Congratulations - Fedora 17 Arrives

It's another miracle courtesy of the Fedora Project - actually, *the* Beefy Miracle. Fedora 17 is now available for download today.

Once more, congrats to all of the Fedora Project team for producing an excellent Linux distribution that's easy to use with the latest improvements in open source.

As chronicled in the F17 Release Notes: "The following are major features for Fedora 17:
- GNOME 3.4 and KDE 4.8
- OpenStack, Eucalyptus, CloudStack and Open Nebula
- ICC profiles for color printing and an improved gimp
- Still more virtualization improvements"

I'm especially excited about the improvements found in GNOME 3.4. My OS of choice just keeps getting better and better!

LinuxCon Rocks!

Just a quick post to my fellow Fedorans to say that LinuxCon NA 2011 has turned out to be an incredible conference.  I've attended my share of trade shows and conferences over my 30-year career, but LinuxCon surpasses them all.  Congratulations to Jim Zemlin and the Linux Foundation for a superb event.

There will be a detailed trip report coming soon. Right now I'm too busy enjoying myself. :-)

Happy 20th anniversary, Linux!


(Note: This is a quick posting from my Android phone.)

My son Mike and I will be attending LinuxCon NA 2011 in Vancouver next week.

Besides soaking up the Linux-charged atmosphere, we also will be  volunteering at the Fedora Project booth. This is a real privilege to participate in Linux's 20th birthday bash.

If you're attending LinuxCon, please consider volunteering some of your time or just drop by and say hello.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

It's a Small (Fedora) World After All

I had an interesting encounter this afternoon at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC).  I joined my son Mike, a longtime contributor to the "Battle of Wesnoth" project and a fellow Fedora fan, at UMBC's Linux Users' Group Install Fest.  Although the distribution of choice was Ubuntu, I had an interesting encounter with a Saudi student named Ibrahim.  I couldn't help noticing his Fedora cap and his Red Hat Certified Engineer pin.  He recently became an RHCE and was justly proud of his achievement. 

Even though UMBC is well-regarded as an engineering school, Ibrahim was not attending as an engineering student. In the States studying English, he just wanted to show his support for his favorite Linux distribution, Fedora.

Thinking Ahead - Document Freedom Day

Today is Document Freedom Day.

As more and more details of our lives are recorded digitally, it is vital that future generations can read the digital records that we leave behind.  If we record the history of our civilization in proprietary closed formats, it may require a monumental effort to decode what may become the digital equivalent of dead languages.  While this will provide an opportunity for some future genius to accomplish something akin to translating Egyptian hieroglyphics,  it would better to give our descendants the time to accomplish other vital tasks, like ensuring the future of our species.

The solution is to support open standards like ODF, capable of recording our natural languages in a format future generations can read.  This includes the task of educating our elected officials so our public records are available in a transparent and safe manner.

Apple iPad - a great web browsing experience?

I watched the live streaming provided by MacBreak Weekly of the announcement of the Apple iPad.  "The internet in your hands" is a phrase that was repeated several times during the presentation as well as in the promotional video.  Granted, the iPad may be a triumph of engineering.  The UI is pretty amazing, even if it resembles a giant iPod Touch.

However, here are the show stoppers (of the "I will not be buying one" variety) for me:

1. The usual Apple vendor lock-in.   A few protesters were outside the event from FSF's "Defective By Design" campaign.  They were there to remind people about Apple's support of Digital Rights Management (DRM).  Despite Steve Jobs' self-described dislike of DRM, he makes it very easy to sell DRM'd media and apps and very difficult to use non-DRM'd.  It's pretty obvious that the proliferation of Apps stores does not serve the cause of freedom, since it requires that consumers trade their freedoms for shopping convenience.

2. No Adobe Flash support.  The FSF would disagree with me here, but I need Flash support in order to view much meaningful content on the internet.  Apple made sure that YouTube was supported, despite the lack of a Flash player for the iPad.  What about all the other sites, especially those using Flash to deliver video across all OS platforms, Linux included?  It is worth noting that there is also development of a free alternative Flash player, Gnash.

3. Limited "hackability".  Again, Apple actively discourages legitimate (as in "not illegal") hardware and software hacking such as putting Linux on a device.  I am currently typing this on a desktop replacement laptop from HP with an Intel Core i7 CPU and an nVidia GeForce video chip.  I am running Fedora 12 Linux (64-bit version).  Very little post-installation configuring was required.  HP doesn't have a problem with my putting Linux on my laptop.  I don't want to "jailbreak" a device for which I paid good money before I can have the freedom to configure it to run the OS and apps I want.  OK, Steve did mention that you can change the background on the iPad.   :-)

Another phase Steve Jobs used several times was "whatever you want".  In this context, that seems to mean "whatever Apple wants you to have, if you buy it from its Apps stores and accept its arbitrary limitations - and bring along plenty of cash".

Will the Apple iPad succeed - probably, but at what price?

Fedora Weekly News 200

Congratulations to the current team publishing the Fedora Weekly News on its milestone 200th issue.

Having contributed in the past to FWN, I know it is no easy task to compile and edit the massive nest of activity known as the Fedora Project.

Keep up the good work!

Transparency - Live Today at Five (1700 UTC, that is)

One of the things I love about the Fedora Project is that its members, especially the leadership, really try to conduct all activities in the harsh light of public scrutiny.

In that spirit of openness, be sure to check out the upcoming Fedora Board meeting. To quote our fearless leader, Paul Frields:

"The Board is holding its monthly public meeting on Thursday, July 2, 2009, at 1700 UTC on IRC Freenode. Note this is the first meeting of the newly constituted Board following the post-F11 elections. For this meeting, the public is invited to do the following:

* Join #fedora-board-meeting to see the Board's conversation.

* Join #fedora-board-questions to discuss topics and post questions. This channel is read/write for everyone.

The moderator will voice people from the queue, one at a time, in the #fedora-board-meeting channel. We'll limit time per voice as needed to give everyone in the queue a chance to be heard. The Board may reserve some time at the top of the hour to cover any agenda items as appropriate. We look forward to seeing you at the meeting!"

Transparency is a very popular concept these days - it's nice to see when it's actually put into practice.

Openness is also about participation, so I urge you to attend and make your voice heard.