[Fedora-music-list] Call to arms - Fedora Audio Spin

Brendan Jones brendan.jones.it at gmail.com
Sun Feb 19 15:24:59 UTC 2012

Hi all,

Traditionally Fedora has been known to walk the bleeding edge in free 
and open source software development but for some reason this has never 
been realised in the realms of pro-audio/music creation.

Fedora has never really attracted the support of the audio development 
community, and as a direct result has only flagging support from audio 
users, enthusiasts and professionals alike.

I think there are a number of reasons for this:
   1) Strict packaging and licensing guidelines,
   2) relatively short release support cycles
   3) the absence of an stock RT kernel
   4) the effort required to tailor an installation for audio use

Distributions like Debian/Ubuntu/Arch (and others like AVLinux) have 
garnered strong support because they in some way address all of these 
issues. Fedora however...

1) and 2) we can't change. In fact at the end of the day these 
strengthen the distribution by making the packages we ship more robust 
and closer to upstream. It also demands a certain amount of love to 
ensure that updates/ABI bumps/breakages are dealt with decisively and 
swiftly. It also means that audio developers are more unlikely to 
maintain their own packages in Fedora (we need more maintainers)

3) I can't see happening any time soon. The kernel team maintain so many 
out of tree patches already that I don't think they really have the time 
nor desire to maintain the realtime kernel as well. I don't see this as 
a problem - recent kernels have incorporated much of the the rt kernel 
patches of old and should satisfy most users. For those with more 
stringent requirements can rely on the CCRMA patched kernels

4) is where I think an audio spin comes into play. If we can 
collate/automate all of the steps involved in setting up Fedora for 
audio production we will attract both users and maintainers alike 
alleviating the problems caused by 1 and 2.

I'm proposing to formally revive the past Fedora Audio Spin / Music 
Creation efforts of a couple of years ago in time for an F18 Audio spin 
release. This means we have one whole release cycle to get all of the 
packages we require into stable so they can be available for Live 
composes for the F18 release cycle.

Apart from packaging efforts, the last few weeks for me has been an 
information gathering exercise. More on this soon, but briefly, the 
current to do list is:
  - pulling in all of the must have packages from CCRMA
  - determining the package list
  - packaging the Fedora Musician's guide
  - repackaging/patching rpmfusion packages for Fedora (qtractor and
    others if required)
  - developing sane RT priorities for the stock kernels (threadirqs)
  - consensus on distribution media, default desktop/supported desktops
  - default systemd enabled services
  - themes and artwork
  - resubmit the Spin proposal for F18

If you want to contribute, here's how:
  - become a contributor/get a FAS account [1] and join the
    music-creation group
  - help maintain the audio creation wiki's  (formalize the to do
    list)[2][3] - this is really out of date. Many packages have been
    orphaned or are already in Fedora. Needs to be brought in line
    with the package database [5]. I'm not convinced that this page
    really needs to be so detailed. Wish lsit is probably the most
  - register your interest in the contributor section of the audio
    spin wiki [3]
  - help test new packages - I will be listing all upcoming changes on
    this list and I encourage other package maintainers to do the same
  - become a tester or packager of audio packages [4][5]
  - help test the new spins as we make them available.
  - join Chris in his documentation efforts [7]
  - volunteer desktop artwork
  - and most importantly, voice your opinion on how this project
    should be realized! Choice of media/desktop/applications
    /configuration etc. More proposals on this coming soon.

Packaging the software and building the media constitutes less than a 
quarter of the effort required here. What we need most is strong 
community support so please respond to this email if you are interested!

Lets do it


[1] https://admin.fedoraproject.org/accounts/
[2] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Audio_Creation
[3] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/AudioCreationSpinDevelopment
[4] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/QA
[5] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Join_the_package_collection_maintainers
[6] https://admin.fedoraproject.org/pkgdb/

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