Council Meeting Minutes 2010-03-12

Replace IcedTea (current) WITH Sun’s Java: There is no real gain in using IcedTea and as far as I know, it isn’t worth the time and effort (OgMaciel)

This actually covers different aspects: A user-facing aspect and an engineering aspect which relates to the nitty gritty technical details of foresight-distro-engineering and how we build Java software. And of course, there is the ever thorny licensing aspect.

  • From a user standpoint, using the Sun JRE gives the best user experience, especially when online banking systems are taken into account. Foresight currently does not ship the Sun JRE but rather the IcedTea/OpenJDK JRE per default in group-{kde,xfce,gnome}-dist.
  • From an engineering standpoint, building against IcedTea/OpenJDK is by far the preferred option, since everything that will build against and run on IcedTea will run on the Sun JRE. The reverse is not necessarily true. Hence, the preferred option is to keep building our packages against IcedTea/OpenJDK even if we ship Sun’s JRE (in group-{kde,xfce,gnome}-dist) and JDK (group-{kde,xfce,gnome}-dist-devel) per default. The point was also made that the general practice in OSS land is to build against IcedTea and hence we would be better off following that trend.
  • It is worth mentioning that while Java apps have build requirements, they don’t have runtime requirements — so whichever JRE owns /usr/bin/java wins. In practice, if both IcedTea and the Sun java stack are installed, then the icedtea java gets consumed byDefault (so a developer who installs IcedTea-{jre,jdk} without uninstalling the Sun-{JRE/JDK} will use the IcedTea-JDK in his local builds, without further action)
  • From a licensing standpoint, we are pragmatic enough to not be fussed about shipping Sun software by default, as the IcedTea JRE/JDK is available in the repository for those who cannot stomach the thought of using Sun’s proprietary Java bits. We may have to revisit this, though.

OgMaciel, doniphon and Mark__T all voted in favour of shipping sun-jre by default in group-gnome-dist. doniphon fixed the groups a few minutes later.

Shipping x86 Flash on x86_64 groups by default

  • Adobe recommends that x86 be used and not x86_64. To improve the user experience, we should follow what Adobe recommends. However, doniphon notes that the two alternative ways of achieving that create their own set of problems.
    • If we keep xulrunner/ffox 64bits, in order to use x86 flash we need nspluginwrapper (we the have latest version in our repository already) which we used in the past. But nspluginwrapper leaks a lot of memory and this is arguably worse than the issues we have now. Also this would imply no flash in chromium64.
    • We could ship ffox/xulrunner/thunderbird/and everything that depends on those as well as all plugins x86. This wouldn’t be a good idea because it would make groups a lot fatter. We can’t have a mixed stack or we would get different stuff that depends on xulrunner to render flash differently.

    None of these two solutions are acceptable.

  • Java has a working 64bit plugin now, and adobe has a somewhat working plugin. We got rid of nspluginwrapper. We believe that flash will eventually be fixed.
  • Outside of rBuilderOnline, there’s nothing to say about Flash performance on x86_64. For a distribution that promotes rBuilderOnline as a way of getting into packaging, we’re not in the sweetest of spots regarding 64-bit flash, but no Linux distribution is. That was a design decision at rPath, and while Foresight is tangentially rPath’s baby, we should not dumb anything down to make it work with something that is suboptimal. Real packagers will use rBuild anyways.
  • Users can install the x86 version of FL for their desktop if they absolutely must have x86 flash working. We should document the command line instructions for those who want to manually convert their system (as well as ways to get back defaults).
  • Given the above points, all three members of the council voted in favour of sticking to x86_64 Flash and waiting for better support from Adobe.

Status update

  • KDE is being updated.
  • jesse and doniphon are going to bump gnome (2.29/2.30 stuff) in 2-devel (that’s why doniphon promoted to 2-qa last night).
  • doniphon thinks that 2-devel is in a better state at the moment than he ever tought it would be possible.

Moving to a fixed release cycle of 6 months to match GNOME’s release cycle

  • Release here means shipping ISOs but we will obviously keep the rolling releases.
  • We should leverage the work being done by the GNOME Devel Kit project.
  • We have always tried to release close to GNOME releases but we haven’t made an impact for a while because we have lacked clear objectives. Council unanimously approves creation of a roadmap with milestones for tentative release dates to be drafted by ermo, afranke and OgMaciel. They are going to build on the existing 2.1.2 ‘roadmap’ and collect issues and post the link to -devel.
  • We shouldn’t plan too much into the future. Dates can be changed, the point is to set objectives.
  • With a roadmap we can specify a commit freeze. We already have such freezes but they happen informally in #foresight-devel where developers are warned that they shouldn’t commit after some date until stuff is promoted to 2-qa. That needs to be documented and formalised.
  • Mark__T is distracted by real life at the moment, so there won’t be noise commits from him. He’s still trying to get his focus back on anaconda and indicator stuff.
  • OgMaciel, afranke and ermo will schedule a meeting to draft roadmap, which will include issues as well.

Proposed members/developers

  • ermo as developer. Accepted unanimously. Congratulations ermo!
  • ermo needs to bug OgMaciel later on to get his new cloak.

FL 2.3.0 release sprint

  • Sometimes pulseaudio gets 100% in one core. This sound issue is not enough to block 2.3.0. There is a clear and effective workaround (pulseaudio -k) that we need to document in the release notes. The bug happens randomly and is not reproducible.
  • smerp is going to work on a FITS list of issues for PackageKit and doniphon will review that later. Some of these issues are blockers for 2.3, some can wait.
  • Transscript
    < smerp> 1. Conary 2.1.8 must be on :2 AHEAD of PackageKit. This is to resolve a temp table problem in Conary fixed in 2.1.8
    < smerp> Those are the *most* important things< smerp> 2. Memory-related fix (using Cache() too much) must be cooked into the version of PK on :2 now (0.4.x)
    < smerp> (and that needs to be in 0.4.x, too)
    < smerp> 3. Update model in PK needs to emulate what updateall does *exactly*, which it currently does not.
    < ermo> this will be useful for the roadmap, btw.
    < smerp> For me, the question of “is packagekit ready?” can be answered by this:
    < smerp> Can a user on :2 update to 2.3.0 with PK without exploding? If so, we win.
    < Mark__T> btw, I will drop ati-fglrx 10.2 and wait for 10.3 (should be released soonish), but 10.1 works fine, so we can go with that one if I don’t get a newer one in time
    < smerp> What this means is that the following things must happen ON :2 before we push the hammer
    < ermo> smerp/doniphon: we need to document how to run the upgrade tests, btw. I tried my hand at a howto on the wiki that describes how to test this.
    < ermo> i.e. the upgrade
    < smerp> ermo: W/R/T update testing: I’m afraid that updating to latest :2 is the only way we can support a real update via PK
    < smerp> people still on 2.0.4… well, I can’t help them
    < smerp> Anyone else besides me use VMware or VirtualBox or something like it?
    < smerp> Best way to test this is to use snapshots and rollbacks in a VM
    < OgMaciel> Mark__T: no voting required… thanks for attending and my apologies for the delayed start from my part
    * OgMaciel could use vmware to test
    < smerp> And, by the way, if PK got into a state where it wasn’t hand-waved as a pain in the ass so that actual power users would use it, that would rock
    < smerp> OgMaciel: please, by all means
    < OgMaciel> smerp: will do
    < smerp> Best thing you can do is get a 1 GiB RAM VM with :2 on it ready to go
    * OgMaciel makes it happen
    < Mark__T> is it PackageKit that’s broken? for me it seems like only gpk is a mess
    * smerp thinks that doniphon should push conary 2.1.8 on to :2 yesterday
    < ermo> So (very) short term, smerp and doniphon get pkgkit sane. Re. sound, we all keep and eye out and make sure to make a note of the snd-card
    < ermo> and document sound workaround in release-notes
    < doniphon> smerp: will coordinate that with mkj
    < OgMaciel> doniphon: so I will test updating current :2 *before* you bump newer conary
    < OgMaciel> for testing purposes
    < doniphon> ok
    < smerp> OgMaciel: it’s likely to break at least once. :D
    < OgMaciel> I will then give doniphon the go ahead and keep all informed
  • ermo is taking care of the polkit/PolicyKit & Gnome System Tools issue. We have traditionally used a scheme where users in the wheel group can elevate privileges using their own password. When we switched to polkit from PolicyKit, our old policies stopped working due to changes in the configuration system in polkit. This leads to the system asking for the root password for authentication. We have no root user, which is obviously a problem. ermo put out a solution so that we’re back to using wheel but something blows up when there are more than one user in the wheel group. The user installing FL is put in the wheel group by default but if you add a new user to the wheel group (with gnome-system-tools or via command line) it goes wrong. This is not a blocker for 2.3.0 because the default case works. We only need to document it as a known issue. ermo will make a new issue for it and report there.

Council Meeting Minutes 2009-11-20

Here are the minutes from the last Foresight Council meeting.


  • Announcements
  • Proposed members/developers
  • Proposed Topics
    1. Infrastructure updates
    2. Changing from Pidgin to Empathy
    3. Status update
  • Next meeting agenda


  • Web site updated to latest WordPress for security reasons.
  • Mark Trompell has a working Xfce Lite Edition and gave away a couple of prerelease CDs last week. One fedora guy took some too and promised to show Foresight at his LUG.
02 maintenance in progress

UPDATE: We have the wiki running again, but the issues haven’t been resolved completely. We’re working on it, so service may be intermittent for a while still.

The Foresight wiki is undergoing maintenance (bug fix and feature upgrade to support WYSIWYG editing with WebKit based browsers such as Google Chrome, Safan and the GNOME epiphany browser).

Thank you for your patience.


Interview – BleachBit Developer

We interviewed BleachBit developer Andrew Ziem.

About BleachBit

BleachBit quickly frees disk space, removes hidden junk, and easily guards your privacy. Erase cache, delete cookies, clear Internet history, remove unused localizations, shred logs, and delete temporary files.


Can you tell little about yourself?

When a young teenager I started programming for fun in Pascal. Before I ever heard of open source or GNU, I published my first open source software in 1996 in C for Windows and OS/2.

Programming is an great hobby: it costs nothing, allows creativity, requires problem solving like for puzzles, and can help other people.

I work in a technical role at a large non-profit organization that loves Microsoft. At home I use Linux, which I’ve used for about 9 years.

I’ve used Fedora since version 1, and before that Mandrake (before it was Mandriva).

How did you start with bleachbit, when did bleachbit get created?

Most of the software I had written was command line interface or web interface. Years ago I had used a GUI application in wxWidgets with C++, but since then, I learned Python.

When BleachBit started, I was interested in learning GTK+ using Python (PyGTK). One advantage of PyGTK is it is standard on all desktop Linux systems, and Python saves the programmer significant effort over older languages such as C++.

I combined the desire to learn PyGTK with a perceived vacuum in the Linux world for a safe, easy-to-use, powerful cleaning tool, so in a short time I released the first version of BleachBit 0.1.0 on December 24, 2008.

How many hours do you work on Bleachbit each day/week?

It varies but lately about one hour a day. Less than half the time is spent coding. Testing, packaging, advertising, managing translations, managing tickets (usually feature requests), and answering questions requires a lot of time.

Whats your main target for bleachbit, Windows or Linux users?

Each platform’s users offers something unique. BleachBit was originally written for Linux. By using PyGTK, BleachBit is better suited for Linux: Linux already has PyGTK, but the PyGTK dependencies add about 6MB to the Windows installer. On Linux, there is less competition from similar software, though some Linux power users are slow to accept BleachBit because they think they can achieve the same results with simple scripts. My challenge: run your script and then see what else BleachBit finds.

Though there is more competition from similar, well-established software on Windows, there are many more Windows users in the world:
even a small slice of a big pie represents many users. Windows users need more open source alternatives to proprietary software to open doors to Linux. Also Windows users are more likely to link to the BleachBit web site (which is appreciated) because many Linux users instead install BleachBit from a repository (using conary, APT, Yum, etc.) without visiting the web site.

BleachBit still lacks a few features and polish for Windows. For example, Windows users expect to see Windows file dialogs, but instead they see the GTK+ file dialogs.

Which dist do you think uses bleachbit most?

In a short time of the first BleachBit release, I quickly learned Ubuntu definitely exceeds all other Linux distributions and Windows
too. Ubuntu’s dominance is especially clear in the download statistics.

What makes Bleachbit so special?

BleachBit is free (as in speech), cross platform, safe, easy, quick, convenient, well translated, actively developed, and includes many advanced features such as free disk space wiping, CleanerML (an XML markup for writing your own cleaners), and vacuuming Firefox and Google Chrome.

Any big feature that’s coming to bleachbit in near future?

I’m planning the second generation of CleanerML and a generic feature to find a whole new category of junk files that no other software
finds. These features will help pave the foundation for BleachBit version 1.0.0.

Also, this week I’ll be releasing the first bonus cleaner package, which provides additional cleaners that were not yet eligible for
inclusion in the main package.

What do you know about Foresight Linux?

I first heard about Foresight Linux when I noticed BleachBit in its repository. I see Foresight uses a unique package manager and
provides fast updates.

Thank you for your time and good luck with BleachBit in the future.

And I wish you well for Foresight Linux.

Best regards, Tomas Forsman


Foresight Linux Newsletter, Issue 1 (29/9-2009)

Editor’s Note

Fresh start of Foresight Linux newsletter. It’s time to let the users what’s going on and what’s coming in the near future. Our newsletters were scarce in the past few months but we’re working on it and this will be improved with more regular updates from now on. We hope our users will find our newsletter useful and give a hint on what’s happening inside Foresight.

// Tomas Forsman


Gnome 2.28 is currently inside development repository. Still some minor issues, but relative stable. We can’t promise when it will be in stable repo, but we hope within a week or two.

New applications have been added, such as: Unetbootin, Moovida Media Center, nfoview, Taskcoash and more. Some are still under testing, but will soon be available.


Boots (Fedora Remix), has now a own space in Foresight Wiki.


We interviewed Andrew Ziem, Developer and creator of BleachBit application. Whole interview here

You can install it easily with packagekit or though Terminal with this command: sudo conary update bleachbit

Community News

A number of new members have officially joined the Foresight community due to their outstanding contributions to Foresight.
For more information on becoming a Foresight member, see this page on the Foresight Wiki.

Join the Foresight Community

Foresight users and developers are active on a number of different social networking sites.

Contribute to the Foresight Linux Newsletter

Have a package or piece of software you want to share in the newsletter? Send it in! We are always looking for more writers or contributors, and building the newsletter is a collaborative process using the Foresight Linux Newsletter wiki. We are also looking for volunteers to interview people in the Foresight and GNOME communities, links to news articles on the web or in print regarding Foresight Linux, and all the other content that makes up the newsletter.

Have thoughts or comments on the newsletter? Email [email protected] and your letter may be published in the next issue!



Focus Meeting Minutes 2009-08-07

Here are the minutes from the last Foresight Council meeting.


  • Announcements
  • Proposed members/developers
  • Proposed Topics
    1. Work on the WP website
    2. Roadmap for short term (2.1.2 and 2.2)
    3. Wide repo cleanup
    4. Scheduling sprints
    5. Status for DEV space on the wiki
    6. Foresight artwork licenses
    7. Membership renewal?
  • Next weeks agenda

Council Meeting Minutes 2009-07-28

Here are the minutes from the last Foresight Council meeting.


  • Announcements
  • Proposed members/developers
  • Proposed Topics
    1. The future of Foresight
    2. Team Leads
    3. Hardware for testing
    4. Packaging contest
    5. Infrastructure updates
  • Next weeks agenda


  • Web site updated to WordPress 2.8.2 (thanks for the push afranke)
  • Release notes for the latest versions of all editions have been posted to the blog and links to them have been added on the corresponding pages (by afranke)

Kupfer – Alternative for gnome-do

A simple, flexible, application launcher for Gnome. Kupfer is a summoner/launcher in the style of Quıcĸsılⅴεʀ; you do not use it to search your files, you use it to summon the object you are thinking about.

Kupfer can right now summon Applications, Recent Files and Places, your chosen folders and their contents, Bookmarks, Windows and Gnu Screen sessions.

The ‘kupfer’ command launches kupfer, or spawns it if it is already running.


Just push enter, if you want to launch the application you see.

Remember, its very fresh application. So it may not work as you expect, but it’s worth a try.

To install it, open Terminal and write:

sudo conary update [email protected]:2-devel

Maybe, just maybe, you need to install a dependency. But I’m a bit unsure about it.



DVD authoring application with also Theora slideshow creation capabilities.

It’s still in heavy development, but you can still find it usefull. So install it from terminal:

sudo conary update mistelix –install-label [email protected]:-devel


Council Meeting Minutes 2009-06-26

Here are the minutes from the last Foresight Council meeting.


  • Announcements
  • Proposed members/developers
  • Proposed Topics
    1. Membership renewals
    2. Toolchain update
    3. FITS and workflow
    4. Tasks and roles
    5. Reschedule Council meetings
    6. Set up ISO mirrors
    7. Empathy vs Pidgin
    8. Infrastructure overview
  • Next weeks agenda