Ubuntu v5: Edgy Eft

By   |  April 20, 2006

Mark Shuttleworth has announced the name of the next version of Ubuntu, Edgy Eft, which is expected to be full of leading-edge features. To help the process along, Shuttleworth has also been hard at work on Blueprint, a feature development tracker that is part of Ubuntu’s Launchpad web site.

An eft is a type of newt – or to be more precise, the name given to the Eastern Newt (also called the Red Spotted Newt) during its second life-cycle stage when it lives on land.

In Shuttleworth’s words: “An Eft is a youthful newt, going through its first exploration of the rocky territory just outside the stream. And that’s exactly what we hope the development team will do with Ubuntu during the Edgy cycle – explore slightly unfamiliar and uncharted territory that is perhaps a little out of the mainstream.”

Following the desire to make Dapper Drake a hardened distribution for the enterprise market, Shuttleworth hopes that Edgy Eft will include exciting new features never seen before in a Linux distribution. “We can afford to take some risks with Dapper+1, because Dapper has turned out so well. We have a great answer for people who need super-solid and super-predictable results: Dapper is still fresh, will continue to work on modern hardware for some time, and has plenty of legs in its support cycle left to run,” Shuttleworth writes in an announcement to the community.

“Edgy is all about cutting edge, perhaps bleeding edge, brand new code and infrastructure. It will be the right time to bring in some seriously interesting but definitely edgy new technologies which lay the groundwork for the next wave of Ubuntu development.”

To help generate ideas for all these new features and manage the process, Shuttleworth’s company, Canonical, has launched Blueprint, part of its Launchpad web site where developers collaborate while building Ubuntu.

“I would encourage members of the community who have been thinking of a cool new feature or plan to seize the opportunity to get it into Edgy,” says Shuttleworth.

It is unknown when the next long-term stable release – similar to Dapper Drake – will be scheduled, with Shuttleworth expecting the team to decide after one or two more releases.

The end of this month also sees the end of official support for Ubuntu’s first distribution, Warty Warthog, which started it all. Edgy Eft is expected to follow Warty’s example of a ground-breaking distribution.

“The past two years have been a privilege and a pleasure,” says Shuttleworth in the conclusion of his missive. “Dapper is the full expression of what we have learned in this first phase, and I have every reason to believe it will be a hit. Once that’s out the door, it will be a great opportunity to rock-‘n-roll up our sleeves, play with new ideas, kick some new tyres and of course dig some new foundations. We may strike gold, we will likely uncover some dirt, but it should be fun and it should be funky. Let’s live on the Edge a while.”

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