a few words about Fedora 7

Max Spevack mspevack at redhat.com
Thu May 31 07:22:33 UTC 2007

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 

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
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