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a few words about Fedora 7

My fellow Fedorans,

In a few hours (about 10:00 AM EDT/2:00 PM GMT), Fedora 7 will go live to the world.

It's the middle of the night in the main Red Hat offices in Raleigh and Westford, but I amm in Berlin this week for LinuxTag, which is the largest Linux conference in Europe (10,000 visitors over 4 days).

We have a great looking Fedora booth, and we are holding a FUDCon (Fedora Users and Developers Conference) here today during which we have a conference hall that probably seats 150 people all to ourselves. We are giving speeches and talks about Fedora all day long, both in German and in English. I've already had several people come by asking when Alan Cox will be arriving. Answer: Real Soon Now.

We have several activities ongoing at the Fedora booth, including an install-fest, and a troubleshooting contest with prizes that include free books and free Red Hat training classes. We have all variety of Fedora swag as well. It's quite an impressive setup here at LinuxTag, and worth noting that the entire organizational force behind the event was driven by our Fedora Ambassador community of volunteers.

This email is my "personal" Fedora 7 release announcement, and also touches on some of the topics that I will mention during my speech at FUDCon today.

Before I talk about Fedora 7, it's useful to look at recent history. One of the Fedora Project's mottos is "the rapid progress of free and open source software." With Fedora Core 5 in March of 2006, Fedora Core 6 in October of 2006, and Fedora 7 today, that's about 7 months per release. And with several million Fedora Core 6 installs, everyone who works on Fedora should feel very proud that not only is the software being released often, but it's also high quality, and in high use around the world.


Fedora 7 represents the culmination of several goals that Fedora has spent the last few releases (spanning the course of at least 2 years) working to achieve.

I've written previously on this list about the aspects of Fedora 7 that I think are the most important (http://tinyurl.com/yuc7ax).

From my perspective, it is the fundamental infrastructure changes that
Fedora 7 represents that are the biggest achievement.

The entire Fedora toolchain has been freed. Every step in the distribution-building process is completely open.

Code checked into an external CVS. Packages built on a completely external build system. Distros and LiveCDs built on completely open compose tools.

All of this functionality is available via the command line or via a graphical tool that is build on the APIs that we provide.

For folks who hack on free software, I hope that this is a compelling development environment in which to work. For folks who are end users of free software, we believe that the Fedora toolchain allows people to remix Fedora, and customize it in ways that will provide a much wider variety of Fedora-based spins than we could ever offer if "Fedora Release Engineering" had to build them all directly.

There is plenty more, but this email isn't meant to be an exhaustive list of Fedora 7 release features.


Additionally, I'd like to mention a few other new things that Fedora has completed in time for Fedora 7:

Our home page, fedoraproject.org has a new look. We've added a series of static HTML pages that sit on top of our wiki, and I think it makes the initial experience of fedoraproject.org much simpler, and much more useful. The organized chaos of the wiki is all still just one click away, but we didn't want first-time visitors to fp.o overwhelmed with the wiki from the first instant.

Our documentation pages have also been given some new organization, living at docs.fedoraproject.org.

The lifespan of a Fedora release has been increased to "two releases plus one month". This means that Fedora Core 6 will continue to be updated until one month after Fedora 8 is released, and Fedora 7 will be updated until one month after Fedora 9 is released.

We've put into production new mirror management software.

The EPEL project, which aims to make packages from the Fedora repository available for Enterprise Linux customers, has been making tremendous progress.

The Fedora News team, which already had been doing a fantastic job, has expanded the coverage that they provide the Fedora Project, and their Fedora Weekly News reports offer people a fantastic summary of all the interesting things that are happening in the Fedora Project.

And more.


Finally, a few words of thanks. I debated for a while listing specific names in this email, but the number of people who deserve credit for Fedora 7 and all of the work that has happened around Fedora 7 cannot be enumerated without accidentally forgetting someone. So instead I will simply say that every item discussed in this email has happened as a result of tremendous work by Fedora contributors both inside and outside of Red Hat. And it is the partnership of Red Hat and the Fedora community that allows both groups to be successful.

And I speak for everyone at Red Hat when I say that it is an honor to be a part of something like Fedora.

Congratulations to everyone on today's release.

Max Spevack
Fedora Project Leader

Max Spevack
+ http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/MaxSpevack
+ gpg key -- http://spevack.org/max.asc
+ fingerprint -- CD52 5E72 369B B00D 9E9A 773E 2FDB CB46 5A17 CF21

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