Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fedora 14, features missing?

I was not the only one noticing there are not many features in Fedora 14 compared to the former releases, but I wondered how much this is anecdotal and how much it's reality.

So I actually counted them from the Feature pages and here is the results:

Fedora  8     21 Features
Fedora  9     30 Features
Fedora 10     28 Features
Fedora 11     52 Features !!!
Fedora 12     42 Features
Fedora 13     38 Features
Fedora 14     20 Features

So it is true Fedora 14 is the least feature equipped release we had since Fedora 8, and it's even worse if you compare side by side the features list and note how many features in the current release are just updates to (admittedly important) packages like boost or python.

So why did it happen? I think it all boils down to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6:  the exact date for the release is not known but surely it should be nearing by now; add to this the notion most features we have in the distro carry a @redhat.com owner and the result starts to be less surprising.

So, how bad is this? Surely, other distributions could potentially move on and improve while we are "distracted" in another direction, raising the bar for us to really "lead the advancement of free, open software and content".

However it is also true more and more reports indicate Red Hat employees as leading contributors in upstream projects so, in a way, we can afford being lazy for a release because upstream would slow down as a result and we could catch up easier.

So what's the truth? I am not sure, but if it is the latter, maybe RHEL 6 also delayed GNOME 3, or at least contributed to...