Christian Schaller, a Red Hat employee and Fedora contributor, wrote a very lengthy blog post today about Preparing the ground for the Fedora Workstation. Fedora Workstation is one of the three "core products" from the next-generation Fedora where they are adding more improvements and custom engineering targeting workstation Linux users than what's done right now within Fedora Linux where they ship almost "anything and everything" with regard to open-source packages and leave most of the software as-is. With these new Fedora offerings will also be a renewed focus on quality of the delivered product.
Christian wrote, "With the 3 products we are switching to a model where although we start with that big box of lego blocks we add some engineering capacity on top of it, make some clear and hard decisions on direction, and actually start creating something that looks and feels like it was made to be a whole instead of just assembled from a random set of pieces. So when we are planning the Fedora Workstation we are not just looking at what features we can develop for individual libraries or applications like GTK+, Firefox or LibreOffice, but we are looking at what we want the system as a whole to look like. And maybe most important we try our hardest to look at things from a feature/usecase viewpoint first as opposed to a specific technology viewpoint. So instead of asking ‘what features are there in systemd that we can expose/use in the desktop being our question, the question instead becomes ‘what new features do we want to offer our users in future versions of the product, and what do we need from systemd, the kernel and others to be able to do that’."
In terms of what Fedora Workstation is working towards, "The Fedora Workstation effort is meant to provide a first class desktop for your laptop or workstation computer, combining a polished user interface with access to new technologies. We are putting a special emphasis on developers with our first releases, both looking at how we improve the desktop experience for developers, and looking at what tools we can offer to developers to let them be productive as quickly as possible. And to be clear when we say developers we are not only thinking about developers who wants to develop for the desktop or the desktop itself, but any kind of software developer or DevOPs out there."
Overall, I'm very excited about these major changes happening within the Fedora camp. I'm hopeful Fedora Workstation will suit my needs well and I'll be able to be back to running Fedora on more production systems here at Phoronix along with my main system. Much testing at Phoronix is done today atop Ubuntu Linux, because Ubuntu remains the dominant desktop Linux distribution and thus relevant to the largest possible audience of readers out there. However, prior to running Ubuntu Linux so often, many Phoronix readers from the early days a decade ago will recall much Fedora Core testing... Fedora Core back in the day was fantastic and I loved it as a convert from Mandrake. Aside from switching to more Ubuntu systems due to its increasing market-share and seeking to attract the largest possible audience, my "falling out" of running Fedora Core / Fedora on so many systems came down to releases not always being well engineered with being hit by various bugs and oddities, the life cycle for some releases being rather short compared to other desktop distributions, the ever frequent delays hitting the project, and the distribution seeming to lose its charisma it had in its early days. While the past few Fedora releases have been of a better quality (and I'm happy with my Fedora 20 systems currently running), I'm hopeful with Fedora Workstation the project will be onto a fresh, brand new vehicle for delivering Linux to the masses.
Besides Christian's blog post, more information on Fedora Workstation can be found via the Fedora Project Wiki.