At yesterday's Fedora Engineering & Steering Committee (FESCo), they approved the first batch of Fedora 18 features now that Fedora 17 is well into its feature freeze. The items approved for the yet-to-be-codenamed Fedora 18 include:
- PCRE (Perl-Compatible Regular Expression) 8.30 library or newer will be integrated.
- Support for NetworkManager hotspots. This feature comes down to an easy-to-use AP mode for supported hardware. "NetworkManager currently uses AdHoc (IBSS) mode for Internet Connection Sharing via WiFi. While compatible with all wifi cards, this mode has some limitations. The kernel does not work reliably in WPA/WPA2 Ad-Hoc mode, leading to supposedly secure networks being created as insecure ones. Second, AdHoc mode does not work as reliably as Infrastructure/AP mode becuase there is no central coordinating entity (like an Access Point) to enforce authentication and act as a traffic manager. Third, many consumer devices like smartphones and tablets do not allow connections to AdHoc networks on the premise that since anyone can create one, they aren't secure and could be used for phishing unsuspecting users."
- The package groups -- how the distribution packages are organized -- will be reorganized to change how the distribution is constructed.
- The KRB5 Kerberos credential cache will be relocated outside of the temporary directory.
- RPM 4.10 will be used for Fedora 18. Among the expected RPM 4.10 features are performance improvements, automatic SELinux policy reload on policy changes, improved robustness, and many bug-fixes.
- Fedora 18 will likely have ARM finally become a primary suported architecture. FESCo is going to ask QA, release engineering, kernel, and infrastructure teams for feedback. However, with the emergence of more and more ARM Linux mobile devices and ARM about to spring into the server space, it's about time ARM becomes a first-rate citizen under Fedora.
- The AE1000 USB WiFi driver support, which would be tacked onto the RT3572 USB driver. There is GPL-licensed code for this wireless chipset from Ralinktech, but it's not integrated into the mainline kernel. The Fedora 18 mission was to get this code packaged up and to create the patches to also build in support for WPA Supplicant and LED lights for this USB WiFi device. This F18 feature was rejected on the basis of being an out-of-tree driver, should be supported by the RT2800USB Linux driver, and other reasons.
- The systemd Journal was to be used in Fedora 18 as "the new and only default syslog." However, this was outright rejected with no FESCo members voting in favor of this system logging component. It was viewed that the systemd-journal isn't yet ready as a full syslog replacement, journal developers aren't interested in replacing the entire syslog ecosystem, there would be problems with Project Lumberjack, and would be a huge impact to the change in functionality. Maybe we'll see systemd-journal ready for Fedora 19, but it's not happening for Fedora 18.
The meeting IRC log messages in full can be read from meetbot or the summary is on the mailing list. Expect more Fedora 18 features to be announced in the coming weeks.