Looking back at 2007
"Fedora will come into its own as a free, community-oriented
distribution" has, beyond any doubt, come true. The Fedora 7 release
brought community developers in from the margins, and Fedora 8
solidified the new process. The bulk of the packages in Fedora are now
maintained by community developers. Red Hat's controlling hand, while
still clearly present, is weaker than before. Fedora leader Max Spevack
has presided over a crucial transformation of this important project; he
will be moving on to other challenges early in 2008, but will be leaving
behind a distribution in far better shape than the one he inherited a
few years ago.
Distributions 2007 review
"Fedora: Fedora made great strides in becoming true community
distribution with the merger of Core and Extras. 2007 saw the release of
both Fedora 7 and Fedora 8, both excellent desktops/workstations. Max
Spevack led the project through the merger and announced his resignation
at the end of the year. This week's DistroWatch had the comment that
"despite all these positives, the distribution still fails to attract
first-time Linux users who sometimes complain about the lack of a
central configuration utility or the overly technical nature of the
operating system." This led to a discussion on the Fedora Marketing
list. There seems to be some agreement that Fedora does expect its users
to be somewhat clueful, and that's the way we like it. "
This one is primarily about the debate/flamewar between RMS and OpenBSD
developers but mentions the nature of Free software distributions too.
"Many of us will be using distributions like Fedora or Debian which are
strongly committed to the creation of free systems. The developers
behind these distributions have gone to considerable trouble to be sure
that everything which is part of their system is truly free software,
even when, as has happened at times, the result has been trouble for
users. These distributors have clearly advanced the cause of free
software greatly through their efforts over many years. One might well
wonder just why Mr. Stallman cannot bring himself to recommend the
result of this work.
"Today I discovered that Red Hat Linux has created a new social
networking site call Mugshot. This site is promoted as an “open source”
site. I checked the site FAQ to find out that all the software powering
Mugshot is, in fact, open source. And indeed it is. The developer site
for Mug Shot is right here. I have to say that I was hoping that the
very idea of an open source social site would reach beyond the software
being open source. I was thinking that maybe the development of the
features and interface might also go, somehow, the way of open source.
BUT - I am very pleased with what I have seen. This site, in my opinion,
goes well beyond that of Myspace and Facebook. "
As I will be unable to attend FUDcon this time around, I would like to
have a brief Store SIG meeting this Wednesday (1/9) at our normally
scheduled time, 18:00 UTC in #fedora-mktg. We will cover the open
action items listed on the SIG page:
We are still looking for a volunteer for a mock up of the
store.fedoraproject.org page. If you are interested, please stop by
the meeting or email the list and we can answer any questions you may
----- "Gerold Kassube" <gerold(a)lugd.org> wrote:
> Dear *,
> I created on XING (former openBC) a new "group" called "Fedora
> Ambassadors" in which I want to invite you all to join.
> At the moment this group is only "modereated" by myself, but if you
> willing also to do so, please let me know :-)
why don't we open a group also on Linkedin? There're a lot of "fedorans" in mugshot with a Linkedin account... and I think could be a good marketing opportunity to increase fedora visibility into social networks.
If you agree (or not disagree) with this idea, I can try to open a new group.
(I'm thinking about a script in order to automate mass-scale group subscription... ;-)
let me know.
"Monty says the Theora converter is "obsolete by 10 years," that he's
now writing a "real encoder" for Theora, and that it will "be another
couple of months until its mainline release." He also says a lot of the
problems with the original Theora code and encoder aren't because
they're buggy in the usual sense, but because the original codebase was
"written by people who were self-taught," and that their lack of
On the Windows and DirectShow front, Monty says Xiph lost one of its
most talented Windows coders -- he went to work for Microsoft -- and
that one of his dreams is to be able to hire volunteer Xiph coder
Timothy Terriberry to work on the project full-time. (Monty himself
works for Red Hat on free media software.)"
With the holidays over and the new year started I wanted to bring this
back up. For those not in the loop, I am referring to the Store SIG
. I know Max has been busy with FUDcon, so let's see what we can
get done on this. A lot of this we should be able to piece together
to the point of proposing a solution that we can run by Max and/or the
It looks like we have six open action items currently.
* "Create mockup/requirements page on the wiki that starts laying out
ideas for what a store.fedoraproject.org could look like."
I don't think we have a mockup page out there yet. From the IRC
meetings late last year I think we have a set of general requirements
(still open for discussion at this point), which are:
- A simple portal, we want to start simple with a page that helps get
people to the right place.
- The portal would include links off to a section for Fedora users who
just want to order a T-shirt, key ring, stickers, etc. This link will
most likely be to someone like Spreadshirt or REVELinux. There would
also be link(s) off to a main distributor page listing who can provide
Fedora Ambassadors with items in bulk. A distributor list has been
already been started .
- The main portal page should highlight products from the store site
we use for Fedora users
- In summary, Max's vision for the portal was: "And I envision
store.fp.o as being a fedora-branded page that kind of collects all
this stuff up and presents it nicely"
* "More in-depth chat with REVElinux as a potential distributor."
I am not aware of this chat having happened yet. Does anyone know any
different? Does anyone know what specifically we wanted to cover in
this chat and work out?
* "Publicize and populate the companies that Ambassadors have used to
mass-produce Fedora items."
- The initial page has been created and an email sent to the
Ambassadors list asking for further additions. I will send another
email out regarding this page so we can catch people back from the
holidays now. The page is here:
* "Log in to http://fedora-fr.spreadshirt.net/ and see how it operates."
I have looked around the site. If we can get a few others to do so
and provide feedback that would be good.
* "Make a list, based on geography, of potential online distributors."
The current list is here:
Hearing additional feedback on the places listed would be helpful.
* "Add to the list of proposed items."
We have quite the list going here:
And this brings us to where we left off before the holidays. From
where I type I see the following as the things we need to work on in
order to continue forward.
- We need a mockup of the portal page. Some basic requirements of the
page are listed in this email. We have two names associated with the
task now, one of which is Max who I am sure is swamped. My mockup
skills are near non-existent, but I can work on getting the general
requirements up on the Wiki for reference. If anyone wants to jump in
and help with a basic mockup, that would be much appreciated.
- We need to determine which online vendor to set our store front up
with. From our last chats I think the main front runners were
Spreadshirt and REVELinux depending on the results of that
conversation with them. This is still open for discussion, so please
voice your input.
Once those two items are figured out we should be well on our way to
having a store portal page to help Fedora users and Fedora Ambassadors
have a one-stop spot for getting Fedora merchandise.
This is a pretty good news and a solid improvement over OpenJDK.
"The IcedTea project added a PowerPC Java port (both 32 and 64 bit) of
OpenJDK. IcedTea 1.5 now also tracks the mercurial repo, provides better
GNU/Linux integration by using standard system libraries (libpng,
libjpeg, zlib, giflib) and can be bootstrapped with the free
gcj/ecj/classpath toolchain. OpenJDK just accepted a new porters group
and Gary Benson wrote a guide to porting IcedTea that might be the start
of a lot of other Java ports."
"Many Linux users don't seem to realize just how much Red Hat
contributes back to the Linux community. They are major software
developers on a number of projects not the least of which is the Linux
kernel. The Fedora Project site has a page entitled Red Hat
contributions to Free and Open Source software which lists most of Red