Folks, allow me to introduce the Gutsy Gibbon
, who will be succeeding the Feisty Fawn as the focus of our development love in a few short weeks, for release in October 2007.
The Gibbon won the G-race to be our engineering mascot for this next release, but it was a close run. We very much wanted to honour the tremendous contributions of the GNU project to Free Software by awarding the role to the Glossy Gnu. This prompted an intense internal debate about trademarks, at which both the Fiery Fox and the Icy Weasel were heard. In the end, however, the judge, jury and elocutionary (that would be me) took a liking to the Gibbon's extraordinary reach, and the Gibbon won outright.
The Glossy Gnu will nonetheless play a role in this next release, because Ubuntu 7.10 will feature a new flavour - as yet unnamed - which takes an ultra-orthodox view of licensing: no firmware, drivers, imagery, sounds, applications, or other content which do not include full source materials and come with full rights of modification, remixing and redistribution. There should be no more conservative home, for those who demand a super-strict interpretation of the "free" in free software. This work will be done in collaboration with the folks behind Gnewsense.
Our Gutsy is an expert in brachiation, which is apt for a project that needs to navigate a complicated forest of branches very quickly.
Some folks would say that any monkey can install Ubuntu (and sadly, other folks would say that many have), but the Gibbon will take easy installation to a whole new level, with work on an
unattended-installation infrastructure in Ubiquity that makes it trivial to roll out Ubuntu desktops across an organization while getting on with other, more complicated stuff such as Windows service pack installations on legacy desktops.
While Ubuntu is by no means the 800-pound gorilla in the server game, the Gibbon will show that lean and mean count for something! Agility of deployment, together with integrated management will be a focus for the Ubuntu server team. Gutsy will not be an LTS (Long Term Support) release, but it will nonetheless see a lot of server work and be useful for fast-moving server deployments.
On a personal note, the monkey on my back has been composite-by-default, which I had hoped would happen in Edgy, then Feisty. I'm nervous to predict it now for Gutsy, for fear of a third strike, but I'm told that great work is being done in the Compiz/Beryl community and upstream in X. There's a reasonable chance that Gutsy will deliver where those others have not. I remain convinced that malleable, transparent and extra-dimensional GUI's are a real opportunity for the free software community to take a lead in the field of desktop innovation, and am keen to see the underlying technologies land in Ubuntu, but we have to balance that enthusiasm with the Technical Board's judgement of the stability and maturity of those fundamental layers.
Of course, the real work of deciding Gutsy's goals will happen at UDS-Sevilla, May 5-11 in the wonderful Andalucia, Spain. I hope many of you will be joining us for some hard work and also, no doubt, a fair bit of monkey business! As usual we will be running a semi-virtual summit,
open for participation by VoIP and real-time online editing of the blueprints for Gutsy Gibbon. If you have items you want on the agenda, please make sure they are in the Ubuntu blueprints list:
...and then also nominate them for discussion at UDS-Sevilla! Please only do this if you intend to participate in the developer summit - either in person or virtually - so that you can present your ideas and collaborate with the other developers. The summit should be a great combination of hard work planning Gutsy, presentations from cutting edge upstreams on their own plans for this next six months, and some time in the sun for R&R in the best tradition of the region. For those of you who can't make it across the Atlantic, we hope to see you for Gutsy+1 at DS-Boston in the first week of November.
Now that the Fawn has found her legs, and is ready for her debut on April 19th, we need to lay some foundations for Gutsy. In the next few days we will open up a limited-upload target for Gutsy and start uploading toolchain packages there. Our aim is to open Gutsy for general upload on the same day that Feisty is released. Wherever you are, that will be a day for celebration. Go ape!