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Distros: Draco in Sparky, Fedora Issues and Optional Dependencies in Debian

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GNU
Linux
  • Draco Desktop

    There is a new desktop available for Sparkers: Draco

  • Archiving 26 500 community Q&As from Ask Fedora

    Ask Fedora is the Fedora Linux community’s questions-and-answers portal, and it recently transitioned from a forum software called Askbot to Discourse. Changing the underlying forum software doesn’t have to be destructive but Ask Fedora decided to go with a nuke-and-pave migration strategy: They decided to start from scratch instead of copying user accounts and the user-contributed content to the new software.

    The first time I learned of the migration was a few days after it had happen. I’d run into an issue with my Fedora installation and went online looking for solutions. Every useful search result was from the old Ask Fedora site and every link returned an HTTP 404 Not Found error message as those answers hadn’t been migrated to the new Ask Fedora website.

  • Attention epel6 and epel7 ppc64 users

    If you are a epel6 or epel7 user on the ppc64 platform, I have some sad news for you. If you aren’t feel free to read on for a tale of eol architectures.

    ppc64 (the big endian version of power) was shipped with RHEL6 and RHEL7 and Fedora until Fedora 28. It’s been replaced by the ppc64le (little endian) version in Fedora and RHEL8.

  • Optional dependencies don’t work

    In the i3 projects, we have always tried hard to avoid optional dependencies. There are a number of reasons behind it, and as I have recently encountered some of the downsides of optional dependencies firsthand, I summarized my thoughts in this article.

    [...]

    Software is usually not built by end users, but by packagers, at least when we are talking about Open Source.

    Hence, end users don’t see the knob for the optional dependency, they are just presented with the fait accompli: their version of the software behaves differently than other versions of the same software.

    Depending on the kind of software, this situation can be made obvious to the user: for example, if the optional dependency is needed to print documents, the program can produce an appropriate error message when the user tries to print a document.

    Sometimes, this isn’t possible: when i3 introduced an optional dependency on cairo and pangocairo, the behavior itself (rendering window titles) worked in all configurations, but non-ASCII characters might break depending on whether i3 was compiled with cairo.

    For users, it is frustrating to only discover in conversation that a program has a feature that the user is interested in, but it’s not available on their computer. For support, this situation can be hard to detect, and even harder to resolve to the user’s satisfaction.

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