Fedora too cutting edge?

Hans de Goede j.w.r.degoede at hhs.nl
Wed Jan 9 18:45:18 UTC 2008

Hi All,

One of the few reasons why Fedora is my distro of choice is because its usually 
cutting edge, and I like to be where the development is happening.

However today I've had an encounter with Fedora which make me wonder if 
sometimes we aren't a little too cutting edge. I tried to get an industrial 
firewire camera to work with the stock Fedora kernel using the juju stack. Long 
story short, it didn't work.

Which after reading: http://wiki.linux1394.org/JujuMigration Isn't really 
surprising, quoting that page: "Almost no support for IIDC cameras: Not 
compatible with libdc1394 v1. Highly experimental support in libdc1394 v2 which 
works with some luck on only a few OHCI 1.1 controllers. Improvements are to be 
expected in Linux 2.6.25-rc1."

Notice how a preliminary fix is expected for 2.6.25, which probably means that 
this will still be broken in Fedora 9, notice that the breakage was introduced 
in Fedora 7, so thats 18 months worth of broken firewire camera support (iow 
most digital video cameras). Add to that that the above referenced wiki page 
also says: "Regarding Linux 2.6.22 and 2.6.23, the best advice to Linux 
distributors (kernel packagers) ... is: Build only the old IEEE 1394 drivers."

Does this mean that Fedora should not have shipped the new stack? No it 
doesn't! Getting code out there early into many hands for testing is a good thing.

What IMHO we should have done is build both the new and the oldstack, which is 
possible on the kernel side, and modify our patches to userspace to support the 
juju stack, so that the userspace libs can work with either one. On top of this 
we should then have written a small gui utility for easy switching.


Another example of Fedora being to cutting edge is pulseaudio, for prove click 
this URL:

Again I think its good to be shipping this, and even that its good having it on 
by default, but we should also provide a small gui utility for easily turning 
ir off.


Considering the current state of affairs with regards to both features, I would 
even like to advocate to make them both optional for Fedora 9.




I'll also be posting this to my blog for some wider exposure.

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