Instead Canonical is focusing on improving the boot time for Ubuntu 10.04 so that it can boot in under 10 seconds. Ubuntu 9.10 will see an enhanced boot time too, which may or may not be under 10 seconds. A majority of this work is being done for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. This would be comparable to the boot times of Moblin V2, but for desktops and notebooks too. If they are successful in making Ubuntu boot dramatically quicker, Plymouth would not be needed since by the time it initializes it would already be ready for the GDM. As a result, Ubuntu is likely staying with USplash. Let's hope though that the Ubuntu developers will be successful in booting Ubuntu in under ten seconds on most modern hardware.
While seeing no Plymouth for Ubuntu 9.10 is a bit of an upset, there are a few items detailed this week at UDS that are exciting. Instead of using the Linux 2.6.30 kernel for which Ubuntu 9.10 is currently tracking, Canonical is now planning on shipping this next Ubuntu release with the Linux 2.6.31 kernel. This alone is excellent news considering come October the 2.6.30 kernel will already be "old" with the newer releases containing more exciting features and drivers. In particular, we may now see (experimental) ATI kernel mode-setting support in Ubuntu 9.10 if the KMS and memory management support make it in time for the Linux 2.6.31 merge window.
Besides the Linux 2.6.31 kernel, Ubuntu 9.10 will be using the EXT4 file-system by default, encrypted home directories will make it back into Ubuntu, and the new gnome-shell for GNOME 3.0 will be entering the Universe repository.
For more on the features of Red Hat's Plymouth, read A Closer Look At Red Hat's Plymouth. As new information surrounding Ubuntu 9.10 is announced, you can be sure that we will cover it on Phoronix.