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Is Ubuntu 10.10 a GNOME Fork?
August 25, 2010
Ubuntu 10.10, codenamed Maverick Meerkat, is still two months from its final release. However, if the first alpha and the forecasts about it are an accurate indication, the release is already taking on a character all its own.
Specifically, Maverick may be the release in which the Ubuntu version of GNOME differs from generic GNOME to the point where it should be recognized as a separate desktop -- call it Ubuntu GNOME.
Of course, at this point, the character of the release could change. If you look at the blueprints for the release, you will notice that many features are incomplete, or still to be implemented at all. Still, the fact that many of the visible desktop changes are among the first implemented may suggest the emphasis that Ubuntu places upon them (although the ease of implementation or the enthusiasm of the developers may be factors, as well.) At any rate, this is a change that has been coming for at least a year, and in Maverick it is starting to become noticeable. Although all the changes in Maverick do not contribute to this impression, many do.
Those who want to explore Maverick for themselves can download one of the daily build Live CDs. Alternatively, you can see some of the new features in Maverick through the collection of MaverickMovies, a selection of videos about major features. Many of the videos are matched with inappropriate movies, but if you turn the sound off, you can at least see some of the upcoming features. You can also try installing from the Live CD to a hard drive, although, if you do, the usual warnings about doing serious work on unstable software apply.
The New Installer
Not all the changes in Maverick contribute to the sense that Ubuntu is developing its own sub-version of GNOME. Of these neutral changes, the most obvious is the installation program....
Read the rest of Bruce Byfield's Maverick Meerkat story at Datamation