A A
RSS

5 things to look forward to in Ubuntu 10.10

Wed, Jul 14, 2010

Tweet this!

Maverick Meerkat, the version of Ubuntu slated to be released later this year, brings with it several features and improvements that the Linux community has been eagerly looking forward to. I’ve taken a look at the blueprints for this next release, and picked out a few of the major items that Linux end-users will be interested in. Here are 5 things to look forward to in Ubuntu 10.10:

  1. Software Center enhancements
  2. A major focus of Ubuntu 10.10 is improving the software center, addressing many of the usability problems that have been sources of complaints in the past. Among these changes are:

    • Better Search
    • I’ve heard this complaint quite a bit, including in the comments of my article covering things new Linux users need to know. I had posted a screenshot of an application there, and someone tried to find it in the software center by searching for “Disk Analyzer”, which is what’s displayed in the title bar of the program. Unfortunately, no results were returned. In the next version of Ubuntu, the Software Center will show suggested results when you search for something that gets no hits.

    • Improved dependency display
    • Most users, even the more advanced members of the crowd, don’t particularly care about the package dependencies of a particular program. Managing that kind of information is trusted to the package management program, and there’s really no reason for a user to be presented with that data unless she asks. In the next version of the software manager, everything but the application itself will be hidden, with the option to show “Technical items” only when the user specifically requests it.

    • Add-on packages and media
    • Many packages offer “add-ons” which extend the feature-set or usability of the program. A good example of this is the Firefox browser, which today has several add-ons available in the Software Center, such as the Ubuntu extension. In the next version of the Software Center, add-ons will be much better organized.

  3. OneConf: Sync your configuration between machines
  4. OneConf will allow users to share their Ubuntu configurations between multiple machines. Realizing that people work on more than one computer, and taking a cue from browser sync features, OneConf will allow you to store your installed application list and those applications’ settings to the UbuntuOne service. You’ll then be able to migrate this list to another machine, or to use it as a configuration restore. It will support multiple configuration specifications, allowing you to keep separate lists for different types of machines (home vs. work; desktop vs. netbook, etc..).

  5. Post-Release application delivery
  6. Developers and users alike will look forward to the ability for new packages to be introduced to the distribution after it has been released. Although the process is not finalized, there will be a process by which developers can submit their packages for review and inclusion into the software repositories, even after a major release. This means that Ubuntu users will be able to receive new packages without upgrading or manually seeking them out, which is the case today.

  7. Chromium as the default netbook browser
  8. Ubuntu 10.10 aims to improve netbook support (using its Ubuntu Netbook Edition release), and part of this is a migration to the light-weight Chromium browser. Many Linux users are already familiar with Chromium, or its close Google-branded relative, Chrome, as a speedy alternative to Firefox.

  9. Better touchscreen support
  10. Touchscreen support is another area where 10.10 should show significant improvements. On the drawing-board for this release is to improve existing applications’ touch-friendlyness by tweaking GTK, icon settings, and other theme options. Additionally, support for gestures in Compiz may also be included. This is an area where you can expect to see improvements beyond the immediate future, as touchscreens become more common and Ubuntu moves to support this market. In the future, we’ll likely see further enhancements, such as the inclusion of a built-in on-screen keyboard.

What do you look forward to?

Do any of these features make you excited for Ubuntu 10.10? If so, which ones? And if not, what would you want to see in Ubuntu 10.10? Leave your opinions in the comment section below.

References
1. Software Center Improvement Speclist
2. OneConf Spec
3. PostReleaseApps Process Wiki
4. Chromium as Default UNE Browser
5. Touchscreen Improvement

Like this post?

60 Responses to “5 things to look forward to in Ubuntu 10.10”

  1. Ellipsis says:

    Not really in “Ubuntu” itself but the Ubuntu One Android client will be shipping by then. Moreover, Ubuntu One “might” also have a Windows client coming soon in addition to online music streaming from the Music store. Oh and hopefully (cross your fingers) this mockup of Ubuntu One’s configuration editor gets implemented.

    http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2010/07/ubuntu-one-control-panel-beauty-in.html

    Yeah and thats just Ubuntu One. There are many other small and large things to look forward to.

  2. Fred says:

    Less things that use Mono!

    • Just a user says:

      Users dont really care wether it is in mono, python, java, etc. as long as it does what they want it to do. Never understood (and probably never will) the anti-mono mentality.

      Are you anti-mysql too since Oracle now owns it?

      • Vitor Correia says:

        Good point! Nowadays it seems to be in vogue being anti-something!

        It’s just software, not your breath of life… or is it?

      • Biblio says:

        What has Oracle owning mysql have to do with Mono.

        The argument about Mono is not about the commercial force behind it, but that it is not a truly free and open source product (mysql has dual licencing, so a 1:1 comparison is not quite possible).

        • Andrew Mason says:

          This is not correct. Mono is licensed under the GPL and is completely free.

          The fear is that patents exist which mono may have to implement in order to achieve compliance with the C# standard.

          Please note, this is only fear, there is no proof or accusation and whilst it could cause some concern it doesn’t mean it is not free in all senses of the word.

      • Grishnakh says:

        The anti-mono mentality is simple to understand. It’s about patents and patent traps. The belief is that mono probably contains patented technology, owned by Microsoft, and there is a plan by MS to wait until Mono is firmly entrenched in most Linux distros, and then sue them all (and also corporate customers using Linux) for patent infringement and destroy Linux’s commercial success.

        Given the enormous success that patent trolls like NTP are having with ridiculous software patents, this fear is absolutely not unfounded.

      • markc says:

        I’m a potential user and I care about the underlying technology like mono, python and java and I do not use Ubuntu espeCIALLY because of it’s dependence on mono.

        The only really new feature that is totally useful is UbuntuOne but unless they release an open server side solution I still won’t be tempted to start using Ubuntu. If they do release a server side UbuntuOne and allow me to uninstalL all mono and java based apps then I’ll consider using perhaps Kubuntu.

      • davescafe says:

        I agree that many “users” don’t care about whether a program uses Mono or not, just as long as it gets the job done. However, these same users aren’t going to use Mono at all. Since they only care about getting the job done, regardless of the software, they will use the most common software, which is probably Windows and in no case will it ever be Mono.

        I am a “user” as well, but I care about free software and the community that created it. I dislike Mono because Mono threatens the entire ecosystem of free software. The patent threats are already employed by proprietary software vendors as a weapon against competition by free software like Linux.

        • Rob says:

          I think that’s a bit of a generalisation.

          I use Linux and have done for some time. I just want applications that work well. In some cases the best ones are mono based, for example Banshee and GnomeDo. If you’re going to generalise I think that’s what most Linux users want. There is a select group of people that are anti mono.

          Also Ubuntu does not have a dependency on Mono. You can uninstall it and Ubuntu will continue to run. In fact you could just leave Mono on, it is the user that develops the dependency to the Mono apps. I chose to, I would rather run the best apps available.

          If, which I doubt, something should happen, then I’d switch to a different apps, or go underground and still run Mono.

  3. wally says:

    Maybe they should get the Chromium settings screen to fit in 600 dots, vertical, before they make it the default on netbooks.

  4. pentti says:

    Firefox works just fine in my asus eee 901 netbook using ubuntu 10. I prefer not to change to Google.

    Oneconf should store the configation wherever I want. I prefer not to use UbuntuOne.

    You see the plot. Open software keeps us away from vendor lock-ins.

    • Jonathan DePrizio says:

      I haven’t tried out UbuntuOne, but I understand where you’re coming from. I don’t like getting locked-in; that’s one of the strong-points for Linux.

    • steven says:

      You wouldn’t really be switching to Google. Its Chromium. Its the open source version of Chrome, so the only Google stuff is sync and the fact that Google put the project together.

  5. Jardík says:

    1) I would like to have Pacman package manager in ubuntu together with ABS. Current package managment sucks in Ubuntu.
    2) To be able to connect to wifi using proprietary broadcom driver so that I don’t have to spend one day traveling to my friend to use his connection to dowload it.
    3) To be able to configure touchpad properly, not just “enable scrolling” stuff, and that change would be seen immediately – and without having to activate SHM in synaptics driver.
    4) To be able to remove MeMenu and friends from the panel without removing sound settings.
    5) And I would like ubuntu team to make me a millionare :-)

  6. lostson says:

    I like the sync between multiple machines that is sweet. I have to agree with what was said above though. Take mono out remove tomboy, fspot and replace them with gnote and shotwell. I am not fond on banshee either and have always used rhythmbox anyway.

  7. Paul says:

    Being able to play DVD’s, as i am unable to do so with 10.04, no matter what fixes i apply, or how many, time i reload the OS from scratch.

    • Jonathan DePrizio says:

      Unfortunately, I think there are some licensing issues with DVD playback in Linux.

    • tux says:

      Playing DVDs is no problem – I’ve been playing DVDs in linux for 10 years. ubuntu is no different. If installing dvd-css and the ubuntu restricted extras doesn’t enable it, you’ve got something weird going on there – weird unforseen use case, hardware problems, harmful tinkering with groups, permissions etc.

  8. Mohan says:

    I like this blueprints of ubuntu10.10.
    However, the network installation of ubuntu (previous, new). It does not have multiple method (FTP, NFS,Local harddisk, CDRom) to perform the installation;Currently it supports only http method. And moreover the UI is not user friendly.

    I would like to see, these changes with compilation pxeboot kernel module in ubuntu10.10.

  9. Murat Tepegoz says:

    Actually not related with Ubuntu alone, I would like to see Evernote working on my ubuntu box.

  10. ubuntubuzz says:

    can’t wait to try the stablel version, but i used to love mozilla firefox than google chrome ..

  11. jim says:

    A stable desktop platform will take care of point 3 by itself. Without it, you can keep adding all band-aids that you want, desktop Linux is going nowhere.

  12. someonespecial says:

    @jim “A stable desktop platform will take care of point 3 by itself. Without it, you can keep adding all band-aids that you want, desktop Linux is going nowhere.”
    and what do you call all the updates for windows? helpful? rofl. or are you a mac user? limited by the imagination of mr jobs, the horrible cocoa language and proprietary hardware? either way, pwned by linux.

  13. jim says:

    Windows patches are normal updates, as to be excepted in the software’s lifecycle. Windows does not tear everything down every 6 months just to rebuild it again. Anyway, I don’t expect Linux zealots to ever understand this point. That’s why after 20 years Linux still remains at 1%

  14. Corfy says:

    Off that list, I’d have to say I’m looking forward to #3 the most. I prefer to stay within the repositories as much as possible to keep updates simple, but this would make it easier to stay up-to-date on the latest software.

    While I don’t think #1 is for me (I prefer Synaptic or the command line), I can definitely see where that is a good feature for new users.

    #2 might be a good feature, but I doubt I would use it much. #4 is just a default program, not really what I would call a feature, and can be changed very easily one way or the other. #5 might be more significant to me when/if I get a touchscreen device.

    And Jim, you have things confused. Ubuntu has patches/updates like you are referring to. But we are talking about upgrades, which in your world would be like going from Windows Vista to Windows 7 (except in our case, our “Windows Vista” would actually be a good release).

    • Jonathan DePrizio says:

      Hi Corfy, you and I are pretty much on the same page. I never really use the software center, preferring to use the command line. I do think Chrome is a nicer browser than Firefox, and I use it as my primary browser everywhere; I’m glad to see Ubuntu adopting it at least for UNE because it will help keep the competition between these two open-source (Chromium) products strong, and that will help to spur innovative new features in both browsers.

  15. PLC says:

    Make Firefox original release the option not a “custom” fit version that has many features disabled.

  16. Simon says:

    BATTERY LIFE is the only reason I don’t use Ubuntu. I get nearly TWICE the battery life in Windows 7.

    I notice my laptop runs much hotter under Ubuntu 10.04 than in Windows 7. Canonical, you need to streamline the OS and make it MUCH more efficient.

    I’m not even a “roadwarrior” and the battery life under Ubuntu is unacceptable!

    -Simon

    • Jonathan DePrizio says:

      Simon, that’s a good point. I’ve never thoroughly tested it, but I do notice that Windows 7 gives me better battery life on my netbook than Ubuntu does. I will look into it some more and see if there are ways to improve it the power consumption.

      Thanks for the idea!

    • John says:

      I switched to Ubuntu 09.04 on my notebook and enjoyed everything except for the poor battery life. For me that was also the reason to revert to using Windows. Now Win 7 works very well and even increased the battery time from Vista.

      Hope Ubuntu has a chance to improve on the battery life, as it is a very intuitive and nice system otherwise.

  17. someonespecial says:

    and for all of you who still think windows and mac are superior, enjoy your viruses and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vendor_lock-in – windows should really tear their OS apart, maybe then will they truly be able to fix it and produce a stable secure operating system. and thats why after 20 years, windows is still the same turd, just polished with aero now. as for the battery life comment, i dont see how that is possible when the linux distro uses a lot less resources than windows. i am a road warrior that uses xubuntu 10.04 x32 on an old dell inspiron 1100 with a battery that when fully charged, only reaches a whopping 47% of its original capacity when new.

    • jospoortvliet says:

      Dude…. For some laptops linux doesn’t (yet) support the powersaving features needed to have a decent battery life. So despite using less resources than Win7, they run hotter and burn through their battery. Nothing fanboyish about noting that, it’s just a fact.

  18. Jim says:

    Not sure if this has to do with Ubuntu or GNOME 3, but I was told by a few people before that the ability to tag any file or folder (with search integration) was supposed to be in 10.10. I hate searching through directories for files and some files may fall under more than one category, so tagging them would be a big plus. I heard it is already available in KDE.

  19. CG says:

    Touchscreen support?

    That’s the one I want to see…….

  20. seanb says:

    Point 3 is not about upgrading the entire system, it’s the ability to update individual apps WITHOUT upgrading the whole system. Something that shouldn’t be a hack, it’s 2010 for crying out loud. I actually kinda agree with Jim, and personally I think Canonical has been focusing on superficial stuff because the core issues preventing ubuntu from succeeding just can’t be fixed.

  21. Linus Gates says:

    Would be great if the ‘notification area’ could be made like KDE or windows, where things can be hidden when inactive. Could also add and remove apps to it too.

    Also, a ‘Ubuntu Lite’ release would be cool. Just the same old Ubuntu except without all the default apps installed. Just the Ubuntu/Gnome core files. Then users with more experience could install this and build it their way. I usually spend about 30mins to an hour after a Ubuntu install striping it down.

  22. EllyCI says:

    I would like to see a more user-friendly assistance in assisting users with speakers and/or headphone sounds. It’s still a problem for many users who cannot get their speakers and/or headphones working……luckily I can get the speakers to work but not headphones….useful to have whilst kids are in bed asleep at night!

    • Jonathan DePrizio says:

      That’s interesting, since I haven’t had any problems configuring audio devices in at least 2 or 3 years. 5+ years ago it was a huge problem, and no machine I used would have working audio without some tweaking.

      I’d be interested in knowing what make/model sound card you have.

  23. someonespecial says:

    u-lite – http://u-lite.org/content/get-u-lite i would also be curious to know what audio issues people are having. alsa should be sufficient. soundblaster 5.1, even my delta 1010lt works fantastic with lmms and audacity and many other apps all have compatible drivers and even if ubuntu doesnt offer them you can make them yourself using various tools. netgear doesnt make linux drivers for the 802.11g wifi card i use, but i made one that works with my computer by downloading the dll files that you would install to windows (or copying the files from the install disc) and ran a simple terminal command or two to get it working. or is that the issue? everything must have a gui? pfft. on a side note, i bet if mac were to cut their prices by 50% for say…a week…they would make a killing…especially with the most recent attack on windows. but im not going to complain anymore. i get at least 3 pc’s a week with viruses to clean out/restore, etc as side work. i beat geek squad prices, guaranteed =)

  24. Stanbr says:

    Give me this, and I will be reaaally happy:
    – A copy&past that actually works! The current system under x.org is crap.
    – A sound system that actually woks! I tried everything, skype under my old Acer does not work with pulseaudio and I don’t wanna mess with Alsa installation (tried it and apt-get wanted to remove some x.org core stuff!)

    I love ubuntu and opensource, but sometimes macosx is just more simple and straightforward. I don’t wanna sync the world, I just want to copy and past anything I want, anytime without the text to vanish for a stupid reason like, the window (or software) I copied the text from was closed.

    Cya!

  25. Leo Fernandes says:

    I’ve plugged a USB webcam and Kubuntu 10.04 didn’t acknowledge it’s existence (with MS Vista, a message said something to the effect of “webcam plugged and installed”).

    I tested the webcam at Chatroulette and it was there, alright, yet I’d like a confirmation. Maybe even a small application just to test it. Or a video recorder software included in the basic distribution.

  26. Hans Paijmans says:

    I consider most of the so-called improvements in Ubuntu over the last years as totally irrelevant. However, there are two things I would like to tattoo on the foreheads of the developers – in mirrorwriting, so they read it each morning when shaving:

    1. If it aint broken, don’t fix it.

    My Ralink wifi was supported very well in older (K)ubuntus, but it stopped working with last years distributions, and it remains broken. I see absolutely no reason why it would work with one distro and stop with the next, but all the same, it makes my laptop useless.

    2. People really *use* linux.

    When you use an operating system, you really *use* it for mundane tasks like calendars and contact lists. Every Linux distro has nice PIMs, but they stop dead in their tracks when you try to sync with your PDA (cellphone).

    I understand the problems of nearly a hundred different cellphones with non-disclosed formats for calendars and so on. But that is not so different from other hardware like graphic cards or printers, is it?

    It would be a great advance, if developers stopped for a moment with adding more eyecandy, and devoted their resources to the problem of locally syncing data from cellphone calendars with the Linux machines, without forcing users to open google accounts or similar cloud services.

    I really consider this priority number one, as even my all-Linux Nokia N900 will not sync with a Linux machine.

    Paai

  27. tz says:

    I’m looking forward to getting rid of Ubuntu. The random and broken UI changes (like the Annoytification – that brown box that is too big on a small screen, too small on a big screen, ignores themes, and stays up forever, and is totally unconfigurable will be joined with the deletion of notifications – apparently replaced with nothing so you won’t know what your battery status will be without running an app, and they will probably move window decorations again.

    What they will never fix that has been broken for years:

    Bluetooth

    Network Manager (it never roams properly – I have to disable and re-enable to see anything new and they refuse to put a refresh button)

    Firefox at wifi hotspots with bounce pages. You have a 100 character deep link URL and it gets replaced with the coffee shop’s “do you agree” page and the original URL is completely destroyed. And if you have 10 tabs, all 10 tabs are destroyed.

    Malicious meerkat will break more things and make the UI a pain, while never fixing longstanding bugs.

    • jbrendel says:

      Trolling much? Or clueless? All of the things you mention work flawlessly for me, ever since 5.04. Sorry, but you have to realize that most of the issues you are referring to are caused by certain HW vendors not making their specs available to the open source community, only to paying customers, such as Microsoft or their OEMs.

      Not really Linux’s or Ubuntu’s fault. When I bought my laptop, I made sure to get the sort of peripherals (bluetooth, WiFi, etc.) from vendors that are known to make their specs available to the open source community.

      As long as you buy HW from crappy vendors that only sell their specs to MS then you are to blame yourself, since you are clearly supporting this sort of behavior with your wallet.

      And then you walk around here, trolling and whining against Ubuntu (or Linux)? Come on…

      Oh and that thing with the tabs in the browser… (ahem): Hahahahahaha!

      You seriously think that’s the OSs fault?

      Hahahaha!

  28. mark says:

    #2 sounds great! on #4, I use ffox on my main pc, but on my netbook, (an old eeepc 700) I use chrome (official, can’t be bothered to compile chromium)

    • steven says:

      You can install a version of chromium through aptitude that stays updated regularly without having to compile it. Works great for me. I still use Google Chrome a lot more, but there is a Chromium nightly project that works great.

  29. andy says:

    I just got a brand new ipod touch. It would be cool if Ubuntu allowed syncing with this device. As of right now I can not sync videos, songs, or pictures and I am using Lucid Lynx

  30. M, Levy says:

    Another critical feature is, restoration of GRUB2, in case of crash, or corrupted GRUB. It is important for new Ubuntu users with dual-boot systems

  31. Baris Isik says:

    I really would love to see improvements on power management. The battery life used to be unquestionably longer in previous distributions. I understand that the newer versions are more CPU intense, but a laptop is almost no good without a good battery life (not talking about laptops with old batteries) regardless of its computing power or the OS stability.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 5 things to look forward to in Ubuntu 10.10 | Ubuntu-News - Your one stop for news about Ubuntu - 14. Jul, 2010

    [...] Maverick Meerkat, the version of Ubuntu slated to be released later this year, brings with it several features and improvements that the Linux community has been eagerly looking forward to. More here [...]

Leave a Reply

Weekly Poll

What's the best Linux distribution for desktops?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Search TechThrob

Advertisement