D'oh the apache webserver doesn't work straight out of the box in Fedora.
I got an error when trying to start the service, looking at the log file, it was complaining that dhcppc0 (apparently that's the name of my computer) has no IPv4 address. Solution: adding dhcppc0 to /etc/hosts. Then access to localhost/~user doesn't work, apparently I need to modify mod_userdir line on httpd.conf to enable userdir on public_html. But it still doesn't work, another look at the log, I figured out that it's a permission problem. Eventho public_html has the right permission but /home/user doesn't. Anyway at least it's working fine now.