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Handling of Features in openFATE

November 12th, 2010 by

The boosters have been working on enhancing feature handling in openFATE so that features can be evaluated and implemented by everybody. The current state of the development is visible in the openFATE preview. Now we can start evaluating features so that they get implemented.

openFATE Preview

The openFATE screening team needs further members, if you’re interested, please add yourself to the list and start getting familiar with openFATE. To get familiar with it, it’s best starting with openSUSE 11.3 clean up.

We had a first meeting about openFATE on IRC yesterday and will have another one in two weeks time.

Right now the major tasks for the screening team are:

  • Evaluate features for openSUSE 11.4
  • Push features forward
  • Define a proper process on how to evaluate features
  • Cleanup features from openSUSE 11.3

I have written a proposal for the feature process and would like feedback on that one on the opensuse-project mailing list.

openFATE Screening Meeting

November 8th, 2010 by

With the progress the boosters made on the openFATE preview instance, we can now edit features and handle them. A screening team has been formed some time ago and now it’s possible to really start working on features.

I’d like to invite everybody that’s interested to join the openFATE team and discuss how to handle features on Thursday, 11th of November, 16:00 UTC on IRC freenode, channel #openSUSE-project.

systemd – and #osc10

October 8th, 2010 by

Systemd is a replacement for SystemV init and in heavy development since the first announcement on April 30th by Lennart Poettering. Thanks to Kay Sievers’ work, we have packages for openSUSE curent Factory stream as well. I gave them a try a couple of weeks ago but somehow did not succeed with getting a working system. At LinuxKongress I met Lennart and decided to give systemd another try. I still could not log into the system due to it using NIS and automount for NFS home directories and started debugging this together with Kay over IRC in a virtual machine first. Once we had a workaround for me, I used systemd on my workstation and Kay and Lennart fixed the problem in systemd properly. I run into a couple of more problems and thus were fixed quickly so that the last release – systemd 11 – works fine on my workstation running openSUSE Factory (Factory is the development version for the next openSUSE release, in this case for 11.4).

The role of init, whether it’s SysV init, upstart or systemd, is to initialize the system (it’s the first process that gets started by the kernel) so that users can login, starts all the essential services, e.g. the cups daemon for printing, and handles session management. So, it’s a system and session manager.

So, what’s so cool about systemd? (more…)

Revising the Board Election Rules, 3rd iteration

October 8th, 2010 by

After the second iteration on the rules, a number of clarifications have been made and also the complete rule set got reordered and edited.

I’d like to thank David that did the major editing on this one.
What do you think? Are we good now to run the next elections with these rules?


New design of lizards and avatars

October 1st, 2010 by

The new design of lizards.opensuse.org and news.opensuse.org is up and I’d like to thank especially Henne and Robert for the fresh look!

I noticed one thing: Some users have besides their names a nice picture, the so-called avatar. The avatar is not only show here but also on other sides like build.opensuse.org.  To show your avatar, go to the global avator side, register, upload a small picture and associate it with the email address you have given when registering for using the openSUSE infrastructure. Next time you visit, your avator should be shown besides your name.

Revising the Board Election Rules, 2nd iteration

September 29th, 2010 by

A month ago I presented my first draft for the new openSUSE board election rules and received some good feedback, especially on the opensuse-project mailing list. Since the last version presented on the mailing list I reworked the draft some more taking into account the proposal by Henne to remove the split of the elected seats into Novell and non-Novell employees.

So, now the goal of the changes for these rules are:

  • Fill the holes that exist in the existing rules
  • Clarify the existing rules
  • Open up the project even more with removing the restriction on two members beeing Novell employees.  To help ensure that the board will always represent a wide part of the community, I’ve followed the example of the GNOME foundation to have a rule that only 40 % of the elected board members can work at the same company.
    Note that 40 % of 5 elected seats means 2 seats.

I’d like to thank Vincent Untz and Alan Clark who helped me with this revision step.

Below is the new draft, for reference I gave each rule a name.

I’d like to hear now whether those complete rules are fine or where they need further revision and I’d also like to see wordsmithing to clarify and improve the rules.


From Source Code to Packages for Various Distributions

September 24th, 2010 by

I presented on Thursday at LinuxKongress 2010 on “From Source Code to Packages for Various Distributions”.

When I arrived in the morning for Jon Corbet’s excellent keynote, a quick check showed that the openSUSE Build Service (OBS) which I wanted to demo as part of my presentation was down. I was glad about the advise of my colleague Michael Löffler that told me to have some backup in case I won’t have internet in the room.  So, I had prepared a screencast (video) and soon I was calm and could concentrate on Jon instead of worrying about OBS.

My talk to a small audience (Linux Kongress is small but high profile event) of around 15 people went well. I started with explaining that a developer writes code but users run binaries, so the question is how to get a binary to the user – especially if you want to support multiple distributions, versions of distributions and cpu architectures. OBS is the rescue. After a live demo (yeah, OBS was working again in time!) with some good questions, I gave some more background about OBS and how it helps upstream developers.

The only question where I struggled with was whether it is possible to checkout the complete package from e.g. Fedora’s package repository (so patches, sources and spec file) and build thus automatically an rpm using OBS. With the new source services for OBS 2.1 this should be possible and I need to ask Adrian what exactly needs to be done for this.

I’ll uploaded my screencast later to YouTube and also uploaded my slides (now with the openSUSE theming) for sharing to the wiki, – and referenced everything from the presentations page.

During my demo I explained briefly how a package can be build as deb or rpm (I used the package “osc” from the project “openSUSE:Tools”), how to handle different package names, projects and packages, submit requests, how multiple users can work on a package and how to give users access, that building happens in the background driven by a scheduler etc.

Build Service Cheat Sheet

September 13th, 2010 by

Last week I had some discussions with colleagues about the build service and Berthold and Darix suggested to create some kind of reference card for the build service.

So, I’ve sat down, learned how others do sheat cheets, e.g. via XML or in OpenOffice.org and then decided to go the easy route with columns using an OpenOffice.org text document.

The first version is now available for download.  It describes building packages for Factory, reviewing of package submissions, maintenance, package editing, miscellaneous commands and osc installation. The file is supposed to be printed on two sides of a paper – and then cut the paper to A5.

Please send me corrections, the odt is available as well from me (will upload it later to the wiki).

You can get the current version here.

Thanks to reviews and suggestions by Adrian, Berthold, Darix, Jan and Thorsten.

Revising the Board Election Rules

August 25th, 2010 by

Last years election of seats for the openSUSE board showed that our election rules are not complete.  So, before the elections this year start, I propose that we refine the rules and like to start with this post a discussion on how to change them.

I see the following situations not handled:

  • Less candidates than seats for a category (Novell/non-Novell)
  • Equal number of candidates and open seats for a category (Novell/non-Novell)
  • a board member resigning
  • a board member disappearing and not engaging in the board
  • a board member getting hired by Novell or leaves Novell

We also need to clarify when the new board constitutes.

We should have a light weight process that is not overly complex and results in endless votes. We vote for people that volunteer their time for the openSUSE project and don’t get any material benefits for it. So, let’s keep that in mind when discussing alternatives.


Bugs will not get fixed by themselves

August 5th, 2010 by

I received an email from a user who switched from openSUSE to Ubuntu since his Wireless netcard did not work. It worked with openSUSE 11.2 initially but after an online update it failed.  He hoped that openSUSE 11.3 worked, tested it, it failed – and he gave up and wrote a frustrated email.

I was frustrated reading this since we should have been able to help this user if he contacted us in time.

Such a regression is bad but if nobody reports the regression, then it will not get fixed at all. The openSUSE project takes fixes from the upstream projects and also adds fixes ourselves and sends them upstream. Those fixes work on the system of the developer – or the systems of the upstream developers – but nobody has access to every single hardware that a chip supports, so regressions might happen. In the past I’ve seen that such regressions that are reported with a pointer to the exact version that failed, are often fixed quite fast.