Tag Archives: schedule

Holiday Break 2016.

It’s sad I don’t get more time to post here these days. Being a manager is a pretty busy job, although I have no complaints! It’s enjoyable, and fortunately I have one of the best teams imaginable to work with, the Fedora Engineering team.

Since we’re coming to the close of another calendar year, I wanted to take a moment to remind people about what the holidays mean to availability. I’m going to crib from an earlier post of mine:

My good friend John Poelstra is fond of saying, “It’s OK to disappoint people, but it’s not OK to surprise them.” That wisdom is a big reason why I like to set expectations over the holidays.

Working at Red Hat is a fast paced and demanding job. Working full time in Fedora is itself demanding on top of that. These demands can make downtime at the holiday important for our team. At Red Hat, there’s a general company shutdown between Christmas and the New Year. This lets the whole organization relax and step away from the keyboard without guilt or fear.

Of course, vital functions are always staffed. Red Hat’s customers will always find us there to support them. Similarly, our Fedora infrastructure team will monitor over the holidays to ensure our services are working nominally, and jump in to fix them if not.

Some people like to spend time over the holidays hacking on projects. Others prefer to spend the time with family and friends. I’ve encouraged our team to use the Fedora vacation calendar to mark their expected “down time.” I encourage other community members to use the calendar, too, especially if they carry some expectations or regular responsibilities around the project.

So all this to say, don’t be surprised if it’s harder to reach some people over the holidays. I’m personally taking several weeks around this holiday shutdown as time off, to relax with my family and recharge for what’s sure to be another busy year. Whatever your plans, I hope the holiday season is full of joy and peace for you and yours.

‘Til Tuesday.

Many moons ago, Max Spevack wrote about why Fedora releases on a Tuesday. I thought it might make interesting reading for people who haven’t been around our releases long, or might have their heads so full of important knowledge that they let this piece slide off the queue. I know that in my advanced age I’m starting to lose bits of knowledge so I can remember, for example, when my kids need to be picked up at piano lessons. 😉

You’re gonna need a quality shoe.

This next couple of months will find me gone practically more often than not. My upcoming schedule looks like this for now:

  • Today until Sunday, Oct. 11: SLC, Utah for UTOSC 2009
  • Monday, Oct. 12 – Wednesday, Oct. 14: Raleigh, NC for meetings at Red Hat (with Community Architecture team, Creative team, et al.)
  • Either Friday, Oct. 16 or Monday, Oct. 19: Possible day off (PTO)
  • Friday, Oct. 23 – Sunday, Oct. 25: FAD Fedora Talk 2009
  • Tuesday, Oct. 27 – Thursday, Oct. 29: out of office
  • Friday, Nov. 6 – Friday, Nov. 13: Brisbane, Australia for meetings (yes, really — with Engineering Services)
  • Wednesday, Nov. 25 – Monday, Nov. 30: Family vacation
  • Friday, Dec. 4 – Tuesday, Dec. 8: FUDCon Toronto 2009

I think there’s a Fedora release happening in the middle there somewhere, too. 😉

Into the future.

Because we’re trying to stomp out a handful of nasty bugs — some of which appear to be thoroughly smooshed, and some of which we’re still attacking with the Rolled Up Newspaper of Free Code Wrangling — the Fedora 12 Beta will be pushed back one week.  We expect right now to release it on Tuesday, October 20th. Of course the schedule has already been updated to reflect the latest schedule news.

We’re still working out what this portends for the final release. Generally the QA team’s cumulative wisdom is that changes like this need to echo down the schedule, so that we don’t compress periods of public testing. Many people in the community don’t keep up with daily Rawhide, and depend on a DVD, CD, or Live image release to do their testing. (More on this in a moment.) We want to make sure that the Beta, which is the last release before final Fedora 12, has the chance to be tested by as many people as possible.

This used to be the position and purpose of the so-called “Preview Release” that happened several weeks before GA. However, in an attempt to make our test releases less confusing, we have gone to the industry-standard practice of making Beta the release that is meant to be code-frozen, and ready for wide public testing. The only changes that are supposed to go into Fedora during this period are fixes for problems detected that would make it unsuitable for release.

In which a wrinkle enters the fabric.

To make that testing period as long as originally intended, we’d have to make the final Fedora 12 release a week later as well. There’s a thorny problem in that plan, however. Part of the Fedora infrastructure will soon be undergoing a relocation from one physical facility to another, and that’s scheduled to begin some time around the 18th of November. This is happening toward the end of a longer process that is supposed to be fully complete by no later than November 30th. Currently our final Fedora 12 release is scheduled for November 10, but if we were to echo this Beta slip down the rest of the schedule, that would mean a release on November 17. Moving infrastructure the day after a major release? Our community Infrastructure team is the very definition of awesome, but… Yikes!

So, moving pieces of infrastructure around the day after release doesn’t seem like a great plan. And neither does shortening the period for public testing. We’re looking into whether our infrastructure relocation can be postponed, but of course the week of November 24th has a major US holiday, making rescheduling difficult.

In which you, Dear Reader, play the starring role.

Well, for one thing, by testing the currently available bits for what will be Fedora 12 Beta. The few changes still landing are mainly correcting problems found and noted in filed bugs, but the critical stuff in Rawhide, our development branch, is frozen. When we spin those packages into a release of DVD, CD, and Live media, it takes several days to prepare all of it and get it shipped to mirrors in time for the release date.  And during the days even before that, leading up to the spinning, you can test the vast majority of what will be in the Beta. Here’s how:

  1. Download the boot.iso file found in the images folder for your architecture, whether that’s 32-bit (i686), 64-bit (x86_64), or PowerPC (ppc). It’s under 200 MB in size and contains everything you need to run the installer. Burn the ISO file to a disc and boot your system from the disc.
  2. Proceed through the installation per usual, up until the screen for selecting capabilities and packages.
  3. When the time comes to install packages, the Rawhide repository is selected and will be accessed from the Internet. If you have a local or preferred mirror, you can edit the repository to point directly to it. If you don’t, our MirrorManager will provide you with a reasonable, nearby choice. Make your package selections as usual after the information is loaded from the repository.
  4. Packages will be downloaded from the Internet and installed to your system.

This method may take some additional time, depending on the speed of your connection to the mirror you’re using, but the bits are the same ones that Fedora experts are using every day for installation, updates, and testing of the latest software that will go into Fedora 12.

And most importantly, if you find problems, FILE A BUG! Remember, we’d rather hear about a problem twice than not at all. We have a Bugzilla primer that will tell you what you need to know to file a more clear and useful bug. It’s vital that we get great testing during Beta phases so that we can make the final as good as possible. All software has bugs, but what makes free software improve faster than alternatives is that we can all help stomp them out through an open, collaborative process. You can be a part of that process!

Pushing ahead.

The days of summer may be hot, but they’re anything but lazy in Fedora. The Fedora 12 release, as many community members already know, is a somewhat tighter schedule overall. We had so many features in the Fedora 11 release, some of them particularly extensive and complex, that we drove a slightly longer release cycle. To make up for that longer cycle, the Fedora 12 cycle is somewhat shorter. That truncation returns us to release dates close to the May Day/Halloween calendar we originally set up back around the Fedora 7 time frame. As a result, the feature freeze for Fedora 12 is occurring on July 28, or approximately three weeks from now. That’s the date by which new features and major changes in existing packages have to be entered. Probably a good date to inscribe on your calendar (and maybe tattoo on your forearm)!

You’ll see that the release after that freeze is called “Alpha” in this release, because we really have only two test phase releases before our release candidate in Fedora 12. For Fedora 11 and previous releases, there were three. So there’s limited time left to get your features in gear for the F12 release, if you want the practical upshot. To me, Fedora 12 is going to be very much a tightening of a lot of screws and bolts, ensuring this release is even more solid than Fedora 11, which itself premiered many new technologies but yet is racking up overwhelmingly solid reviews and praise. Our hope is to release Fedora 12 on November 3, 2009, as listed in the F12 release schedule on the wiki.

The Feature List page on the wiki shows a number of line items that need to be updated by their maintainers to be retained for the current release. If you own one of these, please visit the page and update your status so your feature can be managed correctly. If you are hoping to get a new feature into the process, then now is the time to build your page and get it entered into the appropriate category on the wiki. This process will help people elsewhere in the project work on targeted testing, publicity, and other noteworthy bits that go into each release. Thanks for being a part of it!

BarCamp @FUDCon F11

A little late with the blogging, but dinner went overtime. 🙂

BarCamp starts at 9:00am on Saturday, as listed on the wiki. We’ll have breakfast arriving sometime between 8:00 and 8:30. Breakfast consists of coffee, tea, juice, bagels, and pastry. We’ll start pitches at 9:00am, so please be on time.

Judging by previous BarCamps, we should have the schedule sorted by about 10:15, so talks will probably start at 10:30. After two hours of talks, lunch will be available. There are going to be bags available in an assortment of meats for carnivores, and some lovely vegetarian and vegan sandwich bags as well, with plenty for everyone who pre-registered, and a drink assortment. (Pre-registration has its privileges, it’s true… those who didn’t can check back by the table at about 1:00pm, when there may be some extras left.)

After another set of talks, 1:30pm-4:30pm, and a short break, we’ll gather in the main hall, E51-345, at 5:00pm. There will be BRIEF comments and thank you’s for some very special contributors, after which we’ll head to Flat Top Johnny’s for FUDPub (6:00-10:00pm).

See you in the morning!

Like a free, teeny, tiny Nine Inch Nails record.

Fedora release engineering team leader Jesse Keating has proposed that we slip next week’s Fedora 10 Beta by two days, to Thursday, September 25. This is due to a power outage happening in the Red Hat Raleigh office over the weekend. Check out his post on fedora-devel-list and feel free to comment there. The intention is to leave the rest of the release schedule untouched, and just make up those two days.