The next version of one of the best Linux distributions ever (Fedora 9) has many ideas that would be implemented into final release. By the way it’s scheduled for 1 May 2008 (first alpha realease should be at 17 Jan 2008). Here are these features:
1. New GNOME Display Manager (Percentage of completion: 25%):
- Better fast-user-switching support (bug #343539 etc)
- Enable a smarter people chooser in the greeter
- Better ConsoleKit integration (seat awareness, coordination etc)
- Facilitate creating a new blingier greeter
- Dynamically configure displays
- Allow session agents to run in the greeter session (gnome-power-manager etc)
- Have the ability to only run a single greeter per seat (currently gdmflexiserver will start any number of them)
- Use PolicyKit for reboot etc authorization/handling
- Use a better configuration mechanism that is more compatible with a hypothetical systemwide D-Bus based GConf
- Provide a D-Bus API so that agents like fast-user-switch applet can be written more easily and operate more efficiently
- Fix all the horrible non-reentrant POSIX signal handling and various race conditions in the current code (bug #336549 etc)
- Make it easier to do “hot desking” type things
- Use a more modern design to simplify maintence and enhance flexibility (use of GObject etc)
- Use a more robust, secure, and flexible IPC
2. KDE 4 (Percentage of completion: 20%): Superb integration of KDE 4 with Fedora and Fedora KDE spin.
3. Fedora Astronomy Spin (Percentage of completion: 0%): The goal is to create a Live media spin (that fits on CD) containing a set of tools for astronomers and astrophysicists.
At the moment, there is no such distribution which offers a set of professional open-source tools for astronomers and astrophysicists and Fedora is very popular in astronomers’ environment (that it is strongly linux-based). Best benefit would be enlargement of our community not only to astronomers, but potentially to universities.
4. PackageKit (Percentage of completion: 50%): PackageKit is being developed by Richard Hughes and others. It includes functionality similar to pup and pirut. It includes a simple package management application, a package update notification applet, and various related tools. It uses D-Bus to communicate with a transient daemon process to perform user actions, and uses PolicyKit for authentication.
Fedora may benefit from using a GUI package management toolkit maintained in the open source community rather than inside Red Hat. Note that PackageKit is not quite ready to replace pup and pirut, but it’s design does address some issues with Fedora’s current package manager, and the active upstream development is also a hopeful sign.
5. RandR Support (Percentage of completion: 0%): The Xrandr extension is the modern interface that X servers offer for configuring output devices such as monitors, projectors, LCD screens, etc. Modern desktops should take advantage of this interface to improve the way they handle display configuration and hotplugging.
6. Bluetooth enhancements (Percentage of completion: ?): Lots and lots of Bluetooth enhancements.
8. Presto (Percentage of completion: 80%): The presto plugin for yum adds support for downloading deltarpms and using them to generate new packages. If we ship and enable this plugin by default, we can make a substantial dent in the amount of data having to be downloaded by our users for updates.
9. RPM and Yum Enhancements (Percentage of completion: ?): Faster performance. Less memory consumption.
- Speed up resolving below 2 minutes (better below one minute) in worst case (on a reasonably new computer)
- Reduce memory consumption significantly below 100MB for most cases – may be even for all cases
10. TeXLive 2007 (Percentage of completion: 90%): Replace teTeX with TeXLive.
11. Thinkfinger (Percentage of completion: 0%): Better integration of fingerprint readers
12. Better Volume Control (Percentage of completion: 0%): With the use of PulseAudio by default, it makes sense to no longer expose the unintuitive plethora of volume controls and channels that alsa exports, and which is currently reflected 1-1 in the gnome volume control tools (gnome-volume-control and mixer applet). PulseAudio already ships with a volume control app, pavucontrol, that is packaged for Fedora (but not installed by default).
The changes that are to be implemented for volume control in Fedora 9 are:
- Give pavucontrol a face-lift to bring the user interface up to par with the rest of desktop, and replace gnome-volume-control with it
- Write a replacement for the mixer applet that directly exposes the PA volume concepts. While there is no detailed design for this yet, here are some key ideas:
- Display one slider per active device, with indented additional sliders for active streams on each device
- Maybe we also want a mute button, and some smart snapping for tying stream volume to device volume
- Devices and streams will be identified by icon and name
- Maybe it should be possible to activate an application by clicking on the icon next to its stream
- Advanced features like control of individual channels (left/right or 5-1) or moving of streams between devices will be left to out. They are available through pavucontrol.
13. Wevisor (Percentage of completion: ?): Generating custom spins of Fedora via a web interface.
14. Windows LiveUSB installer (Percentage of completion: ?): Windows app that takes a Fedora ISO and a USB key and makes a LiveUSB out of it.
15. LiveUSB persistence (Percentage of completion: ?): Windows app that takes a Fedora ISO and a USB key and makes a LiveUSB out of it.
Not bad actually 🙂