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20 October 2011, 11:41

Ubuntu 12.04 - Precise Pangolin planning prepared

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Ubuntu icon The Ubuntu Developer Summit 2011 is approaching and, as is customary, Mark Shuttleworth has laid out his objectives and themes for the fourth Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support) release, Ubuntu 12.04, recently named Precise Pangolin. The two foremost issues on Shuttleworth's mind are the fact that 12.04 is an LTS release and Ubuntu's presence in the cloud; he is also aware of what Ubuntu owes to the work of other developers.

"We have a proud heritage from Debian which 12.04 LTS needs to celebrate and maintain", said Shuttleworth, crediting much of Ubuntu's server experience to the Debian developers' "focus on quality and precision". 12.04 will be the first LTS edition to support ARM architectures and Shuttleworth believes that this will open the way to a "new generation of power-focused hardware for the data centre". The developer summit is co-located with the Linux on ARM not-for-profit group Linaro's Connect conference.

According to Shuttleworth, Ubuntu is the "#1 OS for cloud computing" on a number of metrics, including instances on public clouds and number of clouds that use Ubuntu. He wants to see Ubuntu developers provide the latest OpenStack release powering its cloud infrastructure tools, ensure that there is support for "cloud-oriented hardware" for Canonical's hardware partners, and find a good way of mixing public and private clouds. The focus for this development will be the Juju deployment software, previously called Ensemble, which allows "charms" to be written to control and manage software across the cloud. Shuttleworth hopes that the library of those charms will "grow exponentially" to address the variety of cloud requirements that Ubuntu hopes to meet.

The LTS release means, Shuttleworth says, a revised strategy for working on resolving issues, while introducing minimal new platform-visible changes and benchmarking the developers' performance on actions. He also wants to see "first-class accessibility for those with special interaction needs" and more testing and certification of Ubuntu for data centres and cloud deployments.

"The nail-biting transitions to Unity and Gnome 3 are behind us" adds Shuttleworth, and he wants to see the desktop edition of 12.04 LTS "pixel-perfect", with work put in to refine and polish the Unity desktop and other parts of the desktop experience. He promises improvements in multiple monitor support and says that there is design work in progress to improve Unity Workspaces for power users.

The Ubuntu Developer Summit runs from 31 October to 4 November in Orlando, Florida.


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