Archive

Archive for April, 2011

Sitting in stunned silence

April 12, 2011 2 comments

Linuxfest Northwest 2011 - April 30th-May 1st I’ll be there. You should be there, too.

For those of you who keep track of such things, the Fedora Project’s naming convention is somewhat unique. Fedora doesn’t take a character from the famous Pixar movie “Toy Story,” as Debian does, or have the distro’s space-traveling master of all he surveys unite an adjective and an animal both starting with the same letter, as Ubuntu does. No, Fedora puts a little more effort into the name choice for each release; an effort that can sometimes border on performance art when debated publicly among those in the community.

The formula is simple: “$CURRENT_NAME is a ______ and so is $NEXT_NAME.” A history of the names can be found here.

So this formula has produced some interesting names. Fedora Core 5’s Bordeaux — a wine region in France, but also a comic book character — begat Fedora Core 6’s Zod, another comic book character. One of my favorites is Fedora 11’s Leonidas — which comes from Fedora 10’s Cambridge (Cambridge is a ship in the Navy, and so is Leonidas) — because it allowed some fun with the name with “300” memes. Ubuntu? THIS! IS! FEDORA!

As an aside, it’s unfortunate that Barona was not chosen as the Fedora 16 name, which would lend itself to rewriting the lyrics to The Knack’s “My Sharona.” Such are the things that go into consideration in Fedora circles regarding what name to choose in the ranked voting.

There was a huge effort to bestow Beefy Miracle as the Fedora 16 name, to the point where T-shirts and sites abounded. As noted here and elsewhere, I was not fond of that name, which didn’t come from an A-is-a-(blank)-and-so-is-B formula as much as it came from an algorithm based on the Fedora 15 name, Lovelock (not exactly a barnburner either). The problem wasn’t the formula so much as the name, arguably, lent itself to painting a target on the distro for merciless derision in the FOSS world. However, with all the effort that went into promoting the name and with what it meant to those who pursued it – hell, it’s only a name that never gets remembered anyway — I gave it the highest rank in votes anyway in a field of candidates (Barona excluded) that seemed to be so weak as to ensure Beefy Miracle’s success.

So I waited for Fedora 16 Beefy Miracle.

Well, guess what? The Fedora world woke up this morning to the results of the naming vote to a shocker. Beefy Miracle finished second in the polling to Verne — not Jim Varney’s off-screen buddy (who I believe doesn’t have the tailing e at the end of his name), but Jules Verne, the science fiction writer and futurist. Therein lies the connection: James Lovelock is a futurist, and so is — or was — Jules Verne (never mind MY futurist, Marshall McLuhan not making the ballot, despite celebrating his centennial year this year as well as coining the phrase “the global village”).

Personally, I’m stunned. Everywhere you went in Fedora circles — and that would mostly include IRC channels, Beefy Miracle was collectively on the tips of everyone’s tongues and a lot of effort went into promoting the new “god” — but it was not to be. I truly thought that some approved candidates were left off the final ballot — Dusty, Talladega and others — to ensure Beefy Miracle’s success. The prospect that Fedora Activity Days at events would be called “Meat Ups” now falls by the wayside. There is no joy in Mudville.

Now I have to rework my presentations for Fedora 15 — the standard stump speech has a “what’s coming up in the next release” and part of that is explaining the naming convention and how we came up with the name for the following release. I feared the derisive laughter that, “Well, upcoming in Fedora 16, which is code-named Beefy Miracle . . . ,” and found a way to deliver it with some decorum. Now I don’t have a chance to do that.

It’s sad on various levels.

[FSF Associate Member] (Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs Redwood Digital Research in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation. He is also one of the founders of the Lindependence Project.)
Add to Technorati Favorites EFF Binary Freedom Dead button Wordpress button Xfce button dbEntrance button AntiX 7.0 fedora badge XubuntuEliminate DRM!

Categories: Fedora Tags: , ,

Fools one and all

April 1, 2011 6 comments

Linuxfest Northwest 2011 - April 30th-May 1st I’ll be there. You should be there, too.

[Update: OK, WordPress, very funny: When you go to look at your blog stats, the real number is on the bar chart, but the bar on the bar chart it set at astronomical heights.]

So far, the pickings began somewhat slim on the tech news front regarding har-de-har-har April Fools’ Day joke news, but it seems to be picking up as of around 9 a.m. Pacific Time — and by this time, which is dusk or later in Europe and night in Asia, the stories should be out and read by now.

The best of the tech so far are these two:

— That KDE is the prize in a raffle, outlined on the KDE site here. I’m just wondering if those who are “offering” are clear on the concept of “prize.”

– Marcel Gagne gives us probably the best written one of the day with his Microsoft buys ReactOS for billions, which you can read here. It had me going before the first cup of coffee this morning.

One that would get a thumbs up except it glosses over an issue that Canonical/Ubuntu would just as soon hide in the dungeon and make believe everything is just peachy is the real identity of “Canonical/Ubuntu critic extrordinaire” Jef Spaleta — according to Jono Bacon’s blog, it’s Jono Bacon himself.

While tongue was planted firmly in cheek and while there was snickerable material in the blog — even the real Jef himself and Mrs. Jef responded to the blog — it makes light of the issue that Jef rightfully and, to his credit, consistently raises: For example, that of Canonical/Ubuntu’s contribution, or lack thereof, to kernel development and other aspects of FOSS where they reap the benefits without putting in the work.

I replied to Jono’s blog, paraphrasing the late Sen. Lloyd Bensten, who said this to then Vice President Dan Quayle in the debate in ’88: “I served with Jef Spaleta. I know Jef Spaleta. Jef Spaleta is a friend of mine. Jono, you’re no Jef Spaleta.”

One blog falters to the point of faceplanting: Sam Varghese writes on ITWorld — not linked here in principle — that the Linux kernel will be released under the BSD license. This would be a good one in theory, but in execution it tends to go off on a “wink-wink-nudge-nudge” tangent that makes it implausable from the start. Secret meetings in Tegucigalpa? Riiiiiiiiiiiight.

There are also trappings of mirth in some Facebook statuses: The Rude Pundit (warning: though politically appropriate in my opinion, foul language abounds), a liberal blogger who is on top of my list of non-tech reads, gets an honorary degree from Bob Jones University. Also, Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier throws up his hands and goes over to KDE — ha ha, funny guy, that GNOME media guru.

It’s still early in these parts, so maybe a Hail Mary pass will find its way to a receiver during the course of the day. Or not. Just bear in mind that it’s April 1, and that your shoe is really not untied. Or worse.

[Another update, pointed out by Juan Rodriguez below in the comments: Juan, aka Nushio, gets high marks for his "Fedora Cheat Ball." Link is in the comments -- go take a look.]

[FSF Associate Member] (Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs Redwood Digital Research in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation. He is also one of the founders of the Lindependence Project.)
Add to Technorati Favorites EFF Binary Freedom Dead button Wordpress button Xfce button dbEntrance button AntiX 7.0 fedora badge XubuntuEliminate DRM!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 80 other followers