Mark Shuttleworth has named Ubuntu 10.10 after a very fast, highly social, and primarily insectivorous African mammal.
With a Friday blog post, Ubuntu's "benevolent dictator" announced that version 10.10 of the Linux distro will be known as "Maverick Meerkat". According to Shuttleworth, this means that Ubuntu's "Perfect 10", as he calls it, will be very fast and very social - if not insectivorous.
"We’re booting really fast these days, but the final push remains," the spaceman writes. "Changes in the toolchain may make us even faster for every application. We’re Social from the Start, but we could get even more tightly connected, and we could bring social features into even more applications. Meerkats are family-oriented, and we aspire to having Ubuntu being the safe and efficient solution for all the family netbooks."
Plus, he says, meerkats are a lot like Ubuntu developers. "They are also clever – meerkats teach one another new skills. And that’s what makes this such a great community."
The "Maverick" bit? Ubuntu developers aren't like just any meerkats. They're like meerkats who intend to destroy un-free software as we know it. "We want to put Ubuntu and free software on every single consumer PC that ships from a major manufacturer, the ultimate maverick move."
Due in October, Ubuntu 10.10 will include a new incarnation of the Netbook Edition user interface, Shuttleworth says, and efforts to improve speed will include changes to the code underpinning the UI as well. "As computers become lighter they become more mobile, and we’ll work to keep people connected, all day, everywhere. We’ll embrace the web, aiming for the lightest, fastest web experience on any platform. The fastest boot, the fastest network connect, the fastest browser. Our goal is to ensure that UNE is far and away the best desktop OS for a netbook, both for consumers and power users."
Shuttleworth also promises improvements to the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud. Based on the open source Eucalyptus project, Enterprise Cloud is a means of mimicking Amazon's EC2 on-demand infrastructure service in your own data center, and the aim is facilitate the use of scalable resources across this sort of "private cloud" as well as so-called "clouds" a la EC2. "We’ll be lightening the burden of enterprise deployment with our emphasis on hybrid cloud computing," Shuttleworth says.
"Ubuntu Server is already very popular on public clouds like EC2 and Rackspace, and now that Dell supports the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud for private cloud infrastructure, it’s possible to build workloads that run equally well in your data center or on the cloud. We’ll focus on making it even easier to build those workloads and keep them up to date, and managing the configurations of tens, or tens of thousands, of Ubuntu machines running in the cloud."
Before beginning work on the Meerkat, Shuttleworth and community will complete work on version 10.4, dubbed Lucid Lynx, due at the end of the month. "Once we have released the LTS we have plenty of room to shake things up a little. Let’s hear the best ideas, gather the best talent, and be a little radical in how we approach the next two year major cycle." ®