Ubuntu's Looney Labeling Goes On

Among the interesting — if a bit odd — aspects of Ubuntu development is its convention of assigning each release a codename — often more universally known and used than the offical release number. These codenames follow a well known pattern, progressing alphebetically with the name of an animal and some, er, "unique" adjective, like Breezy Badger or Gutsy Gibbon. Lately, though, the names have been just a bit more odd than normal, and the trend continues with the nom-de-plume for Version 9.04.

The current stable version, 8.04, is well-known by it's codename "Hardy Heron." The development version, set to be released next month as Version 8.10, is the even more creatively named "Intrepid Ibex." Now the world has been enlightened by Ubuntu's man-in-charge, Mark Shuttleworth, that the version-to-come, 9.04, will be christened "Jaunty Jackalope."

That wasn't the only announcement to emerge from Mr. Shuttleworth, however. Along with revealing the exciting choice of name — does anyone else wonder where they come up with these things? — he also layed out the roadmap, calling for reduction in boot time, a tighter integration between offerings for the desktop and the web, and noted that 9.04 will be the first version to come out of Ubuntu's own revision control creation, Bazaar. He went on to issue a rallying call, saying that it is Ubuntu's "chance to shine," and that "the software experience to be comparable to those of the traditional big OSV’s - Microsoft and Apple."

Development on the Jaunty Jackalope is likely already underway, and will culminate in April 2009 — until then, anticipation builds for the Ibex to reach its summit.

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Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.