Thursday, September 29, 2005

SUSE Linux 10.1 Alpha1 is ready

Just announced "Auckland" - the first SUSE Linux 10.1 Alpha release. Major new feature is KDE 3.5 beta1.

Following the tradition of "eating your own dog food", I just finished updating my laptop to Alpha1 and added the fixed kdepim3 update. Everything looks fine so far...

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Short vacation in the Alps

On Thursday Jana and myself went of for a short vacation to the Alps. We stayed on a lovely farm in Unterjoch, Allgäu (the picture on the left is taken from the farm viewing the village) and enjoyed some sunny autumn days (Friday was beginning of autumn).

For the first time this year we got sunburned (since we didn't use sun lotion and the hats were not wide enough to protect us) and had really sore muscles (after our Friday mountain tour).

On Thursday we arrived at our small appartment in Unterjoch and did only a short walk around.

Friday, after a healthy breakfirst, we climbed the mountain Zinken. Zinken is the mountain directly opposite to the farm we stayed at and has only a moderate height (1613 m - with 1080m as start point). After the first half hour we reached the farm Zehrerhof and then the mountain showed its real side:
The path was really steep and it took us quite some time, effort and breaks to reach the ridge through first some forest and then up a steep meadow. Following the ridge we reached the bottom of the peak and then had to master 50 m of a steep fixed rope route. The view from the top was fine even though it was a bit hazy - and then the worst part come: Going down again using the ropes... In the afternoon I bought some walking sticks - they wouldn't have helped on the rope part but would have helped much for the major part of the tour.

The next day we had sore muscles but were still thrilled about the Zinken tour. We made a short tour by car and were stopped in a small road by the police - together with all the other traffic. The reason of the road block was that the farmers were ceremoniously driving the cattle down the mountain ("Almabtrieb"). The approximately one hundred cows wore some extra large bells and a few of them sported a crown, a mirror and flowers.

We then made a 15km hiking tour around the Zinken - with some ups and downs but no long steep parts. We came along a farm where the bells where just cleaned up and hanging for drying, crossed the German-Austrian border for several times and enjoyed the meadows, farms, rivers and the landscape -and in then end enjoyed a well-deserved lunch at a "Jausenstation".
In the evening we decided to enjoy our dinner watching the sunset - as only couple sitting outside at that restaurant since it was getting cold in the end. Now it's Sunday and we're back home again...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

LSB comments

Ulrich's rant about LSB has a number of issues where he just wrote wrong information. Since he's mentioning some of these for SUSE Linux 10.0, let me point out the following:

  • The filing speaks about minimal requirements, e.g. "Minimum Processor Speed". We did not test this on such old hardware but I'm glad that we support such old hardware. The tests were actually done on a new Athlon64 3000+ single processor system (running a 32-bit kernel).
  • Our engineers looked already during the development phase of LSB 3.0 at the test versions of the certification testsuite and reported bugs in the testsuite before LSB 3.0 was released. During our final application we nevertheless asked for new waivers and also could reuse some of the already filled waivers by others. Note that waivers are anonymous in the database and not shown anywhere. So Ulrich's claim "without the people reporting any problems and requesting waiving the test" is based on his unability to find company names in an anonymous database - and on the way that the LSB does not do a full disclosure of the reports filled by the companies.

I agree with Ulrich that the testsuite is not in the best shape, this is something that hit us as well. We only filled the ia32 LSB 3.0, but tested others archs during the 3.0 pre-testing as well. Ulrich seems to have to support all the Red Hat architectures and since the testsuite seems to have been originally developed on ia32 systems, shows less problems there than on other platforms.

I'm glad that we were the first to have a LSB 3.0 certification - and I wonder whether Ulrich considers this a "lost battle" and therefore started his rants against LSB and us.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Blogs are Spreading...

Antje seems to have liked the blog design that I use so much that she copied it and started her own blog.. Karl has started one as well using a different design. Antje and Karl are colleagues at Novell, she worked in Nuernberg first and recently emigrated to Dublin taking care of translations. Karl is one of our tech writers.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Time for SUSE Linux 10.0 RC1

I'm currently doing the last round of pre-tests of RC1. It looks really good and I'm impressed by the number of bugs that have been fixed for RC1 and that still come in and will go into RC2.

Some of the major changes for RC1 that I can think of directly:
  • The update to GNOME 2.12 (of those packages that were released in time, the rest goes into RC2). Fortunately the GNOME team had a hard code freeze already last week, so that beta4 contained all the code changes, now only documentation and localization updates together with critical bugs should come in for the RC. The two packages that did not seem follow this rule - and did not pass our internal testing - were libxml2 and libxslt.
  • Xen was updated and works under RC1.
  • We went back to installing GRUB in the MBR by default, there were too many broken BIOSes for now. We think we fixed all the reported problems but nevertheless for some systems installing in the MBR might be the only solution. For example, on Adrian's laptop the BIOS made the first partition always active and two active partitions did not work with the installed MBR - and neither would booting from the swap partition which is the first partition.
  • All translations went in - these were done by a number of volunteers and contractors (only exception: We missed to put in the non-English slideshow). I'd like to say a special thanks to the volunteers for their excellent work!
  • Hardware handling and hotplug was improved.
  • My SATA DVD-burner should work now (at least reading of CDs does work indeed).
  • libvorbis was fixed. The libvorbis team suspected a GCC4 bug but it was a bug in their code where they violated the strict ISO C aliasing rules. GCC did some agressive optimizations that were what the authors intented. I'm glad that our GCC team could figure this out and that it wasn't a GCC bug (ok, for now we still use -fno-strict-aliasing for the package but we know why it works).
  • A number of packages were updated like Amarok and FreeCiv.
  • The laptop support was improved in the areas powersaving and wireless support.
Ok, my laptop is updated to RC1, I should finish writing this, so that my workstation can be updated as well and then it's time to finish feeding all our mirrors so that tomorrow everything can be announced...