Open Source

Fedora changing the choices: good or bad?

For the next release of Fedora things are going to be a bit different. And I'm not so sure they are going to be for the better. Let me explain to you what they are doing. 

As of FC7 the isos will come in different flavors:

  • Fedora Desktop
  • Fedora KDE 
  • Fedora Server 

Fedora Desktop will be the standard set of desktop packages that one generally uses with Fedora Core, and the desktop environment will be GNOME 2.18. Fedora KDE will be similar to the Fedora Desktop release but will replace GNOME with the K Desktop Environment. Finally, with the last official Fedora 7 install spin, Fedora Server will be targeted for server administration with its set of packages. So this is all fine and good but it negates people like me who are heavy-hitting desktop users but choose an alternate window manager instead of one of the big two. Or what about those who like to have both DEs installed? What about those who administer servers but want to do so via either GNOME or KDE (or Enlightenment, AfterStep, XFCE, etc). Too bad????

The Fedora team is saying that these new flavors will make installation easier than ever. I say POSH! I say this will just require me to do more work than ever. I realize that one of the TADAS of the up coming release is that they are merging Fedora Core and Fedora Extras. Big whoop! In my opinion it should have been that way all along. If I remember correctly a typical Linux installation (of installations gone by) included all the "extras" all along. But now Fedora is waving their "cutting edge flag" saying what they are doing is moving Linux forward? That may be but at the same time they are taking it two steps back by splitting the distro into three distinct flavors.

I run a server and a desktop on one machine. That's my flavor of Linux. I want an iso called Fedora EVERYTHING that will give me all the tools to play with because that's one of the biggest strengths of Linux - you can do everything with it.

I want the devel packages. I want the scientific tools (even though I'm a far cry from a scientist.) I want servers and games and GIMPs and GNOMES and attacks of d20 plus 2! I am a freakin' Linux geek! Don't short change me by short changing my distribution.

I'm telling you right now Fedora (whatever you are calling yourself now), don't go the way of Ubuntu (with no disrespect to a distribution I really like) and have Kedora, Godora, and Sodora if you're not going to offer Eudora. 

Oh wait - that's already been offered by another company. 

But you get my drift. 

Here's what I think needs to happen. Fedora needs to offer the Linux distribution that will, at install-time, ask the user what packages they want to install. Offer them the KDE desktop, the GNOME desktop, alternative desktops, and Servers. But also offer them everything. If I want to do a 6 gig installation, give me that option. Don't strip Linux down to its constituent parts. Linux has always been about bridger of gaps and the linker of links. Linux is about community. Linux is not about dividing it's followers to conquer one another. But it looks like Fedora is ready to say "Choose a camp. But choose wisely - else you change your mind you're gonna have one hell of a journey!"  If you opt that method, people will choose wisely and choose another distribution.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

Editor's Picks