As with many early releases of Fedora this one looks and feels very much likes its predicesor, however the majority of the work done on an alpha is generaly the framework and under the hood stuff. Yes there is generaly a new background and maybe a few new noticeable features, but for the most part it will feel very familar.
There are some noticeable features, Closer integration with empathy for one. This has gone one step further to make the Instant Messaging interface very streamlined. I personal still prefer Pidgin to empathy due to the numerous extensions for Pidgin that are out to allow it to connect to different account types.
Core Utilities such as Automatic Bug Reporting Tool(ABRT), and SELinux Troubleshooter have been updated and are now even easier to use. I also noticed the Troubleshooter loads much,much faster then it did in F13. Being this is the Alpha + Updates I am impressed and curious how it will improve come release time.
One feature I was dreading more then any other was the inclusion of Gnome 3.0! Luckily this was delayed due to upstream delaying it. I am not a fan of Gnome-shell and I am not sure I ever will be. In fact i am almost certain when Fedora starts shipping with Gnome 3 I am going to switch to KDE4 or possibly try to get the classic interface back, maybe even just run the last stable build of the 2.X branch.
Not really a new feature for Fedora 14 but the Packagekit terminal program seems to actually work without installing a seperate package, although i might have selected said package at install when selecting the tools i use not installed by default such as Yumex and filezilla. This tool/add-on to me is a god send it does alot of the work for you especialy when you get an oddly compiled package where the command to launch the program is rather different then the package name. An example of how this works is below,
I want to install Pidgin but it is not installed, I think it might be but do not want to run an RPM query to find out. I can type in a command line simply “pidgin” with out the ” of course and it will see the program is not installed and browse the repositories installed for that package or one similar to it and ask if you want to install what it finds.
Yes it would be just as easy to do a “yum install pidgin” command and if it was installed it would say so but still if you are on autopilot and type a command in the command line thinking it is installed you will be given the chance to do t his in-line. One issue I had here was after the package installs the CLI says Scanning Applications and just seems to hang there but the program clearly finished installation. This could be due to this package being a development version for the Alpha but would be nice to have that fixed prior to launch especially if this feature is installed by default.
Bottom line here is that I think when finished Fedora 14 will have alot to offer.