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20 May 2013, 12:01

Development plans for Ubuntu 13.10

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Among the topics discussed by the developers at Ubuntu Developer Summit 13.05 were the planned new features for Ubuntu 13.10. The next version of the distribution, code-named "Saucy Salamander", could include early versions of Ubuntu's Mir display server and have the Qt-based Unity Next desktop environment for testing. However, the default configuration will continue to include the graphics stack of Ubuntu 12.10 with X11, Compiz and Unity 7. By 2014, Canonical plans to unify the code base for Ubuntu's smartphone, tablet and PC desktops, based on Mir and Unity Next.

Videos released by the developers demonstrate that the combination of Mir and Unity 8 is already functional on PCs and smartphones:

The Mir display server and the Unity 8 tablet desktop on a MacBook Pro running Ubuntu

Mir and Unity 8 on a Galaxy Nexus

The Smart Scope feature that was originally scheduled for Ubuntu 13.04 is now due to be added in Ubuntu 13.10; Smart Scopes should also provide the ability to control precisely which sources are, or are not, queried for information, rather than the current on/off switch for network queries. In addition to YouTube and Amazon, the Ubuntu Dash will search several dozen other online sources, but the developers say it will only display relevant search results. Another new item on the agenda for Ubuntu 13.10 is the ability to buy music from within the Dash interface. The developers are also planning to introduce various improvements for Unity 7 and a new version of Compiz that is designed to enhance the performance of the Ubuntu desktop.

Another topic of discussion was the question of whether Chromium should replace Firefox as the distribution's default browser; however, no decision has so far been made. An overview of further potential new features for Saucy Salamander is available on the blueprints page on Launchpad.

According to the current development schedule, Ubuntu 13.10 is due to be released on 17 October; a beta release is scheduled for 26 September. The current development state is reflected by the daily builds that are automatically generated and tested for bugs by the build system.



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