Thursday, 12 January 2012

Twelve Things to Expect in Ubuntu 12.04

We discussed this posted by jun auza on the Full Circle Podcast in December, wherein jun summarized plans by  Mark Shuttleworth for the Precise Pangolin, the Long-Term Support (LTS) release of Ubuntu 12.04.

Deeper Unity integration  is to be expected, but rumoured Wayland development sounds a little early for 12.04 to us.  Shuttleworth wants this LTS ready for large-scale deployments by April.

It's a good list of candidate features, summarized from the sessions at the last Ubuntu Developer Summit Conference, albeit qualified by many a might, possibly and probably. We won't know for sure what's in and whats out until the feature freeze and Beta release later in the schedule. RC

1. Kernel 3.2
Kernel version 3.2 will include improvements to the VMWare graphics stack along with better support for open source graphics drivers. BRTFS, the heavily talked-about filesystem will also get a huge amount of features. The Samsung Exynos4 DRM driver... will bring impressive 3D graphics capabilities to smartphones and other ARM devices. As with every kernel update, users can expect some minor boosts in performance.

2. 64-bit by Default
If you download Ubuntu 12.04 from the website, you'll be offered the 64-bit version of Ubuntu by default even if you're using a 32-bit device.
3. No more CDs Since Pangolin's ISO will be 750 MB in size, it won't fit on your standard CDs. So, you'll either have to burn a DVD or use a USB thumb drive to install the update.  

4. Rhythmbox makes a comeback (??)
Unhappy with the poor ARM compatibility and lack of maintenance, Ubuntu might be going back to Rhythmbox as its default music player.
5. Way to Wayland
Developers, tinkerers and hackers can expect to get their hands on an experimental preview of Ubuntu using Wayland graphics server instead of X.Org.

6. So long Mono (hopefully) (maybe)
Tthe open source implementation of Microsoft's .Net Framework probably won't be a part of Ubuntu anymore. With the possible removal of Banshee and Tomboy, Ubuntu, much to the relief of FOSS enthusiasts, might finally become Mono-free.

7. Faster Software Center

As of now, USC starts up in 11 seconds in some hardware, so a faster software store will be a more-than-welcome change to Ubuntu.  

8. Better Unity
Expect to see moreQuick Lists and notification badges. Users will also be able to drag and drop lenses into the launcher. Besides, overlay scrollbars might get ported to other applications like Firefox, Thunderbird and possibly Chrome.  

9. LightDM gets more personal
LightDM... will get even better with proposed features like theme widgets, UbuntuOne integration, design improvements and LightDM will dynamically change its background to match the wallpaper the user has set up (???).  

10. Better icons
Ubuntu 12.04 will possibly see a new icon set as well as inclusion of revamped sets for applications that still use small and poorly-designed icons.  

11. Privacy
For users concerned with Zeitgeist's privacy issues, Ubuntu 12.04 might include an ability to turn off indexing for specific folders.

12. GNOME 3.2
Ubuntu will be sticking with... GNOME 3.2., that said, some 3.4 applications might make their way into the LTS.