Older blog entries for ianweller (starting at number 68)

Repositioning myself within the Fedora Project

After talking with a few people recently and doing some self-analysis, I feel like it’s time to make a major shift in what I do within the Fedora Project. My Fedora résumé so far has consisted mostly of wiki czaring,1 package maintenance and other odds-and-ends jobs others kindly ask me to do.

I’m presently concerned with the second in that list — a combination of increased stress and decreased time available due to school and the speed of discussion on package maintenance and release engineering is a losing game. In the next few weeks, I’ll be checking all of my packages and determining which ones have dead or slow upstreams or bugs that I can’t resolve on my own. Those packages will likely be orphaned, and if nobody wants to care for them, so be it.

The two others? Wiki czaring is fine, but I need to improve on it a bit (see the footnote), and I always enjoy the random problems that I can help quickly solve for people. This being said, development on mw, supybot-fedora and other convenient software is (hopefully) Not Going Away™ any time soon.

With the pushing away of my first Fedora love, package maintenance, I’ve found something new to focus on. Through my internship with Red Hat last year, I discovered that there is a large deficit of good statistics about our community. There’s a large deficit of good statistics about most free software communities, according to some random Google keywords I just tried, apart from “this is how many times our product has been downloaded.” I really loved the opportunity to combine my self-proclaimed mad Python skillz with answering other people’s questions, such as:

  • How many contributors does Fedora really have? And according to these standards/filters?
  • How often is the wiki edited and when?
  • How many “things” has this random dude over here done? Do we consider that “active”?
  • How many vague statistically-related questions can we come up with on devel@l.fp.o or during a marketing meeting?

Some of these, obviously, have no answer. Yet.

When I finally graduate from high school, I’ll be pushing full swing into answering these sorts of things. Until then, you can help me make Fedora a better place by simply telling us what you want to see tallied up. I asked this about 9 months ago and I got a lot of responses — thank you. But with recent discussions about the future of Fedora and a lot of claims about our user and contributor bases not being backed up (not pointing fingers), I think there are even more questions that can be answered. Please add your statistically-inclined questions to [[Statistics 2.0]] and I’ll do my best in the near future to get them answered with statistics on our community.

I also love help. (Shout out to joshkayse who is taking the lead on making it simple to find a single contributor’s actions within Fedora, taking inspiration from Mel’s FAS scraper.)

Quick summary: Maintaining packages is a drag (for me) right now. I like taking questions and answering with numbers. I graduate soon. Ask questions.

1 While writing this I decided to Google for “fedora wiki czar“. What I found was a mysterious character who was appointed as such in a community touting full transparency. Mel brought this to my attention the other day — I really suck at providing transparency into the process of administering the wiki. It’s pretty much on a whim. It shouldn’t be this way.

Syndicated 2010-03-21 04:10:19 from Ian Weller’s free software blog » Advogato

$ mw commit

It’s 3:25 a.m.

mw now has a working commit command.

Go find a bug for me, please.

Syndicated 2010-03-14 08:25:24 from Ian Weller's blog » Advogato

New awesomeness: mw

During an extremely long hackfest today at FUDCon Toronto 2009, I planned to work on resurrecting fuse-mediawiki from its 15-month slumber.

I failed.

After talking with Jesus M. Rodriguez for an hour or so, we both determined that FUSE is not the right way to go about this for what I want to accomplish. The only thing we were planning to use FUSE for so far was downloading the wiki pages; everything else would be done with helper scripts.

We discussed things like “pull” and “commit”. It started to sound like a bastardized VCS. So we wrote a bastardized VCS. :)

Introducing mw: a command-line program with subcommands like “fetch” and “commit” to work with MediaWiki installations. I spent all day creating the framework for commands and all sorts of things, and ended up creating the init and fetch commands to start a mw repo and fetch some pages.

Currently: useless. Future: promising. I’m hoping that I can get the committing portion ready to roll within the week, and have fetch get all the pages of wikis and categories soonish.

Some key awesomeness: attempts to merge instead of just giving up (haha, you suck, MediaWiki), unified diffs, logs, and anything you really feel like doing.

Clone it now and read the README and HACKING:

git clone git://github.com/ianweller/mw.git

Edit: If you want to discuss this with me at FUDCon tomorrow, by all means do. Ping me on IRC to see where I’m at. :)

Syndicated 2009-12-07 03:56:05 from Ian Weller's blog » Advogato

Gwibber 2.0 in Fedora testing

Huge interface rework. A lot nicer looking. Go test it—F11 and F12 are in Bodhi.


Syndicated 2009-11-21 02:36:28 from Ian Weller's blog » Advogato

Long overdue screenshot

Down at FAD Fedora Talk 2009, I spent most of my time working on a mockup for how we could create a new interface to control Fedora Talk in Fedora Community. Here’s a screenshot of what I ended up committing to a new talk branch:

Fedora Talk integration with Fedora Community mockup

The hope for this interface is to provide a drop-dead simple way of starting a conference and selecting whether to stream and record it or not.

Syndicated 2009-11-02 04:41:50 from Ian Weller's blog » Advogato

Community statistics in Fedora and beyond — and where it’s going from here

During my summer internship with Red Hat’s Community Architecture team, my main assignment was to build an automated platform (which eventually was built into Fedora Community) for generating and displaying statistics within our community.

Needless to say, it didn’t get done. :) But it did get a healthy start, and even though the last couple of months I haven’t been extremely active in Fedora, it’s still alive and well.

This week, I started working on a research paper for my independent study at my high school. This independent study just happens to be continuing work on the project that I started a couple of months ago. The paper will include mostly primary sources of what people have said on Stats 2.0’s discussion page on the wiki, but I would love to talk with people on IRC about what they think is important to track so we can analyze not only the growth of the Fedora, but the growth of the community.

It doesn’t end with the one-semester independent study. I am presenting on this subject at UTOSC 2009. In this presentation I will discuss many of the variables of a free software community that can be tracked, and even provide example code and where to get started on automatically tracking them.

So, there’s the state of the Stats 2.0. Would you like to speak with me on IRC sometime about what you think is important to be tracked?

Syndicated 2009-09-10 16:40:04 from Ian Weller's blog » Advogato

Yay Ricky!

Here’s a pretty solid interview with Ricky Zhou on “How Software is Built”, which has interviewed the likes of Mike Shaver (VP of Engineering at Mozilla) and Dries Buytaert (guy who made the Drupal CMS). Go read it.

Syndicated 2009-04-23 00:01:02 from ian weller » Advogato

My hobby:

Using negatively connotative adverbs with positively connotative adjectives.

  • “That lasagna smells horribly delicious.”
  • “This paper is disparagingly awesome.”

Syndicated 2009-03-22 22:13:14 from ian weller » Advogato

Books and statistics

First things first — and a very exciting thing indeed — we’re finally opening up submissions for the Fedora Picture Book! The instructions for submitting photos are available at [[Submitting images for the picture book]] on the wiki!

And now for something funny brought to you by Facebook’s “Lexicon” application, which charts words based on the amount those words get posted on people’s walls. First, we chart the word “hate”.


As you can notice, hate decreases dramatically on Christmas and New Year’s. But what’s that huge spike from?


Well. :)

Syndicated 2009-03-16 16:35:27 from ian weller » Advogato

A few short statements

  • A community television station must only air locally produced programming, seeing how that’s the definition of “public-access television”. Programs not produced within the community need to have a community producer to put that program on cablecast.
  • Production quality is no excuse for limiting First Amendment rights.
  • The mission of giving a medium for members in a community with a public-access television station to express their First Amendment rights must be held higher than any other.

Syndicated 2009-03-03 18:57:44 from ian weller » Advogato

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