon thereafter. When we are satisfied with the 2.0.0 final
+ all plugin packages in F7, we will do the same to FC6.
=== Spread Open Media ===
NicuBuculei points out in his blog - We, at the Open Clip Art
Library, together with Xiph.org are hosting a contest for
creating a logo and maybe a mascot for Spread Open Media. All
submissions should be in SVG format and released as Public Domain, so
they cam become part of the Open Clip Art Library. The contest started
on 10 April 2007 and will end on 05 May 2007. Using those
contributions as a base, a lot of materials like banners, buttons,
badges, icons, fliers, t-shirts will be created.
== Developments ==
In this section, we cover the problems/solutions,
people/personalities, and ups/downs of the endless discussions on
=== Bad gnome-user-share, Bad! ===
MattMiller noticed that ''gnome-user-share'' was trying out some new
tricks  and wanted it to stop. Specifically he questioned the
wisdom of a Gnome desktop environment needing to include httpd because
g-u-s is in the group and works by using WebDAV. JesseKeating pointed
him upstream and argued that it was safe because a user had to
consciously switch it on, to which JonCiesla agreed  "''+1. If
the nailgun is unplugged, in the box, and the nails are in a
separate box, why not ship them? Provide the functionality, but in a safe
manner. Is this not the current state?''". Further discussion led to
the idea  of breaking out the apache server config from the g-u-s
stuff. NicolasMailhot wondered why the gnome-daemon was not able to
just drop the right file into /etc/httpd/conf.d and OwenTaylor tried
to get to the root  of Matt's objections.
=== Mgetty Still Maintained ? Or, How To Patch And Rebuild From Source RPMs ===
In a redirected question  from fedora-list, Don Russell wondered if
mgetty was under active maintenance. Don had opened a Bugzilla
report and noted that there were year-old updates available that
weren't packaged for FC6. Dragoran and Dexter helped him out with
obtaining the source code  so that he could build a fixed
=== Administrative Tools Emancipated From GTK+ Tyranny ===
An enquiry  from a potential new developer led to suggestions of
which projects might profitably be attempted. Noting his C/Qt
experience KevinKofler suggested  helping with KDE4 packaging.
OttoRey was led to wonder  whether there were clear mini-RFCs or
other specs for dependency checking. Vlad suggested  improving KDE
integration by writing KDE versions of the administrative tools, which
all have GTK+ frontends, but no KDE GUI frontends. RexDieter then
drew attention  to ``guidance`` which does much of Vlad's extensive
list. Rex was seeking  a co/maintainer for the package, which is
already in the review process. MattMiller observed  that an
important side-effect of rewriting the tools so that there's a
GUI-independent back-end will be that root-privileged operations will
also be taken out of the GUI front-end.
The issue was further discussed in a separate thread , with
DavidZeuthen enlarging  on Matt's point about privilege separation
and arguing cogently for people to take a look at PolicyKit instead of
just Qtifying apps which are currently GTK+ based. JaneDogalt
suggested  that a scriptable backend would be very welcome. Later
NicolasMailhot and RichardHughes discussed the implications  for
embedded systems and Richard mentioned the OHM project.
=== Readahead Lists Need an Update For Rawhide? ===
The prolific MarkG85 noted  that ``readahead`` was apparently not
in use for Firefox-2.x in rawhide and that it was very beneficial for
Firefox-1.5.x, also that it might be nice to add the default
gnome-panel applets. ZakKarel agreed  and said that he'd generate
updated readahead lists close to the freeze. Zak also pointed out the
useful readahead-collector tool  which allows the generation of
customized lists for a particular machine.
=== DELL firmware packaging Saga Continues. A Bug Gets Squished In
In today's episode we ask "Can YUM Upgrade ''noarch'' to a
''arch''?" Acting upon feedback previously received 
(Dell's maintainer of firmware packages) was  still seeking a
clean, approved way of packaging the firmware. It seemed from his
tests that Yum failed (in FC6) to update the firmware-addon-dell
packages that he had converted from being noarch. MichaelSchwendt
posted a  counter-example. Reports from TillMaas led MichaelEBrown
to investigate  whether this was specifically a problem in updating
from noarch -> x86_64 as the noarch -> i386 seemed to work. SethVidal
and MattMiller both tried to help, and later MichaelEBrown reported
 that an IRC conversation with Seth suggested that it was a bug in
rpmUtils.updates.py which only reared its head on multilib systems and
that there was a temporary work-around. Seth soon posted a patch to
the open bugzilla which MichaelEBrown confirmed as a fix .
=== When Will iwlwifi Work? ===
A polite  enquiry from ThomasBaker noted that iwlwifi had been in
the kernel for a bit, didn't work and it would be good to know if
users should wait to test fixes, or just go and install the alternate
ipw3945 driver. AndyGreen found that it worked on a WPA network,
TomLondon found that it didn't  (and was testing with each fresh
Rawhide kernel and then installing ipw3945). JoshBoyer rebuffed 
the idea of using JohnLinville's custom kernels because the point was
to test rawhide. JohnLinville and others noted that unless people
actually try the linville packages then it will be difficult to
determine what works and should be propagated into rawhide as a fix.
John confirmed to RichardHughes that upstream would be getting an
iwlwifi fix from him soon .
After all this there was some confusion about what the "Linville test
kernels" were. Dragoran clarified the matter in a response  to
ThomasBaker, pointing out a bugzilla in which JohnLinville had rolled
up some patches written upstream after Dragoran had prodded them with
a pointy stick. The Linville page also describes these kernels as ''
Kernels available here are explicitly NOT official Red Hat kernels.
These kernels are for testing and/or experimentation. There is
absolutely no guarantee that any patches present in these kernels will
actually be made available either upstream or as part of any official
Red Hat kernel.'' However testing is of course appreciated and
obviously affects what goes into rawhide.
As a sidenote, EricMagaoay and Nicolas (kwizart) noted that the
firmware for zd1211rw_mac80211 seemed to work, was under review and
needed the wireless-tools package to be updated to stay in sync .
=== Where are VirtualProvides Documented? ===
A question  about the difference in meaning between "Provides:MTA"
and "Provides:smtpdaemon" was posed by VilleSkyttä. The question
seemed to have been considered  deeply by ManuelWolfshant, as
maintainer of ssmtp, who along with PatriceDumas now believes  that
the problem is to do with mdadm having an incorrect requires.
JonathanUnderwood noted  that his proposals for TeX dealt with the
issue of virtual provides.
JesseKeating asked whether this in fact concerned the "alternatives"
system and Ville argued  that it did, but that was a rewording of
his original question. Ville and Patrice seemed to cohere on a
solution  which involved removing mta/MTA from the "Provides" (but
not touching the alternatives namespace) and using /bin/mail as a
"Requires", and sifting through packages which have a "Provides:
smtpdaemon" and fixing them.
=== RFE: Mirror/server Do Not Remove Old Kernel From Updates ===
GilboaDavra posted an RFE inspired by a late-night / early-morning
tale of woe in which a completely cleaned yum cache and an "rpm -e"
left him with a dead machine. His suggestion  is that the last
five kernels should be left on mirrors so that people could revert if
LeszekMatok was unsympathetic to what he perceived as a support
request for proprietary software (VMware), but Gilboa wasn't having
any of it . TonyNelson thought that keeping older versions of the
kernel about was a good idea, prompting JesseKeating to ask for recent
sightings of the mythical beast Unlimited Storage . Gilboa stuck
to his guns and brought specific figures into the picture  to show
that the last five '''released''' kernels for one architecture
only consume 400MB. Interestingly, Jesse responded that post-merge
(once Koji is in use) these should be available 
=== Three Changes to Packaging Guidelines: 1. Binary Firmware; 2.
Post-Release Naming, 3; BuildRoot Prepping ===
1. TomCallaway (spot) posted a  that the License tag for
non-modifiable firmware should be changed. This led to a query as to
whether madwifi-ng could be included in Fedora. ThorstenLeemhuis
responded  with the conditional information that it would appear
not to be the case, as it was more like a static library than a
firmware. This interpretation was confirmed by JoshBoyer.
2. A  new definition of a "post release" package and specific
attention to non-numeric versions was posted. There was no
@fedora-devel discussion of this change.
3. An additional subsection now  prepping the buildroot properly.
TomLane thought it was a bug that each and every specfile had to do
this. In response  JesseKeating acknowleged that it was a bug but
thought there were many more important things upon which rpm
developers should work. MichaelSchroeder of SUSE had a helpful
Further discussion between TomCallaway, PanuMatilainen and others 
centered around the benefits of fixing the rpm bug, thus completely
breaking older RPM packages.
=== Bugzilla Policy: Should FC4 Bug Filing Be Banned? ===
Some thought it was a joke , but MattMiller was deadly serious .
The problem is that there is no way to not receive reports still
automatically generated for FC4 (which should really be turned into
petfood). JesseKeating replied that there was a plan  to create a
new "product" which only got current (F7 and rawhide) bugs. It would
then be possible to only receive bug reports for that product.
MikeWiktowy worried  that this would only buy a year's grace,
leading Jesse to clarify that what he wanted was to see unsupported
releases in one product, and only the current release and development
in the new Fedora product.
MattMiller was also led to clarify (with tears almost audible in his
email) that people were still filing bugs against FC5 . Matt was
then invited to join the FedoraQA meeting for further discussion .
== Maintainers ==
In this section, we cover Fedora Maintainers.
=== "FC6" in Fedora 7 ===
With FWN's inaugural coverage of the fedora-maintainers-list, we begin
with the presence of the "fc6" disttag in some Fedora 7 packages.
Rahul Sundaram had expressed concern over this occurring and had
suggested rebuilding the packages to prevent this.
=== Packaging Guideline Changes ===
The Fedora Packaging Committee had also approved a change to the
packaging guideline for the license tag and naming firmware packages
to <foo>-firmware. Other guidelines changes made over the past week
include those for post release naming, prepping buildroot for
%install, and UTF-8 filenames.
=== Fedora 7 Test 4 Freeze ===
Jesse Keating also reaffirmed that the Fedora 7 Test 4 freeze will
start next Tuesday (April 17). The freeze for Test 4 also marks the
point at which only bug fixes should enter Fedora 7.
== Documentation ==
In this section, we cover the Fedora Documentation Project.
=== Fedora 7 Desktop User Guide ===
JohnBabich has come forward and volunteered as the lead writer for the
Desktop User Guide in the build up to Fedora 7.
Throughout the week there has been a lot of discussion about the
Desktop User Guide and the direction it should be taken in: the use of
screenshots; making the document more task orientated and the best
layout to achieve this; providing coverage of alternative desktop
environments and the best approach to achieve this.
=== Common Snippets ===
As reported last week PaulFrields made a proposal of creating a system
that would allow for the quick translation of common snippets of
documents to many different languages using XML. KarstenWade replied
to this and suggested that it might be nice if some more people
with good XML knowledge would get involved with this aspect of the
project. If you are interested in XML I'm sure you'll be made very
welcome by the documentation team!
== Translation ==
This section, we cover the news surrounding the Fedora Translation
=== Release Notes Deadlines ===
PaulFrields sent a note to the list announcing the deadline for
translations (2359 UTC 14 April 2007). The next and final POT update
is 21 April 2007 and the absolute deadline for translation of PO files
is 2359 UTC 2 May 2007.
=== More on Entities ===
PaulFrields announced the change back to "xml2po -e" unfortunately
this will require some extra translation work. Thanks to all the
translators for hanging in there with the recent changes, we do
== Infrastructure ==
In this section, we cover Fedora Infrastructure Project.
=== Email Addresses ===
MikeMcGrath revisited the email address issue in which he pointed
out that problems have arisen with the current firstname.lastname
email address convention (sendmail and postfix can't handle some of
the characters). He proposed that email addresses are setup as the
persons account name and also suggested the removal of
firstname.lastname addresses. His proposal was agreed upon with the
allowal of firstname.lastname addressses in special cases.
=== The Wiki ===
Ah, yes, the wiki. This week the wiki provided the team with some
challenges and no doubt Fedora users noticed the couple of website
outage and yum availability interruption. MikeMcGrath posted this
summary of the weeks efforts, which included some Apache and Moin
reconfiguration. Thanks to everyone that pitched in and helped
throughout the week and to the Fedora users for being patient. (Fedora
currently has the largest implementation of Moin/Wiki so we, as always
we are on the bleeding edge!)
== Artwork ==
In this secton, we cover Fedora Artwork Project.
=== Fedora Underground Pilot ===
JohnBaer announced that, after previously considering starting a page
similar to Google's start page but with the emphasis on Fedora, he now
has a pilot design. The page hosts quick links to many Fedora related
websites, a customized Google search and links to other sites he
considers useful for Fedora users.
He hopes to spread the word and track the number of hits up to the
release of Fedora 7 when he will review the situation and consider
developing it further.
=== Echo Icons ===
LuyaTshimbalanga has submitted some draft icons based on the keyboard
icon design discussed last week; these include a character map icon
and a keyboard-shortcuts icon. As well as these two keyboard
related icons she also submitted new drafts of the Add/Remove
== Security Week in Review ==
In this section, we highlight the security from the week in Fedora.
=== In This Week ===
Remarkably little happened this week in the security universe. I wonder if
this is the result of the fabled Microsoft Patch Tuesday, and researchers not
wanting to lose attention to the pending flood of stories about all the
windows patches. The general idea behind this is that rather than release
updates when they're ready, Microsoft will hold them until the second Tuesday
of every month. I'm honestly not sure how I feel about this, but in general
it doesn't work in the open source world. We generally have little control
over when many security updates are released. If an open source project wants
to release an update on a Sunday night, there is nothing stopping them from
doing that. This of course isn't ideal for most people, but it's one of the
many issues with the rather chaotic world of open source security updates.
=== Schneier on Security ===
This story from Bruce Schneier's blog made me immediately think of open
source: U.S. Government Contractor Injects Malicious Software into
Critical Military Computers .
This sort of thing probably happens more than anybody will ever admit, but
it's likely a lot harder to pull of when your development is conducted in an
open and transparent manner. It's also nearly impossible to prove in a closed
source system. Even if such a flaw is found in a closed source system, it
would not surprise me if many vendors would try to keep such information
hidden. It's certainly not in the best interest of a vendor to let news of a
back door go public.
On this note though, what do projects do to stay secure? Is there anything
preventing a disgruntled project member from causing harm (even if it is found
had a slightly similar experience with this some
time ago: Apache.Org
compromise report, May 30th, 2001 
They handled it about the best any project could.
=== FreeRADIUS ===
A memory leak flaw in FreeRADIUS was found. The flaw itself
isn't really noteworthy, but it does give me a good opportunity to note that
there is often a fine line separating old fashioned bugs and security flaws.
Many software applications contain memory leaks and it's usually not a big
deal. I don't suggest one should ignore a memory leak since it is a bug, but
not all memory leaks are security flaws either. However they are serious
problems with long running applications such as daemons. There are a number
of bugs that can be considered a security flaw given the right circumstances.
One of the jobs of the security team is to investigate these bugs and sort the
chaff from the wheat. Another favorite is a user assisted crash. If a remote
attacker can make something like FreeRADIUS crash, it's a security flaw. If a
remote attacker can make Firefox crash, we call it a "don't do that again"
=== Mark Cox ===
Mark Cox had a most interesting blog posting this week: Information
Sources. Most people don't really worry about where security flaws come
from, but it is most interesting when you're on of the lucky people who have
to try to make sense of all this madness. It's nice to know this since we
know that it's worth the effort to maintain a healthy relationship with
upstream projects and various researchers. It is a goal of the Red Hat
Security Response Team to work with anyone who approaches us with a flaw. The
goal is to keep the users as safe as possible, which can occasionally make our
lives a bit painful when dealing with difficult projects and researchers, but
no doubt it's well worth it.
== Security and Updates ==
In this section, we cover Security Advisories and Fedora Updates from
=== Security Advisories ===
* FEDORA-2007-422: [SECURITY] Fedora Core 5 Update:
* FEDORA-2007-423: [SECURITY] Fedora Core 6 Update:
* FEDORA-2007-424: [SECURITY] Fedora Core 5 Update:
* FEDORA-2007-425: [SECURITY] Fedora Core 6 Update:
* FEDORA-2007-426: [SECURITY] Fedora Core 6 Update:
* FEDORA-2007-427: [SECURITY] Fedora Core 5 Update:
* FEDORA-2007-433: [SECURITY] Fedora Core 5 Update:
* FEDORA-2007-432: [SECURITY] Fedora Core 6 Update:
=== Fedora Core 6 Updates ===
* FEDORA-2007-402: Fedora Core 6 Update:
* FEDORA-2007-418: Fedora Core 6 Update:
* FEDORA-2007-419: Fedora Core 6 Update:
* FEDORA-2007-420: Fedora Core 6 Update:
* FEDORA-2007-396: Fedora Core 6 Update:
* FEDORA-2007-340: Fedora Core 6 Update:
* FEDORA-2007-346: Fedora Core 6 Update:
* FEDORA-2007-429: Fedora Core 6 Update:
* FEDORA-2007-437: Fedora Core 6 Update:
* FEDORA-2007-431: Fedora Core 6 Update:
* FEDORA-2007-377: Fedora Core 6 Update:
* FEDORA-2007-439: Fedora Core 6 Update:
* FEDORA-2007-441: Fedora Core 6 Update:
=== Fedora Core 5 Updates ===
* FEDORA-2007-421: Fedora Core 5 Update:
== Events and Meetings ==
In this section, we cover event reports and meeting summaries from
=== FESCo Meeting Summary: 2007-04-05 ===
=== Packaging Committee Meeting 2007-04-10 ===
=== Ambassadors Meeting Minutes 2007-04-12 ===
== Feedback ==
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