Saturday, May 12, 2012

Quantal Quetzal Plans - UDS-Q Summary

The Ubuntu Developer Summit for Quantal Quetzal, the upcoming Ubuntu 12.10, is over. They have discussed and laid out their plans for Quantal. There will be quite a few changes in the upcoming release. Unity 2D will probably be dropped, a 'system compositer', probably Wayland, will be used during the boot process for a smooth transition to the login screen and then to the desktop, a Gnome Shell-centered Ubuntu flavour will be made available, LibreOffice will come with Global Menu support by default, the HUD will be improved, the driver installation tool 'Jockey' will be replaced with a better integrated version and more.

Photo by Canonical's Alan Pope
Unity 2D - It's Over

After spending quite a lot of efforts on making Unity 2D as good as the original Unity, now they've decided to ditch it completely. Sounds controversial for now, but it is a good move, I believe. The fact that the regular Unity will be able to run on virtually any hardware, with or without GPU OpenGL acceleration, turns it into a good move, because then they would be able to focus on Unity itself without needing to develop Unity 2D any more.

For systems where OpenGL acceleration is not supported on the GPU, the LLVMpipe driver for Gallium3D will kick in, which runs on the CPU. And in fact, in the upcoming Fedora 17, LLVMpipe already handles Gnome Shell's fallback sessions. Obviously, though, the performance of LLVMpipe depends entirely on the power of the CPU, so multi-core processors would definitely perform better than old, single-core ones.

Ubuntu Gnome Shell Flavour

Finally, the time for flame wars is over!? Canonical has decided to provide a new flavour of Ubuntu which would feature an almost vanilla Gnome Shell desktop environment for those who don't like Unity's approach.

The name hasn't yet been finalized for this flavour. There were suggestions like 'GNObuntu', 'Gnome OS', 'Gnome Ubuntu', 'Ubuntu Gnome', 'UbuGnome', but the most appropriate and fitting name 'Gubuntu' was refused as they think it conflicts with Google's version of Ubuntu, which they call 'Goobuntu', even provided that the spelling are different and 'Goobuntu' only lives inside Google, not in the public.

This flavour will probably feature the latest version of Gnome and will come with Epiphany instead of Firefox as the default web browser, and probably all the other, additional Gnome desktop applications. But these are just plans, not the final words.

LibreOffice Global Menu Support

As another step towards consistency, LibreOffice, will support Global Menu out of the box, thus making it fully compatible with the HUD. But when it comes to consistency, there wasn't a word on the progress of Firefox's overlay scrollbar support. Need to wait for that, a bit more.

Other Changes
  • Ubuntu's Ubiquity installer will offer all the features that are offered by the alternate installer, and an image providing only the latter will no longer be offered separately.
  • Windows settings migration assistant will be removed from the Ubiquity installer.
  • Gnome 3.x control center will be forked for creating 'Ubuntu Control Center'.
  • Quantal will come with Linux Kernel 3.5 by default.
  • Python 3 will be shipped with the default image.

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News , Quantal Quetzal