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The Present and Future with Fedora Core 4 - page 2

Where Things Stand Now

  • September 22, 2005
  • By Ibrahim Haddad

What's the most useful feature for networks, even home networks, going to be?

Use the Global File System to keep all your large files in one place that everyone can get to, giving you a logically centralized shared storage remotely accessible by everyone's laptops or desktops. Instead of everyone having to have their own hard drives, just have central hard drive storage server. In effect, people can use their laptops like disk-less systems to access a centralized storage bank. Great also for multimedia files. (everyone on a home network in their right mind will eventually use laptops anyway).

And what is the path to networking nirvana?

IPv6. Auto configuration with IPv6 offers a holy grail of plug and play hotplug networking. No more IP address network configuration tasks. IPv6 uses the NIC cards own hardware address to generate an IPv6 address on the fly. A router does the rest. Like a hotplug USB printer, just plug into the network and go. For wireless, Network Manger will auto-detect available wireless networks, and hotplug into them.

Is the Windows device support advantage beginning to erode?

Hot plugging everything with HAL and udev is the beginning of the end for Windows device driver advantage. Traditionally, Windows has a huge advantage with device driver support, with each vendor dutifully providing a Windows driver. But with HAL and udev, Linux now provides automatic device support for everything that currently has a driver. D-bus then automatically connects devices and applications. If a driver exists for a device you do not have to install one. It is there automatically for you.

What's the next cool Fedora format?

More and more the operating systems is becoming a mobile and flexible feature, abstracting from the hardware and moving from one place to another seamlessly. Linux is uniquely positioned to support this "mobile" society. The next cool format for Fedora would be a live CD release (Kadischi), where you can carry your own Linux OS around with you in your hip pocket. Of course what makes a truly mobile Linux OS practical is udev and HAL device abstraction.

How does Windows look to you right now?

With its new releases, Microsoft is enforcing its policy of locking in per-copy licensing to specific hardware, chaining each instance of Windows to a specific system. If NTFS file system is any indication, Microsoft will continue to lock up and hide its systems, making them accessible apparently only to enterprising hackers.

For part-time Windows users, now may be the time to shift completely to a Linux system. Mozilla, with Firefox and Thunderbird, has already freed users from Microsoft Internet applications. The new XBox and Playstation 3 may mean the end of PC (Windows) gaming. The biggest question is still when will Adobe wise up?

What about installing software?

Yum is one of the sweetest methods for installing software. A one command install operation for just about any software you can thing of. One point not often pointed out is that online internet access to the repositories has vastly improved in just the last few months. In effect, software access has become an extension of your system. The impact for software access is critical. For no other system do you have this kind of access. Software for most tasks gathered in a few repositories and instantly downloadable and installable in a few seconds.

For other systems (say Windows, just as an offhand example), you have to hunt for a application first, and then, if you are lucky, download and install with the correct driver. As people start seeing software as just a task performer, they are not going to want to have to go hunting around for it (just won't have the time anymore). With Yum as configured as it is now on Fedora, it's all at your fingertips--in effect, something like a software supermarket.

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