Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Maverick plans

UDS may have ended weeks ago, but the blueprints for Maverick take some time to update. I think I'd rather the developers spend more time implementing the blueprints even if it means the blueprints page gets updated less frequently. Better that than the alternative.

Well, here's a few I find interesting:

Software Center Enhancements - Various improvements to Software Center are planned including support for PPA, apturl integration, and commercial software support (ala Apple Store). There's also the usual UI tweaks and redesigns to provide a more pleasant user experience, of course.

btrfs Support - btrfs support was initially planned for Ubuntu 10.04 but was never realised. It's deferred to Maverick and will hopefully feature as a preview available for more experienced users. btrfs is very much still an experimental filesystem so it will not be made the default for Ubuntu just yet.

GRUB2 and a boot framebuffer for a smoother boot splash - Further improvements to the boot process is planned to create a much smoother experience for Ubuntu users everywhere. Smooth, flicker-free boot splash will give users a more professional looking boot experience. Flicker-free booting has been evolving for many Ubuntu releases now with mixed results. This is another piece of the puzzle that needs addressing for that to happen.

Move CD Booting to grub2/gfxterm - Now that GRUB2 supports CD booting, it's a good idea to move the CD bootloader to GRUB2. It's always good to use a common code base to minimise maintenance costs. Developer time is valuable so having less things to support means developers have more time to implement other features or fix more bugs. It's also easier to debug in case there's a problem in the bootloader. No need to find out which bootloader has the problem if there's only one of them.

Maverick Spring Cleaning - Over time cruft builds up in any software ecosystem no matter how diligently the developers have been in preventing it. Right after a LTS release is just the right time to clear out duplicated libraries from the system and updating software to use newer code as necessary.

i686 Default Compile - Ubuntu will be switching to compiling code to target i686 instead of the old i486 machine instructions. There's hardly any computer nowadays that don't at least support i686 level instructions anyway. Those that don't are more than likely unable to handle features like desktop effects. Even a desktop without Compiz enabled may be beyond these older computers unless extensive tweaking is done to minimise system memory footprints. Usually that means removing a lot of useful modern functionality. It's hard and a little sad, but it's high time some really old hardware are finally abandoned.

I didn't see the windicators Mark talked about on his blog, but maybe I simply missed it in the forest. There's simply way too many blueprints. If past experience is any indication, quite a number won't get completed. Many may even end up getting superseded by future blueprints or abandoned as not viable. Some again will be massive blueprints requiring many many cycles to bring to fruition (upstart sure took its time).

Related posts:

Maverick Meerkat Alpha 2 released
Maverick Meerkat Alpha 3 is out