Jef is definitely right that this is the largest feature list we have ever had. Some of the media outlets are starting to pick up on the feature list too. With feature freeze around the corner I was recently thinking I should send my usual reminder that time is running out to submit features for Fedora 11. Then I thought that might be a bad idea because we potentially have more features than we know what to do with. 🙂 I spent the time I would have used to create that announcement to chase down all the futures that had been submitted. Definitely a good problem to have.
It is a really good thing James Laska started the test day program so that these features will get focused testing. With a feature list this long I’m not sure how they will all get tested before the final freeze, but just like starting the feature process for Fedora 7, the most important part is starting the process and a framework that can be improved over time.
A feature list this long also calls out the need for good schedule management if we want to ship according to our original schedule. It also calls out the need to make proactive slips to the schedule if we fail to meet important freeze deadlines (beta freeze and final development freeze) so there is enough time to test all of these features in the context of the distro we will ship. I’ve been reading an interesting book about project management by Johanna Rothman called “Manage It!” I liked her tip in the scheduling chapter: “Late Projects Don’t Make Up Time; They Get Later.” That has definitely been my experience, but hopefully we won’t even have to go down that road.
One important thing to note is that the feature list is still pre-feature freeze. Based on my experience of managing this list in the past, some features will drop off at feature freeze and a few more by the time we reach final freeze. That is okay because in a few more months they can be part of Fedora 12. Thanks to all the feature owners and package maintainers and upstream projects for making all this possible for Fedora!