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Old 06-26-2011, 09:57 PM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default An In-Depth Look at Fedora 15

Fedora has long been touted as being one of the most professional, stable, cutting-edge distros out there, and seeing as though its latest version brings GNOME 3 along for the ride, I couldn't help but download and install it. I've since used Fedora 15 for an entire month, so read on as I take a look at this release from all angles.

You can read through our in-depth look at the latest Fedora release and then discuss it here!
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:07 AM   #2
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Default Fonts Issue?

Are you referring to the ugly "e" in the "extreme example" of bad text rendering? Take a look at these screenshots and tell me what you think.

Mageia 1 using Firefox 4:



Mageia 1 using Konqueror:

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Old 06-27-2011, 01:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered
Are you referring to the ugly "e" in the "extreme example" of bad text rendering? Take a look at these screenshots and tell me what you think.
After testing those site blurbs again under Gentoo with Firefox, that problem in particular does appear to be a browser-specific issue. In Chrome, the fonts are closer to Windows; readable, with a non-broken 'e'. I had thought that I tested this out earlier this month, but my mind may be playing tricks on me.

A font 'issue' still remains, however. It's not so in-your-face that it's a nusiance, and it's also not visible everywhere, but rather seems to effect certain fonts. The font inside of the Transmission Web client in any browser under Fedora looks poor, while it's crisper in Windows and Gentoo (I only use Gentoo as a comparison because it's my primary distro; perhaps the 'issue' exists in others).

I've edited that portion of the review to reflect that it's likely to be a Firefox-specific issue. Thanks a lot for pointing this out.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:40 PM   #4
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Default a few notes

The Shell problem you note on the last page is:

https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=716572

an update of gnome-shell included some bad rpath settings, which meant Shell couldn't find libgl if you were using the proprietary NVIDIA driver. It's fixed since.

Small one - you kinda conflate a few issues when talking about non-free drivers and codecs like MP3. Many media codecs *are* open source - there are numerous open source MP3 implementations, for instance. Fedora does not ship these because of patents, which is a different legal issue.

on abrt - it's been around for quite a while; what's new in F15 is the ability to use the retrace server to generate a full backtrace rather than doing it on the user's own system (which involves downloading a lot of debuginfo packages, usually). The problem at the moment is that the retrace server is badly under-resourced and so overloaded almost all the time. Better hardware is being provisioned for it and should be in place soonish.

"GNOME 3's design is not going to appeal to everyone, that's for certain. For those who enjoy tweaking their OS and don't mind loading up a command-line, there are a ton of tweaks out there that can 'restore' certain bits of functionality to the desktop that were lost with the transition from 2 to 3. I didn't test out any of these during my testing as nothing drove me so bonkers that I felt I had to, but from my understanding, many are very easy to pull off, and a simple Google search should help you fix what you need."

You could also note that there's 'gnome-tweak-tool', which allows some of the more popular tweaks to be done from a GUI.

nouveau should support your graphics card quite soon - technically it already does, but necessary microcode isn't appropriately licensed. see http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...item&px=OTQ4NA for some more details.

Thanks for the review!
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Old 06-27-2011, 04:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamW
an update of gnome-shell included some bad rpath settings, which meant Shell couldn't find libgl if you were using the proprietary NVIDIA driver. It's fixed since.
It seems the NVIDIA driver causes a lot of issues with GNOME 3, then. I ran the Fedora updater prior to publishing this review, as I hoped a fix would be pushed through to remedy the problem, but that update ended up killing my GNOME install, resulting in me having to downgrade it. Thus, I didn't get to see the fix. I'm glad it's one that's been tackled, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamW
you kinda conflate a few issues when talking about non-free drivers and codecs like MP3.
I didn't mean to state that open-source is the only factor that Fedora developers look at, so I apologize for the poor explanation. Nonetheless, most of the popular codecs that I and most people I know use are not supported right out of the box with Fedora, whether for patent or non-free reasons (perhaps non-free always = patent-related).

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamW
on abrt - it's been around for quite a while
Again, I didn't mean to make it sound like ABRT is a brand-new tool, rather one that's simply been updated to add the server-based backtrace. I'm glad to hear that some new hardware is en route to help remedy the load (I guess the high load is a good thing?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamW
You could also note that there's 'gnome-tweak-tool', which allows some of the more popular tweaks to be done from a GUI.
Fair enough; I didn't realize there was an official tweak tool out there. It's rather limited in what it can do though, compared to what most of the command-line tweaks can pull off. I'd at least expect such a tool to add the ability to restore the minimize / maximize buttons and also the 'Shutdown' option, but it doesn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamW
nouveau should support your graphics card quite soon
As mentioned before, I don't have a beef with my GPU not being supported, but rather the fact that it took me a full 45 minutes to get the NVIDIA driver installed. I've installed that driver in many distros but Fedora was the first one where I truly felt frustrated. Once you know where to go and what to do, it's a lot easier, but I'd still rather have the option to install my own driver and not use a repository.

Thanks for your insight and your work with the project!
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Old 06-28-2011, 04:23 PM   #6
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Nvidia drivers are a pain to get to work on Fedora. So far only Debian based stuff handles the Nvidia drivers painlessly. Well, almost painlessly. They don't handle multiple displays well, and the framebuffer can't use the proprietary drivers.

The fonts in Gnome3 are really bad. Switching to the Liberation or DejaVu fonts makes everything look better.
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