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Re: [Ambassadors] Live CD & Localization (was: What Fedora makes sucking for me - or why I am NOT Fedora)

Robert Scheck wrote:
Oh, we've the Live CD for a long time now. Did anybody use that medium on a
slower, older computer? Surely not. Otherwise you would have noticed, that
the Live CD is very slow there. The USB stick/variant may be fast, but the
CD which we're now promoting at our download page better and more that the
installation DVD, is IMHO not a good store sign as it is just slow. It even
has not a localisation - folks, not the whole world is speaking english,
just there is America on the worldmap! I know people from fairs, which are
really frusted by their first try with a Live CD as it was just English.
Yes, we maybe can create a spin, but these ones, we cannot offer on the FTP
and HTTP mirrors, because Fedora is already too big. On the other hand, the
issue of a non-US keyboard layout when trying to generate a localized
version of the Live medium is still not fixed. There were some tries to
solve that on LinuxTag 2008, but as far as I know, afterwards nobody again
cared about and it went down.

As the Spin SIG leader, I feel this is my piece of the pie.

As far as the localization of Live CDs and DVDs is concerned, I cannot but wholeheartedly agree;

The Live media is supposed to be the perfect show-case of whatever Fedora can do or KDE 4.X foo brings. If that's in English by default, that's fine, I'm not saying we should include kde-l10n-* on a LiveCD because that simply won't fit.

However, if that supposedly perfect show-case can be in German, Dutch, Swahili or you-name-the-language, the better. Localization is one of the selling points of Linux in general (because you get a lot of it for no mentionable effort -other then selecting your locale and browsing through the giant list of available locales), and it's one of the selling points of Fedora specifically (transifex, upstream, you know the story). And that's besides the difficulty or annoyance people sometimes experience when that supposedly perfect show-case is not in their favorite language.

In an effort to make these localized LiveCDs maintainable, I've accepted every contributor that wanted to create localized extensions of each spin concept. I know that Fabian Affolter and Igor Pieres Soares have done a good job at creating and maintaining their locales, and I ship them in the spin-kickstarts package for everyone to use.

Of course, that's only one small piece of the pie. We would love to create the spins on Fedora Infrastructure, or outside of Fedora Infrastructure (but that introduces verifiability constraints we're unable to get past yet) and have them promoted and distributed by the Fedora Project. However, that only stretches so far. There's a limited amount of Release Engineering the Fedora Project can do -being Jesse Keating, especially around Fedora N GA. In addition, there's a limited amount of QA the Fedora Project can do, and since it would be the Fedora Project composing, promoting and distributing such localized spin, it better be a good one.

Instead of thinking in terms of problems though, I like to think in terms of (potential) solutions. One of the solutions I suggested is that outside of Release Engineering, the localized spins can be created by peers (possibly Spin SIG members, possibly localized Spin maintainers) -to offload Release Engineering. It's a standard, pretty straight-forward process.

As for the promotion part... Well that's not really a problem, is it? It just depends on the composing and distribution parts.

Then in terms of distribution, which is another challenge for the Fedora Project, I've suggested we let the seeds for a torrent be the responsibility of the Spin maintainers. In practice, that responsibility boils down to: No Seeds, No Spin. The Fedora Project however would still host the torrent tracker so they have control over revocation and/or modification of the spin/torrent.

Since then, the discussion has come to a halt. I guess we were involved with other stuff, we didn't see much localization happening yet (as far as the kickstart repo is concerned, that is), and we lost interest in pursuing it for Fedora 10.

I hope this brings some perspective to the issue of localized live media, and I certainly hope this starts up a new discussion around including localized versions of spins, one way or the other, in F11.

Kind regards,

Jeroen van Meeuwen

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