Thursday's Status

* The 3d printer is no longer printing properly. I thought it might be an incorrect Z-stop height setting, but if so, I can't seem to get it right. Also, the filament keeps getting jammed and the gears just chew it up and it stops printing. :/ Spent an hour or two trying to get it working again, then gave up.
* Fixed bamf in Fedora 19/rawhide
* Fixed gnomint in Fedora 19/rawhide
* Fixed mygui in Fedora 19/rawhide. Remembered why I dislike CMake.
* Fixed skyviewer in Fedora 19/rawhide
* Fixed most of the issues in nightview, ran into some sort of ghostscript bug (already filed: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=921706)
* Fixed tex-musixtex in Fedora 19/rawhide
* Tried to fix matreshka, got it to build cleanly, but it fails %check... :/ Committed my changes to rawhide, hopefully it will inspire someone else to finish.

Wednesday In Notes

* Got the 3d printer working again! Hooray! It is so touchy.
* Built julius packages for f17-f20. That was only outstanding since October 2012. Whoops.
* libdxfrw reviewd and packaged in Fedora (f17-f20)
* Brainstorming on the future of software that isn't in RPM format
* Looked at fixing dragonegg, looks like it needs http://gcc.gnu.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=56754
* Looked at LLVM when fixing dragonegg, my eyes hurt now.
* Fedora Packaging Committee Meeting
* More Flock thinking (still waiting on those final dates!)

What I did with my Tuesday

* Last night, I went over to visit Ray Strode (and Mo Duffy) with my Lulzbot AO-101 3D printer. I'd managed to break one of the wires on it, and Ray helped me fix it. It still isn't printing properly, but it's not broken as far as we can tell. It isn't extruding plastic reliably, and I strongly suspect the replacement part that we had to install (that part holds the plastic filament against a gear, and the gear turns to "extrude" the plastic filament into the hot end. Going to try a few more things, but then I'm going to reach out to the manufacturer again. This is my first 3d printer, and while it is very cool, it sure is finicky.

* Asked Kevin Fenzi to create "flockpress@" and "flockinfo@" email aliases.
* Observed (and talked a little) during the Fedora Badges IRC discussion
* Sent more emails to possible Flock sponsors
* Fixed clementine in f19/rawhide - https://admin.fedoraproject.org/updates/clementine-1.1.1-3.fc19
* Claimed ownership of volpack, revived in f19/rawhide
* Updated amide to 1.0.4 in f19/rawhide - https://admin.fedoraproject.org/updates/volpack-1.0c7-8.fc19,amide-1.0.4-1.fc19
* Update connman to 1.13 in f19/rawhide - https://admin.fedoraproject.org/updates/connman-1.13-1.fc19
* Fixed a bug in graphviz (f19/rawhide) where the libgvc.pc file was pointing to a non-existant libgraph
* Fixed flowcanvas (f19/rawhide) so that it builds against graphviz 2.3 (thanks FreeBSD!) - https://admin.fedoraproject.org/updates/graphviz-2.30.1-6.fc19,flowcanvas-0.7.1-10.fc19

Spot's Irregular Status Report

Lately, I've felt a lot of frustration and unhappiness, and that has affected me in a lot of different ways. I'm trying to take steps to turn that around, and one of them is to try to write more about what I'm working on or thinking about.

== Fedora 19 ==
Now that the Alpha is done, I'm in the process of updating my laptop to Fedora 19. Wish me luck!

== Flock ==
I've been working closely with Ruth and Robyn to try to put together a new conference for Fedora Contributors, called Flock. We were waiting on the Red Hat budget to finalize before we started, then when that happened, we found out that there was a good chance that we'd have a very nice conference venue donated to us, so we started doing some very initial planning around that. Unfortunately, that venue wasn't applicable over a weekend, so we couldn't use it. We evaluated several sites as possibilities, one of which was Charleston, SC, which was especially compelling because they were also willing to let us use them as a venue space at no cost.

I spent a lot of time looking at how other Linux distributions run their events (Debian, OpenSUSE, Ubuntu), and trying to base Flock in that model.

One of the main goals of Flock is to bring together as many of our contributors as we can to learn, hack, and improve Fedora. As part of this goal, we want to use as much of the budget as we can to cover travel costs for contributors. We're going to need sponsors to help us do this (Red Hat gave us a generous budget allocation, but it will only go so far). I've been working with Ryan Lerch to make a prospectus PDF, and he finished it up last night. We might still tweak it a bit, but the meat should be fine. Here is a link to it: http://spot.fedorapeople.org/flock/flock-2013-sponsor-prospectus.pdf

We had a pretty productive IRC meeting yesterday to discuss Flock, and we setup two mailing lists (flockinfo, for low-traffic announcements about flock, and flock-planning, a high-traffic mailing list for planning the event).

I talked a bit about the format of the conference, where things are mostly scheduled in advance. Luke Macken has been making an improved registration app that can also handle submissions for talks (or other scheduled things like sprints), based on the work that Ian Weller did for FUDCon Lawrence. I also talked about how we wanted all the talks to be live-streamed, with volunteers coordinating questions from IRC and running a clock.

I also brought up the idea of having a "Social Outing" day at Day 3 (the middle of the schedule driven conference), where the Flock attendees could go do something fun together and build new friendships. People really seemed to like that idea a lot. I can't take credit for it, I stole it from DebConf. :)

Several suggestions came out of that IRC meeting that were very useful (and that I like a lot):

* tatica suggested that we have a scheduled split between talks (45min-1hr) and workshops/sprints/mini-hackfests (2 hrs).
I liked that idea, and proposed that we use the morning for talks, then lunch, then after lunch, scheduled workshops/sprints/mini-hackfests. We already wanted to block off two days at the end for unscheduled hacking, this is in addition to that.
* j_dulaney pointed out that we need good quality audio for streaming talks, something that didn't happen very often in Lawrence.
* inode0 suggested that it would be better if the scheduled part of Flock ended on the weekend, so we are strongly considering
August 7 - 13, 2013 for the dates (August 12 and 13 would be optional "hackfest days" with no assigned schedule in advance).

Because we wanted to get something moving on Flock quickly, I wasn't as open or transparent as I could (and should) have been on what was going on. I'll definitely try to do better on that going forward. From here on out, everything is happening on the mailing lists and IRC meetings. :)

== LibreCAD ==
I packaged up LibreCAD and libdxfrw (dependency) for review in Fedora. libdxfrw got reviewed this morning, and it has some items I need to fix up.

== R ==
Over the last several days, I've been working on updating R to 3.0.0 in Fedora. Normally, my position on updating R is that I push updates for new stable releases to all stable branches of Fedora (and EPEL 5 & 6), but with 3.0.0, because of core changes, it requires that all R modules be rebuilt against R 3.0.0. Initially I was going to just do this for rawhide, but then I thought it might be good to do it for Fedora 19 before it releases. I did EL6 too (there are not very many R modules packaged for EPEL, so it wasn't too hard).

In parallel, there is also a bug in the "kmeans" function in R that wasn't fixed until 3.0.0.
https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=948083

As a result, I'm going to push R 3.0.0 to Fedora 18 too, which will also require all R modules in Fedora to be rebuilt. This is trickier than it sounds, since most of these modules are dependent upon each other. In doing the initial round of rebuilds, Pierre and I only found one dependency loop (R-GenomicRanges and R-IRanges), which I fixed with a conditional bootstrapping. R is very good about not having these sorts of circular build dependencies, but when you run the R check routines, they often check for things that are not otherwise dependent for the R module to build. This just means we need to conditionalize some BuildRequires as being only needed for the %check section.

Also, since we cannot chain-build (automatically tag builds into the buildroot, then kickoff dependent builds) in any branch except Rawhide, I have to manually kick off a build, then tag it, and then kick off another build. Takes a while. :)

I also want to rebuild things for EL5, but I can't get R to build in the EPEL-5 buildroot, seems like something might be broken with the EL-5 builders, I need to check into that.

== Enlightenment ==
I'm helping Rahul update some of the core E components to their current releases in Fedora 19 and Rawhide.

== Sponsorship ==
I sponsored a new packager into Fedora this week, Lokesh Mandevar. He packaged up spectrwm for Fedora.

== OpenCASCADE ==
I reached out to the OpenCASCADE upstream and asked them to consider:
* Dropping the wording in their existing license which makes it non-free
* Relicensing to a standard license to make OpenCASCADE GPL-compatible (LGPL is the obvious one, but there are plenty of others).

I got a good response from them, they're going to look into it. I hope this results in a positive outcome, because that codebase is pretty interesting and useful for CAD and 3d printing tools.

== Alien Arena ==
I contacted the Alien Arena upstream and asked them if they would be willing to drop the commercial distribution restriction on their content, and they were willing. They couldn't drop the requirement that the alienarena content not be distributed independently, but it isn't separated in Fedora, and that requirement shouldn't be a problem for us. (The reason they can't drop that requirement is because they purchased licenses for some of their content.) It hasn't happened yet, as far as I can see, but it is a good sign of intent.

Fedora Summer of Open Hardware and Fun!

Today (at 12:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time), we're launching a sweepstakes for our Fedora Contributors called the Fedora Summer of Open Hardware and Fun! We wanted to do something nice to thank our Fedora community for all that they do for Free Software and Content, and we thought that giving away a lot of Open Hardware would be a great way to do that.

We're giving away 220 total hardware units, including:
* [50] OLPC XO 1.75 units
* [150] Raspberry Pi (B) units
* [20] Arduino Uno R3 (assembled) units + choice of shield (8 different shields to choose from)

Unfortunately, we don't have enough hardware to give something to every Fedora Contributor, so this is a sweepstakes, and sweepstakes come with all sorts of rules and restrictions.

This sweepstakes is for Fedora Contributors (defined as users in the Fedora Account System who have signed the FPCA and are in one additional group). There are some geographic and age restrictions, the reason for this is that it is extremely costly and time-consuming to determine whether or not it is possible to run a sweepstakes in a given country. Sweepstakes laws and regulations vary considerably from country to country, and many countries have strict registration requirements and fees associated with running sweepstakes. Other countries simply prohibit sweepstakes entirely. As a result, we are only offering this sweepstakes in countries where we know that the sweepstakes is lawful. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Also, please note that Red Hat employees are not allowed to enter the sweepstakes.

To learn more, read the full sweepstakes rules, and to enter, please go to:

https://fedoraproject.org/openhw2012

(You can jump straight to the complete legal sweepstakes rules here: https://fedoraproject.org/openhw2012/details )

*****
And now, a quick FAQ:

Q. Hey, it's not summer where I am!
A. That's not a question.

Q. Why does it say Summer when it isn't Summer where I am?
A. Just close your eyes and pretend it is Summer. Think of the warm fuzzy feeling you'll get from winning one of these sweet prizes.

Q. Where did the money come from for this?
A. I'm going to assume you mean that in a specific way, not in the "Daddy, where does money come from way". If you are really asking the more generic question, just watch this video (http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/kids/cartoons-tv-movies-kids/cha-ching-kids/cha-ching-01-earn-spend-save-donate-kids/). For everyone else, the money for this sweepstakes came from a special allocation from the Open Source and Standards group at Red Hat, and did not take away from the normal Fedora community budget in any way.

Q. Why can't Red Hat employees enter? We contribute a lot to Fedora!
A. Because in the eyes of the law, it seems shady when a company runs a sweepstakes and their employees end up winning.

Q. Why is there an age restriction on this?
A. Because it is a sweepstakes, and that's the law. It varies by region, but our app is clever enough to adjust it accordingly.

Q. I am sad that my state/country/unicorporated region prevents me from entering this sweepstakes. Is there anything you can do for me?
A. We feel sad that we have to exclude you. Much sadder than the time that Tasha Yar got eaten by that sentient oil spill. Short of sending you hardware, money, or other legal impossibilities, feel free to leave a comment on this post with a suggestion on how we can make it up to you. Also, feel free to mention your country. If there are hundreds of people left out in the cold in Luxembourg, we might be able to do a legal review and have it added for future sweepstakes eligibility (no promises though).

Q. What about Fedora users?
A. We love you too, but we really wanted to give an extra-special thank you to those Fedora Contributors who take that next step and help us make Fedora better. You can become a contributor and be eligible when we do something like this again, see: http://fedoraproject.org/join-fedora

Q. If I win, how will I get my hardware?
A. We'll ship it to you, on our dime. We'll ask the winners for that information later.

Q. I can't decide which hardware I want, can I pick them all?
A. No. You need to pick one. Just one.

Q. Can I enter multiple times?
A. No. (Actually, I think the app will let you re-enter if you change your mind, but only the latest entry will stick.)

Q. How do you choose the winners?
A. Completely at random from all valid entries.

Q. How did you get so many OLPC XO units?
A. The wonderful folks at laptop.org donated them for us to give away.

Q. How did you get so many Raspberry Pi units?
A. Black magic. Deep black magic.

Q. Why Arduino? It doesn't run Fedora Linux!
A. So what? It's open, its fun, and you can do all sorts of Open Source geekery with it.

Q. Why didn't you choose to give away instead?
A. Our crack team of Fedora experts (okay, me, Robyn, and Ruth) generated a list of hardware, then ranked them by coolness, cost, and availability. Except for the awesome and well dressed folks at Laptop.org, no one had any cool free hardware lying around (although, I offered to put some old SPARC systems in the mix, which was vetoed), so we ended up spending our money on the coolest things we could get the most of at the least cost. We'd love to do this again, so feel free to leave a comment here with your suggestions.

Q. Hey, I'm a hardware vendor and I want to work with you to give away more awesome Open Hardware to Fedora people in the future, who do I contact to help out?
A. Tom Callaway <spot@redhat.com>

Q. Anyone else you'd like to thank?
A. Why, how nice of you to ask. I'd also like to thank Ruth Suehle & Robyn Bergeron for brainstorming, researching, and generally being awesome to make this a reality. Luke Macken for writing the app code (and making changes at the last possible minute). Mo Duffy for making it simple, clean and beautiful to enter. The wonderful folks at Farnell, Adafruit, Sparkfun, and Laptop.org for all of my export and ordering related questions. Pam Chestek and Erin Dutton, for helping this sweepstakes be fully blessed and legally awesome. Amy Ross, for addressing our many export needs. Kevin Fenzi and the folks on the Fedora Admin team for making sure we had this webapp running, and sitting in the proper location (except for that brief minute where all mainpage traffic was pointing at the webapp, whoopsy!). And of course, Red Hat and OSAS for paying for it all.

Fedora ARM opening

Red Hat is looking to fill an open position to work on Fedora ARM, specifically:

Red Hat's Global Engineering Services (Embedded Linux) team is looking for an installation and configuration software engineer to actively engage with and advance both internal and upstream systems architecture around emerging hyperscale computing platforms. This will involve assisting in the design of scalable installation and configuration solutions as well as the implementation of such features within standard Red Hat software tools . This includes the creation of appropriate new tools as required. In consideration of the technology shift surrounding future systems provisioning and management (especially systems featuring on-chip management controllers), this role will require a certain amount of unconventional design philosophy. The ideal candidate will have experience working with the Fedora and RHEL (Enterprise Linux) community, will understand the emerging market for "hyperscale" computing solutions, and will have a keen interest in advancing the state of the art in the management and provisioning of such systems.

(My Note: This is mostly a userspace role, candidates should have a strong understanding of ARM and ARM assembly.)
https://careers-redhat.icims.com/jobs/29026/job

*****

Red Hat is also looking for an Embedded Kernel Architect, specifically:

Red Hat's Global Engineering Services (Embedded Linux) team is looking for a Senior/Principal Level Kernel Generalist to actively engage with and advance both internal and upstream architecture development on various next generation Embedded systems. This will involve heavy community involvement with both the Fedora Linux Project, as well as various Enterprise related activities. The ideal candidate will have experience in working with Embedded Linux systems (including but not limited to ARM), and System-on-Chip technologies. Strong experience with new and existing architectures is a plus, as well as experience with libc and uboot.

Primary Responsibilities:

* Participate and collaborate in ongoing technology discussions with partners and upstream contributors for Embedded device specific design and development.

* Assist in the development and upstream kernel integration of Embedded device support additions to Linux.

* Interact with customers, partners and internal team members.

Required skills

Strong background in kernel level development and maintainership capabilities, preferably in Embedded architectures. Existing relations with members of the Linux kernel community are a strong plus.

Prior administrative experience with Fedora Linux is desired. Familiarity with other Linux distributions also desirable.

Some travel may be required.

Education: Completion of a 4 year College or University computer program.

(My Note: This job is more of a traditional Embedded Linux Kernel Hacker role. It also isn't live on the website yet, so if you're interested, just send resumes to me at spot@redhat.com.)

The Strong, the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, and the Promised Land

I've been out in Rochester, NY for most of this week. Red Hat has been partnering with RIT for the last year or so to generate, produce and teach Open Source courses (for an example, see ritfloss). I represented Red Hat at the RIT spring career fair, and the rest of the week, we've been meeting with various RIT students and faculty.

But to be honest, the coolest thing was what happened yesterday. One of the key advisors in RIT's open source initiatives is also the scholar in residence with The Strong museum, so he offered to take us over there and get a behind-the-scenes tour. The Strong National Museum of Play is dedicated entirely to "play", including tons of stuff on toys, books, comics, a working carousel and passenger train, and all sorts of kid friendly awesomeness.

All of that is good on its own, but the museum is also home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games. Or as I now refer to it, the Promised Land. Jon-Paul Dyson, the Director, took me and Luke around the exhibits,then he took us into their archives.



The amount of stuff they have is just mindblowing. These pictures do not do it justice. Luke and I were so stunned that we're lucky we managed to take any pictures at all. Rows and rows of shelves. Shelves with video games in their cases, stacked tight, three sets deep. Loose items of all types. A Power Glove next to a Virtual Boy, besides an original Breakout cabinet.




Shelf after shelf of electronic gaming history. Every game I ever loved or ever wanted to love, here. Ken Williams's name badge from Sierra. A retired World of Warcraft server blade.



A wall of electronic (PC and console) gaming magazines. Every Nintendo Power, in order.


Each shelf? Three rows deep. This picture? Just a few of the shelves.

They had an RIT co-op who was gently and carefully playing a game for about 10 minutes and video recording it for archival purposes. That was a paid co-op, btw. He was a happy dude.

I'm sure I'm doing a terrible job describing this, but it was a mind-blowingly awesome experience. I've been a gamer for my entire meaningful sentient existence, and I never thought I'd see a collection like this. I wish I could have stayed there all day taking pictures of the stuff they had, but we only got a walkthrough. They're also collecting all of the gaming ephemera, everything from E3 swag to the original designer notes. The vast majority of their collection isn't on display (the stuff they do have on display is cool too, but it is just a drop in the ocean).




They had a large arcade's worth of cabinet games too, most of which seemed like they were in the process of receiving some love before going on display. A few pinball tables too.

I wish we had taken more pictures, with a better camera. I wish they would have left me in there to roam the stacks. After the tour, we played in their museum arcade until we ran out of tokens. Just a fantastic experience. I'm brainstorming on how Red Hat and FOSS can help them out, feel free to leave suggestions in the comments.

Red Hat Job Openings in the Fedora Universe

There are currently two job openings at Red Hat for people who wish to work on Fedora.

= Fedora Virtualization Maintainer =
Do you enjoy working with the Fedora community? Are you interested in working with the leading edge of the virtualization stack? We are looking for someone to maintain the core virtualization packages in Fedora!

Responsibilities include:
* Interract with the Fedora community on all things virt (Mailing lists, irc, FUDCon.)
* Virtualization Test Day organization
* Coordinate the Fedora feature process for virtualization features
* Maintain the fedora-virt mailing list
* Maintain the virtualization pages on the Fedora wiki
* Maintain the virtio-win drivers repository
* Maintain the virtualization preview repository for Fedora
* Primary package maintainer for the following Fedora packages:
qemu (qemu-kvm)
seabios
sgabios
gpxe (ipxe)
* Work with the kernel team on kvm specific bugs
* Assist in bugs for related virt packages

Qualified candidates will have experience with:
* C, C++, Linux (kernel and userspace), KVM, qemu

(This opening is not currently live on the Red Hat website as far as I know, so please email me your resume/CV along with a short note about why you think you'd be awesome for this opening. I am _not_ the hiring manager for this position, but it is Fedora focused.)

== Web Application Developer ==
https://careers.redhat.com/ext/detail?redhat9418

The Fedora Engineering team is looking for qualified candidates to assist us in creating and improving Free Software solutions for the Fedora Community. Fedora only uses Free Software solutions in all of its infrastructure and hosting, and you can help us in that effort. Our infrastructure is mostly driven using Python frameworks, delivering applications and contents over the web to the Fedora user and contributor communities. Travel requirements are minimal, although, participation at relevant conferences and events is expected. This position is a fantastic opportunity to develop new and interesting Free Software and Open Source solutions with a rich community of developers and users. Upstream contributions are an expected part of this position.

Existing team members in this role have created web applications like:
* Bodhi - https://admin.fedoraproject.org/updates
* Fedora Packages -https://community.dev.fedoraproject.org/packages
* Fedora Tagger - https://community.dev.fedoraproject.org/tagger

Requirements:
These skills are the sort of skills that are desirable, however, it is not necessary that any candidate possess them all.

* Python
* TurboGears
* SQL Databases (especially Postgresql)
* Xapien
* AMQP
* Linux
* Pyramid
* Javascript

A bachelors degree or greater in Computer Science is preferred for this role, although, not necessary if there is extensive expertise in the desired areas for this position.

Candidates would not necessarily be required to relocate for this position.
If you're interested, please apply on the website, and send me an email telling me why you'd be an awesome fit for this position. I am the hiring manager for this position, so you would get the added bonus of working for me. ;)

FUDCon Thoughts - Eucalyptus

At FUDCon, Greg DeKoenigsberg said something that resonated with me (and I paraphrase), but it was this: After 10 years of being at Red Hat, it is easy to forget that most of the rest of the world, even in the IT industry, doesn't really understand Open Source. To most folks at Red Hat, it is intuitive, something we understand/accept, myself included.

In listening to Greg talk about Eucalyptus, I forced myself to set aside any biases I may have had about that company or their history, and really try to remember that for better or worse, they were a company founded by graduate students, who really didn't understand business or open source, and they initially operated on the assumption that in order to survive as a new company, they needed to make decisions to establish the business. A lot of those decisions weren't Open Source friendly, but it is far more likely that this was out of ignorance than malice.

When I look at Eucalyptus today, I see two very smart decisions, and those decisions have names: Andy Grimm and Greg DeKoenigsberg. I've worked with both for years, and I have a huge amount of respect for both. Even above that: I know that they truly get Open Source, and that neither of them sees it as a loss leader for a proprietary offering, or a "Childrens Edition". By bringing them onboard at Eucalyptus, at least in my eyes, it shows that the decision makers at Eucalyptus:
* Realize that they're not operating as a true Open Source Company today
* Want to change that sooner rather than later (understanding that change doesn't happen overnight)
* Are empowering people with the right expertise to enact that change

I respect that greatly. Greg told me about some interesting changes coming soon for Eucalyptus, and since I'm not sure what is public and what is not, I will keep those under my hat, but I am definitely going to be watching them closely over the next year or so. Actions speak louder than words, but so far, they're moving in a better direction. I hope that it leads them away from an Open Core model.

ADDENDUM: It has been pointed out to me that there are other awesome Eucalyptus folks who understand Open Source, like Garrett Holmstrom, it was in no way my intent to omit them, or imply that all Eucalyptus employees who are not Greg or Andy do not understand Open Source, this is obviously false.