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5. Changes in Fedora for Specific Audiences

5.1. Scientific and Technical

5.1.1. archimedes

archimedes is a 2D Quantum Monte Carlo simulator for semiconductor devices. New features for Fedora 17 include:
  • Quantum Effective Potential modified
  • Bohm Potential Model implemented
  • Calibrated Bohm Model implemented
  • Density Gradient corrected and tested
  • Full effective potential model implemented
  • New tests created
  • Parabolic, Kane and Full band checked
  • Full band Parameters for all materials
  • Scattering phonons can be set to ON and OFF
  • Support to Full Band approach

5.1.2. gnome-chemistry-utils

gnome-chemistry-utils has been updated to the latest development release.
Changes include:
  • GChem3d:
    • Import from InChI or SMILES.
    • Export to GChemPaint and GChemCalc.
    • Generates InChI, InChiKey and SMILES.
    • Add access to databases.
  • GChemPaint:
    • Brackets inside a molecule accept a stoichiometry coefficient.
  • GCrystal:
    • Use multiple selection in atoms and lines dialogs.
  • GSpectrum:
    • Allow markup in combo boxes and axes titles.
  • Goffice component:
    • Add support for crystal structures.

5.1.3. gnuplot

In addition to a number of bug fixes, gnuplot 4.4.4 includes:
  • boxxyerrors plot style now allows variable color
  • splot with pm3d now allows variable rgb color
  • "nonuniform matrix" indicates ascii data with explicit x, y
  • columnhead(N) is a string-valued function, not a keyword
  • Demarcate plots in svg output using <g id="Plot_#"><title>...
  • xticlabels() works for binary data files as well as ascii
  • "set key maxrows" now applies to 3D plots as well as 2D

5.1.4. lapack

lapack has been updated to 3.4.0,
  • xGEQRT: QR factorization (improved interface). xGEQRT is analogous to xGEQRF with a modified interface which enables better performance when the blocked reflectors need to be reused. The companion subroutines xGEMQRT apply the reflectors.
  • xGEQRT3: recursive QR factorization. The recursive QR factorization enables cache-oblivious and enables high performance on tall and skinny matrices.
  • xTPQRT: Communication-Avoiding QR sequential kernels. These subroutines are useful for updating a QR factorization and are used in sequential and parallel Communication Avoiding QR. These subroutines support the general case Triangle on top of Pentagon which includes as special cases so-called Triangle on top of Triangle and Triangle on top of Square. This is the right-looking version of the subroutines and the subroutines are blocked. The T matrices and the block size are part of the interface. The companion subroutines xTPMQRT apply the reflectors.
  • LAPACKE - Standard C language APIs for LAPACK. Since LAPACK 3.3.0, LAPACK includes new C interfaces. With the LAPACK 3.4.0 release, LAPACKE is directly integrated within the LAPACK library and has been enriched by the full set of LAPACK subroutines.

5.1.5. mapnik

Version 2.0.0 of mapnik is a major upgrade with numerous changes. Go to for complete details.

5.1.6. mathomatic

Refer to for the complete list of changes in mathomatic 15.7.3.

5.1.7. octave

The numerical computation language octave has been updated to 3.6.0. For details of the many new features please review

5.1.8. paraview

The parallel visualization application paraview has been updated to version 3.12.0. The release notes for this application may be found at

5.1.9. pspp

Changes for version 0.7.8 of pspp:
  • New commands:
    • MRSETS
    • ROC
    • SAVE TRANSLATE to CSV and tab-delimited files
    • UPDATE
  • Changes to existing commands:
    • AUTORECODE has a new GROUP subcommand.
    • CROSSTABS has been re-implemented to fix numerous bugs.
    • DO REPEAT command has been reimplemented. Now, when DO REPEAT contains an INCLUDE or INSERT command, substitutions are not applied to the included file.
    • HOST has been updated to use more modern syntax.
    • INCLUDE and INSERT have a new ENCODING subcommand.
    • MISSING VALUES can now assign missing values to long string variables.
    • NPAR TESTS has new KRUSKAL-WALLIS, SIGN, WILCOXON, and RUNS subcommands.
    • SET and SHOW no longer have ENDCMD, NULLINE, PROMPT, CPROMPT, and DPROMPT subcommands. The defaults are now fixed values.
    • VALUE LABELS can now assign value labels to long string variables.
  • Other language changes:
    • The new DATASET commands replace the "scratch file" PSPP extension, which is no longer supported.
    • Strings may now include arbitrary Unicode code points specified in hexadecimal, using the syntax U'hhhh'. For example, Unicode code point U+1D11E, the musical G clef character, may be expressed as U'1D11E'.
    • In previous versions of PSPP, in a string expressed in hexadecimal with X'hh' syntax, the hexadecimal digits expressed bytes in the locale encoding. In this version of PSPP, X'hh' syntax always expresses bytes in UTF-8 encoding.
  • PSPPIRE graphical user interface improvements:
    • Added support for non-ASCII characters in strings, labels and variable names.
    • A "Split Window" function is available, which makes it easier to see different parts of a large data file.
    • Data files can now be opened by specifying their name as the first argument. This means that on a properly configured desktop, double clicking on an icon will open the file.
  • Output changes:
    • The new "cairo" output driver supports output in PostScript, PDF, and SVG formats. Its functionality is a superset of that of the "postscript" driver, which has been removed. You must have Cairo and Pango installed to build the "cairo" driver.
    • Charts are now produced with Cairo and Pango, instead of libplot. Without them, the new graphing features will not work. If you do not have Cairo and Pango installed, you must run `configure' with --without-cairo.
    • The plain text output driver now properly supports multibyte UTF-8 characters, including double-width characters and combining accents.
  • The "pspp" program has a new option --batch (or -b) that selects "batch" syntax mode. In previous versions of PSPP this syntax mode was the default. Now a new "auto" syntax mode is the default. In "auto" mode, PSPP interprets most syntax files correctly regardless of their intended syntax mode.
  • The "pspp" program has a new option --syntax-encoding that specifies the encoding for syntax files listed on the command line, as well as the default encoding for syntax files included with INCLUDE or INSERT. The default is to accept the system locale encoding, UTF-8, UTF-16, or UTF-32, automatically detecting which one the system file uses.
  • A new Perl module allows Perl programs to read and write PSPP system files.
  • A tutorial chapter has been added to the user manual.

5.1.10. R

The statistics package R has been updated to December Snowflakes. Key changes include:
    • Reference classes now keep a record of which fields are locked. $lock() with no arguments returns the names of the locked fields.
    • HoltWinters() reports a warning rather than an error for some optimization failures (where the answer might be a reasonable one).
    • tools::dependsOnPkg() now accepts the shorthand dependencies = "all".
    • parallel::clusterExport() now allows specification of an environment from which to export.
    • tempfile() on a Unix-alike now takes the process ID into account. This is needed with multicore (and as part of parallel) because the parent and all the children share a session temporary directory, and they can share the C random number stream used to produce the unique part. Further, two children can call tempfile() simultaneously.
    • Option print in Sweave's RweaveLatex() driver now emulates auto-printing rather than printing (which can differ for an S4 object by calling show() rather than print()).
    • filled.contour() now accepts infinite values: previously it might have generated invalid graphics files (e.g. containing NaN values).
    • R CMD INSTALL will now do a test load for all sub-architectures for which code was compiled (rather than just the primary sub-architecture).
    • When checking examples under more than one sub-architecture, R CMD check now uses a separate directory examples_arch for each sub-architecture, and leaves the output in file pkgname-Ex_arch.Rout. Some packages expect their examples to be run in a clean directory ....
Refer to for the complete list of changes and bug fixes.

5.1.11. R-qcc

R-qcc is new to Fedora. R-qcc is an R package which provides a rich set of quality control and statistical process control tools, including:
  • Plot Shewhart quality control charts
  • Plot Cusum and EWMA charts for continuous data
  • Draw operating characteristic curves
  • Perform process capability analysis
  • Draw Pareto charts and Ishikawa diagrams

5.1.12. R-qtl

R-qtl has been updated to 1.22.21. Major changes include revised to deal with a pair of maps with markers in different orders (or with some markers appearing in one map and not the other) and revised scantwo to allow analysis of individual chromosome pairs, and reorganized the way that scantwo permutations are done (first summarizing each chromosome pair and then overall).
For a complete list of changes and improvements visit

5.1.13. R-zoo

R-zoo has been updated from 1.6 to 1.7.6. Among the changes are:
  • Removed dependency on fCalendar which was only for historical purposes. vignette("zoo", package = "zoo") outlines how timeDate instead of fCalendar can be used together with zoo.
  • in read.zoo index.column can refer to column names or numbers (previously only numbers)
  • fully export all as.Date.* methods so that they can be used more easily (i.e., without extra registration) with as.Date() generics from other packages (base in particular).
  • read.zoo() gains text= argument similar to that in new read.table()
  • Added drop=TRUE argument to merge() method. When set to drop=FALSE this allows to merge a zero-column series with a zoo vector to a one-column matrix. The latter is the default in the cbind() method.
  • Enhanced the $<- method so that z$a <- value works even if z is a zoo series without data.
  • as.Date.numeric(x, origin = "0000-00-00") is now also accepted being equivalent to origin = as.Date("0000-01-01") - 1. (for MATLAB dates)
  • A [<- method was added and the behaviour is now consistent with the [ method.
  • check.names argument of merge() method now defaults to FALSE.
  • Added a new as.zoo() method for "matrix" objects in order to preserve column names. Also, a new "data.frame" method leverages the "matrix" method.
  • In rollapply() width may be a list whose components are offsets. ascending argument is no longer supported. Use width's list form instead.
  • In rollapply() new partial and fill arguments. na.pad argument is deprecated.
  • rollapply() with FUN = mean will no longer call rollmean if the data has any NA values
  • added yax.flip argument to plot() method for "zoo" objects to be consistent with the "ts" method.
  • New vignette("zoo-read") introducing read.zoo() including several new features (see also below).
  • in read.zoo() if FUN is not specified but FUN2 is specified then FUN2 is applied in place of FUN. Previously FUN2 was ignored in this case. Also format and tz arguments can be NULL in which case they are treated as missing.
  • read.zoo() can accept a vector of filenames in which case each is read in and a single zoo object is returned formed by merging the individual ones.
  • if FUN is omitted in read.zoo() and index.column specifies multiple columns then the columns are pasted together separated by spaces and processing continues as if there were one column.
  • in read.zoo() index.column = 0 is now valid in which case 1, 2, 3, ... is used for index
  • read.zoo() can now read in a zoo object with an index but no data
  • new roll*r() wrappers which default to align = "right".
  • new na.fill() function.
  • new na.StructTS() function for seasonal NA interpolation using R's StructTS().
  • rev() method for zooreg objects added.
  • transform() method added.
  • added "frequency" argument to as.zooreg() generic and associated methods. contains the complete list of changes.

5.1.14. veusz

Major changes in veusz 1.14:
  • Added interactive tutorial
  • Points in graphs can be colored depending on another dataset and the scale shown in a colorbar widget
  • Improved CSV import
    • better data type detection
    • locale-specific numeric and date formats
    • single/multiple/none header modes
    • option to skip lines at top of file
    • better handling of missing values
  • Data can be imported from clipboard
  • Substantially reduced size of output SVG files
  • In standard data import, descriptor can be left blank to generate dataset names colX
  • Axis plotting range can be interactively manipulated
  • If axis is in date-time format, show and allow the min and max values to be in date-time format
  • ImageFile widget can have image data embedded in document file
  • Fit widget can update the fit parameters and fit quality to a label widget
  • Allow editing of 2D datasets in data edit dialog
  • Add copy and paste dataset command to dataset browser context menu
The complete list of changes is available at

5.2. Circuit Design

5.2.1. gerbv

gerbv has been upgraded to 2.6.0 from 2.5.0. Changes include:
  • Greater accuracy
  • Support for panelization
  • A number of bugfixes

5.2.2. gtkwave

gtkwave ( has been upgraded from 3.3.25 to 3.3.31

5.2.3. kicad

kicad has been upgraded from 2011.07.12 to 2012.01.19. The project's web site is at

5.2.4. pcb

pcb has been updated from 0.20100929 to 0.20110918. In addition to numerous bug fixes, the following list some of the significant changes:
  • Internal coordinate space is now metric. This should fix the "trace nubs on metric grids" issue. Also, units are allowed on pretty much every "coordinate" that PCB accepts. Example: 5.4in, 10cm, 0.55mm.
  • New configure option --enable-coord64 to force (slower?) 64-bit type for coordinates on 32-bit systems (if you need a board bigger than 1 meter across). The internal precision is 1 nanometer,
  • New GTK layer view/choose widget and other GUI enhancements.
  • GTK HID warns if the *.pcb file has changed on disk.
  • Enhanced grid snapping logic.
  • Select/report nets by name.
  • Auto-pan has been removed.
  • Zoom can zoom out beyond the edge of the board's workspace.
  • Personally identifiable information is no longer stored in the PCB.
  • Toggling vias from hole to plated is reversible.
  • Gerber exporter has options for including outlines on other layers.
  • Edited footprint files are saved as footprints, not pcbs.
  • Autorouter has a progress dialog.
  • PCB will no longer let you delete the last top/bottom layer.
  • Via copper may overlap.
For additional details, including a list of bug fixes, refer to the NEWS page at

5.3. Embedded Development

5.3.1. avarice

avarice has been updated from 2.10 to 2.12. The update includes:
  • New devices:
    • ATxmega256A3
    • ATxmega16D4
    • ATtiny4313
  • Implement PDI debugging (JTAGICEmkII / Xmega).
  • Bugfixes
For additional details refer to the project's site:

5.3.2. avr-gcc

Continuing to follow the development of gcc, avr-gcc and avr-gcc-c++ have been updated to version 4.6.2.

5.3.3. avrdude

Fedora 17 includes version 5.11.1 of avrdude.
  • New devices supported:
    • ATmega88P/168P
    • ATmega8U2/16U2/32U2
    • ATtiny4313
  • New programmers supported:
    • TPI programming through bitbang programmers (both, serial and parallel ones)
    • FT2232 (and relatives) based programmers (MPSSE bitbang mode)
    • Wiring environment (
    • butterfly-style bootloader of the device
  • Bugfixes

5.4. Amateur Radio

5.4.1. chirp

chirp is an application for programming various radios. Frequencies, splits, tones, etc are entered in a spreadsheet-like form and downloaded to the radio. The radio memories may also be read. DStar features are supported. chirp is new to Fedora with this release.

5.4.2. fldigi

fldigi has been upgraded to 3.21.27 from 3.21.7. There are a large number of relatively minor (to most people) changes. Some items include:
  • Additional Olivia choices
  • Spot notifier
  • Improvements in the configuration dialogs
  • Ability to export the log as an ADIF
  • Interface with fllog
  • Many new and improved macros
  • Several improvements to CW operation
  • HamQTH lookup
  • Changes to the NBEMS directories for flmsg
  • Improvements in WeFAX
  • Contestia 64/1000
  • Many L10n updates

5.4.3. gnuradio

gnuradio has been upgraded from 3.4.0 to 3.5.1. Project site:

5.4.4. hamlib

Fedora 17 includes hamlib ( ), upgraded to 1.2.15 from 1.2.14.

5.4.5. qrq

  • CW settings can be changed during attempts on the fly
  • Attempts can be aborted without aborting the whole program

5.4.6. qtel

  • Now possible to specify the microphone and speaker audio devices separately.
  • Info/chat window split in two separate windows.
  • The character encoding for chat messages is now possible to set in the settings dialog.
  • The VOX is now disabled by default.
  • The default audio device now is alsa:default.
  • Added support for using the Speex audio codec over EchoLink connections. This will only, at the moment, work when connecting to other SvxLink applications. For all other connections, the GSM audio codec is used.

5.4.7. splat

  • Supplemented Longley-Rice Irregular Terrain Propagation Model (ITM v7.0) code with an improved Irregular Terrain with Obstructions Model (ITWOM v3.0) by Sid Shumate / Givens & Bell, Inc. that corrects multiple errors present in the original ITM code, and incorporates Radiative Transfer Engine (RTE) computations in the line-of-sight range. The older ITM model used in previous releases of SPLAT! may be invoked by using the new -olditm command-line switch.
  • Introduced a new -sc command line option that provides contour smoothing.
  • Added path-loss/signal-strength color keys to GoogleEarth signal contour overlays.

5.4.8. svxlink-server

  • Added selective calling system Motorola QC2.
  • New feature: 1750Hz tone call muting. Use the 1750_MUTING configuration variable in a local receiver configuration section to enable this new feature. This feature was contributed by Adi / DL1HRC.
  • Added a QSO recorder feature that can record all traffic on the channel. The QSO recorder can be turned on and off using a DTMF command. New configuration variables: QSO_RECORDER_DIR and QSO_RECORDER_CMD.
  • The voice mail module now store the messages as WAV files. Old messages will have to be removed or converted into WAV files. Old filename format: YYYYMMDD_hhmmss_UUU{.subj,.mesg} New filename format: YYYYMMDD_hhmmss_UUU{_subj,_mesg}.wav
  • Voice mail messages are now time limited to a maximum time. Default is 10 seconds for the subject and two minutes for the message.
  • It is now possible to have a "local" subdirectory in the events.d directory where the TCL files in the "local" directory will override the TCL files in the events.d directory.
  • Added a threshold to the tone detector so that it is less prone to trigger on silence. This was a problem when using CTCSS squelch on a radio operated with closed squelch.
  • Implemented a signal level transmission mechanism based on multiple tones, one for each signal level step, in the high audio frequency spectrum (5.5 - 6.5kHz). This can be used for linking in remote receivers via RF but still measure the signal strength at the remote receiver site. To map the signal level to tone frequencies on the remote receiver side, either RemoteTrx can be used or an Atmel AVR ATmega8 can be used for a more compact solution. The AVR microcontroller solution take a signal level voltage and converts that to one of ten tones which should be overlayed on the link audio. Note: Tone transmission in RemoteTrx will only work if it has been compiled in 16kHz mode. This is due to the high tone frequencies used.
  • New feature: Tell repeater users that are not identifying to identify themselves. The time to wait for an identification, after the repeater has been activated, is set using the IDENT_NAG_TIMEOUT configuration variable. A valid identification is considered to be a transmission longer than the time set by the IDENT_NAG_MIN_TIME configuration variable. We don't know if it's really an identification but it's the best we can do.
  • New feature: The repeater can be told to activate again if the squelch opens within a specified time from repeater close. Use the new configuration variable OPEN_ON_SQL_AFTER_RPT_CLOSE to set this up.
  • The TX_CTCSS feature have now been extended so that CTCSS tone can be transmitted if there is incoming traffic from another logic core (LOGIC), a module (MODULE) or if an announcement is being played (ANNOUNCEMENT). Previously there were only two choices, to send CTCSS tone when the squelch was open (repeater use) or to always do it.
  • New module, PropagationMonitor. The propagation monitor module receive emails from (or and announce propagation alerts on the air using voice messages.
  • New module, MetarInfo. Get METAR (weather) information from predefined ICAO locations and announce the information on the air. Usually airports give them out.
  • A hamming window was added to the tone detector and DTMF decoder to improve out-of-band audio rejection.
  • Now possible to issue commands to the core and to other modules even when another module is active. This is achieved by prefixing the command with a "*". If for example the EchoLink module is active and you want to check if there are any voice mails available the command to issue could look like this: *3001#.
  • The "connect by callsign" command changed from "*" to "6*".
  • The help module can now accept commands when not active. It will read back help for the given module ID. For example the command 01# will play the help message for the parrot module.
  • The parrot module can now accept commands when not active. The only thing it can do is to read back the entered digits. For example the command 1123# will make the parrot module say "one two three".
  • The EchoLink module can now accept commands when not active. The only command supported at the moment is "2", reading back the local node ID. Example: 22#
  • Now users can check if there are any voice mail messages available without first logging in. Idea from Martin Burkhardt. The command to use is <module id><user id> so if the module id for voice mail is 3 and your user id is 001, the command to check if there are any voice mails available is 3001#.
  • The DTMF repeater module can now accept commands when not active. It will play back the entered digits. For example the command 4123# will play the 1, 2 and 3 DTMF digits.
  • A macro command may now be specified without a module name. The colon separator is still required though. If no module name is specified, the command is sent in to the DTMF handler without activating a module first.
  • It now is possible to include a hash mark in a macro command by specifying 'H' in the command string. The 'H' will be translated to a '#' by the command parser and not interpreted as "end of command". This can be of use if you for example want to transmit a DTMF # using the DTMF repeater module. The macro specification would look something like this: 10=412345H#. When macro 10 is activated the DTMF sequence 12345# will be transmitted.
  • Now possible to link more than one logic core together. The LOGIC1 and LOGIC2 configuration variables have been replaced with one configuration variable called CONNECT_LOGICS.
  • New config variable MUTE_TX_ON_RX for a NetUplink in RemoteTrx. This will stop the transmitter from transmitting if the squelch is open on the receiver.
  • Support for selcall activated functions added. New config variables: Logic/SEL5_MACRO_RANGE, RepeaterLogic/OPEN_ON_SEL5, LocalRx/SEL5_TYPE and LocalRx/SEL5_DEC_TYPE. Have a look in the svxlink.conf (5) manual page for more details.
  • New module SelCallEnc. This module is used to send selective calling sequences out on the frequency upon user request.
  • One RemoteTrx application can now be used to run more than one remote transceiver. Previously two RemoteTrx instances had to be run to support two transceivers. This required two sound cards to be used. Now only one sound card can be used to support two transceivers. Due to this change the configuration have changed a bit. To get everything right, backup your old remotetrx.conf configuration file and use the new default configuration file to start over. Manually move configuration values from your old configuration file to the new file, carefully reading the updated manual page, remotetrx.conf (5), to get everything right.
  • Now possible to set a PTT hangtime for the local tx type. This can be good to have on a link transmitter in combination with a tone squelch. When the transmitter is ordered to stop transmitting, the tone is immediately turned off, causing the squelch to close on the other side. Since the transmitter keeps transmitting for a while, no squelch tail will be heard.
  • The DTMF repeater module now wait until all announcements have been played before retransmitting the digits.
  • The EchoLink module can now use the Speex audio codec on connections between two SvxLink nodes which improves the audio quality a lot. Patch contributed by Steve / DH1DM.
  • Added a fallback repeater mode to the RemoteTrx which can be used if using it as both RX and TX for a repeater. If the network connection is lost to the repeater, the RemoteTrx activates a very basic repeater mode, essentially just connecting the RX to the TX.
  • Configuration variable VOX_LIMIT has been renamed to VOX_THRESH.
  • SvxLink system global configuration files are now by default stored in the /etc/svxlink directory.
  • New directory layout for event scripts and sound clips. The main event scripts are now stored in /usr/share/svxlink/events.d. The sound clip files are now stored in /usr/share/svxlink/sounds/<langcode>. TCL modules have been separated from the event handlers and are now stored in /usr/share/svxlink/modules.d
  • New configuration variable DEFAULT_LANG that points out the default language to use.
  • New squelch detector type: EVDEV. This squelch detector read events from a /dev/input/eventX device node. This can for example be of use if you have a USB audio device with some buttons on it. If you're in luck, it generates events when the buttons are pressed.

5.4.9. trustedqsl

  • When asking for the password to unlock a private key, say what callsign it's for.
  • Remember certificate requests and assist the user with importing the .tq6.
  • Prompt user to save their certificate after importing a .tq6 signed certificate.
  • Suppress display of superseded certificates, controlled by a tqslcert preference setting.
  • Fix windows wxWidgets crashes with several wizards (cert renew, new cert, etc.)
  • Add checkbox to allow bypassing state selection.
  • Fix crash on Windows when new certificate request wizard is started.
  • Added support for validating zone numbers and requiring them.
  • Allowed batch mode (-x) without displaying windows
  • When double-clicking an entry on the "Edit Station Locations" dialog, open that entry for edit, don't just close the modal dialog.
  • Change the "OK" button on the "Edit Station Locations" dialog to "Close" as that's what it does.
  • Update password dialogs to enable "enter" to activate when possible.
  • Add "-p <password>" and "-o <output-file>" arguments to tqsl.

5.4.10. xdemorse

  • Now uses ALSA sound interface instead of the older (and typically not working) OSS
  • Several changes to the transceiver CAT code to deal with error conditions better and to be enabled by the "Receive" button, so that CAT is enabled only when xdemorse is actually receiving Morse signals.
  • Increased the height of the 'scope' and waterfall displays to improve resolution.
  • Separated the 'Auto Speed' check-button into its own frame.
  • Changed the Mark/Space detection scheme to measuring the average value of the Goertzel detector's slope.