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Ubuntu 11.10 roadmap | Are we moving in right direction?

What is going to be in Ubuntu 11.10? Conclusions were drawn after much heated discussions and debates at the Ubuntu Developer’s Summit at Budapest. The centre of attraction of these discussions was the status of default applications that should be included and possibly excluded in the new version. Those that were shown the pink slip include Evolution, GMD and PiTiVi. Those which got included are Thunderbird, Chrome and LMD. Certain old warhorses will continue to stand strong in the new version such as LibreOffice. Now the developer community is expected to debate on these in the coming months. Here is our take on the whole thing.

A prominent replacement to the current mail client (Evolution mail) is by far the most acceptable thing as Thunderbird seems to be a good choice as it is available across a wide variety of platforms and thus can offer similar experience in Ubuntu, Mac and Windows. Though there were rumours on LibreOffice getting dropped from the CD due to its sheer size, the decision got reversed. I think it is good as I strongly feel that it can prove to be a worthy competitor to Windows Office package.

Another firm decision taken is the plan to switch the display and login manager from GDM (GNOME Display Manager) to LightDM. If you compare the lines of codes of both these applications, you can see that LightDM is quite light and lean as the name suggests. WebKit login screens are much more flexible in styling as they can be modified using HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Including, Deja Dup, the simple backup utility, in Ubuntu 11.10 is a very good move by the Ubuntu developers considering the importance being given to data storage and retrieval.

Applications being removed from the default Ubuntu 11.10 CD include the PitiVi video editor, because of low ratings. The decision to drop Computer Janitor was indeed an essential one as the tool was doing more harm than good. However they should have included some sort of editing tool to overcome the gap left by dropping PiTiVi. This could weaken Ubuntu against Windows.

On the browser aspect, it was a surprise decision to go with Chrome as against Firefox. As most of the common users still prefer Firefox, it would be interesting to see how Ubuntu lovers will take this development. The one clear reason I see is the importance being given on integration with google apps.

It is quite clear that the developers took maximum care to ensure that users are presented with the much more leaner and user friendly Ubuntu. Downsizing the CD was a hot driver for most of the changes we discussed. I feel it is a close battle if we look at pros and cons of these decisions, but I am hoping that with Ubuntu’s immaculate online support community you will never feel let down by these changes. So it should be a nice Thumbs Up for Ubuntu11.10 and we are awaiting the release of the cat.

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