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Announcing Fedora 12 Alpha



<insert witty comment that I'm up far too early to generate myself here>

Fedora 12 "Constantine" Alpha release is available! What's next for the
free operating system that shows off the best new technology of
tomorrow? You can see the future now at:

http://fedoraproject.org/get-prerelease

What's an Alpha release? The Alpha release contains all the features of
Fedora 12 in a form that anyone can help test. This testing, guided by
the Fedora QA team, helps us target and identify bugs. When these bugs
are fixed, we make a Beta release available. A Beta release is
code-complete, and bears a very strong resemblance to the third and
final release. The final release of Fedora 12 is due in November.

We need your help to make Fedora 12 the best release yet, so please take
a moment of your time to download and try out the Alpha and make sure
the things that are important to you are working. If you find a bug,
please report it - every bug you uncover is a chance to improve the
experience for millions of Fedora users worldwide. Together, we can make
Fedora a rock-solid distribution.

https://bugzilla.redhat.com

Among the top features for end users, we have:

Better webcam support - Out of the box support for a lot of new webcams
has been extended further than ever.

Empathy as default IM client - Empathy is an instant messenger client
replacing Pidgin, featuring better integration with the GNOME Desktop.

GNOME 2.27.90 beta and KDE 4.3 - The latest code from the two main
desktop environments and their many bundled supporting applications are
part of this release. GNOME 2.27.90 is the latest GNOME version as of
the Alpha release; GNOME 2.28 is planned for the final release.

Network Manager Mobile Broadband - By providing a database of
preconfigured mobile broadband providers, supporting more hardware and
permit to scan GSM networks, NetworkManager makes the use of mobile
broadband much easier.

Better Free Video Codec - The latest technology is found in the
improved, free Ogg Theora video encoder, codenamed "Thusnelda." Encoded
video at very high definition now can meet or exceed the expectations of
the most demanding viewer and material.

PackageKit improvements - PackageKit now has plugins to install
applications from a web browser, and from the command line if a user
tries a command from a package not yet installed.

PulseAudio improvements - The PulseAudio volume control applet has been
extended to support profiles, input switching and easy speaker setup.

Better power management - This release offers better power management
features regarding CPU, disk and network I/O.

For developers there are all sorts of additional goodies:

NetBeans 6.7 - NetBeans 6.7 is the most recent version of Sun's IDE.

PHP 5.3 - PHP 5.3 has been integrated as the popular web language.

Eclipse 3.5.0 - The latest release of the popular, open, and extensible
development platform is included.

SystemTap - Updates to this debugging capability include better
documentation, tools, and examples; support for kernel tracepoint and
modern gcc debuginfo ("dwarf") output; and Eclipse support for launching
traces and graphing results.

Peek under the hood and there is still more:

Better IPv6 in NetworkManager - NetworkManager has been extended to
fully support IPv6 configurations through the GUI.

Automatic Bug Reporting Tool - This release provides ABRT, a service
that automatically reports application crashed to Fedora, without
requiring the end user to have any special knowledge on error reporting.

RPM XZ payload - All the software packages in Fedora have been switched
from Gzip to the more efficient XZ (LZMA) compression method, to save
space on mirrors and reduce download times.

x86 optimized for Atom - The 32 bit version of this release will be
compiled for i686 with a specific optimization for Intel Atom processors
used in many netbooks.

GRUB ext4 support - Fedora 11 included Ext4 by default, however GRUB in
that version did not support Ext4 and hence required a separate boot
partition formatted as Ext3 or Ext2. This release includes an updated
version of GRUB with Ext4 support.

Bluetooth Service On Demand - In order to support Bluetooth devices, the
Bluetooth background service was started by default in previous versions
of Fedora. In this release, the Bluetooth service is started on demand
when needed, and automatically stops 30 seconds after last device use,
reducing initial startup time and resources.

KVM improvements - Many improvements in KVM virtualization are found in
this release: reduced memory consumption and improved performance, NIC
hotplug, better disk I/O, modern PXE booting, support for flexible
network configurations, and much more.

And that is only the beginning. A more complete list and details of each
new cited feature is available here:

http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Releases/12/FeatureList

For more information including common and known bugs, tips on how to
report bugs, and the official release schedule, please refer to the
release notes:

http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Fedora_12_Alpha_release_notes

Thank you, and we hope to see you in the Fedora project!

-- 
Jesse Keating
Fedora -- FreedomĀ² is a feature!
identi.ca: http://identi.ca/jkeating

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