Paul Frields on Fedora 12 and beyond
Two months after the launch of Fedora 12, we spoke to Paul Frields, Fedora Project Leader at Red Hat, about how this release has been received by the community, and what is in store for the next. Though it started as a technical discussion on what Fedora 12 offers IT admins and developers, it graduated into a more serious conversation on the relationship between Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and the distinction (if any) between commercial and community Linux.
What is the general sentiment amongst the team, two months after the launch of Fedora 12 — how has the community’s response been like, what are the hit features, and what are the ideas for further improvement that have come about?
Uptake of Fedora 12 has been very good overall. There have been a number of very visible improvements in free video drivers for ATI and Intel that make for a better experience out of the box. Those improvements allow users to make use of 3D effects on the desktop, as well as kernel mode setting for an attractive and smooth boot experience. The free Nouveau driver for NVIDIA cards has also greatly improved to allow kernel mode setting, and Fedora continues to contribute to moving that driver forward to support features like 3D.
A very visible set of features came with the fit-and-finish improvements in the user desktop. Menu cleanups, better icon spacing, a new notification engine, improved tooltips, consistent ordering of status icons, and a fresh and usable desktop background were just some of the improvements.