Yenya's World

Tue, 27 May 2008

Fedora 9

I have upgraded my primary workstation and my laptop to Fedora 9. So far I have mixed impressions from F9. On the one side there is plenty of new software in F9, but on the other side, I have probably filled (or hit) the highest number of bugs in F9 than any other Fedora release:

#446042 xorg-x11-drv-ati: Zaphod does not work on ATi X300SE.
OK, I have switched to a new graphics card and got both monitors of the same size, so I can use a large virtual screen mode instead of Zaphod. It is somewhat clumsy, but it works.
#447892 xorg-x11-drv-ati: Text console until first X server restart.
This is on my laptop. I don't use text console much, so it is not critical.
#439386 synaptics: Touchpad setup does not survive suspend.
Fairly critical. I use a "scroll down" button on my laptop as a middle mouse button, but after suspend or switching to another virtual console it does not work anymore.
#448077 control-center: gnome-typing-monitor locks only one head.
Extremely ugly, but I can live with it.
#447910 gdm: gdm does not run ~/.xsession.
GDM got rewritten for F9 (more rants about it in another blogpost, probably). In the meantime, they have decided to move the "run ~/.xsession" feature to the separate package, xorg-x11-xinit-session. Guess why the session startup is so slow now, when instead of a single "if test -x ~/.xsession" statement they need a separate file.
#443316 galeon: Galeon crashes on almost every web page.
This one was in fact my own bug, removing an old third-party Java plugin fixed it.
#443518 galeon: Lots of issues with galeon in F9.
No comment.
#446233 galeon: Galeon does not support basic authentication.
Pretty serious one, as many of the sites I use or develop (like IS MU) require basic authentication. Probably, after two years and half, a time for a new browser has finally come? More browser-related rants also in another blogpost.
#446241 metacity: Vertical maximization does not sometimes work.
I have been using metacity briefly, until I have figured how to run my own ~/.xsession. Sawfish is still way better and more configurable.
#445533 NetworkManager: network manager has both wired and wireless adapters up.
This one is pretty serious usability bug. The default is not what most users want, and what is worse, the previous behaviour (keep the wired ethernet as an only active interface when plugged in, and after it is unplugged, try to activate wireless) is probably not possible anymore.
#447500 NetworkManager: no network with static ip.
Quite annoying on new installs, but easily solved by chkconfig network on; chkconfig NetworkManager off.

The above said, I am still not very disappointed with F9. It seems the community around F9 is stronger than ever, and the bug reports keep being answered even from non-Fedora people. Also it is nice to have an opportunity to test a bleeding-edge software.

On the other hand, including a beta version of and Firefox was a mistake (incomplete HW drivers, and e.g. Galeon developers unwilling to port the browser to new XULRunner API until it is stable). Also it seems many packages (like GDM or NetworkManager) are being developed in the questionable direction of "usability", which is an euphemism of "no configurable features". And that is sad, as configurability is where Linux-based desktops are far superior to its alternatives, both Windows and MacOS.

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