Fedora 18 on Its Way, Finally
The Fedora 18 release date has been delayed about half dozen times in last couple of months. Other than a few snide remarks, Fedora has mostly been given a pass since one of the features causing delays is the new installer - and no one wants that too early. However, the release team recently released Fedora 18 Beta, giving users a preview.
Fedora 18 should be sporting a new package manager currently dubbed DNF, a fork of Yum 3.4. Yum and DNF will be included in Fedora 18, but early plans are to remerge the two eventually. One of the advantages of DNF for end users is increased performance and simplified operation. Check out Fedora's wiki for more technical information on DNF and the underlying library Hawkey.
There have been a few worries throughout the Linux community concerning new computers with UEFI Secure Boot. Many computers have a toggle in the BIOS to disable it, but some come with no legacy bootloader at all. Fedora is working on their own method for co-existing with Secure Boot. It is said to be 99% complete.
Porting SysVinit scripts to Systemd is still only 70% complete. For end users, the new configuration files are supposed to be easier for normal folks to understand and edit. A plethora of desktops will be available to Fedora users. Besides the usual updates to KDE 4.9, Xfce 4.10, Sugar 0.98, and GNOME 3.6, Fedora 18 will have MATE and Cinnamon at least in its repositories. LinuxBSDos.com has a preview of the KDE and GNOME desktops in Fedora 18.
KDE Netbook Mode
The reworked installer is the most exciting new feature in the works for Fedora 18. The old one was becoming quite dated, the look was inconsistent, and I hear it was a pain to add new features, in particular for the ever expanding storage sector. The package groups are getting a rework as well and it'll make the install a bit "cleaner" for the end user, but I suspect this is really for the developers. The new installer made an appearance in the Beta and Nicu Buculei posted screenshots and a few thoughts of his install experience.