Post-Budapest UDS, where is Ubuntu 11.10 headed

The roadmap for Ubuntu 11.10, Oneiric Ocelot was defined at the Ubuntu Developer Summit from 9th to 13th May. Important decisions, path defining in some ways, for Ubuntu’s future were made here, at Budapest.

Design, Desktop, Hardware…most expectations met

One of the first decisions made was retaining the Firefox as default browser. Earlier Chromium with Ubuntu specific support such as Global menu, a separate Unity launcher support etc was mooted. However, a proposed meeting on chrome feasibility was cancelled and assumptions for Firefox becoming the default browser for Ubuntu 11.10 are to be ascertained.

‘Slate Style Dialogs’ are going to be in vogue on the Oneiric and are best described as dialog box attached to one window. These will be similar to what OS X and GNOME 3 use for ‘modal dialogs’, ‘modal sheets’.

Finally, for those using lightweight hardware with Linux, the long wait is over. Lubuntu is now available officially.

Some improvements for Ubuntu One

Then there are the improvements for cloud storage services. These are exciting features with astonishing Android client file sync on Ubuntu One with Dropbox like features. Newer, advanced Ubuntu One desktop application with Window features. Thunderbird, will be the default mail application for Ubuntu One. Shotwell will provide support for simple publishing and backup of images.

Integrated Unity

Oneiric’s default apps will be better integrated on Unity. Gwibber, Update-Manager, Banshee will gain better features with progress bars. Nautilus is likely to get dynamic quicklists akin to AWN/Docky along with progress bars.

Ubuntu 11.10 is poised on tiebreaker to switch from default email application,Evolution to Thunderbird, if provisional criteria are achieved. The switch will pass through transitional stages with the initial alpha’s of Ubuntu 11.10 shipping with Evolution as well as Mozilla Thunderbird mapped for Ubuntu. If the experience fits then Thunderbird tailoring for Oneiric will continue. Otherwise, the switch back to Evolution will be complete.

The regular GDM login will be replaced with LightDM for Ubuntu 11.10. as this will be more sleek and faster. LightDM is well documented is great for tweaking the ‘themes’ and is essentially accessible. The 3D features for high-end systems as well as the 2D as backup are added features.

The Ubuntu11.10 will also get an improved Ubuntu Software Centre. Refined visuals, faster start-up times along with Unity Launcher integration are some of the other features. Pricing, system requirement displays are some of the other features to be expected at the centre.

The GNOME Video Editor ‘PiTiVi’ will no longer remain on the Ubuntu 11.10 after its poor fit into the Ubuntu frame. Presently, there are no replacements while options such as Kdenlive and OpenShot are available at the Ubuntu Software Centre.

The last of the changes, were more apps, for Ubuntu 11.10 with Déjà dup to become default backup tool while the computer janitor (famous for tripping rather than cruft cleaning) will be lost from Ubuntu. Under the scanner is LibreOffice and the brigade for keeping it offering solutions that should tempt the powers that be at Ubuntu to retain it on Ubuntu 11.10 as ‘installers.’

The roadmap is well defined and one can truly expect more from Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocleot.

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