It’s just two months to go until the final release of Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) and many of the new features are taking shape. Some of them are to be expected, such as sound improvements, while some expected features won’t be making it into the final release.
No Gnome 3.0
One of the big changes that most users have been waiting for is the Gnome 3.0 desktop. The brand new desktop interface won’t be making it into this release however. Originally Gnome 3.0 was scheduled for release in early October which was already cutting it fine for Ubuntu developers to include it. However, the Gnome developers have pushed back the release of Gnome 3.0 by another six months which means that the new desktop may not in fact reach Ubuntu until October 2011.
Better sound management
This is a constant problem in Linux. Linux sound control has come a long over the past couple of years but is still not as robust as it should be. The previous release of Ubuntu, 10.04 took some significant steps forward on the sound side and 10.10 will, hopefully, add some polish to this. The plans for sound in 10.10 include per-application control for each sound action on the desktop. The desktop will now also give more functionality to the drop-down volume control item. The intention is to act like a “remote control” for all audio applications. So, for example, the drop-down sound panel will not only display a volume slider but also list the title, run time etc of currently playing songs. From there users will be able to skip tracks, adjust volumes and pause playback.
Firefox still in place
One of the big changes that has been discussed at length in the Ubuntu community is the possible replacement of the Firefox browser with Google’s Chrome browser. The Ubuntu Netbook Remix team put forward a plan to replace Firefox with Chrome on the netbook-focused version of Ubuntu while keeping Firefox for the standard desktop release. The decision has now been reviewed and the current situation is that Firefox will remain the default for all Ubuntu releases.
This is still in the early days of development but is one of the most exciting additions to Ubuntu. OneConf is a tool for synchronising configurations between multiple machines. Many users have more than one machine that they work on (a netbook, laptop, desktop, for example) and keeping them all working the same can be a challenge. OneConf does things such as storing lists of installed applications which can then be used on another Ubuntu machine to ensure that they both have the same application set.
Maverick Meerkat will be released in October.
Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat << comments and views