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"Jaunty Jackalope" conceived
Sep. 09, 2008

Canonical Founder Mark Shuttleworth has announced that the next major version number of Ubuntu (Ubuntu 9.04) will be codenamed "Jaunty Jackalope." In a posting to the Ubuntu Developer's list today, Shuttleworth outlined a number of parallels between the mythical beast and the release's goals.

(Click for larger view of the Jaunty Jackalope. (Photo courtesy of Jim Kinney))

The bastard spawn of jack rabbits and antelopes, "jackalopes" are quite familiar to those of us living in the region of the U.S. known as the "Intermountain West," stretching between the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountain ranges. While rarely seen in the wild, at least one taxidermied specimen can usually be observed proudly displayed among the elk, muledeer, and pronghorn trophies decorating most any good saloon.

Shuttleworth wrote, in part, "The Warrior Rabbit is our talisman as we move into a year where we can reasonably expect Ubuntu to ship on several million devices, to consumers who can reasonably expect the software experience to be comparable to those of the traditional big OSV's - Microsoft and Apple."

He continued, "The Jackalope is known for being so fast that it's extremely hard to catch, and breeds only when lightning flashes. Let's see if we can make booting or resuming Ubuntu blindingly quick.

"Another goal is the the blurring of web services and desktop applications. 'Is it a deer? Is it a bunny? Or is it a weblication -- a desktop application that seamlessly integrates the web!' This hare has legs -- and horn.

"Those bizarre-but-fearsome antlers might well remind one of the intricate pattern of collaboration between developers in a distributed version control system. So it's fitting that Jaunty will see us move all of Ubuntu into Bazaar. For the first time, any developer will be able to branch any Ubuntu package with a single bzr command, publish their changes, and perhaps even publish builds of that package in their own Package Archive."

Shuttleworth said that more details about Jaunty would come out of the annual Ubuntu Developer Summit, this year hosted by Google in Mountain View, Dec. 8-12. The full text of the post can be found here.

Meanwhile, Canonical and the Ubuntu Project continue to put the polish on Intrepid Ibex (Ubuntu 8.10).

-- Henry Kingman

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