A very interesting mail by Mark Shuttleworth (founder of Ubuntu) on plan’s for Ubuntu’s next release (Dapper+1): The Edgy Eft. §
And here’s why. Edgy is all about cutting edge, perhaps bleeding edge, brand new code and infrastructure. It will be the right time to bring in some seriously interesting but definitely edgy new technologies which lay the groundwork for the next wave of Ubuntu development.
An Eft is a youthful newt, going through its first exploration of the rocky territory just outside the stream. And that’s exactly what we hope the development team will do with Ubuntu during the Edgy cycle – explore slightly unfamiliar and uncharted territory that is perhaps a little out of the mainstream.
So dream a little about Xen for virtualisation, Xgl/AIGLX and other wonderful wobbly window bits, the goodness of Network Manager, a first flirt with multiarch support for true mixed 32-bit and 64-bit computing on AMD64, the interesting possibilities of the SMART package manager… and other pieces of infrastructure which have appeared tantalisingly on the horizon.
We can afford to take some risks with Dapper+1, because Dapper has turned out so well. We have a great answer for people who need super-solid and super-predictable results: Dapper is still fresh, will continue to work on modern hardware for some time, and has plenty of legs in its support cycle left to run.
This "meta cycle" of aggressive new features, slowly converging over a series of releases on a solid and consistent look-and-feel and underlying platform, has worked very well for us over the course of the past two years. We didn’t plan it this way, but I suspect the next two to three years will look similar – we’ll start of with a release that has a lot of edge and new tech (remember Warty?) and polish that up till we see the timing is right for a really polished enterprise "long term support" release, like Dapper. We’ve no concrete plans for the next Dapper, only that we’ll know a release or two in advance when the time is right.
The past two years have been a privilege and a pleasure. Dapper is the full expression of what we have learned in this first phase, and I have every reason to believe it will be a hit. Once that’s out the door, it will be a great opportunity to rock-‘n-roll up our sleeves, play with new ideas, kick some new tyres and of course dig some new foundations. We may strike gold, we will likely uncover some dirt, but it should be fun and it should be funky. Let’s live on the Edge a while.
Great! I am starting to like and understand Ubuntu more and more! :)