Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex" feels more like a service pack than a new release

Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex" feels more like a service pack than a new release

Summary: With only ten days to go until Ubuntu 8.10 is released I decided to take a look at the latest beta to see what the new release has to offer. Oddly enough, "Intrepid Ibex" feels more like a service pack to me than a new release.


With only ten days to go until Ubuntu 8.10 is released I decided to take a look at the latest beta to see what the new release has to offer. Oddly enough, "Intrepid Ibex" feels more like a service pack to me than a new release.

Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex" gallery!

Don't get me wrong, there are new features in 8.10:

  • Linux kernel 2.6.27
  • GNOME 2.24
  • Encrypted private directory
  • X.Org 7.4 (offering better support for keyboards, mice, and tablets)
  • Network Manager 0.7 (improved network management)
  • Dell's DKMS (Dynamic Kernel Module Support)
  • PAM authentication
  • BBC plugin for Totem (grab free shows from the BBC)
  • Guest session support

Sure, a nice selection of new features, but there's very little in the way of unifying and streamlining the user interface. I guess we all got a heads-up that the UI was still very much a work in progress last month when Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu), posted the following on his blog:

There’s also recognition for the scale of the challenge that faces us. When I laid out the goal of “delivering a user experience that can compete with Apple in two years” at OSCON, I had many questions afterwards about how on earth we could achieve that. “Everyone scratches their own itch, how can you possibly make the UI consistent?” was a common theme. And it’s true - the free software desktop is often patchy and inconsistent. But I see the lack of consistency as both a weakness (GNOME, OpenOffice and Firefox all have different UI toolkits, and it’s very difficult to make them seamless) and as a strength - people are free to innovate, and the results are world-leading. Our challenge is to get the best of both of those worlds.

Still, bug fixes and the features listed above should keep us happy for another six months until Ubuntu 9.04 "Jaunty Jackalope" is released.



Topics: Collaboration, Networking, Open Source, Software

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  • Noticed this early on...

    It looked like from the outset the focus was going to be wireless connectivity and not many other bells and whistles. After seeing that I figured performance improvements and bug fixes would be the main thing to look forward to.
  • RE: Ubuntu 8.10

    I hate to say it, but the last two versions of Ubuntu have had a feel of "service pack" like changes. Either a concerted effort needs to be made to make greater driver support a reality or to place more effort into fixing ongoing issues that surrounds linux usability issues.
    Saint Curmudgeon
    • Isn't part of the point of a service pack

      better driver support?
    • No service packs in linux world.

      In windows world you have service packs so that you don't pay for substantial but routine updates. In linux world it is all free, so there is no substantial difference between a service pack and a new release.

      (for macs you pay $100 for a service pack with a name of a different cat species)
      • No service packs in linux world.

        " (for macs you pay $100 for a service pack with a name of a different cat species) "

    • GUI, it's not all the world!

      It seems the author evaluates a new version by
      the use of his sole eyes.
      I understand this if considering Microsoft's
      marketing strategies, changes in the GUI (and
      the price) are mostly the only thing visible
      Therefore I expect "opinioners" to have a more
      wide view aperture and to get a better look at
      the inner world of a Linux kernel based
      It is also necessary to compare what has been
      done by the community with respect to the news
      appeared in the 6 month period passed to the
      new release.
      If not much has been done, not much can be
      offered in the new release.

      The author should remember that there is no
      contact point between the two completely
      different worlds of Windows, a non verifiable
      product (except for its GUI), and a completely
      verifiable o.s. like that in subject.
  • It's true

    Instead of Ubuntu's usual scope of October innovation, 2008.10 barely manages exceed the rather low bar set by Microsoft in going from MSWinXP to MSWinVista. The Ubuntu team do look to have accomplished their work in somewhat less time and perhaps with rather less embarrassment over the final result.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
    • If it aint broken, don't fix it.

      Not every release has to have new and exciting toys and features. Continuitu and consistency is important.
      • I couldnt agree more

        I think thats one of the main reasons MS seems to be going in a downward spiral. Ubuntu has something really nice going on, and the funny thing is its that theyre not doing anything out of the ordinary. Theyre just sticking to their original plan. I mean, why would you want to add new features that will probably require that some of your users will have to buy new hardware or probably a new computer altogether. Thats something that works well for MS, but in this difficult time that we are living in...Ubuntu is really shining supporting a lot of old hardware, this way broadening their user base instead of reducing it.

        Like Hamobu said...if it aint broken,dont fix it.
        • I beg your pardon??

          "I think thats one of the main reasons MS seems to be going in a downward spiral"

          Since when? Seriously.

          I know Vista isn't a killer OS, I use it at work, but I refuse to shell out cash for it because XP works so fantastically still.

          On the other hand, from everything I have read Vista is getting faster adoption in the world then XP did, Vista actually works great, despite what the "We Hate Windows Gang" says. Microsoft's profits are doing just fine also from what I have seen.

          When you say a company is in a downward spiral it indicates an obvious out of control plummet while those at the controls are struggling to set things right but to no avail.

          Now, either you have completely misspoke and said the complete opposite of what you mean or; YOUR DEAD WRONG.
          • Since Vista.

            And that's just facts, not hating.

            I'm not a Linux fan myself, I prefer XP.

            Just because somebody doesn't support the same product you do (or speaks out against it) doesn't mean they mindlessly hate it for no reason.

            If anything, it's more Linux haters that are like that then Windows haters.
          • Please point to the facts

            Just out of curiosity,where have you read,seen that MS is spiraling downhill?? I have not seen any articles stating MS is going downhill. The only people i have seen saying MS is going downhill is the MS haters. Please point to the facts.
  • RE: Ubuntu 8.10

    I can see what you mean, Adrian, about the features of 8.10 resembling more a service pack.

    8.10 was [url=https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2008-February/025136.html]always promoted[/url] as an improvement for roaming & wireless networking, so it makes sense for most of the improvements to take place within the network manager and behind the scenes.
    • Fixing wireless problems

      This makes sense. Many of the complaints about Linux seem to revolve around the wireless issues. If this can be taken care of, developers can focus on other "show stoppers" for increased Linux usage.
  • No need for a major release every half year

    Release only when ready. If not then wait. Do it the sensible way instead of the FOSS-PR way.
    • +1

      I agree, no need for new features, better to debug what we already have, one LTS in 3 years is ok.
    • I second that.

      continuity and improvements of exiting tools that I know how to use are important. I do not want a new toy every few months.
    • I third that

      It's getting a little much, I don't have the time to constantly reload the O/S and my clients don't have a clue how to stay current. Maybe they should take a page out of the MS world and deliver this stuff by service packs. It's not a good thing at all
  • RE: Ubuntu 8.10

    Calling it a service pack is being generous. The rest of us will call it lipstick on a pig. The underlying base is still there with no improvement.

    Get your gcc fired up because you are still going to need to check all software versions - thats all 500+ packages to make a bloated system - to see if they are the latest, if they aren't then look for the software vendor's site, compare the software versions, downloaded the latest source, look for whatever spot it was downloaded to in an unmanagable heiarchy, use the terminal window to type in a series of commands to extract the source, use complex commands and switches to get it to try to compile cleanly -- this make take a few tries since you have a lot of options to choose from to guess the right ones, wait for it to compile so you might as well go read a book for a few hours, then install it into some random directory, look for the executable file after spending more time trying to find it, then run it and watch as it segfaults, and segfaults lead to kernel panics.

    What a hassle it is to run linux. Especially when you have to reinstall every 6 months. Running linux just isn't worth that much effort.
    Loverock Davidson
    • RE:

      "Especially when you have to reinstall every 6 months." LOL ^)))