SBR600 Potential Projects

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Contents

Introduction

This is a list of potential projects related to the SBR600 course that need people.

Students: Please select a project that you're interested in and add an entry to the project table/participants page.

Open Source Community Members: We welcome your recommendations for potential projects. Please create an account on this Wiki and create a description for your proposed project below. Please list your contact info (just an IRC or FAS2 name is OK) as well as links to any related web pages as Resources for the proposed project. (Questions? Ask Chris Tyler).

Notes

Each project listing contains a general description, plus this information:

  • Maximum number of students - Do not exceed this number without approval from your professor.
  • Skills required - This is a rough list of some of the skills required for this project. This list may be incomplete or inaccurate, but it will give you a starting point in evaluating whether this project is a good fit for you. It is not assumed that you will have all of these skills at the outset of the project -- some of them will be picked up as you do the project.
  • Resources - An initial list of computer and information resources to get started on the project.
  • Expected result - A rough indication of what is expected at the conclusion of the project.

You will have an opportunity to investigate, expand upon, and fine-tune this information as you prepare your initial project plan. For example, you may come up with a more detail list of expected results (deliverables), resources, and contacts during your planning.

Individual Deliverables
Note that when multiple people are working on the same project, they will have independent deliverables -- it's not really group work, but rather separate, closely related projects.

Sample Project

This is a sample project stub. You can use the template for Sample Project in order to create a project page for one of the projects listed below. This is how you 'sign-up' for a project.

NOTE: if someone has already created the project page, speak to this person and see if you can join them. If so, simply add your name to the Project Leader(s) section on the project page. Otherwise, you can become a contributor later.

Raspberry Pi Fedora Remix Projects

Update the raspberrypi-config package

The raspberrypi-config package contains the default configuration files for Pidora. These files need to be updated to reflect new options available in the Raspberry Pi firmware, as well as options that are not commonly used and may conflict with common use-cases - for example, the current configuration files cause kernel start-up messages to be reported on the serial port. This is rarely used, any may cause conflicts with other devices connected to that port (e.g., LCD displays).

Skills required: packaging

Maximum number of participants: 1

Expected result: An updated, working raspberrypi-config package

Kernel Configuration Files

The build process for the kernel uses a configuration file to control which kernel capabilities are built into the kernel itself, which are built as loadable modules, and which are not built. The Pidora kernel configuration file is a combination of the RaspberryPi default configuration file and the Fedora configuration file. This project involves reviewing the Pidora kernel configuration to optimize it for the widest possible range of use-cases while ensuring a fairly small kernel image size.

Skills required: kernel configuration/building, packaging

Maximum number of participants: 1

Expected result: An improved kernel configuration in the raspberrypi-kernel package

Profile and Improve RPM and YUM performance on the Pi

RPM/YUM appear to perform slowly on the Pi -- which is appropriate, since the Pi has a slower processor and storage system than most modern PCs -- but the performance can probably be improved. This project involves profileing the RPM/YUM operations to determine which parts of the processing are slowest, and then examining how those parts work to see if any improvements in speed are possible.

Skills required: profiling, programming, packaging

Maximum number of participants: 1

Expected result: Either a report proving that RPM/YUM are as fast as can be expected on the Pi, or changes to affected packages to improve performance

Internationalization Support in Firstboot for Pidora 19

This project involves taking the Pidora 19 Firstboot package and internationalizing it (making it possible to use multiple language files with Firstboot). Note that Pidora 19 is expected to use a Fedora 18-style Firstboot system (as was used in Pidora 18) rather than the firstboot system used in Fedora 19 and higher.

Skills required: python, i11n using gettext, packaging

Maximum number of participants: 1

Expected result: A version of firstboot and the firstboot modules that are fully internationalized

New Firstboot for Pidora 20

Firstboot on the Pi varies a bit from firstboot on PCs, because the software isn't installed onto storage in the same way as PCs. This project involves updating the Fedora 20 firstboot package to work with Pidora 20.

Skills required: python programming, packaging, testing

Maximum number of participants: 1

Expected result: A version of the Fedora 19 or Fedora 20 firstboot that works on the Pi and has full support for the Pidora options (such as rootfs resizing)

Compiler Flags on Pidora

We're not sure if the compiler flags being used for Pidora are optimal. This project involves building a number of packages with different combinations of compiler flags, observing the results (in terms of binary size and performance) and recommending the optimal set of flags.

Skills required: building, benchmarking

Maximum number of participants: 1

Expected result: Modified RPM macros that include the optimal flags for Pidora

Avahi Configuration for Pidora

Avahi (zeroconf) enables discovery of computers without DNS or IP numbers. This project involves configuring Avahi for use on the Pi, so that other computers can connect to it by name without DNS support. This configuration must then be packaged in such a way that it can be included in the Pidora composes without causing conflicts.

Skills required: testing, packaging

Maximum number of participants: 1

Expected results: A configuration package that, when installed, will correctly set up Avahi for local discovery on the Pi

Upstream the Pidora RPM Changes

There are some small changes to the RPM system that have been done for Pidora. These changes need to be included in the upstream version of RPM. This project involves working with upstream to ensure that these changes are in the correct format and included in subsequent releases of RPM.

Skills required: interpersonal skills - negotiation, patch creation, packaging

Maximum number of participants: 1

Expected results: Pidora RPM changes will be upstreamed

Wayland

Fedora 20 includes support for the Wayland display system. The RaspberryPi foundation has been working on a Wayland implementation for the Pi. This project involves getting the two to work well together.

Skills required: system administration, debugging, possibly some programming, packaging

Maximum number of participants: 2

Expected results: The Wayland snapshot in Fedora 20 will be usable on the Pi (Ideal: fully packaged; Acceptable: Instructions on how to set it up)

Automate Pidora Kernel and Firmware Building

The Raspberry Pi Foundation maintains a kernel fork that is updated frequently. We would like to package kernel and firmware changes on a daily basis, and have these available in a testing repository so that anyone can use them. Periodically, we will select a kernel-firmware combination from this testing repository and make it available as the main Pidora kernel.

Skills required: scripting (python and/or bash), packaging

Maximum number of participants: 1

Expected results: Raspberry Pi kernel and firmware updates will be included in a package in a testing repository through an automated (cron'd) process

Change raspberrypi-vc Package to Build from Source

Originally, the VideoCore IV GPU on the Pi was used with proprietary libraries which were only available in compiled form, so the raspberrypi-vc package was originally set up to package prebuilt binaries and not build from source. The source code for these libraries is now available, and the raspberrypi-vc package should be changed to build from source (this will help with SELinux compatibility).

Skills required: packaging

Maximum number of participants: 1

Expected result: A new version of the raspberrypi-vc package that build from source, is compatible with the current Pidora package, and can be easily updated/maintained

Write an Updated Boot Screen

Pidora includes an OpenGL-powered boot screen, which uses the Raspberry Pi Fedora Remix logo. The current code does not use OpenGL very effectively.

This package should be updated to use OpenGL better and to use the Pidora logo.

Skills required: C programming, OpenGL programming, packaging

Maximum number of participants: 1

Expected result: A visually appealing boot screen, packaged as a drop-in replacement for the current boot screen

Update rootfs-resize

The rootfs-resize package resizes the Pidora rootfs after installation. It works with primary partitions, and it works with the NOOBS system, but it doesn't work with a NOOBS-style layout outside of NOOBS (i.e., where the rootfs is placed in an extended partition). This project involves extending rootfs-resize so that it can resize extended and logical partitions as well as primary partitions.

Skills required: Python scripting/programming, system administration, packaging

Maximum number of participants: 1

Expected result: An updated rootfs-resize package

Packaging Pi-compatible Software

There are a number of Pi-specific software packages that could/should be included in Pidora. Select one, package it, and get it into Fedora (preferred) or directly into Pidora.

Finding Your Own Package
You can find any Pi-specific software and propose packaging it for your project. Note that it must be (a) broadly-useful Pi-specific software, or (b) a substantial software package that would be generally useful in Fedora and specifically on the Pi, in order to be approved as a project.

Some possible packages ideas to get you started:

  • Adafruit WebIDE
  • Adafruit libraries/tools/etc (select a specific piece of software)
  • OMXplayer
  • Vidcore library compatibility package (symlink farm in /opt/vc so that source code expecting to find the VC libraries there will work successfully)
  • Quick2wire python library

See the Pidora Bug Tracker for ideas for other packages that people want included in Pidora.

Skills required: packaging

Maximum number of participants: 1 per package (identify the package!)

Expected result: A working, Pidora-compatible package that has gone through package review

Clean Up the Pidora Kickstart File

The Pidora images are composed using a kickstart-based process. The kickstart file could be cleaned up for better readability and smallest-functional package selection.

Recent (but not necessarily latest) kickstart: http://scotland.proximity.on.ca/raspberrypi/test-releases/rpfr18v6/latest/pidora-18.ks

Skills required: packaging, composing

Maximum number of participants: 1

Expeccted result: A clean kickstart file for Pidora 19

Infrastructure Projects

Bug Tracker for Pidora

Pidora currently uses a Trac instance for bug tracking. However, there is a lot of spammer activity on that system. Implement an effective spam prevention system on Trac, or implement an alternative bug tracking system such as Bugzilla. Document the solution for future maintainability.

Skills required: system administration, documentation

Maximum number of participants: 1

Expected result: A spam-resistant bug tracking system

Create a Fedpkg-compatible Package Repository for Pidora

Fedpkg is a tool used to manage Fedora packages using GIT (and http). We'd like to be able to use it for Pidora-specific (non-Fedora) packages as well. To set up Fedpkg, a package database (pkgdb), GIT repository, http repository, and Fedpg configuration will be required. Completion of the various components of this project should result in a usable, RPM-installable Fedpkg configuration for Pidora packages.

Skills required: system administration, testing, packaging

Maximum number of participants: 3

Expected result: A working Fedpkg repository, plus configuration files packaged up in an RPM

Mirrorlist CGI Script

Yum uses a mirrorlist retrieved from a server to determine which mirrors to use for downloading packages. This mirrorlist can be generated by a script (e.g., to randomize or to optimize mirror selection), but at the present time a static file is just passed through to the yum client.

Skills required: scripting, testing

Maximum number of participants: 1

Expected result: An updated mirrorlist script

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