Beta Than Expected

Fedora Linux.I haven’t been following the progress of Fedora 9 very closely (possibly because it took me until last month to finally upgrade my home PC to Fedora 8), but as the release date of April 29 May 13 approaches, I thought I’d take a look at the release notes for an overview of what’s new. Of course there’s the usual upgrades to the various desktop environments, including, finally, KDE4, but something that surprised me was the inclusion of Firefox 3 beta 5.

Admittedly, Linux distributions often include non-final software by necessity. Many open-source projects spend years in the 0.x state not because they don’t work well, but because the authors don’t feel that it’s complete yet. (Often, a project will take their checklist and build feature 1, stabilize it, add feature 2, stabilize that, etc. so that you get a program that’s a stable subset of the target. Off the top of my head, FreeRADIUS was quite stable long before it hit 1.0, and Clam AntiVirus has been quite usable despite the fact that its latest version is 0.93.)

FirefoxLately, though, there’s been a tendency toward sticking with the latest stable release, at least for projects that have reached that magical 1.0 number. Sometimes they go even further. Only a year and a half ago, Fedora planned to skip Firefox 2 and wait for version 3. (Clearly, they expected Firefox 3 would be out sooner!) So it was a surprise to see that this time, Fedora has decided to jump on the new version before it’s finished.

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2 thoughts on “Beta Than Expected

  1. emeris

    So I am not insane, the release date has slipped (till May 13).

    I seem to only catch their odd releases (5,7, and I’m waiting for 9). I think the problem is the even ones release in the winter when I am neck deep in school work and don’t want to put the time in to update a computer, where as the odd ones come out around the summer when I have more time.

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  2. Kelson Post author

    Thanks for reminding me of the release date change. I’d seen the notice, but I’d forgotten that I mentioned the old date in this post!

    I have 2 Fedora boxes, one at home and one at work. The work box I tend to update more quickly, since most of the data I deal with is on one server or another, and I can usually work from my Windows box while it’s upgrading. At home I have to wait for a weekend when I’m going to be around all day, and won’t need to use the computer.

    I’ve been very happy with Fedora 8 on my work box, and the main reason I waited so long to upgrade my home system was that I’d been toying with the idea of upgrading the hardware…in which case I’d want to go 64-bit, and would have to do a fresh install. When I decided to postpone that, I took the first opportunity to bring the OS up to date. Even then, it took a few weeks to find the time.

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