Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What I Hope Will Be Ready for Ubuntu "Jaunty Jackalope"

Back in April, when I was using Hardy, I wrote this about what I'd like to see in future versions of Ubuntu. Now that Intrepid is out, its time to re-evalute the list to see what made it and what didn't
  • A GUI wrapper for utf: YES. Its called gutf. That said, I still haven't figured out how to set up internet connection sharing with it :( Until then, I'll stick with Firestareter
  • Two-way synchronization between evolution and Google calander: YES (at least partial). In Hardy there was one-way synchronization. In Intrepid, although its somewhat hidden, its there. My Impression - not ready for prime time. For better or worse, cloud computing is going to be a big part of the way we do things. Google, of all companies, will be front and center in this.
  • Advanced Desktop settings already pre-installed (or some simplified version of it). NO. This still confuses me - if you are going to make compiz a default part of the Desktop out of the box, then why not have a configuration tool right out of the box as well.
  • Tracker Search Tool needs to have a phrase search. NO. This one really freaking annoys me.
Well, one out of four is a start. Now looking to the future, what do I hope will make it into the next release of Ubuntu (codename Jaunty)? Here's what I'm keeping my eye on:

Bug Fixes and Feature Requests
  • nautilus 'replace file' dialog box could give more information. This one has been a long-time annoyance to me. In fact, I've moved over to KDE a couple of times because of it (I've always eventually come back to Gnome, which I do like better, though KDE 4.2 is giving them the run for their money). No indication that this will be fixed in time.
  • Tracker doesn't search for phrases in enclosed quotes. Until this is fixed, Tracker is not very useful for my needs. That said, its doubtful it will be fixed in Jaunty.
  • Audacity does not mesh with PulseAudio. One indication that Ubuntu (or Linux distros generally) isn't quite ready for the general user is the fact that the main audio editor for the Linux platform doesn't play well with the way Ubuntu is designed. Apparently the UbuntuStudio people have gotten it to work, and the bug report page indicates that they have been able to patch it for Jaunty. Yay.
New Applications
  • OpenOffice 3.1 - Although version 3.0 is out, it didn't make it into Intrepid (which is fine by me, I'd rather have a stable nicely integrated version included rather than one that was rushed in at the last minute).
  • Firefox 3.1 - Can't wait!
  • KDE 4.2 - A huge improvement. This is looking really nice
  • Kdenlive 7.1 - My favorite video editor. The nice thing is that you can already use it on Intrepid
  • Amarok 2.x - The 1.4.x series of Amarok is already the most feature rich music player on Linux (and almost any platform), and Amarok 2 looks to be an even better audio player.
  • Songbird 1.1 - Actually, this will be out in about a month. The version I want needs a "watch folders" feature and the ability to play videos.
  • Boxee - If you are a Netflix subscriber, but only use Linux on your computers, there is a real sense in which you are getting

Other stuff (needed, though though it might not make me happy)

Ok, the software in this category I have a hard time getting excited about. Either it is not open source or its open source with strings attached. Nonetheless, its needed for a Desktop that works with more and more web applications that are popping up all over the place.
  • Adobe AIR
  • Mono 2 and Moonlight 1.0 - Unfortunately for Linux users, more and more sites are moving to Starlight in order to deliver a media rich web experience. I say unfortunately because Microsoft does not support Starlight on the Linux platform.
Dream List
  • A robust 2-way syncronization of Evolutio with Google. For good or for worse, the future is cloud computing. Cloud computing allows the synchonization of data from various workstations and mobile devices.... Evolution needs to make this front and center of their priorities. I'm afraid that Linux applications will lag behind their Windows counterparts.
  • Better video editors - Presently there are limited options on linux, and each of the options themselves have certain drawbacks.
  • Easier theming of Gnome - Imagine this: You go to System->Preferences->Appearance and, under the "Theme" tab, after not liking the few installed themes there to choose from, you press the "Install" button and it takes you to a window/site/whatever where you can look over other various themes that have been put together. You then are given the option of selecting one, and after doing so, it goes and downloads it for you, installs it, and applies it to your system. Easy as pie.
  • An ebook manager that works - as far as I can tell, the only ebook manager out there is eKitaab, but it is broken as hell.
  • Support for portable apps - Portable apps are becoming more and more important for me.

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