Fedora 12 Talking Points
This page contains the highest-level talking points for the Fedora 12 release. When adding to this page, consider points that have a wide appeal, and consider whether or not there is a "bigger picture" that needs to be described. In some cases, a feature is part of a multi-release arc of work, and that context can be useful to provide.
For desktop users and everyone
List 2-4 bullet items here for innovations in Fedora 12 that will be of general interest to most people using F12. The best talking points are differentiators between F12 and other distributions -- newer software, specific improvements, or cases where Fedora contributors either are, or work directly with, the upstream project(s).
PackageKit command-line and browser plugins
PackageKit is a technology that was first introduced in Fedora 9 to provide a set of distribution-neutral software management tools. It has since been included in a number of other distributions and is growing quickly in popularity due to its flexibility and quick feature integration. In Fedora 12, PackageKit has grown the ability to automatically install the software packages that provide new commands when the user is operating a text terminal. It also now supports a browser plugin that allows software vendors of any size to provide automatic installation of software packages using simple HTML <object> tags.
NetworkManager, which was introduced in Fedora 7, has become the de facto network configuration solution for distributions everywhere. Fedora 12 includes enhancements to NetworkManager to make both system-wide connections and mobile broadband connections easier than ever. Signal strength and network selection are available for choosing the best mobile broadband connection when you're on the road. And if you're at a system that requires an always-on connection or static addressing, NetworkManager will now allow you to configure that connection directly from the desktop, and includes PolicyKit integration so configuration management can be done via central policy where needed.
Next-generation Ogg Theora video
For several years, the open, free, and patent-unencumbered Ogg Theora format has provided a way for freedom-loving users to share video. Fedora 12 includes the new Theora 1.1, which achieves near-H.264 quality in a completely free and open codec and format. Already, as a direct result of Red Hat contributions, in partnership with Xiph and Mozilla, users of the Firefox 3.5 browser can immediately enjoy free media on the web, using the Ogg Theora video and Ogg Vorbis audio formats. With the introduction of Theora 1.1, the quality of free video can meet or exceed user expectations, delivering crisp, vibrant media in both streaming and downloadable form.
This area is for 1-3 bullets that concern innovations that help make system administrators' lives better.
Fedora has long been a leader in making it easier for administrators to manage virtual machines, evidenced in the early development and integration of virt-manager. Fedora 12 continues this tradition by introducing libguestfs and guestfish. libguestfs is a library for accessing and modifying the disk images of virtual machines, and when combined with guestfish --- the libguestfs interactive shell --- replaces the old and cumbersome methods of creating loopback mounts as root, kpartx and reconfiguring LVM. It is particularly adept at making batch configuration changes to guests, collecting disk statistics, migrating between virtualisation systems, performing backups, cloning guests and more. Libguestfs uses Linux kernel and qemu code, and as a result can access all of the same file systems they are capable of, including but not limited to ext2/3/4, btrfs, FAT and NTFS.
KVM huge page backed memory feature, KVM stable guest ABI feature, KVM NIC hotplugging feature, KVM qcow2 performance feature, Network interface management feature, Privileges feature, GPXE feature, Storage management feature
Smaller RPM packages
Fedora is used in a wide range of circumstances, and not all have the luxury of a high speed broadband connection with unlimited downloads. This presents a number of challenges, not the least of which is making it easier for users to get updates which will help ensure their system is secure and stable. In Fedora 11, Presto was made available which reduced update size by transmitting only the changes in the updated RPM packages. In Fedora 12, RPMs are being switched from using gzip to XZ for compression, providing smaller package sizes without the memory and CPU penalties associated with bzip2. Not only does this result in smaller downloads, but it also allows for more software to be squeezed into the final release, and less space to be taken up on our mirrors, making their administrators' lives a little easier.
This area is for 1-3 bullets that discuss innovations that make Fedora a great platform for software developers.