The 13.04 “Raring Ringtail” release of Ubuntu falls at the mid-point between the 12.04 and 14.04 LTS (long-term support) releases. This is the time in a development cycle when the balance starts to tip from innovation toward consolidation, when conversations form around what pieces need to be in place today to ensure a solid “checkmate” two releases down the road.

With that context in mind, it’s no surprise that Ubuntu Foundations–the central core behind the many faces of Ubuntu–plays a starring role in this release, both in sessions here at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Copenhagen, and in the upcoming 6 months of development work. Look for sessions on release roles and responsibilities, release planning including Edubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu, and Kubuntu, archive maintenance and improvements to archive admin tools, reverting package regressions and immutable archive snapshots, cross-compilation, user access to UEFI setup and plans for secure boot, xz compression for packages, image creation tools for Flavors, auto-generated apparmor profiles, PowerPC bootloaders, OAuth for Python 3, “prototype” archives for new hardware, Android ROMs, user experience in distro upgrades, build daemon resources, boot time on ARM, and installation tools on ARM. Also training sessions on the error (crash) tracker, Python 3 porting, and how to contribute to upstart.

On the Cloud front, the big topics continue to center around OpenStack (integrating Grizzly, QA, packaging improvements), Juju (the Charm Store, Charm developer tools, contributor onramps, application servers like Ruby on Rails/Django, development process), and Ubuntu Cloud images (testing and roundtable). While the broader Ubuntu Server discussions range over Xen, LXC, libvert, QEMU, Ceph, MySQL, Nginx, Node.js, and MongoDB, Query2, bigdata filesystem support, and Power architecture virtualization.

The Client side is a harmonic chorus, with sessions on Ubuntu TV, mobile devices and installing Ubuntu on a Nexus 7, plus multiple sessions on Ubuntu as a gaming platform. Also look for the usual sorts of nuts and bolts that go into building a beautiful client experience, like accessibility, battery life, connectivity, config sync, choice of file managers, and consistent typography.

Don’t miss the Design Theatre on Wednesday, where all are welcome to participate and learn about design thinking, solving real-world design problems for apps submitted by the audience.

I can’t wait for tomorrow!