A Win and a Loss, but the End Is in Sight.

A friend of mine, Esther Wheaton, released her first album a few months ago.  I was lucky enough to play a (minor) role in the album, so I was very excited to listen to it.  Tracks from the album have been featured on CBC Radio 3, and you can download the entire thing from the purpose-built blog she set up for the album.  Also check out her “About Me” page – you can download samples of many peices that she’s written, including a tuba-and-piano solo written for (and performed by) me!  This is what today’s classical music compositions sound like!  A particular favourite of mine is “Internet,” which should sound familiar to anybody who’s ever used a dial-up modem.

You must be wondering, “Why are you posting this on Planet Fedora, Christopher?”  I’ll tell you why: I just received her permission to use the raw materials from her song featured on CBC Radio 3 in the Ardour tutorial of the upcoming Fedora Musicians’ Guide – readers will be able to learn Ardour by mixing and mastering their own copy of “Here Is How,” from the source recordings used to create the album itself!

This is an immeasurably beneficial addition to the Musicians’ Guide, and on behalf of all the future users of the document, I am sincerely grateful for it.

On the other hand, it seems as though I’ve hit my first serious delay, and there’s no way that I’ll be able to make this Sunday’s target for completion of all first-draft material.  This shouldn’t affect my ability to finish by the targeted project completion date of August 16th.

Here’s an overview of what’s scheduled:
1.  (5 – 11 July):
* Finish writing documents on the Fedora Wiki:
* Begin target-audience testing with previous week’s material.
* Find Docs editor.
2. (12 – 18 July): Midterm
* Continue target-audience testing.
* Revise documents to incorporate target-audience comments.
3. (19 – 25 July):
* Finish target-audience testing.
* Finish revising documents to incorporate comments of target-audience tests.
4. (26 July – 1 August):
* Convert document to DocBook XML
5. (2 – 8 August):
* Finish converting to DocBook XML
6. (9 August): Project Completion.
* Write final report, due 16 August.
* Create “snapshot” of all documents, due 16 August.
* Write evaluation, due 16 August.

So where do I stand with this?  Firstly, finding an editor is trivial, and I just set an arbitrary date for it.  Secondly, the optional things are certainly not going to get done.  Personally, I very much want to see some sort of kernel optimization included in the Guide, so I’ll probably write it after the project completion date.  After all, there will be at least a few days after Summer Coding ends, but before the branch for Fedora 14.

The two things that concern me the most are these: the “Basic Audio Programming” section of the SuperCollider chapter, and the “Preparing a Session” section of the Ardour chapter.  These both represent a significant amount of work remaining to be completed, and the SuperCollider chapter in particular is taking a lot longer than expected.  That particular chapter alone will take at least three more days.

There are other, relatively trivial, things that are not on any to-do list, but which must be done before the Guide is released.  They mostly have to do with exportation and preparation of companion audio files and project files, to help readers understand by doing.

Things are progressing, so I can’t complain.



  1. Whoa, that’s amazing – a big thank you to Esther! Will the source files be released under an open license, or will their usage be restricted to readers of the book?

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