While I’ve been running through the Ubuntu 8.04 alphas for a while now (yes, I’m quite the brave –or foolish– one, aren’t I). Aside from a hickup with CPU usage, its actually been quite smooth. Its pretty sad when my days in alpha testing Linux are smoother than most people’s days in Windows. I’m very much a bleeding edge geek. I want to experience the latest in software and see how it works and has changed. Fortunately for me, Ubuntu Linux is preparing Hardy Heron which will include a very nice set of new features.
Alas, I’m not going to list everything that’s coming and changing but Techthrob.com does a splendid job of it. Just for a gimplse: bittorrent changes, remote desktop, in kernel virtualization…
I’ve been really happy with the changes under way. Hardy Heron has been quite kind to me. Even the Firefox 3 Beta upgrade was a little painful but the gains were worth it. The most important thing I see happening is inclusion of new users. A lot more is being done to invite them into the community and help them adapt to a different environment. This is made great by keeping the flexibility of Linux there for the old pros. Just because some changes are made for new users doesn’t mean there isn’t still hardcore Linux under the surface.
What would I like to see? A better bit torrent client. Transmission is okay. KTorrent 4 (built for KDE 4) actually works nicely. Azureus has a cousin called Zuve which gives bit torrent a needed market. Plus I think the torrent clients need more optimization. My system is reasonably fast for Linux and my connection is amongst the fastest residential connections available in my area but I am lucky to take up a quarter of that.
I would also like to see better Wine support or some sort of Windows game integration. I know too many gamers that claim they’d switch if Linux ran Windows games without issue. I’d like to see Linux run the games better than Windows does within a year, at most.
Finally, Linux needs support for two very common consumer devices: scanners and webcams. First, I know that a driver project exists for webcams. Now they need to be treated like printers. It should be so simple that you can plug in the cam and it works, no config needed. Secondly, some scanner support, especially for AIOs, is needed. My poor Canon is still sitting, the scanner in mint condition, save a few desperate Windows moments, waiting for Tux to unleash its digitizing power.
I don’t want this to be all critical though. I just felt that if we’re going to rave about the great things that have happened and are coming, throwing a few more ideas out there couldn’t hurt. So good job to the Ubuntu team and all the Linux developers, I appreciate your work sincerely.