F11 Talking Points
There a number of new features, enhancements and improvement coming up in Fedora 11. Here are just a few of those:
For desktop users and everyone
- VolumeControl - Currently, people using Fedora have to go through many levels of mixers to properly set up sound sources. These are all exposed in the volume control on the desktop, making for a very confusing user experience. PulseAudio allows us to unify the volume controls in one interface that makes setting up sound easier and more pain-free.
- Presto (Delta RPMs) - Support for the yum Presto plugin gives users the option of not downloading whole package updates, and instead uses "delta RPMs," or smaller files that contain only the changes from one package version to another. Users of dial up connections and others in network-scarce environments can keep up-to-date without having to download large amounts of package data. This features helps when there are small changes in large packages that would otherwise require very high overhead to update to the newest version.
- Fingerprint - Extensive work has been done to make fingerprint readers easy to use as an authenticaton mechanism. Currently, using fingerprint readers is a bit of a pain, and installing/using fprint and its pam module take more time than should ever be necessary. The goal of this feature is to make it painless by providing all the required pieces in Fedora, together with nicely integrated configuration. This needs to be rewritten with more specificity on what users will see and experience.
For system administrators
- Filesystem - Ext4 is the now the default FS in Fedora. The ext4 filesystem has more features and generally better performance than ext3, which is showing its age in the Linux filesystem world. Needs to include more specificity about what the benefits are; not everything, just a small sample of the gains.
- MinGW (Windows cross compiler) - Fedora 11 will provide MinGW, a development environment for Fedora users who wish to cross-compile their programs to run on Windows without having to use Windows. In the past developers have had to port and compile all of the libraries and tools they have needed, and this huge effort has happened independently many times over. MinGW eliminates duplication of work for application developers by providing a range of libraries and development tools already ported to the cross-compiler environment. Developers don't have to recompile the application stack themselves, but can concentrate just on the changes needed to their own application.