Fedora 8 ideas

Hans de Goede j.w.r.degoede at hhs.nl
Thu Jun 7 15:15:24 UTC 2007

Bill Nottingham wrote:
> Goede, J.W.R. de (j.w.r.degoede at hhs.nl) said: 
>> 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
>> exits
>> 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
>> product
>>    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).
> What cards is this useful for that we don't ship firmware
> for? Anything other than bcm43xx and ralink?

I originally came to this idea after going through some pain to get my SIL card 
(prism 2 softmac, driver prism_pci) to work. So add prism cards to that, notice 
that I bought that card very recently, so those are still in the stores.

Also aren't there many many ralink + bcm cards, you make it sound like those 
are rare.

>> 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.
> <die realplayer die>
> So, *if* we install nspluginwrapper by default, does firefox
> then do the right thing?

Nope, I tried that.

>> 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:
>> http://www.howtoforge.com/the_perfect_desktop_fedora7
>> (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.
> I'm not really thrilled about working on this because
> of a) the insinuation, at least, of moderate endorsement
> b) the fact that it seems it would be going down a rathole
> of chasing-the-fixes-for-each-new-package.

I'm not asking anyone to be thrilled about working on this, what I'm asking is 
do others agree this might have (some) added value for Fedora, and more in 
general would such a beast be acceptable?



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