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Further Hackweek IV Impressions

July 23rd, 2009 by

I spend quite some time today going through the offices in Novell’s Nürnberg office and talked with engineers what they are doing for hackweek.  There were a lot of interesting projects and ideas and I decided to write about some of them. I look forward to see many of the changes in openSUSE 11.2.  Some people have entered their Hackweek projects in openFATE and we have created an openFATE  start page for Hackweek.

Community Infrastructure

Thomas Schmidt is working on feature 306615 My openSUSE – Community Infrastructure for openSUSE. I call it a dashboard for openSUSE that allows with a plugin architecture to see what’s going on at openSUSE.  So, you can subscribe now to Bugzilla Queries and  RSS feeds.

Screenshot of development version

Screenshot of development version

My idea would be to extend this to a full dashboard where openSUSE contributors could see directly what’s going on – look at (their) features, bugs, packages, projects and news. This is a first version that looks really promising – and I’m sure further contribution is welcome, please contact him on how you can get involved. I expect Thomas to blog in more detail about the state of his hackweek project later.

Package Building

Richard has continued his work on smaller downloads and reached his second milestone: rpm now generates debuginfo sub-packages for each sub-package that has debuginformation.  This makes it easier to install debug packages since you can now simply run “rpm -qf /path/to/file” and install the relevant debuginfo rpm – and additionally have a smaller download.

YaST and Zypp

Arvin has implemented a number of “smaller” features for the YaST partitioner and libstorage: For example he implemented  feature 305150 “Indicate automounted filesystems in YaST partitioner” – the partitioner indicates now if  filesystems, e.g. NFS,  are not already in fstab, e.g. handled by an automounter and should therefore not be modified by YaST.  He also taught the partioner how to create the btrfs filesystem (feature 306587).

Michael Andres finished work on libzypp to download all packages before installing (feature #305624).  Now it’s possible to download only packages – but not to install -, to download everything and then install, to download/install in chunks, e.g. download all packages for a patch and install those, and the current way of downloading one by one.  Now zypper needs support for this feature of libzypp so that users can use it.


Takashi Iwai backported the SoundBlaster X-Fi support to our openSUSE 11.2 kernel (FATE#306935).

Cpufrequency scaling is the topic of Thomas Renninger’s project.  The interfaces are for each cpu so that normally scripts would set each value for each cpu (or core), even if this was a global change.  Now you just have one value for the whole system – and can only use one governor for the whole system.  The per-cpu settings – and the possibility to use several governors – introduced quite some locking problems and made the code more complex than needed.  Testing his code he also found two bugs in the current mainline code and fixed those as well.

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