Finally, I finished my M.Sc a few days ago and therefore I’m going to be more active after finishing some postponed tasks. But, all that didn’t prevent me from jumping to Fedora 16 early around Beta release and afterwards. And this is my mini-review now:
Fedora Robotics Spin
First of all, we at Fedora Robotics SIG are proud to announce the first official release of Fedora Robotics Spin. This is a LiveDVD spin providing many usable tools, libraries and frameworks usable in robotics such as Eclipse development environment, MRPT libraries, Player/Stage/Gazebo and RoboCup soccer simulator 2D and 3D. Fawkes was supposed to be included too but IIRC it is not included in this version due to some problems. There are still a lot to be done and we will provide more interesting stuff in future.
Fedora 16 comes with Gnome 3.2.1. To summarize, it is better than Gnome 3.0 (surprisingly!;)). It felt a bit faster (if I’m not mistaken!), and more polished. It also comes with a number of bug fixes that annoyed me in Fedora 15: the renaming problem in nautilus in non-English locales is solved, and while the problem with tray icons of Java applications is not solved (and it fact it is a bit worse since you cannot get the icon back even by restarting gnome-shell), it doesn’t cause gnome shell to use 100% CPU anymore. So, you still cannot see Java icons but at least it won’t heat up your system. Good news is that a fix for Java is already applied to JDK 8 (thanks to Danesh Dadachanji) and hopefully it will be backported to JDK 6 & 7 soon. Apparently, it fixes another problem too: Java windows will be grouped in Gnome Shell as a single application (currently each window appears as a separate application).
Gnome 3.2.1 comes with some enhancements and new features too: Sushi, a quick previewer for Nautilus. Highlight a file (e.g. image or video) and press Space bar button. You should see a preview of the file.
Another enhancement is in NetworkManager, whch provides a “HotSpot” feature. In Gnome 3.0, there were no straight forward way to do wireless sharing in the new NetworkManager interface and you were forced to create it manually using Netowrk Connections dialog. But in Gnome 3.2 there is a HotSpot button in the Wireless section which creates an ad-hoc wireless connection and shares internet over it easier than ever (just press the button and a few seconds later others can connect you with the provided password). But NetworkManager still lacks some basic functionality, for example while you can enter network proxy information, there is no (clear) way to add authentication information (probably you can add your username and password in the URL box, but it is not a good solution specially as the password is visible to everyone). I hope that NetworkManager can have a kind of “Location” (or Connection) concept which makes it possible to assiosiate some network settings with network Locations (e.g. separate proxy information for different Locations/Connections).
Unfortunately, on my ThinkPad X61 the suspend button (Fn+F4) no longer works. I have not looked into this problem yet. Also, some of the gnome shell extensions in Fedora 16 repository are not compatible with Gnome Shell 3.2.x but they are installable (they should require gnome shell 3.0.x so that you cannot install them in Fedora 16).
Personal File Sharing
In Fedora 15 and 16, you might have noticed that there is no longer any “Personal File Sharing” in Gnome 3. I mostly wanted it to enable receiving files using bluetooth since my mobile didn’t see my laptop to send any files to it. Fortunately, it is not gone forever and you can easily get it back: just install gnome-user-share package and you’ll get it back.
Gnome Fallback + Compiz Session
And a final note about Gnome in Fedora 15/16: if you would like to use gnome fallback mode rather than Gnome Shell, you can install Compiz 0.9.5 and specially compiz-gnome package. It’ll add a new session (“Classic Gnome with Compiz”) in the login window which you can select to run Gnome Fallback mode with compiz. So, you can select the desired environment in the login window.
Another notable feature of Fedora 16 is replacing lagacy Grub with Grub 2 (not for all architectures currently). But I’ll talk more about it in a separate post since this one is long enough already.
Fedora 16 comes with more interesting features like USB support in KVM. See other features in Fedora 16 feature page.
Since Fedora 16 is out, we are going to release our Parsidora 16 soon, specially that it seems that have less problems than Fedora 15. Fedora 16 is better than Fedora 15, so Parsidora 16 will be better too!