Linked by David Adams on Tue 30th Sep 2008 02:26 UTC, submitted by Rahul
Fedora Core The Red Hat community engineer behind the Fedora Games and Fedora Xfce media spins, Rahul Sundaram, announced the release of Omega 10 Beta, a remix of Fedora this past weekend. Omega is a desktop/mobile Linux distribution that is based upon Fedora but includes packages from the Livna RPM repository. The Omega 10 Beta release is roughly equivalent to the Fedora 10 Beta to be released tomorrow, but integrates multimedia support not found in Fedora.
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v Digg It
by Rahul on Tue 30th Sep 2008 03:36 UTC
Huh?
by AdamW on Tue 30th Sep 2008 03:42 UTC
AdamW
Member since:
2005-07-06

Thom told me OS News wasn't running distribution beta announcements any more, which is why I'm not submitting Mandriva's. So...why this?

Reply Score: 5

RE: Huh?
by sbergman27 on Tue 30th Sep 2008 04:09 UTC in reply to "Huh?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Thom told me OS News wasn't running distribution beta announcements any more, which is why I'm not submitting Mandriva's. So...why this?

Didn't you hear? Rahul has been appointed Linux News Deputy by the OSNews editor:

http://www.osnews.com/thread?331037

Edited 2008-09-30 04:13 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Huh?
by AdamW on Tue 30th Sep 2008 04:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Huh?"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

Oh, that thing. I got one of those emails too. Didn't have time to read it all.

I didn't realize it gave you carte blanche to post whatever you like to the front page. Maybe I should look at it again. =)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Huh?
by Rahul on Tue 30th Sep 2008 04:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Huh?"
Rahul Member since:
2005-07-06

It doesn't. Editors still have to approve it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Huh?
by aesiamun on Tue 30th Sep 2008 04:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Huh?"
aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

Self promotion through deputy linux news positions suck...

Reply Score: 7

RE: Huh?
by David on Tue 30th Sep 2008 07:06 UTC in reply to "Huh?"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

This one is my bad. Our official policy is that submitters and editors shouldn't post news on their own projects. Even if you have access to post your own stories, we ask that you submit it through "submit news" like everyone else and another editor has to post it (or delete it). I guess by some people's reckoning I was being too permissive.

I certainly understand the rationale. If we post every tidbit of Linux-distro news, then it will be all Linux distro news all the time. But it seemed like a worthwhile distro to me, and I guess I was feeling giddy because I had just signed up our first six "deputies."

BTW, deputies are OSNews readers who've volunteered to dedicate a portion of time every week and post a few stories, and they're given access to an enhanced submission interface. The whole program is designed to widen the net and make the editors' jobs a little easier. If you're interested in being one, contact me. Deputies sign up for different "beats." We could use a Mac one.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Huh?
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 30th Sep 2008 10:18 UTC in reply to "Huh?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Thom told me OS News wasn't running distribution beta announcements any more, which is why I'm not submitting Mandriva's. So...why this?


I must say, you're a man of your word, Adam - you promised me you'd notify me of a slip-up, and you did ;) . I already answered your email as well.

As David explains in the above comment, this was a bit of a slip-up. This whole idea of deputies is solely his baby, and I don't blame him for being all excited. Consider this a test to, uhm, test the whole deputy system.

Reply Score: 2

That's all we need... another distro
by Ricardo_NY on Tue 30th Sep 2008 03:55 UTC
Ricardo_NY
Member since:
2007-02-12

Another fork.

Reply Score: 1

r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

If it's binary compatible to Fedora 10, what is the harm? Sounds rather convenient to have Fedora + Livna in a compatible Distro. One less action to perform to get multimedia working. Just pop it in, install and run. Exactly what Linux "needs" to be "ready for the Desktop".

But then again, some people get panick attacks when they are confronted with the choice in breakfast cereals at the supermarket... So another respin may not be your cup of tea.

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

But then again, some people get panick attacks when they are confronted with the choice in breakfast cereals at the supermarket...

Yeah, I always had trouble deciding between Quisp and Quake.

Actually, in a situation like this, where the changes are tiny and are what the users do anyway, it's the trademark issues that are responsible for any actual confusion. Instead of being able to call it something sensible like "Fedora+Multimedia 10", it has to be called "Omega 10", or "Pink Beret 10", or "Orange Sombrero 10". Ditto for applications like "Frost-Ferret".

So another respin may not be your cup of tea.

Definitely Lipton on that one! :-)

Edited 2008-09-30 14:35 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Rahul Member since:
2005-07-06

There is a new set of trademark guidelines waiting on more community feedback and legal approval.

https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/User:Pfrields/New_trademark_guideline...

I suggested "remix" as a term for such derivatives and that has already been nominally accepted. When it gets published soon, we would be able to get better secondary branding. As the recent Firefox debates and others have shown, trademark protection while preserving the flexibility of free and open source software can be quite tricky at times. Hopefully the above guidelines represent a good balance.

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I suggested "remix" as a term for such derivatives and that has already been nominally accepted.

Credit for the term "remix" and for leading this new wave of trademark sanity really goes to Canonical and their "Ubuntu Remix" program, of course.

Reply Score: 2

Rahul Member since:
2005-07-06

Fedora has been using that term long time before the new set of guidelines are being published

http://www.redhatmagazine.com/2007/05/31/remixing-fedora-7/

Feel free to check the dates of this publication or a few months earlier with adoption from other distros,

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Fedora has been using that term long time before the new set of guidelines are being published

That's nice. Though I would point out that use of the term "remix" within the Fedora community takes something of a backseat to the trademark policy issue, and Red Hat's notable predilection for sending out cease and desist letters. Nice to see the trademark policy changing... for Fedora, anyway.

Reply Score: 3

Rahul Member since:
2005-07-06

The working practise in the community after the emergence of the remixing tools (livecd-creator, pungi and revisor) was the emergence of official and custom spins. There has been quite a lot of them

http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/CustomSpins

Going from community practise to codifying the guidelines in legal terms actually means that you need to enforce it actively. Especially so if there is commercial interest in protecting the brand.

Even with a sane set of guidelines, you still need to send c&d unless you want to lose your trademark. Since you mention Canonical as a example, you would note they are doing the same thing.

http://ubuntulite.tuxfamily.org/?q=node/171

If you don't do this, otherwise *will* abuse your trademarks soon enough.

Reply Score: 2

v Yet another forked distro?
by darknexus on Tue 30th Sep 2008 04:23 UTC
RE: Yet another forked distro?
by sbergman27 on Tue 30th Sep 2008 04:33 UTC in reply to "Yet another forked distro?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

...it's yet another fork of Fedora. Is Linux really...

Ye Gods, it's the "fork trolls" yet again. Read the announcement. Most Fedora users install the OS, go to Livna, install the Livna release rpm, and then install the multimedia codecs they need. The Fedora devs have made it clear that they have no interest in helping the users do this. This remix simply eliminates the extra hassles, is 100% compatible with Fedora, and can probably be maintained by one person in about 2 hours every six months using the Revisor tool. It's a better Fedora than Fedora. It would be perfect if this were reissued once a month or so with all the distro updates to that point.

Edited 2008-09-30 04:39 UTC

Reply Score: 9

RE[2]: Yet another forked distro?
by Rahul on Tue 30th Sep 2008 04:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Yet another forked distro?"
Rahul Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, I do intend to reissue updated composes like 10.1, 10.2 and so on on a periodical basis. What I really would like is more mirrors. If anyone is interested, do let me know.

Reply Score: 4

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

While I think that this is definitely a good thing, I'm wondering how you are handling the user education issue. While I am very much in favor of making it easy for users to get multimedia codecs, I don't really like the Linspire/Xandros approach of just silently including proprietary apps, drivers, and codecs without providing any ethical orientation info to the user. Ubuntu does a pretty good job of making restricted codecs and drivers easily available while also making the user aware when he or she strays outside the borders of FOSS. How does Omega 10 deal with this issue?

Edited 2008-09-30 15:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Yet another forked distro?
by Rahul on Tue 30th Sep 2008 15:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Yet another forked distro?"
Rahul Member since:
2005-07-06

There is a difference between proprietary software and potentially patent encumbered software. The former is a philosophical issue while the latter is a legal issue (atleast for distributions based in US)

Putting them in the same bucket is not appropriate.

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-system-distribution-guidelines.h...

Omega does not install proprietary applications or drivers. What it does install are codecs and multimedia players, all of them are under free and open source software.

To make this distinction clear, rpmfusion has two different repositories - free and non-free. When Omega switches to using rpmfusion (livna will have a migration path before shutting down), the software components installed by default will be from the free repository. The non-free repository will be available but nothing from there is installed out of the box. This is for two reasons. There is a potential legal issue with bundling proprietary drivers. There is also the technical issue that installing drivers for hardware when it is not required causes breakage.

The driver manager for a while was very distribution specific. There is a effort to make it use Packagekit and convert into a proper upstream project. I am not sure of the status yet but if it works in other distributions now, Omega possibly could include that. The details have to worked out with rpmfusion.org folks. Since that is just getting started, I am still looking for feedback on the "right" solution.

Reply Score: 5

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

So Omega 10 installs, by default, Free code which implements potentially patent encumbered codecs. Is the user (gently) informed of what that means? (BTW, I turn a less jaundiced eye to codecs implementing encumbered codecs than I do actual proprietary software. Much useful information for learning about and promoting FOSS is only available in proprietary formats.)

Is the non-free repo enabled by default? Is the user (also gently) made aware when they are pulling from the that repo, and what that means?

I realize it is a delicate balancing act getting all this right without actually preaching at the user.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Yet another forked distro?
by Rahul on Wed 1st Oct 2008 13:16 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Yet another forked distro?"
Rahul Member since:
2005-07-06

There are still sane parts of the world where software parents are invalid. Omega is only going to be useful for these people currently. If you are in US, you probably just want to use to Fedora and play Fluendo or something. I am open to ideas however. It all depends on how much interest there is from users or contributors.

Livna doesn't separate free vs non-free unlike RPMFusion. I haven't decided on what to do when switching over to RPMFusion.

Post to rpmfusion-developers list for further discussions.

Reply Score: 1

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Omega is only going to be useful for these people currently.

That's complete BS, of course. But I suppose you have to say it. What due diligence are going to exercise to prevent it being abused by those, surely very few, unscrupulous people in the US who might abuse Omega 10 to get implementations of patent encumbered codecs?

If you are in US, you probably just want to use to Fedora and play Fluendo or something.

I'd love to see the statistics on how many current Fedora users pay Fluendo, and have many do "or something". [/q]

Reply Score: 3

RE: Yet another forked distro?
by Rahul on Tue 30th Sep 2008 04:38 UTC in reply to "Yet another forked distro?"
Rahul Member since:
2005-07-06

There isn't any "forks". It is merely a compose of existing packages in a perhaps more convenient form. Fedora officially distributes spins like KDE and Xfce Live CD's. This is just an added option rebranded for trademark reasons.

Btw, forks aren't necessarily bad. Mandriva was a fork of Red Hat Linux long back and Ubuntu is a more recent "fork" of Debian and so on. Most users and distributions rely on forks like Xorg every single day.

Reply Score: 9

RE[2]: Yet another forked distro?
by Natorp on Tue 30th Sep 2008 15:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Yet another forked distro?"
Natorp Member since:
2007-06-14

Any prospect of a KDE-orientated Omega spin, Rahul?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Yet another forked distro?
by Rahul on Wed 1st Oct 2008 13:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Yet another forked distro?"
Rahul Member since:
2005-07-06

I am not working on any other variants at the moment but pretty open to it if people volunteer. Post to rpmfusion-developers list if you are interested.

Reply Score: 1

updates?
by handy on Tue 30th Sep 2008 06:23 UTC
handy
Member since:
2005-07-06

Rahul nice idea, I'm getting sick of setting-up multi-media shizzle for my collegues everytime there is a new fedora release out.

I do hope it's using fedora updates?

Reply Score: 2

RE: updates?
by Rahul on Tue 30th Sep 2008 06:33 UTC in reply to "updates?"
Rahul Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, it directly points to updates from Fedora and Livna repository. The next revision will likely replace livna with rpmfusion since livna + freshrpms+ dribble and others are merging together into a single rpmfusion repository.

Reply Score: 3

v Oh great another one
by ChrisA on Wed 1st Oct 2008 07:41 UTC