The Fedora Project, a Red Hat-sponsored and community-supported open source collaboration, has announced that the Fedora 14 "Laughlin" Alpha release is now available. Fedora 14 is named in honor of the physicist Robert B. Laughlin, whose fields of research have included the topic of emergence, which is the process by which a group of individual components interact to produce a system that is more complex than the sum of its parts, an apt description of an open source community.
Fedora 14 includes many new features. For example, Fedora 14 introduces "systemd," a more efficient way of starting up and managing the background daemons that services such as NetworkManager and PulseAudio rely on; as well as "Spice," a complete open source solution for interaction with virtualized desktops. Additionally, the replacement of "libjpeg" with "libjpeg-turbo" provides speed improvements to a wide range of applications when handling images in JPEG format, including photo managers, video editors and PDF readers.
The Alpha release contains all the features of Fedora 14 in a form that anyone can help test. The final release of Fedora 14 is due in November. A list of new features is available here.