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9 August 2020

Report for session 1 of FZUG @ Nest with Fedora

by Zamir

Last month, Alick suggested the Fedora Zhongwen User Group (FZUG) can do a online meetup during Nest with Fedora. And based on the survey, people registered for two time slots, the first one is 9:00 PM Saturday evening UTC+8 which is not a good time for Alick, so I take up the coordinating role for this session.

As for the tool, we decided to use Jitsi, as it should work fine for most of us and do not have any limitations. What’s more, it’s totally open source.

During the meeting, I firstly introduced Nest with Fedora and it’s previous offline version, Flock to Fedora, to the attendees. It’s interesting to see that during the past years, we not only have new users in China, but also new contributors. One attendee shares that his motivation of being a packager is that deploying packages for their research in the lab is cumbersome before. So he decided to package all into Fedora and then he can just simply install them on every machine. It is good to know that people contribute back because they want to solve their own problems. Maybe this can be a talking point to attract more contributors in the future.

After the self introduction, we continue by sharing our interesting stores with Linux. That is a lot of fun.

Being an important part of a distribution, packaging also draw some attention in the meetup. Robin Lee told us that this year is his 10th year doing packaging for Fedora, which is a big milestone. Robin did really a lot of work in packaging. He is the main packager of Deepin Desktop in Fedora, and also a bunch of input method related stuff. Kudos to all the hard work he has ever done to Fedora.

Then someone bring up the question about upstream and downstream relationship. There are some local commercial distributions derivated from Fedora. However none of them actively work with Fedora community. What’s more, we see people doing duplicated work that we’ve already done in Fedora. This is not a good thing, especially for the downstream of Fedora. If they can work closely with Fedora, we believe they will have less difficulties in rebasing. And we can definitely help them merge their patches into upstream if they want.

Being an open source CPU design, RISC-V is popular in the world recently. And so does in our meeting. We spend a lot of time discussing status and interesting ideas around the RISC-V support of Fedora. It’s a pity that there isn’t much machine/boards available yet. Felix Yan, one of the main contributor to RISC-V support in ArchLinux and is also a Fedora packager, also joined us. He talked about the mainline support status of RISC-V. We even compare the status of RISC-V with MIPS, especially Loongson. People really want to see Fedora runs on more architectures. I believe there will be more progress in RISC-V support later on. And we also hope that the MIPS industrial can do more work in upstream so that when someone want to do a Fedora MIPS spin, it can still be an possible option. Well, this discussion is of course very technical focused, so it’s mainly me, Felix and one another attendee talking here. But it’s also amazing to see that the rest of the attendees kept listening without left the meeting.

The only meetup is scheduled for an hour, however we discussed for more than 2 hours online. And we have more than 10 people online most of the time. Even till the end we still have 8 attendees with us. It’s clearly that technies people all need social in some way. The pandemic make it hard to meet people offline, however meeting online is still a lot of fun. We probably need to think about doing similar meetups online after the Nest with Fedora time slot.