Postcards from Laughlin
Just to clear something up, I am not writing this from the southern Nevada community of Laughlin, known more for it’s annual motorcycle rally than anything else (save for a BBC series that, I think, was not as successful as they would have liked).
The next Fedora release — by number it’s 14, by codename it’s Laughlin — is named after the Nobel laureate physics professor Robert B. Laughlin, now teaching just over the hill at Stanford.
The code name is just Laughlin, not Lucky Laughlin, or Leery Laughlin. It’s just Laughlin, named with the Fedora convention that $PREVIOUS_RELEASE_CODENAME is a (blank) and so is $NEXT_RELEASE_CODENAME. Fedora 13 was named Goddard, the rocket scientist and physicist, so Goddard is a physicist and so is Laughlin. Simple, no?
For the last month or so I’ve been running Fedora 14 Alpha on one of my laptops because I could. So while the Fedora 14 Beta installs on it to continue my foray into pre-release fun, I thought I’d give you my first impressions of the first wave of the new Fedora release.
First things first — what you’re hearing on the FOSS media regarding Fedora 14 about the changes being mostly behind the curtain are essentially true. Many of the coughs and hiccups that I encountered were things that normally do not affect the outward performance of Fedora, and while I did not document them other than to file bug reports, they were few and far between.
Despite the improvements under the hood, this is not to say that the functionality and outward appearance are lacking. Quite the contrary: The design team — probably the best of any distro on this planet, if not the solar system or galaxy — nailed the desktop yet again, and it looks outstanding across desktop environments. KDE allows a test drive of version 4.5.1 those who want to try F14 Beta.
Once I get the beta version going I’ll give an update.