Introducing the Jaunty Jackalope

Mark Shuttleworth mark at
Mon Sep 8 21:16:57 BST 2008

As we approach the launch of Ubuntu 8.10, it's time to create space for
future plans, and so I'm writing to introduce you to The Jaunty Jackalope.

Jaunty, the code name for what will most likely become Ubuntu 9.04, will
be the focus of our efforts from November through to April next year. We
will be gathering forces in Mountain View on 8th - 12th December to
survey the upstream landscape and finalize Jaunty plans, enjoying the
excellent hospitality of Google and Silicon Valley's abundance of talent
and innovation. The Ubuntu Developer Summit is the social and strategic
highlight of each release cycle and it would be a great pleasure to
welcome you there. Jono Bacon has written up a guide to sponsorship for those who
would have a substantial amount to offer at the Summit.

The Warrior Rabbit is our talisman as we move into a year where we can
reasonably expect Ubuntu to ship on several million devices, to
consumers who can reasonably expect the software experience to be
comparable to those of the traditional big OSV's - Microsoft and Apple.
The bar is set very high, and we have been given the opportunity to leap
over it. It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance to shine, and we want to make
sure that the very best thinking across the whole open source ecosystem
is reflected in Ubuntu, because many people will judge free software as
a whole by what we do.

There are some specific goals that we need to meet in Jaunty. One of
them is boot time. We want Ubuntu to boot as fast as possible - both in
the standard case, and especially when it is being tailored to a
specific device. The Jackalope is known for being so fast that it's
extremely hard to catch, and breeds only when lightning flashes. Let's
see if we can make booting or resuming Ubuntu blindingly quick.

Another goal is the the blurring of web services and desktop
applications. "Is it a deer? Is it a bunny? Or is it a weblication - a
desktop application that seamlessly integrates the web!" This hare has
legs - and horns - and we'll be exploring it in much more detail for
Jaunty. We have already laid some foundations for weblications in the
online services discussions that took place in Prague, but since we
fully expect those services to ship in 9.04 the discussion will be that
much more intense in Mountain View.

Those bizarre-but-fearsome antlers might well remind one of the
intricate pattern of collaboration between developers in a distributed
version control system. So it's fitting that Jaunty will see us move all
of Ubuntu into Bazaar. For the first time, any developer will be able to
branch any Ubuntu package with a single bzr command, publish their
changes, and perhaps even publish builds of that package in their own
Package Archive. We will also make the developer community structure of
Ubuntu much richer - in addition to MOTU and core-dev, we are
introducing ways for developers to participate in specific applications,
either at the package-upload level or at the version-control level.
Whatever your level and specialisation of interest, we'll make sure that
you can participate accordingly.

December's UDS is likely to be packed full of interesting people and
ideas. I very much look forward to seeing everyone there. "There he
goes! That way!"


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