Ubuntu 10.04, codenamed Lucid Lynx, is scheduled for release this month. The developers at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux distribution, have already started the process of planning for the next major release. Founder Mark Shuttleworth revealed today in a blog entry that Ubuntu 10.10, which is scheduled to arrive in October, will be codenamed
Moribund Moth Maverick Meerkat.
Ubuntu 10.04 is a long-term support release, which means that the focus during the current development cycle has largely been on stabilization and refining the existing technology. Shuttleworth says that we can expect to see a return to experimentation in the 10.10 release, with the potential for some radical changes.
Some of the most important goals include delivering a new Ubuntu Netbook Edition user interface, improving the Web experience, boosting startup performance, and extending social network integration on the desktop. Shuttleworth also hopes to advance Ubuntu's cloud support by simplifying deployment and making it easier to manage cloud computing workloads.
The meerkat was chosen as the mascot for the new version because the creature embodies some of the key values that will influence the coming development cycle.
"This is a time of change, and we're not afraid to surprise people with a bold move if the opportunity for dramatic improvement presents itself. We want to put Ubuntu and free software on every single consumer PC that ships from a major manufacturer, the ultimate maverick move," Shuttleworth wrote in the announcement. "Meerkats are, of course, light, fast and social—everything we want in a Perfect 10."
Canonical's staff, Ubuntu contributors, third-party application developers, and members of various upstream communities will gather in Belgium next month for the Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS), an event that takes place near the beginning of each new Ubuntu development cycle. This event provides a venue for planning the details of the next major version of the distribution. More specific details about the Maverick roadmap will be available after the event.
Ubuntu 10.10 will coincide with the launch of GNOME 3, a major overhaul of the open source desktop environment that provides significant parts of the Ubuntu user experience. Shuttleworth's statements about bold moves and opportunities for dramatic improvement suggest that we could potentially see Ubuntu adopt the new GNOME Shell if it proves suitable. It's possible that we could also see the new default theme evolve and benefit from experimental features that were deferred during this cycle, such as RGBA colormaps and client-side window decorations.
The upcoming 10.04 release is looking really impressieve. Users can expect to see even more progress as the
Malodorous Mongoose Maverick Meerkat begins to take shape. As usual, we invite our readers to share their most humorous alternate codename suggestions in the discussion thread.
Ubuntu 10.10 to be codenamed Maverick Meerkat