Ubuntu 12.04 Developer Summit Summary
When it comes to the graphics stack, key components will be Mesa 7.12 and X.Org Server 1.11. Mesa 7.12/8.0 is great to see, as it is a huge improvement for open-source Linux graphics drivers. With Ubuntu 12.04 LTS being supported on the desktop now for five years (rather than three years for past LTS releases), the X.Org/Mesa packages of future Ubuntu releases for the next two years will be back-ported to the Precise repository. These back-ported packages will also be found in Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS and future point release spins.
The back-porting of all the X.Org/Mesa packages (including newer DDX drivers and libraries) is looking to be a rather huge mess and massive support burden. Upgrading to the newer Linux kernel and X/Mesa packages for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS will be optional for users, due to acknowledging there's many hardware regressions in the kernel and graphics stack from release-to-release. There is going to be package name changes and other packaging alterations to hopefully make the optional upgrading of the kernel and (separately) the Mesa/X.Org packages less confusing for end-users.
X.Org will remain the primary server for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, but developers hope to offer an experimental Wayland preview that will run an X11 Server inside. This is far from being feature-complete and ready for production use, but should be a lot of fun for Phoronix enthusiasts.
Some of the interesting Tuesday discussions included making initrds (initial RAM disks) optional for Ubuntu, enhancing the DKMS (Dynamic Kernel Management) support, improvements to the UEFI Linux support, the U1DB Ubuntu One synchronized database, and Qt 5.
Wednesday sessions covered included adding support to the Ubuntu desktop for using your Ubuntu One cloud account as an Ubuntu log-in ID from any machine, better Ubuntu-Qt integration, a new low-latency Linux kernel, calendar support, and what GNOME packages will be found in Ubuntu 12.04.
Most of the GNOME packages to be found in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS will be GNOME 3.2 packages, but there will be select GNOME 3.4 packages to be included. GNOME 3.4 will be officially released in March, but they aren't pulling in all of the GNOME 3.4 packages due to this being a long-term support release and they also don't want packages on the Ubuntu main image that depend upon the Clutter tool-kit. Canonical does not want to support Clutter officially for the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS cycle. To avoid Clutter, some of the GNOME packages are even being stuck to their 3.0 state for this cycle.
Among the GNOME 3.4 packages that should make it into the Precise Pangolin are GTK+ 3.4, GNOME Games, GEdit, Gcalctool, Evince, and Yelp.