Product SiteDocumentation Site

3. Changes in Fedora for Desktop Users

3.1. Desktop

3.1.1. KDE

Fedora 17 features the KDE 4.8 Software Compilation. KDE features three components. KDE Platform is the foundation for all KDE-based applications. KDE Plasma Workspace provides you with ways to manage how you use applications. KDE Applications use the Platform and Plasma Workspace to give you a fully-integrated experience.
3.1.1.1. KDE Platform
The KDE Platform provides services for all KDE-based applications and the Plasma Workspace. KDE Platform 4.8 features some new technology along with dramatic increases in performance and stability.
KDE now offers QtQuick. QtQuick is an easy way to make small applications (applets) for Qt environments like KDE. KDE has Plasma QtQuick Components that help you write KDE Plasma Workspace applications quickly.
KSecretService is a new, secure password-storage system. KWallet manages passwords for KDE applications, and KSecretService makes those passwords available to non-KDE applications.
3.1.1.2. KDE Plasma Workspaces
The KDE Plasma Workspaces are two desktop environments that manage how you work with applications. The Plasma Desktop Workspace has a more traditional appearance, and the Netbook Plasma Workspace has a modified appearance for smaller screens and mobile devices.
The Window Switcher now has six possible layouts. You can choose between layouts in the System Settings application.
The KWin window manager is improved. KWin offers significantly improved performance.
The "Power Management" pane of System Settings is redesigned and simplified. Power management settings now work on computers with multiple display devices. You can also now modify power management settings to change when you are in a certain "Activity."
You can use the new Icon Tasks Plasma widget to manage your applications on a taskbar as an icon, like in other popular operating systems.
3.1.1.3. KDE Applications
The KDE Applications are all of the basic applications, and many advanced applications, that you need.
Dolphin is the file management application. Dolphin now displays files more accurately, adapts to different computer hardware, and is more visually appealing.
Gwenview is the image viewing application. You can see your position in a zoomed-in image with the new, translucent position indicator. You will also notice minor visual and performance improvements.
Okular is the text document viewing application. You can now select text more easily. Several bugs are fixed, and multi-column text is selected properly.
The Kate text editor features a new "Search and Replace" plugin, indicators of changed lines, and a new "modelines" editor that allows you to set document variables like whether to use tabs or spaces more easily. Fedora 17 has new documentation for Kate, accessible through the application's "Help" menu.
Cantor is an application for mathematics packages. Cantor now supports Qalculate and Scilab.
The Marble virtual globe and atlas application is now integrated with KRunner. You can search GPS coordinates and Marble bookmarks through KRunner. You can also view route elevation information, track earth satellites, and display OpenStreetMap files in vector format.

3.1.2. GNOME

Fedora 17 features the GNOME 3.4 desktop environment.
Some highlights of GNOME 3.4 include:
  • Some applications' menus are now integrated with the GNOME Shell. The new menus reduce visual clutter and help unite applications' appearance.
  • Boxes is a new GNOME 3 app. You can use Boxes to access other computers and virtual machines on the same or another computer.
  • The existing Documents app is improved. New features include collections, support for removable devices, support for sharing documents, support for printing documents, portrait mode, and integration with the GNOME Shell overview search box.
  • The high contrast and high contrast inverse theme icons are more consistent with standard theme icons.
  • Users with low vision can customize the brightness and contrast of their display through GNOME Shell.
  • The network panel is redesigned. New features include easily knowing whether you are connected to the Internet, an "airplane mode" switch to disable network activity, a "forget network" button to remove unwanted connections, and an integrated password dialog.
  • GNOME Keyring dialogs are now integrated with GNOME Shell.
  • New features for users with "Wacom" graphics tablets include the ability to:
    • calibrate the tablets
    • configure button mappings
    • assign monitors to the device
    • configure multiple tablets
    • store unique configurations per device
    • identify tablets and their capabilities
  • More configurable settings for the built-in GNOME Shell magnification feature.

3.1.3. Sugar

Fedora 17 features the Sugar 0.96 desktop environment. Some features include:
  • Removal of HippoCanvas for move to GTK+ 3
  • Support for NetworkManager 0.9
  • sugar-toolkit based on GTK+ 3
  • Initial support for PyPi
  • New Browse Activity using GTK+ 3, webkitgtk, and gobject-introspection
  • New Read Activity using GTK+ 3 and gobject-introspection
  • Fixes for various bugs and improvements to several Activities

3.1.4. Removable media changes mount points

Removable media mounted in the user's session, such as hot-plugged USB drives, will be mounted in a user-specific directory. Mount points are provisioned in /run/media/$USER/ with permissions allowing $USER exclusive access.

3.1.5. Multi-Seat

The ability to use multi-seat Linux configurations has been available for some time, but in the past has always required complex configuration. For the first time Fedora 17 provides completely automatic multi-seat configuration.
To use this feature, simply plug in a USB dock such as the Plugable Docking Station, with a monitor, mouse and keyboard, and a new desktop appears.

3.2. Productivity

3.2.1. cherrytree

cherrytree is new to Fedora. It is a hierarchical note taking application, featuring rich text and syntax highlighting, storing data in a single XML or SQLite file.

3.2.2. evolution

evolution has been updated to 3.3.5. This is a bugfix release.

3.2.3. libreoffice

libreoffice has been updated to 3.5.0.3.

3.2.4. lemonpos

lemonpos, Lemon in short, is an open source Point of Sale software targeted for micro, small and medium businesses. MySQL is employed for data management and storage, and can be used a single database with many POS terminals on a network.
Lemon provides a modern themeable and easy to use interface, a search panel, a price-checker tool, an administration tool for managing your store, printed reports, and more...

3.2.5. rachota

rachota is also new to Fedora. It is a portable application for timetracking different projects. It runs everywhere. It displays time data in diagram form, creates customized reports and invoices or analyses measured data and suggests hints to improve user's time usage. It is a totally portable yet personal timetracker.

3.2.6. scribus

Scribus has been updated to 1.4.0, a major upgrade:
  • Feature enhancements to object handling (e.g. transform tools like in advanced drawing programs), with improvements to existing features like the Scrapbook and the Image Manager.
  • Many advanced options for text and typography, like character styles, optical margins, or glyph extension. Undo/Redo is finally available for almost all text-related actions, and a new script enables replacing straight quotes with typographical quotation marks based on language settings. Usability improvements include better cursor placement and movement, faster layout on canvas and interaction between linked frames.
  • New features for vector objects, like Boolean path operations, vector effects or a line style editor.
  • Major improvements to the handling of fills, like pattern fill, more gradient types, support for external color palette formats (AI, EPS, GPL, PostScript, SOC), and many new color palettes, including those from commercial vendors like Resene and dtp studio, as well as national/government standards.
  • A new frame type called "Render Frame" allows for rendering (and subsequently exporting) the output of every program that can create PostScript, PDF or PNG files via the command line (e.g. LaTeX, Lilypond, POV-Ray) inside Scribus. The initial version was developed as a project for Google Summer of Code, and this project has developed to allow import of externally produced documents, scientific publications and formulas. More renderers can be added with a simple configuration file.
  • Vector import filters: Scribus 1.4.0 provides new import filters for the following file formats: Adobe Illustrator (both EPS and PDF-based), Macintosh Picture (PICT), Windows Metafile (WMF), Xfig (FIG), Calamus Vector Graphics (CVG), Kivio Stencils (SML), and DIA Shapes (SHAPE).
  • Regarding bitmap images: the handling of Photoshop files has seen many major improvements, like support of multiple clipping paths or PSD layers. The Image Manager has been rewritten, and new non-destructive image effects have been added.* Moreover, Scribus 1.4.0 now supports EXIF data in images, and import of Windows and OS/2 bitmaps (BMP) has been re-enabled.
  • Among the major enhancements to Scribus's pre-press features, printing marks and the display of ink coverage in the Print Preview are the most important. In addition, Scribus now enables conversion of spot colors to process colors during PDF and PostScript export with a single click.
  • PDF export has seen major improvements as well. Scribus can now export to PDF 1.5, including PDF layers. Another new feature is the option to embed EPS and PDF files in exported PDFs as an alternative to rasterizing them. Also, both font embedding and substitution have been improved.
  • For color management, Scribus 1.4.0 now supports both littleCMS version 1 and 2. It's also possible to enable color management with a single click from the main window.
  • Additionally, the Scribus Team has added a feature to emulate color blindness on screen.
  • Hundreds of minor and major usability improvements have been added.
  • The included scripts have been updated, including the addition of the "Autoquote" script in the Script menu to convert straight quotes in a text frame to correct quotation marks for many languages.
  • Scribus 1.4.0 is being shipped with many more templates than previous versions.
  • The content of the Help System has been rewritten and updated.

3.2.7. timeline

Also new to Fedora 17 is timeline, a cross-platform application for displaying and navigating events on a timeline. It can:
  • Organize events in hierarchical categories
  • Move and resize events with the mouse
  • Duplicate events
  • Search events
  • Go to a specific date
  • Display a different representation depending on zoom level
  • Export to an image

3.2.8. vym

vym has been updated to version 2.0.6. This upgrade include many new features:
  • General
    • File handling
      • Autosave
      • Automatic backups
      • vym now checks regularily if map has changed on disk and
      • Multiple files can be selected while loading maps and images
      • Restore last session
    • Multiple mapcenters in one map
    • Manpage added
    • New translations
    • Code
      • Completely ported to Qt4 now.
      • HTML export now native code without XSLT transformation
      • DBUS support (partly)
  • Import/Export
    • Last export can be repeated
    • Simple export to CSV spreadsheet
    • Most important exports can be scripted now
    • ASCII exports show URLs
    • Import of FreeMind maps
  • Handling
    • Quick sorting and moving using "targets"
      • Targets can be defined by a single keystroke
      • "Goto" selects target
      • "Move to" moves selection to target without moving view. Very useful for quickly sorting things
    • Brainstorm mode
    • Add/Delete
      • Insert a branch and select its children
      • Removing children of a branch
      • Removing a branch while keeping its children
    • xLinks
      • Can now be comfortably selected by clicking
      • Very easy to follow a xlink by clicking into the corner of the branch, where it begins
      • Also, the "F" key can be used to follow
    • References/URLs
      • Opening of all vymLinks in a subtree
      • Opening of all URLs in a subtree
      • Bugzilla integration
        • vym can fetch data directly from Bugzilla (extra package required, see manual)
        • Quick checks of bugs' status: All bugs in a subtree can be updated with a single keystroke
        • Support for Bugzilla queries
    • Copy from past steps in history to current one
    • Adding timestamp to branch
    • Sort lexically (forward/backward)
    • Create new map with current selection as MapCenter
    • Detach a branch to make it a new mapcenter
    • Go forward/backward in selection history
  • Widgets
    • Editors
      • Tree editor added
      • Heading editor added
    • New find window
      • Shows all hits clearly, both branches and notes
      • Makes it easy to select the hits in editors
    • More file dialogs now can remember to switch off warnings
    • Progress bar shows filename of currently loading map
    • Dock Widgets
      • Can be positioned freely
        • Floating next to main window
        • Integrated (top/left/right/bottom) into main window
      • Note editor
      • Find window
  • Graphics
    • Animation
      • Panning
      • Snap back
    • Images
      • Basic SVG support
      • Images can be resized
      • New standard flags
    • Frames
      • Include subtree in frame
      • New frametype: cloud
    • Zoom
      • Zoom with scroll wheel (press CTRL)
      • Zoom factor is saved and restored on load
      • Center on selection with "." or reset zoom with ","
    • Autolayout (collision detection)
    • Fonts
      • Set default font
      • Branch headings may be RichText now

3.3. Internationalization

3.3.1. IBus

  • IBus has a new input method switcher with a popup listing available input methods engines, somewhat like Alt-Tab in managers. IBus also now has better and cleaner handling of X keyboard layouts.
  • IBus has changed the behavior to share the input method engines and the state among applications.
  • ibus-m17n now excludes some m17n engines by default, including zh-pinyin, ko-han2, and most kbd engines, because they overlap with other specific IMEs such as ibus-pinyin and ibus-hangul.
  • ibus-fep is a new IBus frontend client which can be used in consoles and terminals.
  • Indic Typing Booster now supports Bengali, and there are beta versions for Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati and Tamil languages available.

3.3.2. Asian Fonts

  • The default Korean Font has changed from "Un" to "Nanum". As the glyphs in "Nanum" look nicer than "Un" and "Nanum" has a monospace variant.
  • The default Simplified Chinese Font has changed from "WenQuanYi Zen Hei" to "WenQuanYi Zen Hei Sharp", which uses the embedded bitmap font to make Simplified Chinese render more clearly at small sizes. One can use the zenheiset tool to change the default Simplified Chinese font back to the previous default.
  • Lohit fonts are now under SIL OFL license.
  • New font packages gubbi-fonts and navilu-fonts have been added for Kannada language.
  • Culmus fonts have been update to version 0.121 with fully reworked Frank Ruehl family, which now supports diacritics and kerning.

3.4. Multimedia

3.4.1. blender

blender has been updated to 2.6.1. This release includes many new features including a new, faster rendering engine, motion tracking, dynamic painting, an ocean simulation, and much more. Refer to http://www.blender.org/development/release-logs/blender-260/ and http://www.blender.org/development/release-logs/blender-261/ for additional details.

3.4.2. calibre

calibre has been upgraded from 0.8.11 to 0.8.39. Among the many improvements; deleted books are moved to the recycle bin instead of just deleting, multiple filenames can be passed on the command line, there is now a preference setting for how much a font size changes when larger/smaller is clicked, the popup asking about converting formats can be disabled, many new and improved recipes, and much more.

3.4.3. epris

epris is a small, lightweight music player. epris is new to Fedora 17. For a (very) brief overview, go to http://code.google.com/p/epris/

3.4.4. epstool

epstool is a utility to create or extract preview images in EPS files, fix bounding boxes and convert to bitmaps. It is also new to Fedora 17.

3.4.5. gimp

gimp has been upgraded to 2.8.0. There are many changes, some very significant. Among the highlights:
  • gimp 2.8 introduces an optional single-window mode. You can toggle between the default multi-window mode and the new single-window mode through the Single-window mode checkbox in the Windows menu.
  • gimp now allows dockable dialogs in a dock window to be placed in multiple columns.
  • The docking bars have been removed and replaced with overlaid highlights. The dockable drag handle has been removed and the dockable menu button has been moved up to the tabs. A new Automatic tab style has been added which makes dockable tabs use the available space.
  • A rather big conceptual change is that saving and exporting images now are clearly separated activities. Saving an image can only be done in the XCF format which is GIMP's native file format, able to save all kinds of information necessary for works in progress.
  • For complex compositions, a flat layer structure is very limiting. GIMP 2.8 lets users organize their compositions better through the introduction of layer groups which allow layers to be organized in tree-like structures. Layer groups are fully scriptable through the GIMP plug-in API.
  • Text editing with the Text Tool is now performed on-canvas instead of in a separate window.
  • Enhancements have also been made to the size entry widget, which is used for inputting most of the x, y, width, height parameters. For example, in the scale dialog it is now possible to write '50%' in the Width field to scale the image to 50% of the width. Expressions such as '30in + 40px' and '4 * 5.4in' work, too.
There are many other improvements which can be researched at http://www.gimp.org/release-notes/gimp-2.8.html

3.4.6. idjc

Internet DJ Console is a project to provide a powerful yet easy to use source-client for individuals interested in streaming live radio shows over the Internet using Shoutcast or Icecast servers. idjc appears for the first time in Fedora.

3.4.7. vpmk

Virtual MIDI Piano Keyboard is a MIDI events generator and receiver. It doesn't produce any sound by itself, but can be used to drive a MIDI synthesizer (either hardware or software, internal or external). vpmk is new to Fedora.

3.5. Printing

Fedora 17 includes support for the CUPS colord color profile service. This allows the user to define color profiles that improve the fidelity of printed colors.