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A Look Ahead to Fedora 19

Fedora 19 is the community-supported Linux distribution that is often used as a testing ground for features that eventually find their way into the Red Hat Enterprise Linux commercial distribution and its widely used noncommercial twin, CentOS. Both distributions are enormously popular on servers and so it’s often instructive for sysadmins to keep an eye on what’s happening with Fedora.

Fedora prides itself on being at the bleeding edge of Linux software, so all the cool new features tend to get implemented there before they are included in Ubuntu and the other popular distros.

Late May saw the release of the beta version of Fedora 19, AKA Schrödinger’s Cat, which has a number of new features that will be of interest to developers, system administrators, and desktop users.

Updated Programming Languages

This release seems to be primarily focused on developers, who will be pleased to hear that many of the most popular programming languages used on the web are getting a bump.

Ruby 2.0 – This is the first major ruby release in half a decade, and adds a number of new features to the language, including keyword arguments, a move to UTF—8 as the default source encoding, and many updates to the core classes.

PHP 5.5 – PHP 5.5 brings some great additions to everyone’s favorite web programming language, including support for generators with the new “yield” keyword, and the addition of a new password hashing API that should make it easier to manage password storage more securely.

OpenJDK 8 – Those who really like to live on the bleeding edge can check out the technology review of OpenJDK 8, which won’t be officially released until September (if all goes according to plan). This release is intended to add support for programming in multicore environments by adding closures to the language in addition to the standard performance enhancements and bug fixes.

Node.js – The Node.js’ runtime and its dependencies will be included as standard for the first time.

Developer’s Assistant

The Developer’s Assistant is a new tool to make it easier to automate the setting up of an environment suitable for programming in a particular language, so it’ll take care of installing compilers, interpreters, and their dependencies, and running various scripts to set environmental variables and other factors necessary for creating the perfect development environment for the chosen language.

OpenShift Origin

OpenShift origin is an application platform intended for the building, testing and deploying Platform-as-a-Service offerings. It was originally developed for RHEL and is now finding its way into Fedora.

Desktop environments are also getting the usual version increment, with KDE moving to version 4.10 and Gnome getting a bump to 3.10.

If you want, you can give the new Fedora Beta a try by grabbing the image from their site. The usual caveats apply: you shouldn’t use it in a production environment.

By Graeme Caldwell, Inbound Marketer for InterWorx

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