Fedora 8 ideas

Goede, J.W.R. de j.w.r.degoede at hhs.nl
Thu Jun 7 08:02:41 UTC 2007

Hi all,

Here are some (unsorted) ideas for cool(?) new things todo
for F8, warning braindump, waring.

1 Package nvu

The title pretty much sums it up, package nvu a popular
opensource web-editor. Anyone know why this hasn't been
done yet?

2 Firmware buddy

Here is what I would like to see (and would be willing to
write code for):

1) A firmware load request is send to userspace
2) When the userspace firmware helper cannot find this
   firmware, it logs this to a missing-firmware file.
3) When the user logs in, a firmware-helper-applet runs
4) If there is missing firmware and a working internet
   connection, the applet becomes active, otherwise it
5) The applet looksup the firmware name in a table which
   matches it to a device-identifier.
6) The applet looksup manufacturers + productnames (as seen

   on the box/outside) of device-identifier devices.
7) The applet shows a gui to the user explaining that 
   firmware is needed for his XXXXX (ex. wireless card) to
   work, and asks him to select the manufacturer and
   of his XXXXX.
8) The applet downloads the windows-driver from the
   manufacturers websites and runs a special (per driver)
   shell script to extract the firmware
9) The user is told to reboot (or do something else to
   get the device re-initialised).

3 plugin buddy

Like codec buddy, but then for firefox plugins. Why?
because firefox plugin find service doesn't undserstand to
install nspluginwrapper (needs to get into Fedora) and then
flash on x86_64. Nor knows it to change the selinux type of
realplayer to get it to work with our default enabled
selinux policy.

4 internet access keys made easy

The title pretty much sums it up, add some gui-helper for
people to make it easy to configure there internet access
keys on ps2 keyboards (usb should get handled 100%
automatically). Use dmi info on laptops to identify and
automatically enable there internet access keys.

Things todo here:
-there is a weird kernel behaviour with similated
 (which is enbaled by default) which confuses X with
 to these keys. If simulated scancodes are disabled, then 
 selecting the proper keyboard in preferences->hardware-
 >keyboard, gets X to recognise the keys and send special 
 XF86 ext syms for them.
-metacity can define keyboard shurtcuts for actions like
 mail, www, home, search, etc. But does not bind these to
 the special XF86 keysysms for these by default (easy fix)
-for the laptop case automatically configure the correct
 keyblayout using dmi-info
-check that usb works automatically, and if not fix it.

5 proprietary software install helper

Yes you read it correctly, I'm suggesting the inclusion of
a "proprietary software install helper" which gives users a
gui which will help them to install popular and free as in
beer software.

Many of my collegues who I try to convert to Linux have
been complaining about the pain to get for example vmware
to run, this is when I first came up with this idea, to
pretty much discard it the next day.

Then today I read this article:
(which contains many badness) and I noticed again a lott
of workarounds/hacks to get proprietary software to run.

Lets face it quite a few of our users (and quite a few of
us too I guess) want to atleast try out some proprietary
software, and installing that on a quick developing
 cutting edge distro like Fedora is a pain.

Problems with selinux are only one part of this. If we want
users to stop disabling selinux, an helper program which
fixes selinux types for these will hopefully lead to less
users disabling selinux.

So do we want this? on one hand we do not endorse / promote
proprietary software. OTOH some (many?) of our users use or
atleast want to try one or 2 proprietary programs. I think
in the name of userfriendlyness, that it is a good idea to
make this easier for them.

Suggestion: if this is done make the program start witha
 dialog that we do not endorse this, bla bla bla. When a
propietary app gets selected, first popup a dialog
advocating free alternatives (qemu for vmware, evince for
acroread, etc.) with an install + launch button for the
free alternative.



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