The Intrepid Ibex, Ubuntu 8.10, is coming in 15 days. The new release had many features planned, but yet in the latest beta release, there is still no sign of some of the major features planned.
I mean, really, if some of the biggest improvements are 1) a guest session, and 2) tabs in the file browser, what has become of the world’s most popular distribution? So far, it looks like OpenOffice 3 will not be making it into Ubuntu 8.10. A new theme for the distribution, which has been promised since the inception of the last release, still remains to be seen. The NewHuman theme, renamed “DarkRoom”, has been uploaded, as well as a new background. However, DarkRoom has not been included as the default, but rather the old-style Human theme has been included, and is this time using the murrine theme engine. That’s not a radical change, so things still feel the same. From my experience, not many people change the look and feel of their system who are new to Ubuntu. Would it not be beneficial to make it look as good as possible? I mean, seriously, the DarkRoom theme (which still has some bugs), with this background would be aiming for that darker, more earthy look. It is far more stunning, and would make any head turn.
There are other features that were discussed but held back as well. It’s unfortunate to not see this release following in the footsteps of past versions, which included features that were worth mention.
The lack of new features is troubling to me, as this release is almost being treated as an LTS release with respect to features. Why there was not much of a performance improvement or work put into making this release better to fulfill Mark Shuttleworth’s call to beat the Mac makes me wonder. Hopefully there will be some surprises in store for the final release. I am currently running the beta, and all things are working well, so only time will tell. Hopefully some new features will roll in soon.