I’m sure there will be plenty of news reports on the wire with Fedora 16 Alpha reviews. I wanted to share a couple brief thoughts, as opposed to a long review. I downloaded a copy of RC5 (which is the candidate that got the gold star) from the stage location and made it into a Live USB stick using the livecd-tools package’s livecd-iso-to-disk tool. These were some things that popped out at me when I was using it:
- The Design team’s background image is quite striking. Although it’s a little higher energy than some previous desktops, I really like the underwater motif (I liked the underwater background in Fedora 9 too). From what I understand, the login screen should have some significant changes shortly, and that should show off the background well.
- My ThinkPad x220’s hotkey (Fn+F8) for switching the touchpad on and off now works! This is fantastic because I often find myself brushing the touchpad, which is not recessed, and it can cause me problems in some interfaces. But at the same time, I don’t like turning it off in the BIOS because (1) I do sometimes use it in mouse-only interfaces, and (2) although I have no problems altering BIOS settings, I don’t think users should have to interact with them, especially when they have a clearly labeled keyboard function they should expect to work.
- Bluetooth wasn’t working for me at all. This was only a brief test and I had no time to track down the problem. It’s quite possible this is a hardware dependent issue specific to my ThinkPad. So this is merely an observation, and if it’s not done already I’ll be looking further into the situation later, and filing an appropriate bug.
Sadly, I don’t have quite as much time to do deep testing of Fedora as I used to. So the above is basically a minimal report from about 3 minutes of usage I was able to fit in a couple nights ago. But I can say I’m looking forward to doing more! Remember that if you’re testing and finding problems, we need bugs! Without them it’s really hard to make a better product. So do your part for free software, and report them.
Nice work to all those involved thus far with the release and all the collateral that goes with it.