Ubuntu 10.04: Five Changes You May Not Have Noticed
Lest they slip by unnoticed, here's a look at some less conspicuous--but not insignificant--changes to expect in Lucid.
When it debuts in a few weeks, Ubuntu 10.04 will bring some major changes in the form of a new theme, changes to window titlebars and the advent of the Ubuntu One Music Store. But that’s not all that’s new.
Lest they slip by unnoticed, here’s a look at some less conspicuous–but not insignificant–changes to expect in Lucid.
I can’t say I know anyone who became an Ubuntu user because of its games. All the same, if you’re a fan of titles like Nibbles or GNU Chess, you’ll have to install them yourself in Lucid, since the suite of GNOME games shipped by default has been substantially reduced. Ubuntu 10.04 comes with only five games, down from about a dozen in previous releases.
On the other hand, a new game, gbrainy, has been added.
Yahoo! search by default
In January, Canonical announced that the default search engine in Firefox on new Lucid systems would be Yahoo! Fortunately, those of us who resent the abuse of punctuation can restore the previous default, Google, with a few clicks.
Personally, I’d started to forget Yahoo! existed. Thanks to Canonical for reminding me.
In a move that received slightly more publicity than the other changes outlined in this post, Canonical decided to remove the GIMP image editor from the application stack in Lucid, with the logic that other programs provide the minimal image-manipulation functionality required by average users.
That means it’s time to get to know F-Spot for your redeye-removal needs.
As of Lucid, the microblogging client Gwibber comes bundled with Ubuntu. It supports a number of protocols, including but not limited to Twitter and Facebook, allowing users to read and post status messages from one centralized desktop location. The social networkers in the audience should be well pleased.
Simple Scan for scanning
For as long as I can remember, Ubuntu came with XSane installed for scanning documents. While XSane was a solid application, its interface screamed “1999!” as loudly as that of its website.
Lucid introduces Simple Scan, an application built on the same backend as XSane, but with a much prettier and more familiar GTK+ interface. Users can now scan documents without feeling like they’re using some arcane version of Red Hat.
All in all, I’m impressed by the number of changes Canonical decided to make for Lucid, given that it’s an LTS release–for which Ubuntu developers have traditionally focused on delivering maximum stability, with minimal novelty.
That said, none of the changes discussed here are very major, and as long as Lucid performs as well as its name sounds, I’ll be pleased (bonus points if this bug magically gets fixed before the 29th).