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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in rahulsundaram's LiveJournal:

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Friday, June 5th, 2009
7:49 am
Moving to WordPress
My new blog is at http://mether.wordpress.com/ . See you there.
2 thoughts | think of me
Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009
9:42 pm
Gnote replaces Tomboy for Fedora 12
A while back when I saw Hub announcing Gnote on April first, it just seemed like one of those jokes but with a predictable weekly release schedule, this application has now improved in leaps and bounds. One of the great things of being involved in Fedora is that you can watch applications and technologies grow from a nascent immature but promising state to something that everybody is in awe about. Gnote is no different. When I first imported Gnote 0.1 into Fedora, it did the basics but had no plugins, no documentation and crashed now and then. Since then, almost every Wednesday there is a new release with a Fedora build that I pushed in soon after. While there is still some room for improvements, Gnote now is in a fairly good shape. I use it on a day to day basis to jot down thoughts for the day and some quick notes and it is working remarkably well.

It is great to see that Gnote will be the default for Fedora 12 replacing Tomboy including in the Live CD which hasn't had a note taking app by default for the past couple of releases. Thanks to Hub for dealing with my bug reports and fixing them quickly. I have added some release notes for Fedora 12 Alpha release ahead of time. Btw, Fedora 11 is shaping up to be a good release. Have a blast.
5 thoughts | think of me
Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008
5:01 pm
fedorareloaded reloaded
I didn't realize that the Fedora podcast called Fedora reloaded has been restarted by a new group of (rather young?) folks who have already published three podcasts. Other than the initial annoying music, it is pretty interesting and newbie friendly. Take a look and offer your feedback.

Current Mood: cheerful
3 thoughts | think of me
Thursday, June 26th, 2008
9:55 am
It is just me or is the openSUSE posters distinctly similar to the Fedora posters from Mo? Not that I am complaining, mind you. Just amused.

Current Mood: amused
6 thoughts | think of me
Friday, May 16th, 2008
1:42 am
Before the moon rises
David Nielsen, before you get all excited, you might want to read this. "It's true that, under the terms of our agreements with Microsoft, only SUSE Linux Enterprise will be able to bundle Moonlight into the distribution." I hope that we aren't struck with more patent encumbered software issues now.

Current Mood: cynical
5 thoughts | think of me
1:16 am
The pragmatic extremists
Fedora as a project is well known today for having a strong Free software philosophy and a push for upstream that results in remarkable amount of innovation. We have upstream projects who love us for what we are and recognize the great strides we have made in the community.

My passion for Free and open source has only been strengthened and solidified since I started participating in this community during the early days, a couple of months after it was formed and I have learned a lot, got a job working with and on things I enjoy. It is a remarkable and wonderful journey. In all these years, it is surprising to look back at that email I wrote and not wonder if my ideas really has changed at all.I think, maybe not.

One of those every lasting ideas that has always stayed with me is a strong commitment to our underlying principles. After making great strides with focusing our free and open source licensing guidelines and policies and continuously doing extensive internals reviews to make sure we are compliant with our own guidelines, I started regularly discussing with FSF, especially RMS and Brett Smith about what we are doing with Fedora. What was most striking in these discussions was that FSF and RMS in particular who was well known in the community for having such adamant and extreme focus on the Free software philosophy turned out to have other not so well known traits too. They were all that and more such as RMS insistence on using just the right words but I also found something quite unexpected hidden beneath the ideology: Pragmatism. If you notice carefully, it is reflected everywhere in their actions as Alan Cox eloquently observed.

I have been spending the last couple of weeks talking to them about clarifying where exactly they are drawing the lines on what constitutes a free system beyond just software and today, FSF just again proved to be quite reasonable by publishing the free system distribution guidelines based on the Fedora licensing guidelines. While I just send my detailed list of feedback on these guidelines and we are not done just yet, I hope this proves to be a useful document to everyone involved and all hail the pragmatic extremists for that. The world is just better off with them in it despite all their own quirks.

Current Mood: accomplished
17 thoughts | think of me
Saturday, April 19th, 2008
12:02 pm
Fedora 9 Xfce Spin: An update
A lot of my time last week was spend in spinning and respinning and testing the changes for the Fedora 9 Xfce Spin. As promised earlier, my new progress report has been published.

I am happily running rawhide on my main laptop for the last couple of months and the progress has been quite good. I am especially contend with the postive feedback cycle on all the issues reported and fixed with PackageKit.

Fedora 9 is going to be out fairly soon now. Very cool.

Current Mood: accomplished
6 thoughts | think of me
Monday, March 3rd, 2008
11:46 pm
Fedora 9 Xfce Spin - Progress report
I have posted a short progress report on the changes in the upcoming Fedora 9 Xfce Spin. Check it out.

Rawhide Xfce Screenshot
14 thoughts | think of me
Thursday, February 21st, 2008
7:12 pm
Improving Fedora 9 Xfce spin
There are a number of changes being considered for the Xfce spin (Live CD) for Fedora 9. I have filed a few bugs and there has been progress in fixing some of the issues in rawhide. Everything I am evaluating and keeping track of is available at:


If you have any comments on any of these ideas, feel free to edit the wiki or post your comments here. I can't promise everything you suggest will be implemented but I will promise that everything that is suggested will be carefully considered.
7 thoughts | think of me
Wednesday, February 13th, 2008
11:22 am
Announcing Fedora 8 Xfce Spin
As promised earlier, the Xfce Spin of Fedora 8 is now available. Live CD's are available now for x86 and x86_64 architecture. I fine tuned the package list to fit into a CD even for x86_64 architecture unlike the other live images. We need to test PPC live cd a bit more and that is likely to follow after sometime. Meanwhile, I appreciate any feedback you might have on this.

Digg It.
12 thoughts | think of me
Sunday, February 10th, 2008
5:16 am
Bouts of Productivity
The last couple of weeks have been very productive for me. I tend to work to get motivated to do different things in leaps for reasons unknown to me. I am happy when that happens.

Fedora XFCE Spin

Fedora XFCE spin was approved recently and is about to be released in a couple of days. Whew! Took longer than I thought since everybody is the project is just about learning to deal with the inflow of new Fedora spins. Thanks to upstream developers, Fedora XFCE maintainers, translators and many others in the community, Fedora Board, Release Engineering team and Seth Vidal for coordinating. It really takes a lot of work between people to get a new spin out. As always, I appreciate any feedback you have. Do post comments or drop me a mail.

The number of spins I proposed got me a request from the Fedora Board to propose a new process and I have a draft that needs to be reviewed and discussed further.

Livecd-tools For RHEL 5

I have branched livecd-tools for EPEL repository for RHEL 5 and compatible rebuilds. Had to work on patching the software, testing it extensively and building several live cd's before pushing into the testing repository for EPEL. You can create live cd's from any number and combination of RHEL 5 compatible packages now. A major difference between RHEL 5 and Fedora is that RHEL 5 live cd's won't be installable to hard disk since that requires a newer version of Anaconda only available in Fedora now. With over a dozen spins that I have been working on, getting a deeper understanding of livecd-tools was inevitable and it ended up being useful at $day_job which is very nice too.

More Software Packages

Spend the last two days (and nights) on packaging software. Build two new packages for Fedora. Gyachi is a yahoo client for Linux that supports voice and video both ways and it is only client that supports both well to my knowledge. The user interface is rough but functionality is just awesome. My colleague, Gregory D Hosler is the primary upstream developer now and we were able to coordinate on several issues and I have added him directly as a co-maintainer in Fedora without having to work through a new package which is a first of it's kinds. I am planning to write a document that makes it clear that upstream developers or new contributors can directly become co-maintainers in Fedora without going through the regular sponsorship model.

I have also packaged checkgmail which is a system tray application that alerts on new mails, provides a preview and has several options including deleting, archiving, marking as spam and so on. It has a nice simple configuration option. I had to rebuild all my packages for the new GCC in rawhide too. Interesting learning exercises.

Many thanks to Parag Nemade for reviewing and approving my packages. One of the quiet unsong heroes of the Fedora Project working his way to nearly 500 package reviews. A monumental achievement only topped by Jason Tibbs.

Reviewing Packages

I did a review for ocfs2-tools submitted by a upstream Oracle developer. Interesting multi-vendor and volunteer community colloboration is happening in Fedora. A sign of a very healthy community project. I am happy.
5 thoughts | think of me
Wednesday, February 6th, 2008
5:19 am
Fedora 9 Alpha Out
Fedora Project continues it's rapid pace of Free software innovation with the release of Fedora 9 Alpha. While other distributions are beginning to adopt PulseAudio and PolicyKit, we are again one step ahead with new projects like FreeIPA. Red Hat continues to be the largest contributor to the Linux kernel, it has also contributed major improvements like the new GNOME VFS layer - GIO/GVFS that is part of the alpha release.

Some major highlights of Fedora 9 Alpha include

* Support for resizing ext2,ext3 and NTFS partitions during installation

* Support for creating and installing to encrypted filesystems

* Faster and more efficient yum dependency resolver

* PackageKit

* FreeIPA, an integrated solution combining Linux, Fedora Directory Server, FreeRADIUS, MIT Kerberos, NTP, DNS and providing web and commandline provisioning and administration tools.

* GNOME 2.21 Development Release

* KDE 4.0

* Firefox 3 Beta 2

* Kernel 2.6.24

.. and many more.
4 thoughts | think of me
Thursday, January 3rd, 2008
11:53 pm
RFC: Fedora Xfce Spin
Fedora Xfce Spin is a variant of Fedora with a focus on low resource systems and in particular Xfce users. It is a live cd image that you can optionally install to hard disk or USB images.

I have a kickstart file available at


This is meant for Fedora 8. You can either take a look at the list of packages or try creating a local image

# yum install livecd-tools
# livecd-creator --config

You might want to use a local mirror and --cache option to livecd-creator. Creating local customizations is trivial. Comments, fixes and suggestions, welcome. My plan is to create a initial image for Fedora 8 and then create incremental revisions with a solid release as part of Fedora 9.
9 thoughts | think of me
Sunday, November 11th, 2007
4:28 am
Fedora 8 Games Spin - Feedback Requested

One of the custom spins of Fedora that didn't get much attention because of the late addition is the Fedora 8 Games spin. This custom version of Fedora 8 from the games special interest group in Fedora includes tons of free and open source Linux games in a installable Live DVD. Download it and check it out. More information is available at the game spin wiki page. Any feedback is most welcome.

Digg it
13 thoughts | think of me
Friday, November 9th, 2007
3:50 am
Some early press reports of Fedora 8

In addition to a earlier review from Linux.com, new ones of Fedora 8 have started flowing in. News.com has a report that covers primary a major new feature that makes it easy to rebrand Fedora for derivative distributions and Arstechnica has a mini review that covers unique features like PulseAudio as default sound server, PolicyKit authentication mechanism, the new look and feel including a color-changing wallpaper and three new custom spins including a Games Spin, a Developer Spin and Electronics Labs Spin.

2 thoughts | think of me
12:07 am
Werewolf thriller today
"Werewolf" moves across the land
Router meltdowns close at hand
Sysadmins in search of blood
For those who caused this bandwidth flood
And whosoever took the risk
But failed to make an extra disc
Must face the Bastard Op from Hell
And lose his access to the shell

The best of Linux now is here
To kill the FUD and strike with fear
The hearts of those who steal your rights
And hide their code far from your sight
Closed source takes away what's yours
But you'll never shake the horror
Until you taste the freedom and
The power of FEDORA!

Fedora 8 Released. Check it out.

2 thoughts | think of me
Tuesday, November 6th, 2007
8:09 am
Fedora 8 Release Summary

Fedora 8 is about to be released. You thought you knew all about Fedora 8? Check out our Fedora 8 release summary. Took nearly a whole night to gather and present all the information.

Many thanks to Jonathan Roberts for helping out in this and the long ongoing series of interviews about the new features in Fedora 8. Welcome to the best of Free software.

13 thoughts | think of me
Wednesday, October 31st, 2007
5:45 am
PackageKit in Fedora

PackageKit (and gnome-packagekit) packages have been reviewed and approved for Fedora. It will be available in the Fedora development branch (Rawhide) shortly. Things are going well according the plan for Fedora 9. Richard Hughes, Robin Norwood (who is going to be maintainer for Fedora), James Bowes, Luke Macken (Bodhi fame), Tim Laurisden (yumex fame) and other Red Hat, Fedora and community developers are involved in this project. The plan is to introduce this as a alternative package manager for Fedora 9. Maybe it will end up being the default instead. Brilliant work from everyone involved.

8 thoughts | think of me
Saturday, October 27th, 2007
5:37 am
Fedora 8 - Blocker bugs status

As we get ready for a new release of Fedora, the things we worry about most are the blocker bugs. A couple of QA meetings back, I suggested to Will Woods to post status reports of the blocker bugs every week or alternative week to get some eyes on the important bugs that can block a release and delay it and he has been doing those now and then.

As you can see from the latest report, we are progressing well and looks like we will have this release on time.

Another surprising thing is that the progress on having localized content on the Fedora website. Within a couple of days, we already have the website available in five languages. Go, Go, Go.

6 thoughts | think of me
Thursday, October 25th, 2007
8:31 pm
Fedora 8 review

Linux.com has a review of Fedora 8 (Test 3) which is mostly a positive critique.

Fedora 8 renews tradition of innovations

Some comments:

After seven releases of its own and the previous Red Hat releases, Fedora has most aspects of putting a distribution together down to a routine.

Yes and no. While we are indeed having a much much better foundation than we were when we started out with Fedora, we haven't yet figured out all the aspects of the release. There was a time when people were wondering if Fedora as a community distribution would ever flourish. I think that question has changed into how successful will it be? Fedora 7 was a major milestone from the project perspective and I hope Fedora 8 can shine better by showing off benefits that are immediately apparent to the end user having the advantages of a better base to build from. It is not yet a routine however. John Poelstra talked about how successful the new feature process has been and what needs to change. When I suggested something similar to the Fedora Board earlier, it was immediately dismissed by saying we don't have the culture of planning that far ahead but I was convinced that we would tremendously benefit from a more organized development and it is clear to me that it is indeed the case but more participation from developers is required.

Nor are the trio of yum, Pirut, and Pup for software installation greatly changed, aside from a noticeable increase in speed.

Pirut has the ability to install packages from media and easy editing of software repositories and opyum complements it by providing offline installation capabilities but assuming just the speed increase is noticeable, I am happy with that.

The security tools centering around SELinux are similarly unchanged

Not quite. SELinux has some nice enhancements which Dan Walsh has been blogging out. I have installed xguest to check out the kiosk mode feature and will be looking into that soon.

Similarly, the new release maintains the Fedora tradition of introducing a new desktop. While Fedora 7's was a slightly over-the-top airbrushed theme, Fedora 8's Infinity theme heads in the opposite direction with a minimalist theme whose default wallpaper suggests a series of converging vapor trails.

True. Fedora 8 presents a community coordinated artwork and while it is not going to turn faces, it is subtle and nice. One hurdle down the steady path towards the community. Nodoka theme also is good contribution.

These standard elements are not flawless -- the installer, for instance, could include Xfce as a desktop alternative

Sure. We could but we have more software in the repository than would fit into a single DVD. So there are some choices not available in the official images. Others have done such all encompassing spins however and they are pretty useful to some users.

I wonder whether the proliferation of codec installers is worth the effort, and whether users might not be better off installing the LAME package from rpm.livna.org, Fedora's unofficial non-free repository, instead.

Aside from the fact that Livna and Freshrpms among others are converging at http://rpmfusion.org, we are still waiting on Red Hat Legal to see if linking to third party repositories is ok for us to do. I am supportive of such an effort though and the design of Codec Buddy would allow alternative sources.

This release makes it obvious that the Fedora community prides itself on innovation. If nothing else, the public documentation of each change on the project wiki should make the perspective clear. If, despite being marked on the wiki as complete, some of these innovations seem flawed or limited, that seems only inevitable -- with so many efforts at finding a new direction, some are bound to fail, or to be less successful than others, especially in their first release. Fedora deserves appreciation for trying. At the introductory stage, that matters more, perhaps, than complete success.

That nails it right on the head. Thanks to Bruce Byfield for some insightful comments but he has missed quite a lot of improvements in this release. Partly our responsibility to make this easier for reviewers to find and I am working on that. As always, help and feedback is most welcome.

8 thoughts | think of me
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