Ubuntu is a Linux distribution for your desktop or server, with a fast and easy install, regular releases, a tight selection of excellent packages installed by default, every other package you can imagine available from the network and professional technical support from Canonical Ltd and hundreds of other companies around the world.
The future version, Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron. This distribution will be a LTS (Long Term Support) release, and it is scheduled for April 2008.The implementation roadmap, as recommended on Launchpad, has some nice elements which will make many Ubuntu users happy. Here are some of these things that might get on Hardy Heron:
A redesigned restricted-manager code: The original code architecture of this application was very narrow, and focused on non-free kernel drivers in a Gnome application. The new features bolted on the original structure, like the grouping of handlers, the KDE frontend, non-free support packages of drivers which are free by themselves etc. made the code interdependent and very difficult to maintain/repair bugs. The list of new features is reviewed and a new code will be built from scratch.
Labeling and formatting of partitions: A way to format partitions with various file systems, with LUKS encryption support, was proposed. At this moment, no GUI exists for changing the label of a Linux filesystem, and for VFAT partitions.
Dial-up Support: An easy way to configure dial-up and ADSL out of the box was asked for, and Network Manager should be used to at least bring the connections up and down.
The Add/Remove Software application could be changed: As seen on the Roadmap, this could have user-provided descriptions, feature lists, screenshots and ratings for software. The initial page of this application should have top-rated software, newest versions etc.
Improved Ubuntu Server documentation: The server team needs to improve interactions with the documentation team, and the possibility to add micro-manuals for configuring complex applications could be added.
The number of duplicate applications and libraries will be reduced: Extra efforts to get rid of duplications to make maintenance as easy as possible and avoid CD space waste will be made. These things will happen mainly because Hardy Heron will be a Long Term Support release.
Kubuntu Hardy Catchup: The people from Launchpad want the developers to make sure Kubuntu has the same features as Ubuntu.
The CD boot loader for Hardy reviewed:Although the boot loader does its job, it needs a review and polish. There are problems with the progress bar, font handling etc.
Bug Statistics:The bug statistics that will be useful to the Ubuntu team during the cycle to drive quality improvements and assist during release periods will be identified. The process will be automated, by gathering and disseminating the stats.