Posted in Fedora, Music&Video, Philosophy

About Codecs and Fedora

 

It’s well known that Fedora ships free software only, except for some firmware in order to boot.  But unlike Debian that has a non-free repository, Fedora offers no options to those who want to install closed source software.  This is because of legal issues; as Fedora relies on Red Hat Enterprise they have to follow the same rules and Red Hat, as a USA based company, has to avoid everything related to copyright.

This is why Fedora never shipped codecs except those that are open source. People who want to listen to their usual music files have to install some third party software or repository to get them working.

 

Some background

Every audio and video format needs two sets of codecs: for decoding and for encoding.

Patents don’t cover the file format itself, but the codecs you need to process it.  This means that every file format has two patents, one for decoders and another for encoders.

Encoding means you’re editing a file and saving it in a specific format.  Examples of this are the use of Audacity and KDEnlive.

Decoding means you’re listening or watching a file without modifying it.  Examples of this are the use of Totem and Clementine.

 

Good news!

The good news are that the patents for encoding and decoding MP3 and AC3  had expired, and Cisco made an agreement with RH related to H264, so now it is legally possible for Fedora to offer these codecs from repositories.

This means that those who install Fedora 25 will be able to listen to their music out of the box and can install the codecs needed for editing music from repositories. Those who installed Fedora 24 can install the codecs from repositories as well, if they didn’t install them via third party.  And those who will install Fedora 26 will get all the codecs for free out of the box!

 

Happy listening, Fedorians and thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Fedora, Eye Candy, Users

Flickering windows

 

I installed KDE Plasma a week ago, tried it and left.  Then yesterday I decided to play more seriously with it. I updated it to 5.9 and tried to use it.

It had a lot of problems and took me hours to solve them all.  Just to find another issue that wasn’t critical but certainly annoying.  But it was too late at night, so I cleaned the computer using Bleachbit and turned it off.

Today I turned it on and everything was working fine, so I assumed that some temporary file, cache or whatever was the cause.  I used my computer normally and turned it off when I had to go out.  So far so good.

And then it happened again.

 

The Problem

Windows seemed to flicker and twinkle, often refusing to disappear when one would close them.  Also minimise/maximise caused them to tremble and leave a ghost of window over the desktop.  Often I had to click twice or more on the  “Show desktop”  button to get them to disappear.  It was driving me insane when someone from the Fedora Telegram group sent a suggestion to fix it.

 

The Solution

The solution to this weird and apparently random problem was quite simple.  If you go to System Settings => Display & Monitor => Compositor  you’ll find some options including the rendering backend.  Set it to OpenGL 3.1  and apply.  That should be enough to fix the  “bug”.  If the problem seems to come back, change the rendering from Accurate to Smooth  (or any other that works for you).

 

Technical details

Laptop: Dell Latitude E6500, with Nvidia video card, 500GB hard disk, 4GB RAM and Dual Core processor.  System:  Fedora 25 Workstation with KDE Plasma 5.9.

 

Hope this is useful, thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Fedora, Hardware, System, Users

Problems with USB ports

 

If you’re experiencing problems with USB ports, ABRT is throwing system error messages or you something odd related to USB during the boot, here you have two ways to find out what’s going on.  Once you know there are two possible ways to sort it out. Let’s see.

 

Commands

If the error, or at least the error message, just happened, you can run this command:

journalctl -xe

and this will show you what just happened.

If you only notice the problem time later, you can run this another command:

dmesg

and search for errors related to USB ports.

 

Looking for a solution

Now you know what happened you can search for it Google with a simple search, or in wiki pages or books, or in forums, groups and mailing lists.  If it’s not urgent, always try the Google Search first.

 

Aftermath

Write down the solutions that worked in a note and keep it handy.  That will save you time and headache in the next opportunity an error occurs.

 

Hope this is useful for you, thanks for reading!

 

 

Posted in Fedora, Users

Fedora is in Telegram

 

Fedora is everywhere and its community has many ways to stay in touch.  But there’s one that has been growing at a fast pace in the last months:  Telegram.

For those who already have this service, just check the Fedora wiki to see the groups and channels available.  The international group is now over 800 members.

For those who haven’t this service yet, can download Telegram from here and start using it just with a phone number and a username.  There are versions for iOS, Android, Windows and Linux.

If you need anything else, just send me a message!  I’m Kohane  🙂

 

 

 

Posted in Contributors, Fedora

Fedora 25 after sprint

 

With a new Translation Sprint coming, let’s see what happened last year’s FAD.

 

 

Languages

The teams with most translated words during the sprint were Czech and Brazilian Portuguese, followed by French, Hungarian and Polish.  It’s worth to highlight that Polish had only one translator, Piotr Drąg (FAS: Raven).

Language activity

Software

Some programmes had a huge improvement comparing before and after FAD.  By far, Authconfig and Cracklib are the most outstanding.  The first one had 0 lines translated prior to the Sprint and 30 after the Sprint, and the second one had 0 prior to the Sprint and 12 after the Sprint.

The leading teams were Polish and Brazilian Portuguese with 31 packages each.  It’s interesting to see that Slovak and Albanian had a huge difference between before and after the Sprint; Slovak team had 5 packages and now has 13, Albanian had also 5 but now has 11.

Comparison of translated packages before and after FAD.

 

 

Interviews

We interviewed three translators who participated in the Sprint.  They are Frederico Lima  (PT-BR),  Jiří Eischmann (CS) & Zdeněk Chmelař (CS).

 

fredlima

Frederico Lima  (Frederico Henrique Gonçalves Lima, Brazilian Portuguese team, FAS: fredlima)

  1. Why did you participated in the Sprint?   To help the Brazilian Portuguese L10N team to finish all translations for the new Fedora release. And be proud to see this great project translated to Brazilian Portuguese.
  2.  What did you like or what would you like to highlight?   I enjoyed seeing the great job done by my Brazilian Portuguese (pt-br) L10N team mates, where almost all things were already translated and the most important, with awesome translations, not like the American movies titles translated to Brazilian Portuguese. eg. “The time traveller’s wife” → “Eu te amarei para sempre” (I will love you forever) xD   One thing I like to highlight is the fact that we have to separate Brazilian Portuguese (pt-br) from Portuguese language (pt).  We did our best to represent Brazil in the sprint to be mixed in with the Portuguese contributors.
    It’s not the same language, pt-br != pt.
  3.  What would you say to newcomers willing to contribute?  Do you like to install a brand new release of the Fedora Project and see that all the messages are translated to your language? To make it happen, someone had to translate the software, docs, websites. Why this one can’t be you? It’s a great opportunity to give back to the open-source community.
    And with this, you will improve your English skills in the process.
    It’s a two way street, you will enjoy seeing your beloved Fedora in your language, and improve your English and your mother language skills.

 

 

jiriJiří Eischmann  (Czech team,  FAS: Eischmann)

  1.   Why did you participate in the sprint?  I’ve been a translator of open source software (especially GNOME and Fedora) since 2007. These days, I’m too busy with other things to make
    large contributions to Czech translations, but I still like to help here and there and the sprint was a good opportunity to help with Fedora translations again.
  2. What did you like or what would you like to highlight?   The badge for participating in the sprint definitely added an extra motivation  😉
  3.   What would you say to newcomers willing to contribute to the project? (mainly focused on localisation).  That translations have relatively low barriers to entry, it’s quite easy to start and you still can make a big difference because by translating the software you open it to a much larger audience in your country.

 

Zdeněk Chmelař  (Czech team,  FAS: zdenek)heroes-of-fedora

  1.  Why did you participate in the sprint?    I saw an announcement about Translation sprint event at Fedoraplanet.org. I support Fedora translation for some time already so that notification wasn’t the main reason why I joined. It was the reward that definitely convinced me to jump in  😉
    At least for me, badge rewards are very strong motivation, so if I see the opportunity to earn some, I don’t wait any minute  🙂
    Last but not least, status of Czech translation is far from perfect (but not so bad too) so any translated word means to be closer to the goal of getting the translation at 100%. I’m happy that Czech translation team is full of great people that helped me a lot there as well.
  2.   What did you like or what would you highlight?    I do not know if it was just a coincidence but it looks like the event announcement and badge reward attracted lots of new people who joined translation community in September. I have checked how many people join translation team each month and there are 2 – 3 newcomers joining the community each month in average. The exception was September, when we had 13 new people, 9 of them joined right at the beginning of the Sprint event.   Well seems that badge rewards are very good motivation to support the community and Fedora project. I just wish more people come to help. So we need more badges  😀
  3.   What would you say to newcomers willing to contribute to the project? (mainly focused on localization).    Just don’t be shy and join the project. I did it and found many great people! Translation is not difficult and anyone can help. Really! There are no programming skills required, there are no limits for translation activity – you are your own master. And each translated word counts.

 

Comparison of languages before and after FAD

Would you like to join us?  Would you like to help Fedora to reach every culture and language?  Join the Translation Team!

https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/L10N