Ubuntu 13.04 wasn't a big release. Apart from stability improvements, application updates, and performance tweaks, Raring Ringtail didn't get the same amount of attention as Ubuntu's previous releases did. That said, the distribution did lay the foundation for a bigger release, which is expected to come out this year and that is Ubuntu 13.10.
Christened Saucy Salamander, Ubuntu 13.10 is expected to bring along some major, awaited features to the Ubuntu desktop. Though we'll have to wait till October to get our hands on this one, our wish list for the release is already ready.
1. Better, Stable, and Useful Scopes
The new Smart Scopes feature has already arrived in Ubuntu 13.10 daily builds. Giving users the ability to search from various Internet sources, Saucy's Scopes will put information of tons of sources at the user's fingertips. With the aim of turning the Dash into a desktop-based search engine, Canonical has a lot of hopes banking on this new feature. The only thing we want from Shuttleworth is that he ensures that these features are as stable as possible. Considering the high standards that Ubuntu is setting after each release, users expect nothing but the best from the open-source operating system.
2. Social from the start
One thing that disappointed many users was the exclusion of Gwibber from Ubuntu 13.04. Since the app was busy being revamped, the default desktop lacked a social element. Ubuntu 13.10 should focus on tightly integrating social features into the desktop. This means not just including the Friends app in the default application set, this also means allowing users to share their photos, screenshots, and music files right from the desktop. So, for example, if I open a photo in GNOME Image viewer, there should be a functionality to share that image on Twitter, Facebook, or Flickr. Probably, adding a couple of social buttons to the toolbars won't be such a bad idea.
3. Even faster
Though Ubuntu 13.04 was blazing fast, speed freaks like us won't be satisfied with anything but the best. We want faster booting, faster shutdown, and pretty much everything else to be blazing fast.
4. WUBI (or something better)
WUBI was a great way Windows users could try out Ubuntu without having to know much about the installation process. Though Ubuntu's installation is dead simple these days, WUBI does seem like a better, safer option for Linux neophytes. While there is nothing wrong with bringing WUBI back from the grave, providing users with something even better than the installer would be a great idea. A revamped WUBI maybe?
5. Support for rolling releases
Though there are a few people against this move, a rolling release seems like the best way forward for the desktop. Not only will users get fewer bugs, they'll also get to use the latest stable versions of their favorite applications without having to upgrade the whole desktop.
6. New icon set and new wallpaper
Though Ubuntu 13.04 brought along some small changes to the default icon set, a completely redesigned set of icons is what Ubuntu needs for this release. Furthermore, instead of flipping the same wallpaper in 4 different directions for every release, Ubuntu could think about using new wallpaper as its default.
7. Minimize to click
I don't know how Canonical missed this one but every time I try to click on an application's icon in the launcher, instead of minimizing, nothing happens. It's about time they baked this small but much-needed functionality into the next release.
8. More Indicator Applets
Including a few more indicator applets on the menu bar won't be such a bad idea since it lets users do much more than what they can do with normal menus.
9. A better lock screen
The current lock screen is nothing but a simple box that lets you input your password to get back to your desktop. Ubuntu should consider revamping this feature completely and focus on building something that is at par with or better than what Cinnamon Mint's lockscreen has.
10. Consistent menus
Be it locally integrated menus, a traditional menu bar, or something entirely new, let's hope that Ubuntu 13.10 will have a consistency across all the applications as far as menus are considered.
Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.