With the release of Ubuntu Linux 8.10, codenamed Intrepid Ibex, just a few months away the development team has released details of the most pressing issues for the final release. Among these are better 3G integration, tighter Firefox integration in KDE, and faster boot times.
Top of the list for Intrepid Ibex is much better support for 3G connections. To do this, Intrepid will ship with network manager 0.7 which already includes support for CDMA ans GSM connections. The development team plans to "assemble a list of frequently used hardware and 3G providers in the markets with the highest 3G penetration", and add those in as standard profiles and to fix connection issues before final release.
Intrepid Ibex is also expected to have better Firefox integration for the KDE desktop. In current releases there is poor KDE-Firefox integration for a number of protocols, including mailto and solid mime-type support is lacking.
Boot performance is also high on the Intrepid Ibex agenda as Ubuntu eyes out potential in the rapidly-growing ultra-portable market. Key issues to be addressed to improve boot times in Intrepid include better use of multithreading by identifying processors up front and taking advantage of multi-core systems; using prefetch and preload to speed up the process and restructuring the boot order.
Another of the areas getting special attention for the release of Intrepid Ibex is better integration of Flash. The intention is to make the Flash player easier to install and use. As much as possible Intrepid will incorporate Free Flash and the long term goal is to ship a free Flash alternative by default.
OpenOffice.org 3.0 also looks to be guaranteed for inclusion in Intrepid Ibex as the release date for OOo is September 2 and Intrepid Ibex is scheduled for release on October 30.
Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex alpha 2 was released over the past weekend.