Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

unity ubuntu pin application

After a discussion @ UDS-m, the blueprint for UNE default app selection was updated seconds ago and it now points out that some default applications might be changed in Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10.

The first on the list is Chromium, which might replace Firefox as the default browser. The blueprint says this will happen if there is enough space for Chromium and it will be used as the default application until Alpha 3 - and then it will be decided if UNE will switch to Chromium by default or not.

The blueprint also indicates a lot of issues with Chromium which might be in the way of it becoming the default browser in Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 Maverick Meerkat:
  • printing seems to be bad
  • menubar integration with global menu bar
  • the system theme does not apply for Chromium (close buttons, title bar and the scrollbars)
  • jdk works, openjdk in lucid does not
  • reports of some bank web sites and others that don't work in Chromium
  • Chromium currently comes with it's own ffmpeg package and it's not 100% sure that legal

Other possible new default applications in Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 Maverick Meerkat:

shotwell 0.5

Shotwell seems to be replacing F-Spot as the default photo manager. I for one would have loved to see the latest gThumb as the default photo manager, but Shotwell will do it too. At least this means one less mono application (not that I have something against mono apps, but a lot of people do).

zoho presentation ubuntu 10.04 screenshot

Like it was with 10.04, there is a discussion which considers removing OpenOffice.org and replacing it with Abiword/Gnumeric and Glide for presentations (if it can fit the CD). Zoho Online Websuite is also mentioned but it has one problem: no offline support. This is still being discussed and no decision has been made so far.

banshee 1.6.0 screenshot

There is also a long discussion regarding a unified media player. Among the alternatives are: Moblin media player - but which is dead upstream, XBMC but it doesn't use Gstreamer and has bad integration, Moovida and Banshee. Banshee seems to be the best alternative considering the unified media player needs UbuntuOne Music Store integration and the disk space shouldn't be an issue for it since Ubuntu already ships with Mono. It seems most if not all the unified media player alternatives are lacking some features which could make them default for UNE 10.10.

And finally, the email client has also been brought up for discussion, but it seems the plan is to optimize Evolution for netbooks. There is already an Evolution netbook optimized Evolution build called Evolution Express, however some people seem to be against it.

Please note this is only a discussion for now so nothing has been officially decided.

Here is some interesting data regarding the applications mentioned in this post:
  • Shotwell got 9% in our Best Linux Photo Manager / Organizer poll. gThumb and F-Spot got 16% each. The winner was Google Picasa, even though it's not a native Linux application.
  • Chrome / Chromium seems very popular among Linux users nowadays, getting 38% of the votes in the Best Linux Web Browser poll.
  • Banshee (17%) is quite popular among Linux users, but nowhere near Rhythmbox (33%). See Best Linux Music Player.