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Canonical's Next (And Hardest) Steps

Look forward, not back. That's a philosophy Mark Shuttleworth wants to bring to Ubuntu, and by extension to the rest of Linux as well. In a conference call on Monday, right before the release of 8.10 at the end of this month (happy Halloween!), he laid out what's in that release right now and some high-level goals for the future.

Look forward, not back. That's a philosophy Mark Shuttleworth wants to bring to Ubuntu, and by extension to the rest of Linux as well. In a conference call on Monday, right before the release of 8.10 at the end of this month (happy Halloween!), he laid out what's in that release right now and some high-level goals for the future.

What's key to keep in mind about 8.10 is how it's designed to bring in things from the Linux community as a whole -- the new Gnome and KDE desktops, the new network connection manager -- and to implement those things in ways that try to add genuinely new functionality. The feature rundown's already been covered in a fair amount of detail by my associate Antone Gonsalves, but certain things fairly cry out for commentary.

One major point that was made, and something I asked about in detail, was Canonical's presence at desktop environment and experience summits -- the places where the Gnome and KDE folks get their future directions. What did Canonical want to do there, or learn from such things? I asked. The answer was twofold: