Mark Shuttleworth, father of the popular Ubuntu operating system, proudly announced the name and the goals for the next version of Ubuntu.
Mark Shuttleworth: “And so, we come swiftly to a conclusion: allow me to introduce the Natty Narwhal, our mascot for development work that we expect to deliver as Ubuntu 11.04.
The Narwhal, as an Arctic (and somewhat endangered) animal, is a fitting reminder of the fact that we have only one spaceship that can host all of humanity (trust me, a Soyuz won’t do for the long haul to Alpha Centauri). And Ubuntu is all about bringing the generosity of all contributors in this functional commons of code to the widest possible audience, it’s about treating one another with respect, and it’s about being aware of the complexity and diversity of the ecosystems which feed us, clothe us and keep us healthy. Being a natty narwhal, of course, means we have some obligation to put our best foot forward. First impressions count, lasting impressions count more, so let’s make both and make them favourable.
While it may not in fact get you a pony, the world of free software is the platform upon which the future is being built. So the Narwhal, as the closest thing to a real live unicorn, is an auspicious figurehead as we lay down the fabric from which dreams will be woven. Dreams of someone’s first PC, dreams of someone’s first million instances in the cloud: whatever your vision of the future, we hope the Natty Narwhal will have something to offer. Test your gems against that unicorn – some will be glass, others of value. Perhaps the unicorn will bring you Luck, perhaps a cure for poisons proprietary. One thing is certain: we’ll be building it together with thousands of the most generous, insightful, fun people on the planet – not only those in the Ubuntu community, but those who participate in the whole of the free software ecosystem, from a2jmidid to zzliplib, with Debian (happy Birthday!, now longer in the tooth, wiser, but as potent and principled as ever) a special partner. I’m looking forward to the ride, and the result!”