[Ambassadors] Live CD & Localization (was: What Fedora makes sucking for me - or why I am NOT Fedora)
Jeroen van Meeuwen
kanarip at kanarip.com
Tue Dec 9 11:29:18 UTC 2008
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
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
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.
Jeroen van Meeuwen
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