A quick resume of what the most important (IMHO) things users will get with the next Ubuntu release: Intrepid Ibex. If you want to check the whole list please visit Intrepid’s blueprints.
1. faster login
The time that ubuntu takes to go from the gdm login prompt to an usuable desktop is too long, it will be faster.
2. better Flash experience
Intrepid will ship improved plugin finder wizard experience, better experience for sites that use the flash detection kit and improved user-experience for selection of available alternatives.
Probably we’ll also have the final Flash 10 shipped with Intrepid.
4. guest account
It is very common to lend someone else a laptop for a quick email check, or having one’s computer play music and be a surf station on a party.
Instead of requiring people to create guest accounts with widely known or empty passwords, Ubuntu will set up a locked down guest account with a temporary home directory by default, where an existing user must authenticate the start of a guest session. This avoids passwordless accounts, which are a security threat.
5. Clean up cruft from system, especially after upgrades
When systems are upgraded from release to release to release, and especially if they are upgraded frequently during development of next release, they gather a lot of cruft: unused packages, old kernels, etc. Intrepid will have a tool to remove cruft, based on what update-manager already does, and extending that.
6. Automatic download of printer drivers through the internet
The printer setup tool of Ubuntu 8.10 and later will automatically download LSB-packaged printer drivers from the OpenPrinting database. This way there will be no need to ship all drivers on the CDs, Intrepid will be prepared for printers being launched after our release or being supported only by closed-source drivers which we are not allowed to distribute or driver updates.
7. font selector
Fontconfig offers a variety of font related settings, which can currently only be modified by hacking a XML file together. Intrepid will have a GUI for this task, taking common settings like font ordering, antialiasing, hinting and embedded bitmaps into account, as those settings vary greatly depending on different users’ preferences.
8. faster installation from desktop DVD
Modifications to ubiquity and apt as well as triggerisation of packages in order to minimize the extra time needed by the installer when dealing with the larger set of packages found on the desktop DVD image.
9. installation from USB stick
An application will be developed to convert and write Ubuntu CD images to USB disks. In addition, Ubuntu’s existing tools will be modified to better handle installing from a removable disk.
10. new graphic for the installer
The visual design of Ubuntu’s installer has remained largely unchanged since its creation, however there are a number of areas where graphical aids will be beneficial.
and maybe (low priority):
What about the new graphic theme?
Intrepid alpha releases come with a new graphic theme for the GNOME environment but I couldn’t find a blueprint about that thus it’s not in the list.
UPDATE 1: I’d like to add a task to the wishlist: SOUND!!! In hardy sound it’s a big mess because some softwares (Flash) do not integrate with PulseAudio (this workaround does seem to be stable to me) and I constantly have to close applications to make sound work again :-(
UPDATE 2: A user told me that I forgot to write an important new feature: support for dmraid from the livecd, he’s completely right, I thought it was not so important to average users but probably I was wrong.