Fedora 14 talking points
These are the Talking Points for the Fedora 14 release. For information on how these talking points were chosen, see Talking Points SOP. They are intended to help Ambassadors quickly present an overview of highlighted features when talking about the release.
For desktop users and everyone
Things of general interest to most people using Fedora.
The libjpeg-turbo project speeds up loading and saving of this very popular image format. Most users' pictures and photos are in JPEG format, and this library practically halves processing time on almost all systems, and even ancient processors will receive a slight speed boost. Because the library is API/ABI compliant with the original libjpeg, users' software relying on JPEG functions will continue to work without any changes.
Additional information is available at the libjpeg-turbo project page.
Users can load and save images faster in Fedora 14 than in previous releases.
Spice (Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environments) provides a better interface to interact with the virtualized desktop. To break down barriers to use of virtualization, Spice will provide a framework for access to the experience that end-users demand from a modern computing platform, including sound, display, and other devices. Currently, it provides the rudimentary foundation to take advantage of things like Accelerated 2D graphics, encryption, and "hardware" cursor support. Spice is originally a technology Red Hat purchased from Qumranet and has since open sourced, and in the future Spice will bring a complete open source VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) to fruition.
Additional information is available at the Spice Home Page.
Spice provides an open source solution for a more complete user experience on virtualized systems.
Improvements that make system administrators' lives better.
EC2 is a popular, publicly available service for building cloud infrastructure, software, and platform. With Fedora 14, EC2 becomes part of our regular release engineering, with images expected around the time of each successive Fedora release. Official images allow EC2 users to confidently try out the leading edge technologies of Fedora in the cloud, develop at the forefront of free and open source software, and experience the potential future of Fedora's downstream distributions like Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
EC2 users now have the option of using a recent and supported Fedora release, to try the latest technologies in the cloud.
Many modern server hardware platforms include support for IPMI (Intelligent Platform Management Interface). IPMI is an out of band management interface which allows hardware to be managed and administered remotely, sometimes even if the machine is powered off. Fedora 14 includes the ipmiutil program, which is an easier-to-use utility to interact with the IPMI capabilities of your server. It includes support for features such as SOL (Serial over LAN) and turning identity LEDS on and off.
Additional information is available at the Comparison of common IPMI Software open-source projects.
Better IPMI support in Fedora lets you manage other systems remotely with ease.
Fedora 14 includes a tech preview of systemd, a next-generation replacement for Upstart and SystemV init. Systemd allows for parallel and on-demand starting of services and features, which will result in faster boot times. In addition, Systemd tracks processes, daemons, sockets, etc and can snapshot the actual state of a system at any given point. It can also start services that are required by other services, to cut down on unnecessary loading. Systemd is not enabled by default but can be turned on with a few simple commands.
Additional information is available at the Systemd detailed design and various other documentation sites like freedesktop.org, the Fedora wiki, and systemd for Administrators Part 1, Part II, & Part III.
A tech preview of systemd provides next-generation system initialization.
Innovations that make Fedora a great platform for software developers.
D is a systems programming language which focus is on combining the power and high performance of programming language C and C++ with the programmer productivity of modern languages like Ruby and Python. The D language is statically typed and compiles directly to machine code. It's multiparadigm, supporting many programming styles: imperative, object oriented, and metaprogramming. It's a member of the C syntax family, and its appearance is very similar to that of C++.
Developers can now add the D programming language to their arsenal on Fedora.
GNUstep is a reimplementation of the NextStep environment. It's a GUI framework based of the Objective-C programming language which is part of the gcc. It is also available in other Linux distribution like Debian or Gentoo Linux. Program packages are easily portable.
Further information may be find at: GNUstep.org.
GNUstep development environment for Fedora.
Memory Debugging Tools
The new "gdb-heap" package adds a new "heap" command to /usr/bin/gdb which allows you to get a breakdown of how a process is using dynamic memory. It allows for unplanned memory usage debugging, which means that if a process unexpectedly starts using large amounts of memory you can attach to it with gdb, and use the heap command to figure out where the memory is going. You should also be able to use it on core dumps. This feature was developed inside of Fedora by David Malcolm and is a unique feature of Fedora 14.
Additional information is available at the project's website and Fedora 14 Dives Deeply into Memory Debugging article.
Fedora's GNU debugger, gdb, helps programmers track down and fix excessive memory usage with the new "heap" command.
Fedora 14 includes Python 2.7 and increases our commitment to improving portability and migration paths for developers to move to Python 3. Many modules are now feature complete with their Python 3.1 equivalents, and are also much more efficient than in earlier Python 2.x releases. For example, the IO class can now be up to 20 times faster in some operations since it has been rewritten. New debugging objects like memoryview can help speed development by giving you an "inside view" of your code. Enhanced Python debugging and integration with GCC continue to be available in the Fedora 14 release and into the future. Fedora 14 also includes Python-related enhancements such as fixing common problems with GObject introspection and SWIG.
Additional information is available at the "What’s New in Python 2.7".
Python 2.7 allows Fedora 14 users to both develop powerful code and easily migrate to Python 3 in the future.
Perl 6 is a major revision to the Perl programming language, which introduces elements of many modern and historical languages. There are currently multiple implementation projects of Perl 6 underway, the most actively developed one is Rakudo, which is based on the Parrot virtual machine.
Additional information is available at the Rakudo Homepage and various other documentation sites. Also, for additional references about Perl 6, try these links: Perl 6, Perl 6 documentation, Perl 5 to Perl 6, Perl6 Docs, and rosettacode.org's Perl 6.
The first production release of the Perl 6 language.
A few highlighted Fedora Spins coming out with this release.
For the Official Fedora 14 Release Spins, see the Fedora 14 Release Spins link.
MeeGo™ is an operating environment and development kit for next-generation mobile and device platforms, formed from the merger of Intel's Moblin project and Nokia's Maemo project, and backed by the Linux Foundation. It includes a rich set of software and libraries that support multiple architectures and multiple app stores, and are well aligned with a variety of upstream free and open source software projects. Fedora 14 offers an integrated subset of software from the MeeGo project. Users can try the software on any personal computer, including netbooks or other small systems, and interested developers can contribute to the development of this exciting new platform. Note that a small portion of software from MeeGo is not included to improve integration with other Fedora applications, and therefore this product is not expected to achieve 100% MeeGo compliance.
Software from MeeGo™ lets you try the latest mobile platform on any computer, including your netbook.
Major new features of the 0.90 release of the Sugar Learning Environment include:
- It's easier to develop collaborative Activities: Instead of needing to use the Sugar-specific Presence Service, Activity developers can now interact directly with more widely available services such as Telepathy, making it easier to create and port multi-user Activities to Sugar.
- Ad-hoc networking: Computers running Sugar can connect directly to other computers running Sugar in order to share Activities and files without the need for a connection to the global internet. This feature was formerly only available on OLPC XO machines; it now works for standard laptops with conventional wireless hardware as well.
- Customize yor avatar: Users can now select exact color values for their avatar in addition to the former default behavior of having color combinations randomly selected for them.
Additional information is available at the Sugar Learning Environment.
Sugar 0.90 brings the award-winning Sugar Learning Environment to students.
The notification area has been cleaned up visually, and its input handling across applications is now made more consistent by the extended use of the Freedesktop.org notification protocol first introduced in Plasma's previous version. KDE also gains performance, has increased stability and a new high-speed cache and support for WebKit.
Find out more here at the KDE 4.5.