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Fedora Core 4 Test 2--Plenty to Look Forward to in FC4 - page 3

Looking Forward

  • April 25, 2005
  • By Bill von Hagen

Fedora Core 4 Test 2 brings lots of goodies to Linux users everywhere. Not only does it provide the latest versions of GNOME (2.10) and KDE (3.4.0) for desktop users regardless of your political persuasion, but it also includes a preliminary version of GCC 4.0 for the developers among us. Since GCC 4.0 was officially released in late April, I'm sure that the official release of FC4 will include GCC 4.0, which promises to be a true milestone for GCC, as it introduces a new optimization framework that promises better and higher-performance code than ever before.

The following table shows the versions of some of the most popular GNU/Linux software packages found in the Fedora Core 4 Test 2 release. Of course, updates to almost everything in this list are already available, as discussed later in this review. For those new to Linux, this table lists the versions of the Evolution mail client, the binutils, GCC, GDB, and Glibc packages for compilation and debugging, the GNOME desktop system and its graphical underpinnings in the X Window System, the Perl, Python, and Ruby scripting languages, the Open Office desktop office software package, the Linux kernel itself, and the yum and RPM package management systems.

PackageVersion
binutils2.15.94.0.2.2-1
Evolution2.2.2-1
Firefox1.0.3-2
GCC4.0.0-1
GDB6.3.0.0-1.15
GIMP2.2.6-1
Glibc2.3.5-1
GNOME2.10.0-2
KDE3.4.0-5
Kernel2.6.11-1.1226_FC4SMP
Open Office1.9.93-1
Perl5.8.6-5
Python2.4.1-1
RPM4.4.1-9
Ruby1.8.2-7
X Window System6.8.2-27
yum2.3.2-1

As you can see from this list, it doesn't get much more up-to-date unless you roll your own Linux.

Figure 4 shows the default FC4T2 desktop after logging in. As you can see from this figure, there are some fundamental changes to the menu layout used by GNOME 2.10, which (among other things) has broken the contents of the old Computer menu into two menus: Places (which deals with access to folders, devices, and so on) and Desktop (which deals with general desktop-related tasks such as administration, setting preferences, locking the screen, logging out, and so on). IMHO, the new GNOME menu organization is an improvement to previous GNOME menu layouts. YMMV. Flames cheerfully ignored.

One bizarre thing about the FC4T2 release. The first time I select any of the menus from the top of the screen, there's a delay of 10 or so seconds until any selected menu displays. I saw this on several test installs, and at first thought that GNOME 2.10 was doing some weird menu computation. However, I didn't see this on other GNOME 2.10 systems such as Ubuntu's 5.04 (Hoary) release, and therefore think that this is just a bug waiting to be fixed.

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