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DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 474

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Welcome to this year's 38th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! With Unity and GNOME 3, it seems that many developers of open-source desktop environments have embraced the word "innovation", imposing completely new paradigms on desktop Linux users. Luckily, there are project that still continue the development of traditional environments. One of the more impressive among them (and perhaps one of the most neglected by Linux distributions) is Enlightenment - a lightweight, yet beautiful, powerful and highly configurable desktop system. The Ubuntu-based Bodhi Linux, the topic of this week's feature story, is one of the few Linux distributions specialising in integrating the latest Enlightenment 17 into a complete package. In the news section, the much-delayed first alpha release of Fedora 18 is finally declared ready for release, ex-OpenIndiana's Alasdair Lumsden describes the post-OpenSolaris world and his reasons for leaving the promising project, Miklós Vajna reflects on the history of Frugalware Linux, and a software developer highlights the ups and downs of switching from Linux to OS X. Also in this issue, a Question and Answers feature on displaying software update notifications and the usual regular sections. Happy reading!


Reviews: Bodhi Linux 2.0.1 - performance with pizzazz
News: Fedora 18 alpha goes gold, interview with OpenIndiana's Alasdair Lumsden, Frugalware history, from Linux to OS X
Questions and Answers: Displaying update notifications
Released last week: Bodhi Linux 2.1.0, Sabayon Linux 10, Zentyal 3.0
Upcoming releases: Fedora 18 Alpha
New distributions: KaarPux, Lxpup, Vulnix
Reader comments

rest here

Fedora 18 is great but should not go gold until .....

I spent the day evaluating F18Alpha yesterday, for its ability to support multilinugalism. I had no problems with this aspect of testing. My preferred Linux is Fedora 17, which I have on two desktop machines and on two netbooks.

To participate in some testing, I burned a DVD, as opposed to a flash drive, as eons ago I loaded up with several dozen packages of hundreds, when DVDs were sold below cost.

Almost all the items in F18 alpha exist already in F17. A few changes to Gnome3 were convenient, but not earth shattering. In comparison, two tweaks from the web against F17 provided an even better solution than what F18 is to provide as standard.

What needs to be included in the Alpha Gold is the promised working Anaconda. Anaconda is the installer program. If it makes the installation of Fedora an easy chore for beginners, Fedora 18 will win a lot of converts. We get a hint of how great it could be, when earlier in September, on the web, we saw a set of print-images of where Anaconda was heading. F18 should wait for the new Anaconda installation program to be completed before being released.

One of the problems I have with Fedora 17, which appears working with F18 Alpha is with support for multiple keyboard layouts. Let me explain.

I write documents and emails in English, French and Spanish. As the Canadian French keyboard layout is a super-set of the American English keyboard, it is my default. But from time to time I need to switch to the Spanish layout, and when doing so, encountered problems where certain keys, were not remapped when switching between French to Latim,and back. To resolve the problem of correcting the key mappings actually required a reboot.

Fedora 17 on my Netbook atom computer runs for about 5 hours following a full battery charge. As my netbook does not have a DVD reader, I was unable to test F18Alpha on more than two Intel 64bit dual core computers. I suspect that battery life may not noticeably change with F18Finl.

Networking worked just fine. One system is wired, and the other has an external USB wireless transceiver. Both worked with good performance.

There are a few cosmetic things I would do for the next version of Fedora. I would stop with silly names, as these names, when encountered by a business person, are a complete turnoff. Fedora18Pro, or F18home, or F18Special are better names than the Moo cow name. F18Pro would attract and keep many new converts.

As a standard, I would search for some landscape scenes, that are better than the bland dull blue, and have the scene defaulted when chosen at installation time. The default scene from the old Fedora 7 is a great example of what makes one want to open up Fedora to learn more.

Logon "Greater screens" that are dark and gloomy are not attractive to new users. (Linux Mint13 is a great example of an attractive opening interface. It is bright and welcoming.

So, for now, I will continue with my testing in the hopes of finding some little bugs (buglets). It is better to find these now, then after F18 go live.

FYI. I have 8 distributions on my systems. 4 of them 32 bit and 4 of them 64 bit. These systems have different versions of the gcc compilers. I write software and test results on the hardware, not on a Virtual Box. I have pure Pentium 4s to the precursors to Intels latest and greatest. (I am also semi-retired, I write code in C and I do not have to keep up with the race to be first, only with the race to be best.

I oscillate between using Gnome and KDE. I also prefer Debian to Ubuntu LTS. (Its the snappy response and human interface that Debian provides that I like best).

In closing, a message to Fedora (project) management, please defer the new F18 until you complete the new anaconda.

kidding right?

lsatenstein wrote:
I would stop with silly names, as these names, when encountered by a business person, are a complete turnoff. Fedora18Pro, or F18home, or F18Special are better names than the Moo cow name. F18Pro would attract and keep many new converts.

You are kidding right? The names are fun! And hell no - no Windowsy names please!
Business persons don't need to like it, they need to like Redhat Enterprise Linux.

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