Saturday, October 6, 2007

Master Kids?

My girlfriend has just gotten her master title in Science, "cum laude" -for exceptional achievement meaning she has 8.0 average on a 1 to 10 scale. Awesome!

I wonder whether any of our future kids -should we get any- turn out to be that smart and intelligent and how many of them are going to contribute to Fedora. At what age should I start pushing them? Any recommendations? ;-)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Fedora Unity Re-Spins

While we (Fedora Unity) have barely released the 20070912 Re-Spin, containing all Fedora 7 updates released as of September 12th, we have decided to do another Re-Spin release with all updates released up until right now (October 3rd).

One of the major reasons is the new kernel (while the -76 had some libata and vulnerabilities), and because... well... we can.

We can, because creating the Re-Spin is just dead simple -although having any confidence in the Revisor programmer's skills seems to be difficult even when you haven't yet read a single line of code.

At zero hours, I ran:

i386-machine$ sudo revisor --cli --yes --config /etc/revisor/revisor-unity.conf --model f7-i386

and on another,

x86_64-machine$ sudo revisor --cli --yes --config /etc/revisor/revisor-unity.conf --model f7-x86_64

10 hours later, scp'ing bits from one box to another, I have 4 torrent seeds and a jigdo mirror.

We can, although it's just a handful of very dedicated volunteers do the testing. We have a Q&A test matrix containing all installation tests (NFS, HTTP/FTP, Hard Disk and CDROM -times two architectures, times two sets of media). You can only imagine the amount of work involved. Therefore, I'd like to thank those that test our Re-Spins before we release them to the general public. Awesome work!

We can also release CD sets of these Re-Spins, something apparently the Fedora Project hasn't been able to with Fedora 7 or 8 nor will it "bless" the community effort to create and distribute those (x86, x86_64) given that "blessed custom spins" will still need the approval of Red Hat's Release Engineering team, which just so happened to decide to only use their own tools.

We can, although GPL requires us to also distribute the sources of whatever binary we ship. This creates enormous overhead for any small project, or any project with limited resources. Because the Fedora Project distributes under GPL's section 3a [1], while, from a Re-Spin, Re-Mix or Rebrand perspective, it would be much easier for anyone if the Fedora Project distributed under GPL section 3b [2], so that others can use 3c [3]. However, some people try to prevent that from happening because of administrative overhead, disk space (cost) and other nonsense. If you can't store the source packages for a release including it's updates 4 years and one month [4] then ... what? Should the community (read: /me) do this just to show that if I can do it, the leading open source conglomerate should most definitely be able to?

Based on the number of downloads, the positive responses and number of times people come in #fedora-unity or walk up to us at an event, and ask when will we do another Re-Spin should not be underestimated, the community members that download and use our Re-Spins sure are satisfied. That should give anyone on some RH pedestal enough confidence start up a dialog instead of deciding on their own what tools can or cannot be used to create custom spins blessed by the Fedora Project.

[1] GPL Section 3a means offering the binary implies you offer the sources but as soon as you pull the binary offline you can also pull the source offline

[2] GPL Section 3b means you include a written offer with instructions to obtain the sources, valid for three years after releasing the binaries

[3] GPL Section 3c means (for non-commercial distribution) you have received the binaries with a written offer (3b), and you can re-issue that offer to anyone downloading your binaries.

[4] 4 years and one month is: from the moment of release N to the moment three years after the last update will be released for release N (based on a 13 month support frame).