Fedora, Seneca, and FUDCon Tempe Thu, Jan 27. 2011
This semester is the fourth time that I've run the Software Build and Release (SBR600) course at Seneca College, and we have record enrollment – a full house! This course is one of a number of open source courses connected with the Centre for Development of Open Technology; it is a professional option in our Computer Systems Technology program, which focuses on network and system administration, and it has two goals:
- Teach software build and release (aka Release Engineering/Build Team) principles, technology, and skills
- Teach how to contribute effectively in an open source community
The students are currently researching and selecting projects from a short list of potential projects which have been screened for manageable size and practical real-world value. This semester, many of these projects are focused on the Fedora ARM secondary architecture, since the ARM buildsystem is physically located at Seneca, but some projects are related to different areas within Fedora (or, in one case, Fedora+Mozilla). In all cases, the students are expected to work with the community, use community communication tools and practices, and ultimately, advance the state of the respective area to which their project contributes. That means that if new software is packaged, it will be put through package review and end up in Fedora; if scripts or programs are written, they will be reviewed and committed upstream; and if documentation is written, it will end up in an appropriate and accessible place such as the wiki.
On Friday, ten SBR600 students will be traveling with Paul Whalen and me to FUDCon Tempe – eight students from the current semester and two from the previous semester. They're looking forward to making connections with other Fedorans, hearing about the latest and greatest technology, hacking, and generally starting down the road to becoming active contributors.
Please join us! -- I invite you to check out what we're doing, either in the usual Fedora places or in the #seneca channel on Freenode, on the Seneca wiki, or on Planet CDOT.
ARM Spam! Thu, Aug 5. 2010
My apologies to anyone experiencing a large volume of build notifications from the fedora-arm koji system. We're attempting to build F13 and are experiencing a lot of build failures (as expected).
I've added some dependency checking to the build script (big thanks to Seth Vidal for the yum code snippets!) which should make it a bit smarter about build order. Build notifications have been turned off until we get the failures down to reasonable levels.
Come and Speak at FSOSS 2010 Wed, Jul 21. 2010
The 9th Annual Free Software and Open Source Symposium (FSOSS, "eff-sauce") is coming up on October 28th and 29th, here at Seneca College in Toronto. This is a great event with a wide-ranging, eclectic mix of workshops and presentations.
I've been involved in planning FSOSS for the past few years, but stepped back a bit to catch my breath this year. Mary Lynn Manton has stepped up to the task of chairing this year's event with Rose Saliba, who is co-chairing for her third year.
FSOSS is still looking for interesting workshops and presentations on a variety of open source topics. If you're working with open source in any way, this could be a great opportunity -- please check out http://fsoss.ca and submit a presentation proposal right away!
Fedora 13 Release Event Sat, Jun 19. 2010
Fedora 13 was release a few weeks ago. We're going to celebrate the release at a release event in Toronto on July 5th. Here are the details:
- Who: Fedora Community -- and anyone interested!
- What: Fedora 13 Release Event
- Where: Seneca@York, TEL Building, room T1009
- When: Monday, July 5, 6 pm
- Why: To celebrate the release of Fedora 13 "Goddard", distribute Fedora 13 discs and discuss its new features, and meet up with other Linux contributors and users
- Wiki URL: http://bit.ly/f13-toronto
Please join us if you're interested. I hope to see you there!
Mozilla running Unit Tests on Fedora Wed, May 19. 2010
Mozilla uses CentOS for their Linux builders. They have up to this point also been running their unit tests on CentOS, but Armen has now switched the Linux unit tests over to 32- and 64-bit Fedora. This is a great win, because it means that Firefox will be tested against a more-current environment.
Network Storage: Loopback ext3 on NFS? Really? Thu, Apr 22. 2010
One interesting find I made while working with the Seneca students on Fedora ARM was that a loopback filesystem hosted on top of an NFS share can outperform the NFS share. Yes, it's counter-intuitive, because that would seem to introduce additional layers of processing, but I think it makes sense.
When using NFS, file metadata management is performed by NFS. When loopback-mounting a filesystem in a file hosted on NFS, the file metadata management takes place entirely on the local system -- NFS merely provides a data store. In this sense, it's not much different from iSCS, because the loopback filesystem can't be readily accessed by two separate hosts at once.
In fact, on a small ARM system such as an OpenRD-Client, loopback-ext3-on-NFS over GigE handily outperforms both Class 6 SD and a local USB-PATA drive.
Why not just use iSCSI? Well, for reasons I haven't yet determined, the Fedora iSCSI initiator doesn't work reliably on ARM-- under heavy load, it sends invalid opcodes to the target. This sounds like an alignment issue, but alignment fixups don't cure it. Investigation continues...