What an exciting passed couple of days we've had. Mandriva 2006 RC1 and OpenSuSE 10.0 RC1 hitting the mirrors right about the same time. They are running neck and neck. Who will get their final to the market first? Mandrake has a history of missing release dates to fix last minute bugs and OpenSuSE seems to be hitting theirs - ready or not here it comes. In fact, OpenSuSE 10.0 RC1 actually hit the mirrors a little ahead of schedule this time. Their roadmap stated to expect RC1 on Sept 9, while the isos are dated Sept 7. Their dedicated work is showing in the mass of bug fixes, patches and updated versions. There is no new eyecandy or features this release. So how is it progressing?
As stated I didn't see any new eyecandy or features. However the big news is that gnome seems to be fixed for the most part. At version 2.12, they are ahead of Mandriva on that account. According to the cooker list, Mandriva will be shipping with 2.10. However sources say there really isn't much difference. Don't shoot the messenger, I don't use gnome enough to see any difference myself.
In opening and closing the gnome applications and playing with the settings, I only experienced one or two ooppsies. On the first click of the desktop icon "Computer," nautilus "quit unexpectedly". The error box gave three choices: Restart Application, Close, and Inform Developers. I supposed I should have clicked Inform Developers, but I admit I chose Restart Application. After this action nautilus seemed to operate normally and opened a file manager window. Clicking My Home opened a file manager window in my home directory displaying the available files without issue.
Then after that little issue, I clicked on the "Audio CD" icon and received a "Couldn't display "cdda:///dev/hdc" error. I clicked OK, but nothing else happened. No music player opened or anything.
Other than those two little issues, I didn't encounter any problems. I clicked around in all the window managers quite extensively changing settings, setting up accounts and whatnot and can report it seems OpenSuSE developers are doing a wonderful job and are making amazing progress in what is now the home stretch.
With the little annoying beagle bug fixed last development release, I thought I'd test drive it in gnome. It opened immediately and items are available for searching. Searching for the term 'desktop' pulled up 3 or 4 files matching that criteria. The interface is nice and clean, but I think I prefer the separate paned view of KAT in Mandriva. However, a little birdie told me Mandriva is considering not shipping with KAT installed by default afterall. There's not much doubt OpenSuSE will be including beagle.
Since I clocked and posted  some of the important performance times for Mandriva 2006 RC1, I thought it might be interesting to compare the OpenSuSE 10.0 RC1 times. These are the times I clocked on the same AMD 2800+ machine:
- Boot up: 26 seconds
- KDE: 22 seconds
- OpenOffice: 7 seconds
- Firefox: 3 seconds (not counting loading the default Novell webpage)
- Shutdown: 20 seconds
These times are not as speedy as Mandriva's, yet they are still impressive in their own right. I can still recall the days of 2 and 3 minutes boot ups for both distributions.
From here on out I suspect there won't be any obvious changes to the naked eye, and we will probably only be seeing bug fixes. Some package highlights this release include:
- Full Rpm list  as tested.
Some changelog highlights include:
- wait for index build to complete
(hack since there seems to be no way to keep it reliably
running in foreground ..)
- ipw2200: added broadcast fix
- update 1.1rc1
- Update to version 2.12.0 (GNOME 2.12)
- updated ooo-build to version 188.8.131.52.2:
* disabled some unreviewed patches [#114992]
* check buttons rendering problem [#80447]
- update to version 1.3.1
- fix parsing of resolv.conf file when no 'search' line is present
- Update to version 2.4.0 (GNOME 2.12)
- Remove upstreamed patch
- apply fixes for kcheckpass
- Add submount patch (90584)
- Fix spec to apply both desktop search patches
- Update to version 2.12.0 (GNOME 2.12)
- fixed gconf-backend patch to be able to use
++++Full Changelog  since Beta 4.
New screenshots HERE .