An American in Paris

Next week, Max Spevack is going to Paris to meet with the members of Fedora FR, who have been doing an excellent job marketing Fedora in the French speaking parts of the world. I've been asked to post a copy of the following translated 'press release'. The original was put on the French oriented planet. So without further ado:

An american in Paris

As is our wont, Fedora | Paris ought to organise an exceptional meeting upon welcoming a distinguished member of the community in the City of Light.

This time, it is no less an international superstar, since Max Spevack will join us on August the 2nd.

Of course, scandalmongers will say that he is coming to see the Fedora-fr society first and foremost, that he is coming to discuss with the French community about its future direction, about the events it organises etc.


If the ex-Fedora Project Leader, today in charge of the EMEA community for RedHat, turns into a Parisian for a week-end, it's simply because he has heard about our little "jamborees" and wishes to verify the legend according to which Fedora | Paris is unflinchingly The place to be.

On this occasion, and in order to digest the never-ending official meetings which will be held during the day, we will gather in front of Le vin qui danse at 7 PM, so that we introduce to our guest a very different gastronomy than the one he may know in his own country.

On this occasion, and in order to divert the original purpose of his visit, the French-speaking ambassadors MrTom, llaumgui, pingou, TiTaX and armelk
will join us and will try to distract the attention of this great man from partying and discuss such fiddling subjects such as the society's budget or the events to come...

If, like us, you want to fight against these party poopers, please report in the comments on our blog, or come bring us your support on the IRC channel: #fedora-paris on Freenode. We are counting on you.

~ Pikachu_2014 and bochecha (thanks to milady for the translation)

Fedora at the Central Pennsylvania Open Source Conference

I've been asked to take the lead on organizing the Fedora presence at the CPOSC or the Central Pennsylvania Open Source Conference, to which I said to myself, how hard can it be? I'll probably be eating my words by the end of the day. I've put together a wiki page to coordinate all the planning, which can be found here:

Fedora at CPOSC 2008

So if you're interested in tracking what we're doing, this would be the place to check.

I'll be posting more information to my blog too once I find out more details about the event. If you want to know more about CPOSC, visit here

Random Speculation

There is alot of talk about why Intel is switching from Ubuntu to Fedora. There was a 'reason' given, which seems to raise alot of question. That reason given is RPM vs DEB. If you ask me, this doesn't sound like a legitimate reason at all. The only conclusion I can even begin to draw is that suddenly the Fedora Packaging Guidelines are better in quality and in practice than what ever scheme Ubuntu uses. While this is probably true, I don't think that Intel meant something so technical in a general press release.

I have a funny suspicion, but I must warn you, this is just a suspicion and has no bearing on reality. While it seems there is alot of goodwill and love surrounding the Ubuntu community, for their ability to make a Linux based Desktop OS that is supposedly easy to use, there have been a number of random issues in the developer community that have cause numerous controversies. Ubuntu even opened up shop with a controversy over the idea of stealing away good talent from the Debian developer community. I have the sneaky suspicion that there's alot more to this story than just some fight with developers over packaging formats. It really seems too trivial for a large company like Intel to do such a thing. Rather, in the negotiation process with Ubuntu, something else went horribly wrong. Who knows what it was.

Personally, I'm really looking forward to the next press release. It should be really interesting.

You Must Be a Monkey

Lately, we've been throwing around the idea in the Fedora Infrastructure on how to develop database applications that are being deployed live, but to develop changes on them, and have an upgrade path from point A to point B. One tool that has stood out in the Python world is SQLAlchemy-Migrate. Toshio recommended it, and today, I converted FAS2 to use it.

FAS2 has really been our good showcase of "How to do TurboGears Right". The team of people who have put it together have really done an excellent job, and hacking on it is a real joy. The deployment and documentation I've set up should provide a good reference on how to turn an already deployed project into something Migrateable.

The biggest drive for doing it today was that we had a number of tickets open against FAS2, which require numerous small changes to the DB. One change that seemed simple enough to develop is the ability for a group administrator to specify the rules for joining the group in a text field. This was requested by the Art team.

So, in the vein of a million monkeys on a million typewriters, hopefully a good triaging solution will come forth (and it has :) )

Eth 0: Photos and Final Report

It occurred to me that I haven't fully reported what happened since the first day at Eth 0. Overall though, I have to say the event was a complete free for all, and it was amazing. It was probably the most anti FudCon-ish event I've ever been to. If FudCon is a bunch of people getting together and discussing the next version of a product in a calm rational way, this is a bunch of people taking random products, smashing them together in the worst/best way possible, and just going nuts with it.

In the main tent, there were many people coming by to give presentations. Unfortunately most of them were in Dutch, and I had a bit of difficulty following along. Even so, I got to learn about a wide variety of topics including a lecture about FreeJ - Open Source VJ and Video arts processing software, Open.Amsterdam - Open Standards and Open Source activist organization for Noord Holland,

I spent most of my time in the Media Village otherwise knows an HomeFree. I have to give the Media guys credit for coming up with the most interesting tent. Most of the tents were large military field tents, generally this green brown colour. Off to one side is HomeFree, this brightly-lit flimsy affair that somehow held up. Every night there was practically a techno party as everyone spent most of the time showing off what they could do with Open Source software and tools.

One of the goals we had in the Media Village was to take a spare P4 box someone had and turn it into the best Input Output box we could make. A couple of guys brought Wii controllers, cameras, midi devices, and we spent most of the time trying to get it all integrated into FreeJ. Fedora was definitely the first choice of OS, but we had some compiling issues with FreeJ, which I spent some time working on, so we had to switch to Debian, after trying Dynebolic.

Just to show you how well Fedora and Red Hat was received, let me show you a few pictures.

Hmm... Suddenly everything in my Third Eye has become clear. I can see the Truth!

One successful Fedora installation.

A Fedora developer in his natural habitat - the middle of nowhere.

More photos can be found here

If you live in the Netherlands or Germany, we're doing a mini Eth0 after party in Wageningen next week, from Thursday to Saturday. Come one, come all, bring a tent and sleeping bag.

Eth-0 and hacking out in the woods.

Perhaps I should have marketed this a bit better, but now I am at the Eth-0 lanparty in the Wieringermeer in North Holland. Eth-0 really focuses on being a small close-knit gathering of some of the most random and eclectic tech oriented people in Holland. So far the biggest showing I've seen is from the Media crowd and the Sysadmin crowd. Even so, the Media tent is by far the coolest, and not just because we have a Wii.

To get here, I took the most Dutch route possible: by bike. Honestly, how often do you get the chance to go for a random bike ride in the middle of nowhere, where you're 10 feet under sea level? All I can say is the extra costs of taking a bike on the train were well worth the price. Even if I did get lost twice and go 5km out of the way. (Getting directions is easier here than in Gelderland, their Dutch is easier to understand for some reason.)

I think it's really important for people to understand a little bit about how open source in Europe works compared to the US. For many people here it isn't just a development model or a way of guaranteeing some level of code security, but just a matter of life and reality. Many people here, at this event, are pretty involved not only in messing around with fun electronic toys, but also administrating some very complex networks and systems deployments. Being able to apply a certain level of code freedom to playing with complex servers scales equally as well to being able to create new tools for Audio and Video production. In other words, all the cool parties use open source here.

When working with Free Media geeks, having libraries of open media for use in productions is equally as important. It's very common to want to use movies out of pop culture or out of alternative culture (cue obvious cut to a scene from Yellow Submarine for 750 milliseconds.) The sooner most common media, even off-Hollywood films are under licenses like the Creative Commons, the closer artists are able to legally and freely use this media for their performances as well. Open Source and Open Media aren't just philosophical discussions but really affect the things that people her do.

If you want to see pictures, you can check out mine on Facebook here:

Or on Flickr:

The First Draft of the Haskell Guidelines are Ready for Review

I've finally gotten the Guidelines to a point where I am more or less satisfied by them. I know there are still plenty of gotchas, and alot more work to do, but they are now ready for official review. I've submitted them today to the Packaging Committee for review, so hopefully we'll see how they come out.

If you're looking to comment, you can find them here:

Remember, this is MediaWiki, so there is a Talk page.

I've also added xmobar to the fray of packages I've put up in my previous blog post.

New Xmonad Packages

I've finally gotten my act together and put together some xmonad builds for Fedora. Not included are xmonad and dzen2. I'll have a look at doing those later. What took so long was the desire to test them out in mock, so that I can guarantee that they will rebuild on someone else's system. So without further ado, aside from the following colon of course, you can find the packages at:

Test them out!