The Fedora 19 Linux distribution is planning to move away from the current MySQL database management system and adopting the MariaDB DBMS instead. Hopefully the Fedora desktop will not be as much of a mess as the Fedora 18 distribution was with Gnome Shell. But adopting a new DBMS is a new change just like the /usr move and the move from Gnome 2.32 to Gnome Shell. But this is another change that will make news in lieu of the release of this Linux distribution that will hopefully still include the standard Fedora features such as the Xen virtualisation system and a reliable Linux desktop. The Fedora 18 release was not the best, but if you install the MATE desktop instead; then you can have a more reliable Fedora desktop that is better looking than the plain and tablet oriented Gnome desktop in the 18 release. A Linux desktop is supposed to be usable and configurable and this is what the KDE desktop interface gives you. So if you installed KDE 4.9 on Fedora and setup the themes properly then you will be happier and more productive than with Gnome Shell. I have KDE setup exactly the same as my Windows 8 desktop and it is very usable and fun to use. That is what a desktop interface should be. Linux is all about freedom of choice and that is what the users should get from the default installation after booting it for the first time.
The move to the MariaDB database management system is due to plans in the future to make the MySQL database management system closed source incrementally. This decision to replace MySQL ensures that software available for the Fedora distribution remains open source into the future. Here is a comparison between MySQL and MariaDB; it seems that MariaDB will have greater performance and this will have quite an impact when this database is used to run a busy website. Database management systems are only as good as the system that is running them. If you can install it on a server with 32 gigabytes of RAM then by all means do so; this will help performance. I hope that they add support for Blowfish encryption in MariaDB; the crusty old MD5 encryption should go the way of the dodo. There are people that want to use this in MySQL and they are hampered by the lack of support for this. PostgreSQL has support for Blowfish encryption and it provides a far more secure level of encryption for user passwords . Of course Sony corporation do not know about encrypting user passwords, they store them in a varchar(50) field or something instead of using MD5 encryption at the very least. Another problem is password re-use; this means that if the database is compromised; the recovered passwords can be tried on other websites to find whatever else the user has been logging into. Google searching for their E-Mail address is a good way to start.
The Debian distribution is also planning this move with approval from the Ubuntu crowd to boot. So this seems like a popular decision. There are some instructions here that explain how to install MariaDB on Ubuntu if you want to try this out: http://philbayfield.com/2010/07/11/switching-mysql-for-mariadb-on-ubuntu/.