It is looking more and more likely that 12.04 will ship with Rhythmbox instead of Banshee. Can not say that I am happy about that. Reinstalled Rhytmbox this week to check out how it has developed and nothing has changed. In fact, it probably would not look out of place running on WIn 98.
Suggestions are that a lot of it is down to the removal of mono in 12.04, this applications like Banshee and Tomboy are in trouble. I am not aware of any other note program that syncs with Ubuntu One, I know their is Gnote, but it lacks this functionality. I do use both Banshee and Tomboy daily, so ditching those leaves me with a sour taste.
Canonical (re: Mark) could always change their minds about this, but if they do not they I really hope that they do implement a note taking program with all the functionality of Tomboy. At the same time they ensure that all out settings and metadata kept in both Banshee and Tomboy are easily moved over to the replacements. At present Rhythmbox lacks the functionality to do this...it is just a bare-bones music player.
Based on how they dealt with the Evolution to Thunderbird move I really do not expect this though. Banshee felt like the right application, with the right vision to fit with the progressive direction that Ubuntu has been moving in. Of course the simple solution is to just install Banshee, so what's the bid deal? Well, in that case why bundle any applications with Ubuntu? Users, especially new users, expect a certain level of functionality and capability when they try out their new OS, so first impressions do matter. The move to Thunderbird over Evolution does make some sense as it is more recognisable by users, their will have to be some very intense development of Rhythmbox over the next few weeks to bring it up to scratch.
So far all the other news regarding development sounds positive, especially nailing down Unity. But getting Unity right is still the biggest hurdle that 12.04 faces, I really enjoy the Unity interface, but it does have some strange quirks. Even searching for my minecraft.jar file requires changing lenses, and clicking to see more results...and it does this for most searches I carry out. Nevermind that other then Chrome no other applications have decent default quicklists. I have been using Unity for a few cycles now and here we are, weeks of development to go before slapping this onto LTS users for the next 5 YEARS!
Ubuntu One has been Canonical's success story since 10.04LTS. They have got it right and it has developed at a remarkable pace. At its current level of development it is arguably too good compared to the rest of the desktop, yet so few default applications make use of this service. Why is my profile information, Empathy and Gwibber settings all not synced across computers? Toying with default local email and music applications just feels petty compared to the untapped potential we are missing out on.
I am happy to stand by Ubuntu and I feel it is certainly the best OS for me. I like the direction it is going and I am probably impatient that the year of the Linux desktop has not arrived yet. But that does not bother me, anyone who has seen my machines running Ubuntu have always been impressed, and I covert a couple of people each year. I myself only came aboard with 7.04 back in the Summer of 2007, but never looked back.
So roll on 12.04, lets see if this Precise Pangolin lives up to its potential.
(Originally Posted on Google+)