Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.


Ubuntu 11.04 has just been released but but work on Ubuntu 11.10 has already started (by the way, the Ubuntu 11.10 repositories are available already) and some very interesting blueprints have been registered on Launchpad.

Important: these are just things that are being considered, it doesn't mean the changes bellow will actually happen. For now this is just a discussion!

Thunderbird considered to be made default instead of Evolution

Thunderbird is considered to be made default instead of Evolution, however Evolution has some advantages:
  • Good integration with the desktop already (eg, messaging menu and appmenu)
  • Integrated with existing translation infrastructure
  • Calendaring functionality by default, and integrated with the desktop
  • Support for syncing contacts with U1
  • Contacts sync with GMail
  • GNOME release process is better aligned with our 6 month cycle
  • Exchange support

This were pretty strong arguments to keep Evolution default in Ubuntu 11.04, but Thunderbird is gaining ground - for example it got experimental integration with Unity already (for Thunderbird 3.3 alpha only for now).

On the other hand, Thunderbird seems more actively developed, is more familiar for new users, there are a lot of extensions available and is more intuitive and easy to use (these arguments are via Launchpad too).

So which one will it be? Thunderbird or Evolution? We'll probably find out in a few days @ UDS-O (which is held in Budapest).


Déjà Dup Backup Tool by default

Many users have been complaining about the lack of a backup tool by default in Ubuntu. And honestly, such a tool makes more sense then say an email client by default (now that most people use web email) for example.

The specs propose an "invisible" UI with a control center panel instead of the usual Deja Dup UI. Another interesting specification is that Deja Dup would get Ubuntu One support so you could sync in the cloud without any setup effort for the user.

Deja Dup seems to be the perfect candidate but is there room on the Ubuntu CD for a new default application? We'll see.

Blueprint | Specs

Unity 2D installed by default


LightDM instead of GDM

LightDM might replace GDM starting with Ubuntu 11.10. Want a cool login screen? LightDM supports HTML/CSS/Javascript theming for the greeter so if it's made default, you'll finally be able to easily theme the login screen.

Other reasons why LightDM is considered:
  • Simpler code to maintain (GDM is a huge ~50,000 line C program and we carry 36 patches. LightDM is nearer 10,000 lines of C).
  • More flexible greeter development - greeters are as easy as X applications to write, which means we can have an Ubuntu specific greeter without branching the rest of the code
  • Speed improvements - we can run a greeter without running a full GNOME session
  • Display manager can be shared with Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu etc but still allow each distro to have their own greeter.


Default browser

Now that both Firefox and Chromium have a somewhat similar release schedule, Chromium has a chance of becoming default in Ubuntu. But does it has what it takes to become default? This is yet another question for which we should get an answer from UDS-O in a few days (starts May 9th).


What do you think?

Many thanks to somloirichard.hu for the Blueprint links and info!