Fedora's Lovelock Linux is beta ready
Gives GNOME a big hug
The Fedora Project has released the first and only beta for their next Linux distro, fully embracing the GNOME desktop that rival Ubuntu will shuffle away from later this month.
The beta for Fedora 15, announced on Tuesday and codenamed Lovelock, becomes the first major Linux distro to include GNOME 3, which was released earlier this month. Fedora 15 will jettison GNOME 2.
GNOME 3 is a major departure from the existing interface: it cleans up the interface and makes it easier to find and fire up applications through juicy new icons.
Fedora Project board member Dennis Gilmore told the Fedora mailing list Tuesday: "After many years of a largely unchanged Gnome 2.x experience, GNOME 3 brings a fresh look and feel with GNOME Shell."
Possibly Fedora's closest desktop Linux competitor is Ubuntu, and that disto has also cleaned up its interface and made applications easier to find and use with the forthcoming version 11.04. Ubuntu, however, is dumping GNOME for its own interface, called Unity. The Unity interface also provides 3D and multi-touch, gesture-based support when working with applications.
Users of Ubuntu 11.04, due next week, will still get the GNOME shell, but it'll be available as a secondary boot option based on a user's own personal choice and whether their PC can deliver the necessary hardware acceleration that Unity needs.
Other changes in the Fedora 15 beta, meanwhile, include faster boot times and the ability to change your firewall settings without needing to restart the firewall.
Also, there's the OpenOffice fork LibreOffice. LibreOffice was created as a fork in September 2010 with the creation of The Document Foundation in opposition to Oracle's then ongoing refusal to release OpenOffice.org back to community control.
The general release of Fedora 15 is scheduled for May 15. You can see a full list of features here.
The Document Foundation has said that it's business as usual, in spite of Oracle's announcement last Friday that it's releasing OpenOffice back to the community. The group, however, has indicated it's willing to take Oracle and OpenOffice along with it back into the fold.
Charles H. Schulz, a former OpenOffice.org contributor speaking on behalf of the Document Foundation's steering committee, said in a statement that the Foundation and LibreOffice already represent a future path of development for the OpenOffice community and code base. "The development of TDF community and LibreOffice is going forward as planned, and we are always willing to include new members and partners," Schulz said. ®
Slightly garbled on the differences between Ubuntu 11.04 and Fedora 15
"Users of Ubuntu 11.04, due next week, will still get the GNOME shell, but it'll be available as a secondary boot option based on a user's own personal choice and whether their PC can deliver the necessary hardware acceleration that Unity needs."
This is a bit confused.
Here's the Cliff Notes version.
GNOME is a desktop, including a shell - roughly speaking, the code that renders some kind of interface to the desktop to let you launch applications and control windows - and lots of other bits.
GNOME 2's default 'shell' was provided by gnome-panel (a panel) and metacity (a window manager).
GNOME 3's official shell is GNOME Shell, incorporating the Mutter window manager. There is also a 'fallback mode' for hardware incapable of running GNOME Shell, which uses revised versions of gnome-panel and metacity. To re-emphasize, there's a whole lot of other stuff that's part of the GNOME desktop - the GTK+ widget library, various other convenience libraries, a ton of applications, the gdm login manager, etc etc - which are separate frm this whole shell thing.
Unity is an alternative desktop shell, an alternative to both GNOME Shell and gnome-panel+metacity.
Fedora 15 includes the entire official GNOME 3 platform: the GNOME Shell and the fallback mode, and all the other bits of GNOME 3.
Ubuntu 11.04's official repositories contain GNOME 2.32, and the Unity desktop shell to replace the default gnome-panel+metacity 'shell' of GNOME 2.
Ubuntu 11.04's official repositories do *not* contain GNOME Shell.
Ubuntu 11.04's official repositories do *not* contain any other GNOME 3 components: Ubuntu 11.04 uses GNOME 2, which is a point many outlets seem to be missing.
There is a semi-official PPA for Ubuntu 11.04 which contains a full set of GNOME 3 packages, including the GNOME Shell. If you use this PPA, you get a full GNOME 3 desktop including the Shell, not Unity. But this is not an official part of Ubuntu 11.04.
The Cliff's Notes of the Cliff's Notes:
Fedora 15 = full-fat GNOME 3.0.
Ubuntu 11.04 = GNOME 2.32 plus Unity.
"cleans up the interface and makes it easier to find and fire up applications through juicy new icons"
Euphemism for "employs a level of boneheaded stupidity not seen in the Linux community before".
Don't fix what isn't broken
"GNOME 3 is a major departure from the existing interface: it cleans up the interface and makes it easier to find and fire up applications through juicy new icons."
I'm not so sure about that myself... have been playing with it on archlinux since the release. The application menu is pretty terrible, it takes up the whole screen for crying out loud. Unless you're visually impaired i don't see how throwing 250x250px icons all over the desktop is ever going to increase productivity.