Farewell F21, Elections, Wayland by Default, Vacations — and then F24!

Final Farewell for Fedora 21

Fedora produces new releases approximately every six months — targeted at May and October. We always have two currently-supported releases, the latest and “n minus one”. We also have a one-month overlap after a new release comes out where “n minus two” is supported for a month. That lets you skip a release, if you like, and upgrade only once a year. I can’t believe this year has gone so fast, but the time has come to say goodbye to Fedora 21, which reached end of life status on December 1st, 2015. No further updates will be produced, even for security issues. If you’re still on F21 (or something older!) now’s the time to upgrade. Check out the upgrade instructions here.

Fedora Elections Update

Fedora generally runs elections for many community leadership positions after a new release — it’s a good time for fresh thoughts, and for people who have put in the work for a release or two to relax a bit or to move on to other things within the project. This time around, we have open elections for the Fedora Council (our top-level governance and leadership body), FESCo (Fedora Engineering Steering Committee, which makes decisions on technical issues affecting the project as a whole), and FAmSCo (the Fedora Ambassadors‘ Steering Committee).

We are currently in the “campaign” period — voting starts December 8 and lasts until 23:59:00 UTC on December 14th (which is early evening in the US). Make sure to check out interviews with candidates on the Fedora Community Blog.

The Ambassadors Steering Committee election is particularly interesting as over the last year or so we’ve been talking about possibly retiring that
body in favor of something more tied in with other groups like Marketing,
Design, Docs, and Globalizaiton. However, we haven’t reached agreement on exactly what that would look like or how to do it, so figuring that out will be part of the newly-elected committee’s upcoming agenda.

Wayland features: “What’s good enough for Fedora?”

Wayland is the next-generation graphics stack for Linux, intended to replace the venerable X11 we use today. In keeping with Fedora’s “First!” foundation, the Fedora Workstation edition intends to be an early adopter. In fact, you can enable it easily in F22 or F23 Workstation, but it isn’t the default yet, because we also want to keep in line with the “Features” foundation — we want the great new stuff Wayland will bring, but a the same time, we want the switch to be a basically-seamless step forward for current users.

So, Fedora developer Kevin Martin posted a message to the desktop mailing list about a project to categorize and prioritize features that need to be in place before the switch. As Kevin says,

The question is: What features do we have to complete in order to make this switch? Everyone seems to have their own ideas of what is required, and a systematic approach is needed to organize the effort. […] In order for us to enable [Wayland] by default we need to both implement the missing features and fix the bugs in features that are already complete.

For the bugs, we simply need to fix them. However, the situation with features is more complex. We each have our own list of features that we believe need to be implemented, but we lack a complete list of all the missing features and a clear way to determine when we have implemented enough of them to enable the Wayland-based GNOME desktop by default.

If you’re interested, and particularly if you use or depend on any of these features, join the conversation. (Personally, I’m very pleased to see “primary selection” on the list: that’s the X feature where selecting text copies it and middle-button pastes. If you’re coming from Mac or Windows it takes a bit to get used to, but it’s such an efficient way of working that I’d really miss it were it gone. And I’m not alone — emulating this is a common feature of advanced terminal apps for OS X.)

Vacation time!

It’s December, and in a lot of the world, that means holiday season. If you’re a Fedora contributor and will be on vacation and away-from-keyboard, don’t forget to put your name on the Vacation Calendar.

For those of us who work at Red Hat, there’s a company shutdown the week after Christmas. And, Red Hat has a huge engineering office in Brno, in the Czech Republic (see you on Fedora Day at DevConf.cz in February, by the way!), and as I understand it, any vacation days unused throughout the year become mandatory, making that office rather quiet. So, don’t be surprised by some silence from people who work on Fedora as part of their day jobs. On the other hand, a lot of us are here for the love of it, and that downtime gives us a chance to work on pet projects without the obligations of assigned roles — that’s why you see a lot of Red Hatters on holidays and weekends, too!

Fedora 24 Change Proposal Deadline

I know it sounds kind of far way, but factor in the section just above this — it’s hard to get much done in December! Take a look at the schedule for Fedora 24, and if you’re a contributor who wants to do something big — or even something small which could affect others in the project or which has high promotional value, it’s time to get serious about filing a Change Proposal. The deadline is January 12th, and that’s going to be here sooner than you might think.

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  1. Diego Cavagnis

    Hope Wayland will work better than in F23…

  2. Matthew Delaforce

    If we presently use KDE, how do we carry on using KDE after “Gnome-on-Wayland” is enabled as default?

    • arehtykitna

      Nothing will change for KDE or any other spins. The Wayland default is still going to be specific to GNOME. At least that’s how I understand it.

  3. M Leffelman

    So why a new OS every six months? I appreciate all the work that is done but is it necessary? Ooooo boy, I only have to replace my OS ONCE PER YEAR. Can’t wait for that new folder design and spinning menu bar with sparkles. Replacing the OS is a PITA no matter how seamless you think you make it. There is always something that doesn’t work that I end up spending hours getting operational again after scouring the forum. You just get everything working and comfortable and them BAM! No more updates. Again, thank you for all the time that is put into this project but please…. I just want an OS that is lightweight, fast, and works…. for more than a year! (two would be nice). I love Fedora…been using it since red hat. Just seems to be getting bigger and slower with every new release. My three cents……

    • Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix

      If you’re getting that frustrated with it, then perhaps you should go to another distro that isn’t so bleeding edge like Fedora. I don’t say that with any malice, it’s just that Fedora /is/ bleeding edge, and if you have an issue with upgrades once a year (or more often) perhaps rolling updates Gentoo, or the LTS releases of Ubuntu would be more to your taste.

      I don’t mind the upgrade cycle of Fedora and I’ve been using it and RH since RH 3. I’ve also used Ubuntu, CentOS, ArchLinux, Gentoo, Slackware, Debian, you name it. Most distros do upgrades once a year, except for ArchLinux and Funtoo/Gentoo (those I know for sure do rolling updates, not sure about other, less popular ones).

    • Diego Coste

      I suppose that each Linux distribution defines its own charter; my understanding of Fedora’s is that it aims to always be at the leading edge, hence the frequent updates and rapid obsolescence of versions.
      The update cycle does seem to be quicker now than a few years back though.
      If you favor stability, you may want to have a look at other distributions that put this criterion first.
      I think that CentOS, also rpm-based, did select a more balanced mix of updates/features vs stability.
      And there are even distributions that put stability in their name, for example Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support).

      Regarding the lightweight aspect of things, maybe you never tried the other spins of Fedora.
      I personally prefer xfce over gnome or kde. On my old Core 2 Duo laptop, getting to the F23 login screen does not take more than 20 seconds (grub looks so slow, but the SSD helps), and from there to my desktop, it is just a matter of 1 or 2 seconds !

    • runner105

      Much Complain.

  4. Can we turn the sound up on the elections up a notch! Tending to my mailing list empire is burning just one or two extra clock cycles, and my snail mail “holiday greetings” aren’t yet all posted. Yes, yes, I’ve laundry to do and I must go to the day gig tomorrow and the next! Maybe we can turn the sound up on the elections several notches, please! I find the thing about elections is the regret doesn’t happen until after missing the opportunity…

    • I’m open to suggestions for turning up the volume…..

      • Steve

        With regards to the Fedora elections, I think (and feel) a disconnect between the elections and how they affect my (future) use of Fedora. As a long time user of the Fedora distribution, and a RHEL user form before, my community contributions would total as small in comparison to most who are involved in the elections, indeed most involved in the FOSS community in general. As a FAS user I would like to participate in the elections more, although I must confess that I know very little about the people and process involved. Having said all of that, I do notice that the past couple of elections have been much more muted in publication/ announcements than previous years. This is of course from memory, so as such should be considered subjective.

        • Thanks, Steve. I actually think we’re doing a lot more with announcements than we did in the past (for example, this post!), but it’s good to hear that feedback anyway. Please also see the interviews on the community blog as linked above — that’s a way to get to know people and hear about their positions.

  5. runner105

    Is anyone else sad that F21 is gone? I use it on my RaspberryPi2, and am very satisfied.

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