Feature plans for Fedora 9

fedora-logo-bubbleFedora 8 is out now and plans for Fedora 9 are made. The feature list is already in place and contains several entries.

Fedora 8 has just been released, but of course plans for the next version are already under way: a Fedora 9 Feature List has been created in the Wiki, just like the one for Fedora 8, and people and groups now add their plans and aims.

Two outstanding aims are the inclusion of KDE 4 as the default KDE version and the usage of PackageKit as an alternative package management frontend. Since the Fedora 9 release schedule aims at May 2008 both aims should be realistic and possible: KDE 4 is supposed to be released in a working state around christmas, and PackageKit already works pretty well now.

Another feature which is currently lacking in Fedora 8 is real support of RandR 1.2: while everything works in the command line there is now GUI yet. Even worth, the current GUI shipped with Fedora is not aware of the new RandR features and asks you to restart your X – which is totally nuts. There are also no fallbacks implemented to always have at least one working output. At least the first part will hopefully be addressed by the next Fedora release.
Speaking about broken tools and implementations, NetworkManager is again part of the feature list. The team aims at getting NM into shape that it can be activated by default and just works in all situations: with mobile support via blue tooth, support for more than one device, support for system wide configuration via PolicyKit, etc. Since Fedora 8 ships with a development version of NM 0.7 some of these features might find their way into Fedora 8 as an update as well.

For PulseAudio the developers plan to replace current volume control principles by a PulseAudio volume control. The background is that current systems rely on the information exposed by ALSA which are neither user friendly nor useful for everyone. Therefore a PulseAudio logic will be used to also use the possibilities of PulseAudio.

There are also plans to create a new Fedora Spin for that release: Fedora Astronomy. That plan also contains some Fedora related political “problems” is also “political” interesting: Fedora is quite GNOME concentrated, but most of the astronomy software for Linux – KStars, Xephem, Celestia, Stellarium, Partiview – has little to do with GNOME. But KStars, which is quite well known and is used for example to control telescopes of any size requires KDE libraries anyway, so it would be useful to install KDE as the default desktop. But from my point of view I would not be surprised if something else would happen.

Speaking about GNOME, GDM will see a major rework for Fedora 9 as well. It will be ported to all the new possibilities which are around these days on modern desktops: improved fast user switching support, PolicyKit support D-Bus API, etc. While these features make great progress and are supported by more and more distributions and applications, the underlying desktops still fail to support some of these. I don’t know of any work at implementing PolicyKit’s features deep into the KDE libraries at the moment, for example. And in general D-BUS is still not used in a way it could be in both desktops: you could start entire different sets of applications depending on the time, the (network-) location or the mood of the user (photo database together with the image manipulating application, or sets of audio applications for music work, etc.), and you could also give one save&close command to such sets of apps at the same time with D-BUS.
In this regard the rework of GDM is “just another” step, but a necessary and important one.

It shows that Fedora 9 will again come up with multiple changes – many of them are not even listed here. Most of them will be evolutionary (which is not bad!), except maybe for KDE, which will see a revolutionary step to a new level.

22 thoughts on “Feature plans for Fedora 9”

  1. Fedora 9 Live Astronomy… I love it! Could you even imagine Microsoft or Apple doing anything remotely similar? I sure can’t. Just goes to show the greatness of free software.

  2. “That plan also contains some Fedora related political “problems””

    The specification by itself doesn’t talk about any desktop environment. I guess this is part of your KDE advocacy rather than a Fedora 9 description and I find it pretty awkard. If you going to express a opinion, you probably should clear separate it from the development description.

  3. jef: I do agree that I the sentence should be a little less aggressive, and I changed it. The situation should be more clear now.
    However, it is still a “political” issue: there have been several situations where the Fedora core team didn’t even bother to inform (not to speak about asking or finding solutions together) the KDE package people of changes which influenced the experience of Fedora-KDE users dramatically. At the same time Fedora still states it is open to other environments besides GNOME – which is not true as long as such things as mentioned above happen.


  4. However, it is still a “political” issue: there have been several situations where the Fedora core team didn’t even bother to inform (not to speak about asking or finding solutions together) the KDE package people of changes which influenced the experience of Fedora-KDE users”

    Which changes would that be? KDE SIG was informed clearly about the NetworkManager related changes since Rex is also in the release eng team. I think you are prejudging what the spin would contain and the motivations behind it and I think that is in bad taste.

  5. For example the Compiz-Problem: The beryl packages were removed because they were obsolete – but they weren’t for KDE users at that point.
    As I was told the KDE-SIG had to put major efforts into getting a replacement for the lost function (being able to activate compiz in KDE with a gui).

    About NetworkManager: I don’t remember that I complained about the situation in that regard. Yes, the current situation with nm-applet in KDE is sub-optimal, but I never stated that is a problem of Fedora but of the KDE people.
    What I did complain about is that NM 0.7 introduced major regressions for me in comparison to 0.6.5 – but that is independent of the used GUI.

    “I think you are prejudging what the spin would contain and the motivations behind it and I think that is in bad taste.”
    I already corrected the bad part of my post in that regard and admitted that it was wrong. But I’m still free to extrapolate my own experiences and my point of view and to voice my concerns.
    Maybe I’m wrong about the current astronomy software and the integration into the desktop, maybe they will take KDE. It might also be that they avoid KDE because it will be difficult enough already to get KDE 4.0 running. I don’t know. But I do can have concerns.

  6. “For example the Compiz-Problem: The beryl packages were removed because they were obsolete – but they weren’t for KDE users at that point.”

    Ugh, yes they were. Beryl was obsolete regardless of the desktop environment. The so called “Core” guys even built a compiz-kde package for KDE folks and then KDE SIG wrote a desktop effects wrapper.

    Beryl was being maintained in a volunteer fashion and the fact that Compiz Fusion was obsoleting Beryl was well known and discussed for months anyway.

    Do people independently have to be notified on package obsoletes? I don’t think so. Lot of volunteers like the original GNOME Nodoka theme designers were GNOME users too. Doesn’t mean that KDE is sidelined. The fundamental problem is the lack of contributors as much as the GNOME side and that can’t be fixed by this kind of advocacy.

    “What I did complain about is that NM 0.7 introduced major regressions for me in comparison to 0.6.5 – but that is independent of the used GUI.”

    It also introduced a much better backend that works better for many people.

    “I don’t know. But I do can have concerns.”

    Then comment on the specification or send the people involved a mail. Get involved.

  7. “It also introduced a much better backend that works better for many people.”
    Thanks for repeating my words, I state that since the introduction of the new feature set. So what? It still introduced regressions. Others have similar regression problems, btw.

    “Get involved.”
    What do you mean? Do you think I’m not involved yet? I manage a set of KDE packages in the repository, I wrote much too many bug reports about all kinds of problems in Fedora (many of them about NM crashes and similar problems, btw.), I wrote several bug reports about the Fedora infrastructure, I played an important part in the restructuring of the cvs entry page of the Fedora wiki, and so on.
    I even entered the list of astronomy software above to the Wiki page of the described project since they claim they still need to collect the useful software.

    I am involved.


  8. Thanks for repeating my words,”

    Of course. I am merely emphasizing that now since you didn’t highlight that in the reply here. So I felt I should just for the benefit of readers watching the discussions.

    “What do you mean? Do you think I’m not involved yet? ”

    Did you ask which desktop environment they are going to use and why in the feature spec or to the feature owners? I didn’t see you doing that. I just saw you claim some vague political problems. That I feel is hurtful advocacy along with the claim that KDE SIG were not aware of changes while I couldn’t find a single valid example where they were somehow sidelined. Why aren’t you in the KDE SIG? There are lots of non-kde related astronomy packages too BTW.

  9. “Did you ask which desktop environment they are going to use and why in the feature spec or to the feature owners?”
    No, I also never stated that. As I have already written: I just expressed my thoughts. And I extrapolated experiences.
    I have to admit that I’m also a bit confsed now: I even agreed with you that I was rough at the beginning and changed the part to a mere description of extrapolated experiences and thoughts. Yet, you still keep on complaining – although I am free to think what I think. What exactly is your problem now, free thoughts? Free press?

    “along with the claim that KDE SIG were not aware of changes while I couldn’t find a single valid example where they were somehow sidelined.”
    To also include another statementof yours which I forgot in mylast response: “The so called “Core” guys even built a compiz-kde package for KDE folks”
    I was given to know that the important packages were build by the KDE-SIG. Also, one of the KDE-SIG members was very frustrated with the entire process.

    If you really want to digg up mud about Fedora and KDE, actually ask the contributors. I do know that the frst KDE-Live-CD didn’t went that well either. It worked, in the end, but it was a very frustrating process.
    Or the last discussion about KDM were KDE people had to defend themselves that they thought about GDM and KDM – among other strange arguments (from both side, regrettably) there was the suggestion of removing KDM from Fedora. That wasn’t quite sensible.

    “Why aren’t you in the KDE SIG?”
    I just waited for that comment: it is pointless. being a member of a group counts nothing. The KDE-SIG had 16 members not that long ago. But it didn’t say anything about the contributions of the members.
    Real contribution for KDE in Fedora is to create, manage and provide KDE packages. To keep in contact with upstream. To fill bug reports. To also inform the KDE community about Fedora to make them curious about Fedora. Guess what I did and do from the things above mentioned.
    But I also was a member of the KDE-SIG. But it takes so unbelievable much time that I had to drop it to still be able to contribute in other ways effective enough. Guess, who is the blogger who writes most about Fedora on Planet KDE?

    “There are lots of non-kde related astronomy packages too BTW.”
    That comment is brainless: the list in my post consists of non-KDE apps, except one. It is not even said that more than one is a KDE app.

    But I’m always willing to learn. Maybe I am wrong with the feeling that Fedora simply doesn’t care about KDE and it’s development, but it is really focussed on providing a fertile ground for it. I would actually like to be proven wrong! Because I do like Fedora, and I do like KDE.

    Explain me your point of view. What you would like me to write. Show me how you see the situation.

  10. “Yet, you still keep on complaining – although I am free to think what I think. What exactly is your problem now”

    That people would rather not asking the people about the details of any particular development but instead speculate on it. If your blog is covered in many places, you are essentially a journalist and would have to take some caution on how widespread the news can go. You are already aware of that from some of the mistakes made in your comments on KDE earlier.

    “I was given to know that the important packages were build by the KDE-SIG”

    Which important packages? Like I said compiz-kde is from the SRPM of compiz which afaik cannot possibly be built from anyone in the KDE SIG. What KDE SIG wrote was the equivalent of desktop effects for KDE. A simple wrapper.

    “If you really want to digg up mud about Fedora and KDE, actually ask the contributors. I do know that the frst KDE-Live-CD didn’t went that well either. It worked, in the end, but it was a very frustrating process.”

    Well I used it and I loved it.

    “I just waited for that comment: it is pointless. being a member of a group counts nothing. The KDE-SIG had 16 members not that long ago. But it didn’t say anything about the contributions of the members.”

    This was fixed not too long ago.

    https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2007-October/msg02521.html

    “The list of participants in the wiki is atm not a list of active contributors.
    When setting up the wiki the only demand was an interest in KDE to be listed on this page. This list would be changed in the future to be culled down to
    the list of active (or reactivated) participants.”

    “Explain me your point of view. What you would like me to write. Show me how you see the situation.”

    I think the KDE SIG is doing a good job already and what is needed is more contributors and careful advocacy and I am worried that constant stipulation that KDE is somehow being sidelined will throw off any interested contributors.

  11. “but instead speculate on it.”
    I correct the speculating bit. I can’t say that often enough.
    What is left is the expression that it will be interesting to watch a process under certain circumstances and point of views. That is always allowed. And it must be allowed!
    If you have a problem with that, than have one. But that’s your problem, not mine.

    “You are already aware of that from some of the mistakes made in your comments on KDE earlier. ”
    Be specific, or let it be. Don’t try to spread uncertainty or doubt.

    “Like I said compiz-kde is from the SRPM of compiz which afaik cannot possibly be built from anyone in the KDE SIG. What KDE SIG wrote was the equivalent of desktop effects for KDE. A simple wrapper.”
    You totally failed to understand my argument. What I meant was: the window decorator was included, but no script or anything for regular KDE users to switch to it, or to for example check if its already running. The window decorator is of course essential, but useless for average computer users if there is no GUI. So that wrapper might be simple, but is still very important to average users.

    “This was fixed not too long ago. […]”
    For the sake of being able to follow this post: please stop posting stuff I was involved with. The message was publicly posted on the planet even with my name in it!
    That is neither a good way of discussing things nor helpful for other readers. Not at all.

    “I think the KDE SIG is doing a good job already and what is needed is more contributors and careful advocacy and I am worried that constant stipulation that KDE is somehow being sidelined will throw off any interested contributors.”
    Well, we are not that far apart there, nice to know.

    Anyway, this discussion has left the topic already five posts before: I want to mention a specific point of view to watch a future development, you think that such a point of view is unfounded and only harms the project and all people involved. Ok, I can live with it.

    However, in the rest of this discussion we focused on smaller items like specific packages (which was maybe a misunderstanding anyway), and that is not bringing any results for several posts now.
    Also, as mentioned above the style of this discussion moves into a direction I’m not willing to follow.

    So: the situation is clear, both fronts are clear as well. If you really want to continue the discussion – and if you really want to have meaningful results – I kindly ask you to please send me an e-mail instead of posting here on and on. The address is available in the about section. And the comment section of a blog is hardly the place to continue such discussions.

  12. “Be specific, or let it be. Don’t try to spread uncertainty or doubt.”

    You admitted making mistakes on your blogs on KDE 4 yourself. There is no FUD involved.

    “So that wrapper might be simple, but is still very important to average users”

    No disagreement but it is a simple task and it could have been done better if contributors are involved as they should be.

    “For the sake of being able to follow this post: please stop posting stuff I was involved with. The message was publicly posted on the planet even with my name in it!”

    So why are not involved in KDE SIG yet and instead choose to raise old complaints? I couldn’t understand and no I not going to send private mails to discuss issues raised publicly. I will stop now.

  13. “admitted making mistakes on your blogs on KDE 4 yourself”
    Maybe, I made a lot of mistakes in my live, I am also just a human being. And: just referring to something unspecific without mentioning if it was a small or a big problem or anything else is FUD, nothing else.

    “So why are not involved in KDE SIG yet and instead choose to raise old complaints?”
    Please read what I wrote already several comments before: “I also was a member of the KDE-SIG.” If you are not willing to read what I answer to your questions and complaints any discussion with you is senseless anyway.

  14. By Liquidat
    This comment section is neither a place for senseless discussions nor a place for constant/intentional misinterpretations or personal (and anonymous) attacks. The last post was one step too far. Comment deleted.

  15. Hi Liquidat – I am a longtime Fedora/KDE user and have just upgraded my laptop to Fedora 8. I must say that KDE does not seem to be very well tested, at least not if you install KDE only, which is what I did, and not GNOME .

    For example, the default mouse cursor was not installed (I did it manually by “yum install bluecurve-icon-theme”). And I had to search around a bit before I found out how to configure Compiz-fusion: “yum install ccsm”. The configurator is GTK-based as far as I can tell, and the default theme doesn’t look good at all inside KDE.

    So here’s my question: Do you know of any way to “yum install” a theme switcher for the GTK-based applications *without* installing GNOME? (my laptop only has 30GB diskspace and is used only by me, so obviously I don’t wan’t to waste any space for something that I never use)

    I too try the best I can to submit bugreports, but I must say that my personal experience is that KDE has not been very well integrated in Fedora for as long as I can remember (I’ve been around since Fedora Core 1). I guess we just have to try harder🙂

  16. Martin, I think the “gtk-qt-engine” could help you: it will draw the GTK apps, but with the qt theme. This gives the GTK themes a KDE-ish look.

    About the tests: well, there could always be more people testing, there are not that many currently:/

  17. Thanks – I actually found it right after I posted my question. I’ve added it to my random ramblings on my F8 page (click my name).
    Works like a charm (it needs the “cmake” and “gtk2-devel” packages).

  18. u tollaly ignored the fact that ext4 may be part of F9. i mean forget all the eye candy talk and focus on what’s really important.

  19. dicweed: What is so special about ext4? Yes, it extends the features of ext3 to a level which other file systems like JFS or XFS already reached years ago. Additionally, it doesn’t even touch features of other, more modern file systems like ZFS or Btrfs.

    Sorry, but I don’t see where ext4 is that important.

  20. Thanx for all the Fedora guys and girls for their support to make this OS. I can´t wait the next release, and hope my E-mu 0404 PCI card will be supported by default alsa 1.0.16. It would be very nice, and finally then I can say bye-bye for MS.
    Hope the best. Bye.

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