I am delighted to have the pleasure of announcing the Hardy Heron (Ubuntu 8.04), the next version of Ubuntu that will succeed Gutsy Gibbon (Ubuntu 7.10, due for release in October 2007). Not only will the Ubuntu community continue to do what it does best, produce an easy-to-use, reliable, free software platform, but this release will proudly wear the badge of Long Term Support (LTS) and be supported with security updates for five years on the server and three years on the desktop. We look forward to releasing the Hardy Heron in April 2008.
With the opening of each new release cycle of Ubuntu, we have more and more opportunity at our fingertips. Not only are our friends in the upstream world constantly innovating and extending their applications and software, but the Ubuntu community continues to see incredible growth in its diverse range of areas such as packaging, development, documentation, quality assurance, translations, LoCo teams and more. Each new release gives us all an opportunity to shine, irrespective of which bricks in the project we are laying, and this is at the heart of our belief – working together to produce an Operating System that will empower its users and shape the IT industry, putting free software at the corner-stone of our direction.
Most people only ever see the end-user view of Ubuntu, running it on their desktops, servers and mobile devices around the world. For these users, Ubuntu provides a simple, convenient means to do what they want to do easily, effectively and without unnecessary complexity. For many of us though, we want to open up the hood and understand how the system works and how to extend and grow it. Thousands of us get out of bed every day, united behind Ubuntu, ready to make a difference, working together to make our vision happen.
Importantly, our ethos of collaboration and freedom extends to the development process as well as the end product. As such, the Ubuntu development process is a very open, transparent one, and anyone is welcome to get involved. It works like this:
- Everyone is welcome to think of and develop ideas for features that could be present in the Hardy Heron release. These ideas are written as specifications (detailed documents outlining how the idea would work and be implemented). You are welcome to add your specifications to https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu.
- In October 2007, we will hold the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA and generate a schedule of sessions to discuss these specifications. The sessions provide a means for interested parties to help scope out the proposed feature and determine methods and plans to implement it. The Ubuntu Developer Summit is a semi-virtual event in which those who cannot attend can dial in with VoIP and use IRC and collaborative editing with Gobby to take part in the summit.
Everyone is welcome to participate, everyone is welcome to get involved, and everyone is welcome to help shape the form of the Hardy Heron. Let’s work together to shake things up, make things happen and make the most compelling Ubuntu release yet. Start your engines…