Monthly Archives: November 2018

Fedora 29 Release Party at Linux Autumn: Event Report

Release Party attendees: Making the group photo. This photo credits: Julita Inca Chiroque.

During this year’s Linux Autumn we organized Fedora 29 Release Party. These kind of events are organized around the world after the new version of Fedora is released. It’s likely that it was the world’s first Fedora 29 Release Party (for this version) because the official poster design was not yet ready and nobody had asked for it before.

Again, being an organizer, I must warn you that my perception of the event may be different than the one of an attendee. But on the other hand I saw more behind the scene events.

The party was attended by the Linux Autumn attendees. Its organizers included two Fedora ambassadors: Julita Inca Chiroque from Peru and Dominik “Rathann” Mierzejewski from Poland. Julita, as always, brought lots of balloons with Fedora and GNOME logos, and Matej Marušák from Red Hat Brno brought Fedora stickers and other swag.

We allocated little time for this event, only 25 minutes. That’s short but initially we had thought it would be enough. For a longer while we had been discussing what should we do during the party. We did not have to tell the attendees what Fedora was because those people knew it well. It was worth to mention what’s new in this release compared to the previous ones but none of us was able to mention any new feature except modularity.

Of course, the core point of the event was the cake with Fedora logo. However, we did not want it to be the only point so we decided to talk about Fedora Accounts System: how to create an account and to become a contributor of Fedora. We also planned to talk about Fedora badges and mention that a badge will be awarded to the attendees of the Fedora Release Party. We decided that Julita would talk about it because she had been the most experienced of us all. But during the party Matej who had his laptop already connected to the projector and was near the microphone talked about everything and showed examples on the screen. He talked so perfectly that there was nothing more to add.

25 minutes turned out to be much too little. The following talks had to wait. But I think that nobody complained. Even if one was not convinced to use Fedora (instead of other distros) then at least liked the cake.

Linux Autumn 2018: Event Report

Linux Autumn, the 16th annual conference of Linux and free software enthusiasts, organized by PLUG, was held from 9 to 11 November. This year, same as last year, we met in Ustroń, southern Poland, but we changed the venue: this time it was Hotel Gwarek.

I must say that my report may be little biased because I was included into the organizing team and I took it seriously. 🙂

But honestly speaking I think that this year Linux Autumn was very successful. We had as many as three foreign guests including some from outside Europe, plus of course many great people from Poland. Slowly our conference becomes more international. If you have not been there – you have good reasons to regret.

Day #1: 9 November

I managed to attend two talks, both very interesting. First Dominik ‘Rathann’ Mierzejewski was talking about common bugs in the development of packages for Fedora and similar operating systems. Dominik is a long time Fedora contributor and ambassador, maintainer of multiple packages, so he knew well what he was talking about. The second talk was given by Maja Kędras, a student from Wrocław University of Science and Technology. She summarized the graphics editors available in Linux: GIMP, Inkscape, Blender, and Krita. Those applications make great alternative for popular commercial packages. Sadly, they are not commonly appreciated.

The day ended with a dinner which extended into late night socializing talks, board and old video games traditionally delivered by DKiG Foundation (Old Computers and Games).

Day #2: 10 November

Marcin Zajączkowski talks about fish

On the second day there were much more events than on the first one. At 9 AM Marcin Zajączkowski gave a talk about Fish shell, an interesting alternative to bash. The second speaker was Julita Inca Chiroque, long time Fedora ambassador from Peru and GNOME Project contributor, currently studying High Performance Computing at the University of Edinburgh. She talked about parallel computing libraries for C and Fortran: OpenMP and MPI. Next we had a little change in the agenda: instead of Maciej Lasyk who arrived only the next day Błażej Święcicki gave his talk about log analysis.

Unfortunately, as an organizer I was unable to attend all talks so I don’t mention them here. The full list can be found at the organizer’s website. The next point for me was the lunch followed by two hours long workshop about parallel programming with OpenMP hosted by Julita Inca Chiroque and her fellow student from the University of Edinburgh Ana Maria Garcia (from Columbia). I really regret that so few people attended it because it was really interesting.

Then there was the real centerpiece of the event: we organized Fedora 29 Release Party. I will describe it in a separate article.

The next talk Securing your daemons using systemd was given by Zbigniew Jędrzejewski-Szmek, one of the main contributors of the project. Big shout to Zbyszek who was probably the first Polish speaker brave enough to give his talk in English thus making it accessible for the foreign guests.

The last speaker of the day was Matej Marušák from Red Hat. Matej works in ABRT project and that’s how I had a chance to have met him before. He talked about that project.

The day ended with an open air barbecue party, slightly delayed because of the tight timetable.

Day #3: 11 November

Unfortunately, due to my organizer’s duties I was unable to attend any talk that day. It’s a pity because from the agenda I know that Dariusz Puchalak talked about Ansible (fortunately, I attended his talk a year before) and there were two workshops: about development of RPM packages for Fedora and about Ansible for beginners. During that time I took care of the foreign guests. We went to the Krakow Balice airport but before we managed to sightsee Krakow for few hours and even some parts of Lesser Poland. It was funny as well.

Summary

Last year Linux Autumn saw a little decline but this year it was much better. If we keep this trend, next year we will have a really great conference. Schedule it in your calendar already, see you next year!

glibc 2.28: New and Updated Locales

See also:

New version 2.28 of glibc library has been released according to the schedule, that means on August 1, 2018. This time the changes in locale support are not revolutionary. Most of them just continue the works started and partially completed in the previous versions.

Alphabetic Collation

Shortly after the previous release the work on polishing the alphabetic sorting has been finished. This applies to all languages because the collation algorithm must support not just the current locale but also must be able to handle the foreign characters. The collation rules according to ISO 14654:2016 standard have been fully imported. The standard itself also evolves although the changes are little relevant from the end users’ point of view. For example, they apply to the punctuation marks or some rare letters used in little known languages.

Internally in glibc automatic collation tests for over 50 languages have been added. In future they will detect any upstream errors immediately.

Regular Expressions

Here are some problems being a consequence of corrected sort order. It turns out that the range regular expressions take the collation rules of the current locale into account. As a result:

  • The [a-z] expression matches not only the lowercase letters but also uppercase because they are interlaced between the lowercase in the collation order (e.g., a, A, b, B, …), but does not match Z because it is collated after z.
  • Source code manipulation systems which so far assumed that all source file names start with the lowercase letter, that means the regular expression [a-z]* matches them all except Makefile, have stopped working correctly.
  • The [0-9] expression now matches not just the digits from 0 to 9 but also all mathematical symbols which can be interpreted as numbers, that means, for example, fractions, superscript and subscript digits, digits from other numeral systems (Eastern Arabic, Indian, etc.)

There are many good reasons why ranges in regular expressions should be based on Unicode codepoint order rather than locale dependent collation order.

Since the error has been spotted late in the development cycle, in the beginning of July, a quick workaround has been introduced which deinterlaced the collation order of the lowercase and uppercase letters of the Latin alphabet. However, this workaround is temporary and will be reverted as soon as the correct implementation of the regular expressions is available.

Unicode 11

Full support of Unicode 11 standard has been introduced. This means that the rules of assignment of the new characters and alphabets to their proper categories (like letters, digits, punctuation marks etc.) and the new transliteration rules have been added. Also new emoji characters have been added. Of course, those changes usually apply to other alphabets than those commonly used in Europe. For example, single characters have been added to Armenian, Hebrew, Arabic and some Indian scripts. Whole Mtavruli block in Georgian script, Hanifi Rohingya, Sogdian and Old Sogdian, Dogri, Gondi, and Makasar scripts, Maya and Siyaq numerals, etc. Many of these characters and scripts are just historic.

New Locales

This time only two new locales have been added: Lower Sorbian and Yakut. Lower Sorbian is a Slavic language, closely related with Polish, used in Lower Lusatia which is part of Germany, near Cottbus (Lower Sorbian: Chóśebuz). Sadly, this language is heavily endangered: it is used by only 6–7 thousand people. Yakut language (also known as Sakha) belongs to the Turkic family, it is used by approx. 450 thousand people in Sakha Republic (Yakutia) which is part of the Russian Federation. They make nearly half of the population of the region.

It’s worth mentioning that both of these languages are inflected and require a genitive case of a month name when formatting a date.

Correct Date Formats in Inflected Languages

While talking about this, 2.28 is the second release of glibc, after 2.27, supporting two grammatical forms of month names. The previous work can be called successful and subsequent changes just include the support of more languages which have not been supported in the previous release due to lack of time.

Two grammar forms (usually nominative and genitive) of month names are now supported in the languages: ArmenianAsturian, Catalan, Czech, Kashubian, OccitanOssetianScottish Gaelic, Upper Sorbian, and Walloon. Together with those two newly added they make total of 19 languages using grammatically correct forms in dates.

It turned out that the difference between nominative and genitive case in abbreviated month names are visible not just in Russian and Belarusian, whose word for May is short enough so it cannot be abbreviated (nominative: май – pronounce: may, genitive: мая – pronounce: maya) but also in Greek in multiple month names (e.g., July, nominative: Ιούλιος, genitive: Ιουλίου, abbreviated forms: Ιούλ and Ιουλ, respectively).

In Kashubian language the difference between the nominative and genitive case in the month May turned out to be viisble also in the abbreviated form (nominative: môj, genitive: maja, abbreviated: môj and maj, respectively), and translators of Catalan languages asked to add, according to CLDR as well, the prefixes de and d’ to the abbreviated forms as well. As a reminder, a request to introduce the support of two grammatical cases of the abbreviated month names to the POSIX standard has been filed more than one year ago.

Minor Changes

Names of the week days and months in Aragonese language have been corrected. Abbreviated month names in Lithuanian language have been corrected, according to the current implementation in Glib library (part of the GNOME project) and CLDR, which by the way soon caused the automatic Glib tests to fail with older versions of glibc. Minor typos have been fixed in Kashubian language and Scottish Gaelic.