Key parts of Ubuntu 13.04 to be developed under wraps

Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth doesn't want to spoil the surprise when it is ready

Ubuntu 13.04, scheduled for release in April next year, will have some of its key parts developed under wraps with the help of community members who can be trusted not to talk in their sleep, Canonical's founder Mark Shuttleworth wrote in a blog post on Thursday.

Apparently tired of critics, Shuttleworth said he has figured out that critics will continue to be critics whether an idea is discussed with them in advance or not.

Code-named the Raring Ringtail after a raccoon, the Linux distribution will have some high "tada!" value, Shuttleworth said.

"Working on something in a way that lets you refine it till it feels ready to go has advantages: you can take time to craft something, you can be judged when you're ready, you get a lot more punch when you tell your story, and you get your name in lights (though not every headline is one you necessarily want)," Shuttleworth said in the bog post.

Canonical made available for download on Thursday both the server and desktop editions of Ubuntu 12.10, code-named Quantal Quetzal. A previous release Ubuntu 12.04 in April was a long-term support release for enterprises with maintenance updates guaranteed for five years.

Invitations will be extended to developers "who trust us and in whom we have reason to trust, to work together on some sexy 13.04 surprises," Shuttleworth said in the blog post.

Ubuntu 13.04 will be released on April 25 next year, according to a draft schedule. Shuttleworth said in a blog post on Wednesday that the focus going forward will be on tuning Ubuntu for mobile in areas such as battery life, number of running processes, and memory footprint. The decision by Shuttleworth to restrict participation to a few trustworthy persons may however mean that the software may not benefit from being tested and debugged by the community at large.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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