20 November

It turns out that I was wrong… this week has been more busy than last. Getting all of the remaining pieces to fall together at the same time has turned out to be more difficult than expected. Lots of hard work by a number of people has gotten us to where I'm fairly confident that we'll be able to have a good final tree tomorrow so that we can push to mirrors and have test1 available on Wednesday. Although trying, test1 is going to have a full slate of cool new stuff that's been able to happen given the slightly longer release cycle we went with for this time around. Some of the things which are present:

  • Modular X — the new way of distributing X so that it's not just one big monolithic tarball/src.rpm. Instead, there are now like 100 of them. It should make it much easier to push out fixes for individual bugs as well as for new developers to get started working on things. It was definitely far easier for me to just rebuild mesa to fix DRI earlier today than before when I would have had to hack the copy of mesa in the xorg source tree.
  • Anaconda has been changed to use yum as its backend for dependency resolution and in a way that will hopefully make it easier for other users of anaconda to plug in their own package backends. Considering media sets (aka CDs) have never been a concern for yum, there have been some trials and tribulations there with some long nights involved. It's coming together, though, and test1 has the start of what's there. Test2 should be even better as we'll be able to spend some time in the next month on optimizations and actually finishing the package selection UI 🙂
  • GNOME 2.12. Yep, another GNOME release. Given the schedule, we might still try to go for 2.14 before we finish the release 😉
  • KDE 3.5 beta2. And yep, another KDE release too
  • OpenOffice.org 2.0 final. This one's been a long time coming and it now also uses system versions of pretty much all of the libraries which had previously just been bundled
  • Also in anaconda, some improvements to kickstart which have been a long time coming. There's now a fairly sane parser which also has a validator. And there are error messages which even tell you what line number of your kickstart config your syntax error is on!
  • We've streamlined the install process a bit and taken out some of the questions which really aren't needed. You'll notice a lot fewer screens. Unfortunately, this is partially accomplished by moving some of them to firstboot, but I expect that all of them won't be left enabled by the time all is said and done.
  • A number of under the hood improvements to anaconda to make our logging system more robust and flexible (remote syslogging is now an option), improved handling of tracebacks (because bugs happen), the start of support for dmraid
  • An updated version of Xen and support for being able to do installs with Xen guests. Look for more detailed information on this later in the week when I have a chance to write it up
  • pup — a graphical UI that sits on top of yum for handling updates
  • The beginnings of support for MLS
  • Replacing iiimf with scim for international input support
  • gnome-power-manager for the UI side of handling suspend. We also have the kernel bits for swsusp enabled

And there's a fair bit more underway for FC5 which didn't make test1. Some of the things there which are strongly on my mind and thus bubble to the top of my thinking…

  • Finishing the dmraid support and having it enabled by default
  • SELinux using binary policy modules to allow for more granular policy packaging.
  • gcc 4.1 branched on Friday so we're currently considering pulling that in
  • The replacement for system-config-packages using yum as its backend. And hopefully having a bit more code sharing on the UI side for anaconda than has previously been the case
  • Trying to get the Fedora liveCD work up and to the point where we can ship an official live CD

And there are an assortment of other things scattered across the breadth of the distro which I can't even keep track of anymore. All in all, should be pretty exciting and fun. Test1 may be a little bit more rocky than the past few, but things are finally starting to come together.

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