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A perfect 10?

December 31, 2008

This would have probably been the latest of all the Fedora 10 reviews, were I to write it.

Rather than writing something right after the release of Fedora 10, I wanted to do something different. Unlike movie or restaurant reviews which need to be released as soon as a movie or a restaurant opens, distros should be “road tested” before a valid review could be written.

So I decided to take the Road & Track approach. Back in the day, R&T used to give a car a 1,000-mile test before writing a review. That way, they gave the car a thorough going over before writing about it.

One month later, I can safely say that — right from the start — Fedora 10 “Cambrigde” has been flawless release; flawless from the standpoint of my own computer use. From the fresh install on a Dell Optiplex 150 desktop and a Dell Inspiron 5000 laptop (I don’t just upgrade — that’s fairly anal, I know), it has run without a hitch.

My only caveat — and it stems from the impossibility of it appearing on a Live CD due to space considerations — is that I had to download OpenOffice separately.

But out of the box, we had my Internet needs handled without the smallest of tweaks: Downloading and using XChat (yeah, yeah — tease me about it later, but I have always liked it and still use it) and gFTP were the only extracurricular things I needed to get going post-install. Out of the box, downloading and using Bluefish had my Web stuff covered. Out of the box, downloading OpenOffice.org and with Impress, and my presentations were coming one after another without a hitch.

There was no tweaking whatsoever, which is a first for me.

Then again, as the car ads say, your mileage may vary.

Two folks have brought to my attention the fact that their experiences with Fedora 10 have yet to be as flawless as mine have been. One — let’s call him Peter (because that’s his name) — is a long-time friend and mainstay of the Linux world in Santa Cruz. Peter seems to do extensive tests of all new releases — Ubuntu, Fedora . . . he holds no favorites — and picks them apart. Fedora 10 had a laundry list of faults, as does each of the distros Peter chooses to dissect. I appreciate Peter’s thoroughness in his assessments, and I wish I had the time to pick apart distros as he does (but I don’t).

The same with a respondent to one of my recent blog items in Larry the Fedora Guy named Richard, who seemed to think I was belittling the pain that some, like he himself, had gone through in a less-than-perfect experience than I had using Fedora 10.

Both Peter and Richard did not have the same experience I did.

Nevertheless, I stand by my assessment that Fedora 10 is a rock-solid distro that is as close to perfect as any I’ve ever used. But I’m not going to review distros any longer because distro reviews are essentially useless — what may work for me may not work for others, and vice versa.

In other words, if you give a distro to 20,000 people, you’re likely to end up with 20,000 different reviews ranging from glowing to damning; all based on personal experience.

And your mileage may indeed vary.

[FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs Felton Linuxworks and HeliOS Solutions West in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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Categories: Fedora
  1. January 1, 2009 at 9:17 am

    I fully agree. Nothing short of amazing. I have installed twice. It is on an sdhc card in my Asus eee 900. Everything works- video, sound, function keys, wifi and seems to run faster than default xandros. That’s a keeper! Other is old test box- p3-600, 512mb ram. Runs great- looks great. May switch my main desktop to it soon.

  2. JBG
    January 2, 2009 at 3:16 am

    Did Peter publish is laundry list of F!0 faults somewhere online?

    It would be good to see what he thinks needs improvement in Fedora..

    • January 2, 2009 at 9:13 am

      Actually it was in an e-mail to me and several others in the Santa Cruz area on a mailing list for SMAUG (the Santa Cruz Microsoft Alternatives Users Group). I’ll look for it and send it to you.

      If you go to http://larrythefedoraguy.wordpress.com/2008/12/29/coming-up-in-2009/ you can find Richard’s comments, which are the fourth and fifth one down, I believe.

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