Thu 08 July 2010

why fedora-tour won't be a Fedora 14 feature

Posted by ankur in Tech (383 words, approximately a 2 minute read)

Frankly, we're working pretty slow. That's the reason, we're not going to deny it at all. But YES, we do have valid reasons (excuses) for this. I'll try to convince you that it isn't really our fault.

The fedora-tour project relies heavily on clutter and the graphics support from our new free drivers. I run an Nvidia machine which runs nouveau (dv6226tx HP Pavilion Laptop). On F-12, my code would run, and show me the UI that I had created. On F-13, my code segfaults! So, in short, I can't see what I just coded. Yes, I've filed a bug. Unfortunately, I'm using a laptop and pulling out the Nvidia graphics card so it can fall back on its native on-board  graphics controller is out of the question. At the moment, we are two *active* developers on the fedora-tour team, subfusc, and me (FranciscoD), and somehow, both of us are stuck with this bug. Sad, isn't it?

What now? Are we going to sit and sip on cold beer while waiting for upstream to sort it out? Well, yes, in a way. Since the fedora-tour needs 3D support and the rest (whatever clutter needs), we need to wait for all the hardware/drivers to work properly. The fedora-tour needs to work on all hardware, it is meant for *all* users. It needs to be tested on all the hardware we can find so that the maximum possible people can use it.

In spite of this, we're not happy sitting on our asses waiting. I have an old run down machine back at home which uses an Nvidia card (crap!). I intend to pull the card out so the on board Intel graphics (which will not cause my code to segfault, hopefully) can take over. This machine, I shall update to a decent working condition and ship to college (this will need an additional task of cajoling dad for funds) and set up as a minimal server where the fedora-tour team can set up accounts and test their code. I'm going to get home on the 20th of this month and will set up the server ASAP. It's a long shot, and does need quite a bit of luck (what if pulling out the card doesn't work!!??) but it's almost the only solution we've got.