Is Fedora the new Slackware ?
Well, Fedora Core 6 finally released after a couple of delays. Here is the official announcement. As I say this, the fedora site seems to be down , maybe because of the number of downloads taking place currently. What's interesting to note here is the community buzz surrounding this release of Fedora Core. There is none!
The one good review I found is available here. Rahul Sundaram has his 'Inside Fedora Core 6' article on RedHat Magazine. Of course Slashdot and Digg did carry the release coverage and the news made it to the front page.
But what is missing here is the Linux newbie reviews. The teenager who got his first copy of the Fedora Core distro and ran to blog about it. The 'Fedora Core rokxorx!' reviews are missing. Where are the kids running wild on digg claiming 'Ubuntu is teh hakxor OS, Windows sucks!'. All this reminds me of 2002-03 when RedHat 8/9 was at it's peak and each release of RedHat was greeted with the same fanfare and festive planning that Ubuntu receives today. RedHat replaced Debian/Slackware as the desktop distribution back then and now Ubuntu seems to be returning the favor. Slackware 10 was the last Slack distribution I tried out from before I stopped paying attention to it.
For a second, let's consider Google Trends as a worthy benchmark to measure buzztivity (activity around a buzzword). Here's what I see for a comparision of ubuntu and fedora.
Red Line is 'fedora' and blue is 'ubuntu'
Dear Fedora Project,
Your audience seems to be getting disinterested. The zealotry is missing. New users are looking elsewhere for cutting-edge goodness. The only user's still loyal to you are System Administrators who have made the move from using a RedHat based distribution on their servers to their desktop/laptop and the only reason why they are using it is because they refuse to learn apt/dpkg. Your hype-crankers have deserted you and the few loyalists still lurking around are getting frustrated for lack of freedom. At this point you are even re-thinking the community edition as the 'market-size' is unknown.
Hope, you get well soon.
- An Ex-RedHat 9 user