These are the Talking Points for the Fedora 13 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.
Automatic print driver installation
In Fedora 13, functionality has been added to leverage RPM and PackageKit capabilities for automatic installation of printer drivers. When a user plugs in any of the supported printers, the driver will identify itself to PackageKit, and once authorized the driver can be downloaded and installed automatically. Thanks to this change, Fedora bootable Live images no longer need to ship all printer drivers. This functionality equals or surpasses that of proprietary operating systems, where driver support is difficult and time-consuming. It also continues to build on the new, compelling functionality of free desktop components along with RPM.
Automatic printer driver installation lets you connect a USB printer and install the printer drivers automatically.
Automatic installation of language packs
A number of large suite-type packages, such as OpenOffice.org, Eclipse, and KDE, package their translated content separately as langpacks due to size issues. Now with the langpack plugin, when yum detects that a langpack is needed and available for a package the user requests, yum will automatically download and install the langpack as well. The user no longer needs to specifically request installation of language support for these types of suites. In the future it will be possible to extend this support further throughout the distribution.
Yum langpack support makes localized software installation smarter and easier for everyone worldwide.
Redesigned user management interface
The user account tool has been completely redesigned. The tool has functions to configure personal information in user accounts, and make a personal profile picture or icon. It also helps users generate strong passphrases, set up additional login options such as automatic login, and determine special roles for users such as in the case of a single owner of a personal laptop or an administrator of a shared system. Designed and implemented by several members of the Desktop SIG.
The new user account tool makes it easy to configure user details and practice good security.
Color management helps artists, photographers, designers, and others display and print work more accurately using 100% free software. Color management supports setting output gamma tables for most monitors, including when they are hotplugged during a session. Users can also install vendor-supplied ICC or ICM files by double-clicking them, and calibrate displays and scanners with external devices and color targets using the ArgyllCMS package. Written by Richard Hughes, Red Hat engineer and Fedora contributor.
Color management helps you control and produce more accurate color output for displays, printers, and scanners.
NetworkManager improvements include CLI
Adds dial-up modem support for older Bluetooth-equipped phones, to complement the personal-area networking already supported in Fedora. Addresses a long-standing missing link for command-line junkies who want NetworkManager to integrate with the CLI. Also useful for jetsetters who operate in lower-power text modes. Provides a better indicator for signal strength, and lets people know if they are roaming.
NetworkManager now supports older Bluetooth dial-up networking, and features a command line interface and better signal strength indicators.
Experimental 3D extended to free Nouveau driver
Fedora 12 included experimental 3D support for newer ATI cards in the completely free radeon driver, and now experimental 3D support has been extended in Fedora 13 to the equally free nouveau driver for a range of NVidia video cards. Fedora and its sponsor Red Hat are dedicated to improving the quality and coverage of completely free accelerated video drivers. While we support user choice and do not prevent use of closed, proprietary drivers, we also recognize that these drivers sometimes conflict with and cause problems in the software written by FOSS community members. We prefer to honor the commitment of the FOSS community with our own commitment to free drivers that complement their work, and work in the upstream Nouveau community to make these drivers better.
Fedora 13 features and contributes to experimental 3D support for many NVidia video cards using the 100% free software Nouveau driver.
Improvements that make system administrators' lives better.
boot.fedoraproject.org (BFO) is a unique feature in Fedora. It allows users to download a single, tiny image and install current and future versions of Fedora without having to download additional images. Other functionality can be added incrementally while keeping the download extremely small, to enable more extensive installation and testing options. More information can be found at the BFO home page and at the original boot.kernel.org page.
Boot.fedoraproject.org allows you to kick off installation and testing with a tiny image file.
System Security Services Daemon (SSSD)
SSSD provides expanded features for logging into managed domains, including caching for offline authentication. This means that, for example, users on laptops can still login when disconnected from the company's managed network. The authentication configuration tool in Fedora has already been updated to support SSSD, and work is underway to make it even more attractive and functional.
SSSD lets users who normally login to managed domains or networks do so even when offline.
Pioneering NFS features
Fedora 13 changes its default to NFSv4, resulting in improved performance with a seamless transition for users. Clients gracefully falling back to other versions if required by an NFS server. Continues Fedora's role as a front-runner for NFSv4 -- the first distribution to include it, the first to switch to it by default. The other major step forward in NFS is support for IPv6, so clients in mixed or IPv6 only environments can now make full use of NFS. Additional information can be found at the NFSv4 new features page and RFC 3530 which proposes the exporting of a single "pseudo file system."
Fedora 13 includes the version 4 of the NFS protocol for better performance and IPv6 support.
Fedora 13 now makes available a complete Open Source groupware suite that can be used as a drop-in Exchange replacement for Web-based mail, calendaring, collaboration and tasks. Features include IMAP/POP and iCal/CalDAV capabilities, native mobile phone support, the ability to integrate with existing Linux mail servers, a full set of programming interfaces, and a comfortable look and feel using modern Ajax technologies.
Fedora 13 now provides Zarafa, a complete open source groupware suite to replace Exchange.
Experimenting with btrfs
Btrfs is capable of creating lightweight filesystem snapshots that can be mounted (and booted into) selectively. The created snapshots are copy-on-write snapshots, so there is no file duplication overhead involved for files that do not change between snapshots. It allows developers to feel comfortable experimenting with new software without fear of an unusable install, since automated snapshots allow them to easily revert to the previous day's filesystem. Additional information can be found at the kernel.org btrfs wiki page, and in this blog entry.
System rollback using Btrfs helps administrators automatically or manually perform full filesystem snapshots for flexibility and data security.
Innovations that make Fedora a great platform for software developers.
Better monitoring tools
While Fedora used to have pretty decent introspection tools for the kernel, this release expands the visibility of monitoring on a higher level what is happening inside language runtimes like Java, Python and TCL. A start has been made with other user space applications like PostgreSQL, which will be extended to many more applications in Fedora 14 (this is a continuous process, making Fedora a better and tightly integrated developer platform). The SystemTap static probes feature page already has compelling examples for the case of Python programs. In addition, Engineering team member David Malcolm has added new support that allows developers working with mixed libraries (Python and C/C++) to get more complete information when debugging. Backtraces will now show output from code written in both languages, including those generated by Fedora's Automatic Bug Reporting Tool (ABRT), and developers can more quickly improve software. Both static probes and mixed debugging give developers fuller visibility into the workings of Python code, enhancing the development experience on the Fedora platform.
SystemTap's new static probes for monitoring higher-level languages and user space applications, and mixed debugging for Python and C/C++, help programmers find and squash bugs quickly.
Parallel-installable Python 3
Fedora 13 also blazes a trail with a parallel-installable Python 3 stack that will help programmers write and test code for use in both Python 2.6 and Python 3 environments. Beyond the core libraries, some additional libraries are already provided, with more expected to follow throughout this and future releases.
Python 3 support makes Fedora 13 an ideal platform for rapid development of future-resistant applications.
NetBeans 6.8 first IDE to support entire Java 6 EE spec
NetBeans IDE 6.8 is the first IDE to offer complete support for the entire Java EE 6 spec with improved support for JSF 2.0/Facelets, Java Persistence 2.0, EJB 3.1 including using EJBs in web applications, RESTful web services, and GlassFish v3. We also recommend it for creating PHP web applications with the new PHP 5.3 release or with other frameworks and toolkits. Additional information is available at the NetBeans IDE 6.8 Release Information page and Notes page as well as recent tutorials.
NetBeans 6.8 has the first truly free, complete support for the entire Java EE 6 spec, making Java development for beginners to experts rock on Fedora 13.
A few highlighted Fedora Spins coming out with this release.
Paragraph-long description of talking point.
Moblin 2.2 enhances your user experience on NetBook, NetTop and other small devices.
Summary sentence of talking point.
Sugar on a Stick Spin
Sugar on a Stick (SoaS) aims to make it easy for children, parents, or local deployers to provide each student with a small device (USB stick or thumbdrive) that can start any computer with the student's personalized Fedora-based Sugar environment. We would like to see Sugar's presence, journal, and clarity principles usable on any machine — at school, at home, and anywhere there is a suitable computing device. Sugar on a Stick starts the host computer directly up, without touching the hard disk. This new release benefits from a deeper collaboration with the whole Fedora community, resulting in an increased stability, while consistently providing the latest Sugar experience.
Additional information is available at the Sugar on a Stick wiki page.
Enable children to reclaim computers.
Design Studio Spin
Have you ever wanted to use the tools the Fedora Design Team is using? Or are you probably even looking forward to getting involved in Fedora as a designer? This is your chance.
The Fedora Design Suite includes well-selected applications, fitting a variety of use cases. Whether you decide to work on publishing documents, creating images and pictures or even 3D content, the Design Suite has a fitting tool.
Additional information is available at the Design Suite wiki page.
The Fedora Security Spin provides a safe test environment to work on security auditing, forensics, system rescue and teaching security testing methodologies in universities and other organizations. The spin is maintained by a community of security testers and developers. It comes with the clean and fast LXDE Desktop Environment and a customized menu that provides all the instruments needed to follow a proper test path for security testing or to rescue a broken system. The Live image has been crafted to make it possible to install software while running, and if you are running it from a USB stick created with the LiveUSB Creator's overlay feature, you can install and update software and save your test results permanently.
Thorough, Safe and Secure