When you present yourself on the web, you have 15 seconds to make an impression, so aspiring champions of the web 2.0 industry have converged on a good recipe for success:

  1. Make your site visually appealing,
  2. Do something different and do it very, very well,
  3. Call users to action and give them an immediate, rewarding experience.

We need the same urgency, immediacy and elegance as part of the free software desktop experience, and that’s is an area where Canonical will, I hope, make a significant contribution. We are hiring designers, user experience champions and interaction design visionaries and challenging them to lead not only Canonical’s distinctive projects but also to participate in GNOME, KDE and other upstream efforts to improve FLOSS usability.

Fortunately, we won’t be working in a vacuum. This is an idea that is already being widely explored. It’s great to see that communities like GNOME and KDE have embraced user experience as a powerful driver of evolution in their platforms. Partly because of the web-2.0 phenomenon and the iPhone, there’s a widely held desire to see FLOSS leap forward in usability and design. We want to participate and help drive that forward.

There’s also recognition for the scale of the challenge that faces us. When I laid out the goal of “delivering a user experience that can compete with Apple in two years” at OSCON, I had many questions afterwards about how on earth we could achieve that. “Everyone scratches their own itch, how can you possibly make the UI consistent?” was a common theme. And it’s true – the free software desktop is often patchy and inconsistent. But I see the lack of consistency as both a weakness (GNOME, OpenOffice and Firefox all have different UI toolkits, and it’s very difficult to make them seamless) and as a strength – people are free to innovate, and the results are world-leading. Our challenge is to get the best of both of those worlds.

I don’t have answers to all of those questions. I do, however, have a deep belief in the power of the free software process to solve seemingly intractable problems, especially in the long tail. If we articulate a comprehensive design ethic, a next-generation HIG, we can harness the wisdom of crowds to find corner cases and inconsistencies across a much broader portfolio of applications than one person or company could do alone. That’s why it’s so important to me that Canonical’s design and user experience team also participate in upstream projects across the board.

In Ubuntu we have in general considered upstream to be “our ROCK”, by which we mean that we want upstream to be happy with the way we express their ideas and their work. More than happy – we want upstream to be delighted! We focus most of our effort on integration. Our competitors turn that into “Canonical doesn’t contribute” but it’s more accurate to say we measure our contribution in the effectiveness with which we get the latest stable work of upstream, with security maintenance, to the widest possible audience for testing and love. To my mind, that’s a huge contribution.

Increasingly, though, Canonical is in a position to drive real change in the software that is part of Ubuntu. If we just showed up with pictures and prototypes and asked people to shape their projects differently, I can’t imagine that being well received! So we are also hiring a team who will work on X, OpenGL, Gtk, Qt, GNOME and KDE, with a view to doing some of the heavy lifting required to turn those desktop experience ideas into reality. Those teams will publish their Bzr branches in Launchpad and of course submit their work upstream, and participate in upstream sprints and events. Some of the folks we have hired into those positions are familiar contributors in the FLOSS world, others will be developers with relevant technical expertise from other industries.

One strong meme we want to preserve is the idea that Ubuntu, the platform team, is still primarily focused on integration and distribution. We will keep that team and the upstream work distinct to minimise the conflict of interest inherent in choosing the patches and the changes and the applications that actually ship each six months as part of an Ubuntu release.

Of course, there’s a risk to participation, because you can’t easily participate without expressing opinions, visions, desires, goals, and those can clash with other participants. It’s hard to drive change, even when people agree that change is needed. I hope we can find ways to explore and experiment with new ideas without blocking on consensus across diverse and distributed teams. We have to play to our strengths, which include the ability to diverge for experimental purposes to see what really works before we commit everyone to a course of action. It will be a challenge, but I think it’s achievable.

All of this has me tapdancing to work in the mornings, because we’re sketching out really interesting ideas for user interaction in Launchpad and in the desktop. The team has come together very nicely, and I’m thoroughly enjoying the processes, brainstorming and prototyping. I can’t wait to see those ideas landing in production!

192 Responses to “Design, user experience and development at Canonical”

  1. Alex Says:

    Do you expect that these projects will simply pick up patches from a forked bzr branch on Launchpad?

    Doing the “submit my work upstream” thing is nice, but even better is to actually work alongside the other hackers on the project. It has a greater chance of being integrated and a smaller chance of being wasted.

    Examples of not going this would include the SLAB menu, etc. etc… this isn’t a particularly successful path based on previous attempts. Stop seeing things as “us” and “upstream”, srsly.

    Mark Shuttleworth says: Each project has its mechanism of code submission, and I expect that Canonical developers will follow those procedures when they are branching existing projects. Having said that, the fact that their code is published in an organised fashion should make it easy for people to track and collaborate with them.

    Efficient distributed work is a big theme for us. We have relatively few developers, yet we touch hundreds of projects, we need to do that efficiently. And no, it’s not reasonable to expect one developer to participate in two hundred different Bugzilla’s, so we work on tools to let us work across projects, like Bzr and Launchpad. One can’t be an effective core contributor in hundreds of projects, so in a real sense it is “us and upstream”, as you describe it. The question is whether we can build a productive relationship, not whether we can be totally absorbed.

  2. oliver Says:

    Does that mean Canonical is going to hire developers for directly working on all those components – X, OpenGL, Gtk, Qt, GNOME, KDE etc.? That sounds awesomely cool!

    (If I hadn’t this really great working place at the moment, my resumee would be on its way already :-)

  3. anzan Says:

    This is very good news, Mark.

    Has there also been thought to having someone work on kernel patches in a dedicated manner (even part-time)?

  4. seele Says:

    Funny how you mention the need for a cross-desktop UI knowledge-base that could smooth inconsistencies and create a uniform user experience agnostic of technology or project. I wonder if this is the same cross-desktop UI knowledge-base that has been under discussion in other groups over the past few months.

    It would also be nice to see hear how Canonical plans to shape this new FOSS UX. You leave us too much for the imagination. Are you planning to commit to technical, structural, or cultural changes? Hiring an army of designers isn’t going to cut it; poor FOSS usability is more than a manpower issue.

  5. Flimm Says:

    I think usability should have a higher focus than beauty, not because looks don’t matter, (my own personal project Epidermis is all about theming), but because Ubuntu is Linux for human beings. We want everyone to be able to use Ubuntu easily, and as a side-goal, to enjoy its visual elegance as they work.

  6. Flavio Says:

    Everyone has its pet issue about the UI, I’d like Ubuntu to drop that awful font hinting (like OSX and Vista do).

  7. K Says:

    I understand the benefits of allowing everybody do their own thing, but when it comes down to consistency of user experience, it seems like a focus on one or two very capable, cross platform toolkits would be a wonderful idea. Imagine how fast things would be if there were one toolkit and everybody focused strictly on improving the efficiency, usability, and performance of that one toolkit.

    So much is wasted by programs re-inventing the wheel. I’m specifically singling out OpenOffice here. As a user in a multi-platform environment, I was hopeful for OOo 3’s mac support truly brining the office together. But the performance is so poor that it’s virtually unusable on large documents. Maybe the canonical evangelism team can focus on brining a standard set of toolkits, Gtk, Qt, or both, to the fold and encouraging others to implementing them?

  8. toby johnson Says:

    The terribly broken font hinting and rendering in Ubuntu is much more than a “pet issue”. Mr. Shuttleworth, I’m very glad to see that you want to make design and usability a priority, but unless part of that effort includes fixing Ubuntu’s fonts, it will still be far behind OSX and Windows.

    Read the Ubuntu Forums and you’ll see that the first thing people try to do to improve their fonts is install the Microsoft base font pack. Ugh! Red Hat did a great job with their Liberation Fonts to replace Times New Roman and Arial, but we need much more.

    Unfortunately, many web designers test only on Windows, so that means they specify fonts like Verdana, Tahoma, Trebuchet etc. that are Microsoft owned. The FLOSS community needs comparable replacements for each of these fonts, OUT OF THE BOX, and each of these fonts needs to be mapped to the appropriate replacement, OUT OF THE BOX. So if a website just specifies Verdana (MANY sites use this font), it maps to a Free font that looks a lot like Verdana.

    And the font UI needs to be vastly improved too, so that installing or removing fonts is easy, and mapping fonts from missing typefaces to appropriate substitutes is MUCH easier.

    I’ve got Ubuntu on my home PC and on my Eee and the fonts look terrible on both. I’ve spent hours trying to get them to look good, trying different combinations of hinting, subpixel smoothing, size, etc. The OS is fine but browsing the web is just terrible, any site that has Times New Roman (there are many) looks awful, it renders in some strange, badly-hinted abomination that is practically unreadable.

    Please, Mr. Shuttleworth, fix the fonts in Ubuntu! Until you do, your user experience can’t touch, much less surpass, that of Apple.

  9. joel Says:


    Is there any work on making the artwork really good? I like all the investment that Canonical is putting into UI components, but it would be great to have some really high quality themes that compete with OSX and vista. I would love to see artwork in Ubuntu that makes people go “Wow”. This will give people a good first impression.


  10. Design, experiência do usuário e desenvolvimento na Canonical « asf@web Says:

    […] se informar sobre todos os detalhes do anúncio leia “Design, user experience and development at Canonical“, no blog do Shuttleworth. Explore posts in the same categories: […]

  11. Tom Says:

    Very cool. Thanks you very much for that, Mark.

    Only thing I miss is Mozilla and XUL. Will they work on that too?

    And are you trying to standardize things like gnome keyring, kwallet and the mozilla password thing?

    Those simple things are areas where open source could really accel. MS and Apple will not integrate with Mozillas password safe. KDE and Gnome should be able too.

  12. Nicolas Stouff Says:

    First of all, sorry for the poor english, I’m french.
    Second, I think that, while some developers work on upstream projects (like GNOME, KDE, or even more upstream, Qt, GTK and OpenGL), some others should try to make the desktop experience as consistent as possible.
    For that, a few ideas: a sound theme activated by default! GNOME offers some sounds, but they’re not activated. They make the desktop more consistent. However, a problem to solve is the lack of these sounds in Firefox and OpenOffice.

    Next, try to smooth as much as possible the transitions between usplash-GDM-GNOME. Actually, some messages in text mode sometimes pop up, before/after usplash takes control. (but I think I saw that planned somewhere)

    Finally, integrate more tightly every application with each other. For example, Firefox should, by default, be able to detect a .zip file and to open it with File-Roller, or an “.exe” and open it with Wine (while this one is more controversial, it could be useful). Offer a seamless experience when the user first connects, with a welcome window showcasing all new features of Ubuntu, or offering video tutorials.

    Some area really need improvements before anything else is completely re-engineered. Don’t take the KDE4 way, breaking everything to build something new from the ground up (KDE4 is an excellent desktop environment, just don’t like the way it was made). incremental improvements are, I believe, the way to go.

    Nevertheless, I use Ubuntu each and every day, and could not even think of switching to another system (GNU/Linux based or not). Keep up the good ideas,

  13. Demian Says:

    Hi Mark,
    As a former Artwork team member and contributor (I was the one who launched the “Animals” concept -elephant skin, lion skin-) I’m very pleased to hear this from you.
    The artwork creation process for Ubuntu is (or was, I hope) a rather chaotic experience, and a very exhausting one.
    I’ve thought many times about it, specially after contributing my own work to the project.
    A very important point kept popping in my head about the whole thing, and that is that the artwork creation process is VERY different from that of software (namely, programming).
    In programming you only need code that works. It can be elegant or spaghetti code. While elegant, minimalistic and efficient code is always preferred, it really doesn’t matter as long as the code works (and if you don’t have a better alternative, you use what you have, right?).
    So you can take parts of the code and assign that to different individuals, with different ideas, but the goal remains the same: that it works.

    But graphic design is very different, since it not only involves functional aspects, but also subjective artistic aspects, mostly related to personal taste. And when two different subjective aspects collide (specially when we are talking about taste) which one is better?
    Everybody likes “good looking”, cutting edge design, but what exactly is good looking design?
    When it comes to taste, everybody has one, and you probably don’t have the same taste as someone working on the same project than you.

    I’d like to mention the great effort made by kwwii to try to get something out out of the chaotic Ubuntu Artwork experience.

    So we come to the question of, if everybody has a different opinion about graphic design, how come you see generally accepted “beautiful” designs like the ones produced by Apple?
    Well, great designs start with a strong vision. A clear vision of the goal you want to reach. From that vision comes a strong concept, and from there you start working on your artwork.
    That vision and that concept needs to come from only one very bold, clever, talented person, or two at most. In the case of Apple the vision and the concept comes from two different persons: the vision from Steve Jobs and the concept from Jonathan Ive. I suppose there are a lot of people working under Jonathan at Apple, but I guess the final word on something is over those two guys.

    I’m glad you now have a vision to apply to Ubuntu. I guess you’ll use a skilled person to generate the concept to create a new and exciting user experience.
    What I don’t have very clear is if the other projects that are used as a foundation to the UI will like the changes, or even accept it.
    For example, if you change the desktop concept, will the people at GNOME accept the changes? Will it collide with the concepts they are generating and the vision they have for GNOME in the future?

    I really hope Ubuntu can achieve the vision you have for it. And I hope that it really can compete with MacOS on a GUI level, or be even better, more cutting edge than it.
    It won’t be an easy road, though.
    Kind regards.

  14. Samu Mikkonen Says:

    I think it is great that you are hiring developers.

    However 1. point is that product must be visually appealing to customer and generally developers are not so good at this.

    By looking at the number of people voting for theme contests and better themes in ubuntu brainstorm its not hard to see that people aren’t happy with ubuntus current looks and the new Intrepid looks.

    So why aren’t you hiring the internets best ui designers instead of developers if you wish to challenge apple?

    I understand if you want change how application behaves you often need a developer to do that. But you use designers to tell developers operating systems theme color should not be orange just because it gives it identity. You use them to tell you that larger fonts don’t necessarily mean that operating system is more appealing and easier for users eyes.

    My opinion is that you need to search this talent from web studios that bring customers to other big clients. These studios might not have much experience in icon design for example but they do have experience in art direction and knowledge how to make appealing user experiences. Easiest way to find that talent would be to search potential studios from web site award sites such as FWA (http://www.thefwa.com/) but I would be happy to point out individual talents that suit my taste if you are interested.

    Point is that ubuntu needs more taste than developers if it wants to win users hearts.
    It did win mine after I changed theme, fonts and icons.

  15. Thorsten Wilms Says:

    First you say you are hiring, but then it sounds like the experience team is complete for now. Seems like you may have forgotten to send out rejections. At least that should be possible after never getting any other feedback.

    Otherwise, cool, sounds like you are doing what I would be hoping for to get things moving in the right direction :)

  16. Artir Says:

    Good news!
    It means Canonical is growing as spected and they will be able to deliver an even better experience to the end user.
    Regaining the art discussions what we (I think) need is a BATMAM(Benevolent Art Team Manager Appointed by Mark), an “Art Dictator”

  17. Lunduke.com » Post Topic » Canonical seems be be “getting it”… I hope. Says:

    […] his blog post: “We need the same urgency, immediacy and elegance as part of the free software desktop […]

  18. Samu Mikkonen Says:

    Great post by Demian right before mine!

    I am talking about same issue that damien is representing even more clearly. When it comes to visual changes it harder to explain someone why something is not working as well as it could be because it can be very subjective matter and everyone has it own opinions what is right.

    My personal stance is that in operating system ui should be something that doesn’t distract user hence why I’m opposing colors such as brown and orange that jump out to users face from silver/black computer. I like my fonts small so there is more space on the screen for the actual content in applications.

    But can I actually prove to the people who are currently responsible of ubuntus looks that I am right and they are wrong just because I think so? Its not like that I have shown that applications don’t work.

    This is why I think it is so important that canonical hires designers that capable of pleasing other designers like folks whose works are observed by thousands of other designers at FWA.

    People with vision as Demian put it.

  19. Samu Mikkonen Says:

    Ok I admit was bit hasty with my read of your post Mark as I missed the part where you say you are hiring designers:D Actually very hasty!

    Hopefully with your new team you guys will be able to delivers results that leaves even critics like me speechless!

    Best of luck!

  20. DavidONE Says:

    My two Euros: there needs to be greater focus on the small details that leave an impression of quality if done well, and the opposite if not. Two examples:

    1. dragging URLs from Firefox to desktop and then opening them does not always work – it’s been assigned low priority (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/nautilus/+bug/252902)

    2. URLs do not always open in default browser – it’s been assigned low priority (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/tracker/+bug/150891)

    Small stuff, but things like that make people distrust their OS.

    That aside, Ubuntu is an amazing project that is transforming the OSS landscape. Thank you for your part in making it happen.

  21. Slogger Says:

    These ideas are in the right direction, but a lot simple changes can make a huge impact.
    At my work linux is in use for a number of things, mostly on servers and in some stuff to do with radio. I was recently talking to the computer engineer for the radio station and we both agreed that there are some stupid things holding back linux. One of them is that there are often appropriate GUI tools to accomplish tasks, but these tools are not used. Simple GUI additions that should be default (in our opinions) are giving admin users right click access to opening files as admin by default, changing the gnome default for file permissions tab of the properties tab in nautilus to the ‘advanced mode’ by default (in our experience, the ‘user friendly’ mode causes more problems than it solves because it isn’t clear to users what menus control what permissions, and because of the single check box for the execute permission), making sure new users know that they can use add/remove or synaptic to find software (so many people seem to think they have to either search the internet or use the command line it’s not even funny), making the alt-f2 run dialogue more functional, having device manager as part of the default install (many people can’t easily tell what their hardware is), creating a default shortcut to bring up gnome-system-monitor, adding some compositing enhancement to the gnome panels, and other simple improvements are the biggest issues we have. Improving the overall experience of the desktop in terms of look and feel is great, but some basic improvements and changes the system are really what seem like they’d go a lot further towards overcoming many of the problems and complaints I’ve encountered from users of all skill levels.

  22. Craig Bane Says:

    Not trying to sound rude or naive but I would rather see proper guidelines on freedesktop as I do believe having a proper set of rules for which gnome and kde can agree on is the biggest problem look at the studies Novell did, I’m sure alot of apps improved straight after.

    Mark why not promote ubuntu to the british public but while doing so do usability studies try to get a proposal drafted up for both kde and gtk to agree on, doing this study will do two things first promote it to the general public, second help set standards.

    Another thing make sure work is done to ephiphany its a decent browser but more features that firefox offers would be nice.
    A decent download manager would also help polish things off, its not windows that users love its the apps, how many devs rant and rave about visual studio.

  23. Alex Says:

    Mark, first, thanks for taking the time to respond, I appreciate it. I’m still not totally convinced, though :)

    I understand the need for distributed development, but I think it’s important to look at a project as a whole. These projects you’re talking about – e.g., GNOME, KDE – are already distributed, and by not using the infrastructure they used it feels like you’re actually splitting away from that. 200 bugzillas isn’t reasonable, you’re right, but three or four for key projects?

    Although it would probably be less efficient to work “upstream”, it stands a much better chance of being accepted by the project imho. Even if you could do three times as much work by forking onto launchpad, I would think it’s a better gamble to work less efficiently with the bigger prospect of that work sticking and being improved by others. Big changes “landing” upstream often don’t stick, and it’s always a shame.

  24. Jakub Steiner Says:

    I’d like to point out there is already an effort to find common ground for projects to base their icon art on, Tango[1]. If you choose to ignore it, make sure you get a “buy in” from all of the upstream projects to achive the desired consistency. Otherwise you are just contributing to the visual divide of the FOSS ecosystem.

    [1] http://tango.freedesktop.org

  25. chodo Says:

    @toby: can’t see any broken fonts in ubuntu. actually, the font-quality is far better than in XP (weak hinting) and OS X (may be accurate, but its also totally blurred and thus looks bad).
    i don’t understand why people keep complaining about this. are they using different ubuntus? are they in different reallities? i don’t know…

  26. Linux Enthusiast Says:

    Hello Mark,

    I totally agree with what Slogger prescribes for Ubuntu. That would make Ubuntu a bit more usable. I especially like to have device manager as part of the default icons provided in Live CD of Ubuntu and it’s official derivatives. That’s just a great handy tool in knowing what hardware one has and what drivers one is missing and from where we can install it in Ubuntu. It does help a lot when introducing Linux to people for the first time in their lives. The OpenSolaris 2008.05 has this option as part of it’s default icons. Hope we can have this feature as default starting from Intrepid.

    Regarding the looks of Ubuntu, I find it quite interesting that compared to other distros like openSUSE or OpenSolaris, Ubuntu does feel like it should have more better looks. But when I view the looks of Ubuntu as it is without comparing with other distros, I just can’t stop admiring what a wonderful work the Ubuntu Artwork Team did.

    I just wonder why you are benchmarking user experience and looks of Ubuntu with that of Apple’s? I am of the opinion that instead of Ubuntu reaching the user experience given by Apple, we should innovate and do something really different that would make Apple benchmark Ubuntu in terms of everything and not just user experience.

    We all dream of having a pleasant, joyful and colorful life on our beautiful earth. No wonder earth looks beautiful when we visit any rivers, mountains, valleys, forests. I hope we can have our operating systems to have the default wallpapers of those wonderful works of art that nature has created for us. Our computers would (and do) look very lively with the ‘natural’ wallpapers and screensavers. This is one area where FLOSS could innovate very well.

  27. my 2 cent Says:

    Alex@8:13am says it. Cooperation is done by adopting to the workflows used within projects and not the other way around.

  28. Gene Mosher Says:

    In 1985 I created the graphic touchscreen point of sale software paradigm that is used universally, by tens of millions, in the hospitality industry. Actually, point of sale software is merely a specific application of a more general family of concepts of building not just desktop control mechanisms or program launchers with icons but of building complete graphical languages out of programmable icons on touchscreens.

    Desktops are not the interfaces that most people need in the world, however. Most people need GUIs that are self-configuring and totally adaptable to the specific context in which they work every day. Do you have any need for my help?

  29. Simion Ploscariu Says:

    Hi. I like the way in KDE4 in that you can install fonts, themes from http://www.kde-look.org from inside System Settings(this way is not perfect but can be improved) and it would be nice that for GOMe and Xfce to be implemented a similar way to download and install new themes,icons etc.
    It would be nice that compiz to be fully installed (with compiz-confiig and emerald) The default themes will never make happy every user.
    Sorry for my bad english and goog luck

  30. Niels L Says:

    Good to hear. What if there was a richer toolbox, inspired by Apples maybe, a “super-Qt” or “super-Gtk” that serves to contain the interface diversity? right, one cannot impose rules on anyone, but if such a straight-jacket has functions that are time-savingly simple and pleasant to use, then most of the application authors might use it. It could be high-level, above the level where Qt- or Gtk-specific routines are called. Say I wanted to write a little application with an interface and had the choice between spending two weeks or months making the interface be exactly as I want it or two days on using the default, then I would certainly do the two-day thing. Without having followed it closely, it is my impression that diversity comes because there is no easy “standard” way.

  31. Free Culture News » Canonical to fund GNU/Linux desktop usability Says:

    […] Mark Shuttleworth […]

  32. Iuri Fiedoruk Says:

    One solution I belive could be used is giving the desktop environment more power.

    I mean, why the nuts each app must have and be responsible for a file open/save dialog? It should only call a (insert freedesktop.org standard here) function that would do the job and return the filepath/name or success status. This would make all apps have the same file dialogs, it’s a start!

    Ideally, this conept should be extented to configuration files. Each app would have a XML file with a DTD that would have the description of all configuration options and (possible) values. This is not crazy, this is feasible, it only needs effort and will.

    This way the desktop environment could focus most of the usability efforts.
    But well, I know this will not happen, even that examples (like the kde file dialog in gtk apps) exists.

  33. raz Says:

    Sorry for the English

    KDE is in the right direction. Nice thing about KDE is it is so smooth. I don’t even mind with the single click on KDE. With Ubuntu (Gnome) if anybody who never use Linux but heard saw it always scolded me saying is this Linux? Anyways. Only putting little nice theme won’t help. On Ubuntu everything is not consistent. E.g the Synaptic Package Manager. The default theme is not good (I don’t say hurry up to copy Apple or Windows). On KDE I did only one tweak (i.e installed QT GTK). With Good Looking Desktop productivity of user starts. I mean with Ubuntu my lots of time spent on tweaking and trying to get something similar to windows. But with KDE downloaded and installed i don’t want to be one who will copy Windows theme and even applications. Now i have figured out Linux is so great. Let’s find out something productive. At the time of this writing i am downloading scribus tutorials. My desktop is clean (without any icons). I don’t even feel like enabling visual effects, because i am so eager to show this new desktop without the help of anything else. I know still many applications break. E.g I restarted Dolphin 7-8 times while i was deleting some files on my mobile phone. Konqueror broke some times, Krita does not work, progress bar does not work wile deleting a file (why is there a progress bar anyway?), but one thing that happens on KDE is every time it breaks the next time with a single click it’s there. Which in Gnome is not the case. If you happen to break some gnome application some times the desktop even comeback nicely after the GUI restart. The only help for a normal user is restart. But with KDE it’s right there, every thing so perfect. I don’t mind applications breaking even 100 times a day on KDE, because i know they are going on the very right direction. Now i want to be a part of the Qt by developing some applications on it. Because it is the one who gave us this desktop. It’s nice to hear for Ubuntu to use Qt or GTK for it’s new interface design, but don’t just copy KDE. At last isn’t it Gnome Team who provides the basic framework for the desktop. So what is Ubuntu going to do? Make a new theme?. Gnome in it’s new version already said it will remove old non usable theme? So what is Ubuntu Going to do?

  34. Tom Moldovan Says:


    As an avid Ubuntu user (switched from Windows a couple of years ago in a business environment) I believe Improving the user experience is only part of the answer. A finely tuned Ubuntu machine with Compiz can soon overcome a Mac in user experience if stability problems are solved. Ubuntu’s future success in my opinion is closely linked with availability of games, to entice young users and properly supported business applications such as Quicken to get the home and small business users. In a business environment, I believe Ubuntu will be soon ready for prime time as more and more applications will be web based and will not depend on clients installed on the machine.

  35. Janne Kaasalainen Says:

    Being an interaction designer by profession, I might just as well open my mouth to share a few experiences on that side of the fence. But before further due, a good book to read about the role of design is Bill Buxton’s Sketching Experiences. While not exactly a book about design, it does offer a good opinion how design aspects should be utilized in making pleasing things. For the rest of the reply I don’t even pretend to offer answers, but hope to merely express my thoughts and issues that I’ve ran into.

    The first and perhaps most fundamental issue is that ‘design’ is not just graphics and art. There is very little point to apply it after a product has been made. Of course, it is better to be beautiful than not, all other things being equal. But restricting a designer to draw you just icons is like telling him to paint in handcuffs. Better use would be to take part in the project from beginning, to see that the right questions are answered and dealt with. Further, design is not usability. While often intervened, the two come from different backgrounds. The questions asked by both professions are different as often are the working habits. Bringing such people together early is not a bad idea either.

    Anyhow, many design projects come to a point where you do wish to have a dictator, much like was said before. What was not said is that this dictator should not be just anybody. User interface is, of course, a subject everybody thinks they know. But if you think about it, do you go to tell surgeon how to do his job? Still it happens that especially many managers seem that they understand design issues better than designers if their opinions disagree. This is not to say design should be given free reigns, only that it should be accepted that they know their field and you don’t. Anything else would be an insult anyhow.

    Of course, once the dictatorship is given, it would be nice to give it to someone who is good and can deliver. There are bad doctors, coders, and there sure are bad designers as well. Perhaps even more so, for equally evident reasons; saying you are a designer is easy, as tools are not complex. But being able to do is separate matter from producing quality. And it thus follows that if you are not well aversed with the field, how do you know who is good and who isn’t? Again, which doctor would you trust?

    Final challenge is to facilitate this; if design is wanted, it needs to be let to do its work. Frankly, I have no idea what so ever how one would do it on Ubuntu’s scale. But then, I’m no expert to begin with. In any case, hats off for giving appreciation to design and art aspects. Even if the efforts would remained symbolic, it does show the human touch again. People are not just function, they do have emotions as well.

  36. Tectonic » Shuttleworth invests to improves Linux interface Says:

    […] head and Ubuntu founder, Mark Shuttleworth, said in a blog post yesterday that the company plans to hire a team of designers and user interface experts to […]

  37. Supreme Overlord Says:

    My UI is da best, they should hire me!


  38. MrAlvin Says:

    This is the absolute best news I have heard since I first began to like and belive in the Ubuntu experience.

    Where is the “Make a donation” button?

    I know that there are many options to contribute in the development process of open software, or I could just donate to one of the upstream projects. But the usability project is THE project that I want to donate my simple and small funds to.
    ….. and I am not a programmer, designer or expert of any kind – I am just an end user, that would like to donate and support to the project of the optimization of the end user experience!

  39. Jim N. Says:

    Great news! I’ve often wished I had money just so I could do the same thing.

    The fundamentals also need a polish. Buy a Lenovo Thinkpad X tablet and try to get Ubuntu working on it. You will discover that screen rotations is highly borken out of the box and mostly broken with extensive tweaking. The power management, fan management, hard disk protection basically in development for a long time and not going anywhere. OpenGl will only work if you disable RANDR (screen rotation). The pen input is flaky and lacks calibration support. The tablet keys dont’ really work, although some hacking gets them connected. And this is a very nice machine that I got explicitly to run Unbutu on. However, I’ve been forced to go back to XP tablet edition.

    XP tablet edition mostly works. The fundamentals of not breaking the machine work. The pen entry has been fantastic, actually. It’s still XP, and that means lots of pain, like wiping my HDSD flash chip because the system shut down funny. Nevertheless, XP isn’t exactly ready for a tablet, and, the tablet is a superset of the desktop. I’m certainly available for writing up a specification of what needs doing and the deficiencies of XP tablet edition.

  40. kitche Says:

    oh yes please “ubuntu-ify” GTK and such considering that most of what ubuntu designs and such might work for ubuntu but upstream a lot of them don’t like the ubuntu way really and I m one of them.

  41. zeljko Says:

    Apple has proved that you don’t need a ton of money to make cutting edge technology, and that you can make better desktop platform than Microsoft. So, it’s possible that this effort will give some results.
    On the other hand, whole linux ecosystem (expect kernel development) is more-less a chaotic environment. To make some progress it is necessary that somebody (Canonical) sets standards (new HIG, etc.) which will be a roadmap for future development.
    If Mark can make other key contributors to put aside their egos and accept this roadmap, than there is a chance that in 2-3 years Ubuntu will be viable option for desktop OS. Otherwise, I believe Ubuntu (and whole Linux-on-desktop) will fade away as a failed concept.
    This is a game of big numbers (resources, money and talent) that Canonical can’t win alone. And Mark knows that very well.
    Anyway, my fingers are crossed.

  42. bob Says:

    Mark, there’s a whole slew of people out here looking up to you for what you’re working on. I’m one of them. Please don’t stop!

  43. Artem Vakhitov Says:

    A wonderful initiative, Mark! As someone has already said elsewhere, everybody has their own UI pet peeves, but for me it always has been consistency between GTK+ and Qt. No need to unify the toolkits themselves under the hood, just make them work together better. One example is font selection and setup for GTK+ apps under KDE (especially where hinting setup is concerned). A metatheme engine that gives truly unified look to both toolkits would also be welcome; BTW, there is an excellent groundwork for just that – the long-abandoned Metatheme project (metatheme.org) that even at 0.0.6 produced stunning results at making Qt and GTK+ look same. Finally, a boost to the Portland project would be nice, so that we are finally able to use common dialogs for the current DE in any apps (say, open file in Gimp using KDE file dialog in KDE).

  44. Ubuntu to pay for upstream software updates | The Proliferation of Linux Says:

    […] CEO and founder of Ubuntu, Mark Shuttleworth, recently announced on his blog that Canonical will be “hiring a team who will work on X, OpenGL, Gtk, Qt, GNOME and KDE, […]

  45. 6205 Says:

    Why are you people talking always about fixing fonts? Ubuntu has beautiful fonts, beter than Windows and MacOSX witch are the worst, blurry, jaggy, ugly…

  46. Ubuntu, a por Mac OS X… a golpe de talonario Says:

    […] sabe que el objetivo no será fácil, y lo revela en su blog. “Cuando revelé el objetivo de ofrecer una experiencia de usuario que pudiera competir con […]

  47. daniels Says:

    I’d love to see you guys doing upstream development, but I really hope ‘bzr branches on Launchpad’ was just a general catch-all soundbite? For X and Mesa particularly, mandating bzr on Launchpad, as opposed to git trees somewhere (e.g. people.fd.o) would be a nightmare.

  48. "Sch Says:

    […] Shuttleworth in einem Blogeintrag mitteilte, wird er Designer und Spezialisten f

  49. Jose Hevia Says:

    Hi Mark!

    Yo say you are hiring: “rasterman”(the enlightenment desktop creator) is free:

    I can’t imagine what explosive detonation could happen when you put someone like him and macslow working in the same project.

  50. Roland Nagtegaal Says:

    I see that X and OpenGL are mentioned first in the line projects. Good. They certainly need help with kernel-based mode-setting, integrating GEM (graphics memory management), DRI2 and a plethora of other issues. Linux desperately needs a stable and sound infrastructure for graphics and audio. For instance, I’m currently trying to set up a multi-seat system (two people working on the same machine with a keyboard, mouse, screen and usb headset each) with ubuntu and a single nvidia dual-head card. Because the first X server monopolizes the card and graphics memory, the second X server will not start. The kernel needs to arbitrate graphics memory, access to graphics card registers and such.
    There need to be open source drivers for NVIDIA and ATI cards _on par_ with their closed source counterparts, and they need to be there yesterday, so you need to help the Nouvea and RadeonHD projects. Please look at the talks by Keith Packard, who in my view is a very important person driving change in the Xorg server stack, and someone you really need to talk to.
    Really, any help you offer on the X org front you are wise to discuss/coördinate with him.
    Some other things I think that should be done for Linux: the audio and graphics backends should be hard real-time subsystems. Probably running in kernel space. This will really enable Linux to become a gaming platform. Also it would help Linux very much in areas such as recording and editing for studios, real-time data visualization (medical, aviation, scientific), industrial control, and of course also an _always_ smooth and responsive desktop interface.

    The other projects you mentioned: Gtk, QT, Gnome, KDE are also important, but I think they have more developers already, and opinions and roadmaps are more difficult to influence the way you would like it.

    X and OpenGL on the other hand REALLY need help now, the goals and roadmaps are much clearer and people with that level of expertise more difficult to find than Gnome or KDE developers.
    I would recommend you focus on X, OpenGL and the kernel backends for them.

  51. Niels Says:

    To win over Apple users hearts, look at what makes typical Apple users use Apple: Adobes design software.

    Now the FLOSS community has some great applications for design able to compete with Adobes in many respects, but – another font pet peeve – they lack in one important aspect: OpenType features for fonts. Unless discretionary turning on and off of (all of) those features (on a per block AND glyph basis) is incorporated in apps such as Inkscape and Scribus and maybe even the Gimp (right now for instance application of the locl table (by pango) is based on your locale setting, while it should for these apps at least be based on markup (yes, FF, I am looking at you too), esp. for purposes of design and DTP), competition in those fields will be very hard. And trying to attract top designers to design for a FLOSS UI while there is not even a FLOSS program yet that handles these basic things is just going to give FLOSS design tools a bad name in the industry. And lack of a good font dialogue choosing mechanism (see http://www.unifont.org/fontdialog/ for a good proposal) does not help either.

    Therefore I heartily welcome the hiring of new developers, and plead that they will work on these issues first.

  52. Alex Linhares Says:

    I think the epidermis project will bring desktop look and feel to a whole new level, and I can’t wait to see a marketplace where users could download and upload whole new desktops easily. That could put us on an upward spiral towards doing what is, today, unthinkable on the mac.

  53. XoXioN Says:

    Hmmm… I think the idea is very nice. Make everything alot easier to work.

    But there are some things that I still want:
    – The ability to configure advanced settings through configuration files (or maybe advanced mode?)
    – Keep stability and security in mind
    – Make it fast! :)

  54. Jacob Andresen Says:

    it is great to hear that you will be hiring a team with af focus on UI :) I am looking forward to see the innovations coming from ubuntu 9.04 with a stated focus on convergence of the desktop and the web. I hope to see technologies like adobe AIR and konfabulator work well with my ubuntu desktop. How about an integration of Gtk and googles new v8 javascript engine?

  55. Tom Chiverton Says:

    Right, but what are those people actually going to do ?

  56. Roland Nagtegaal Says:

    hmm. I wrote some lines about work on X and OpenGL being essential for Linux, no spam or naughty words, still my comment is unpublished. Why?

  57. Sanchos Says:

    Hi Mark

    Glad that finally somebody wants to do something with Linux UI. Although it was improved in last versions, still it’s not even close to Windows and for sure far away from MacOS. We already have great stable system inside, let make it pretty outside.

  58. Zenwalker Says:

    Great Idea Mark.

  59. Ralph Aichinger Says:

    I really hope this will lead to an improved OpenOffice, usability-wise. Even though it is mainly designed by one coorporation, OpenOffice sometimes seems to lack a clear vision when it comes to usability.

  60. Martin Lundberg Says:

    Sounds great. They should take another look at Launchpad while they are at it, the new design is not very good.

  61. Flavio Says:

    @toby johnson
    What boggles the mind is that freetype ALREADY kicks ass, it is just “misconfigured”. Most devs don’t give a fsck about fonts, they just don’t understand when you talk about disabling font hinting. Yet they won’t let artists and UI people decide the defaults. Let’s hope Mark reads this and brings some common sense in this issue.

  62. Canonical: Linux soll attraktiver werden | OSNote Says:

    […] will Linux für Anwender attraktiver gestalten, so deren Chef Mark Shuttleworth. Daher will der Ubuntu-Sponsor Entwickler und Designer einstellen, die die Benutzerfreundlichkeit […]

  63. Canonical-Gr Says:

    […] Mark Shuttleworth fordert in seinem Blog, dass freie Open-Source-Software (FOSS) benutzerfreundlicher und attraktiver werden m

  64. Jay Says:

    Mark — As a consumer who’s recently installed Ubuntu, I agree whole heartedly with your vision of improved usability and asthetics. The UI needs to looks modern and it must be consistent. Ubuntu’s default UI is circa Windows 95. I’ve tried to download some new themes, but that’s a headache — some work, some don’t, and other’s require Compwiz or Emerald or other components. I’m not a techie, I have no idea what I need to install to make these work. Not to mention I have to go to 3rd party sites to do this. You need to take the guesswork out of this. You need a repository of approved themes for Ubuntu which a) always work and b) installs itself with all required components. There needs to be a control panel for system settings, and it shouldn’t look like it’s straight out of the 90s. The same goes with the add/remove programs window, you should make this more useful by providing logical descriptions of the programs and even simple things like version number. As far as usability goes, consumers need everything to be straightforward and simple. Linux’s open nature makes it far more complex than it needs to be, and this is a problem for consumers. You need to simplify the UI and “dumb it down” for consumers. You need simple things like a common installer that’s as recoginzable as EXE, and we need to know that the program will work on Ubuntu. Another major hurdle for usability is available software. I know there are many open-source “alternatives”, but consumers want commercial software they are familiar with. These companies aren’t going to come to you, Canonical needs to go to them. A simple start would be something like Quicken, because there’s no good “alternative” on Linux. I look forward to seeing a more consumer friendly Ubuntu — Jay

  65. Marky Goldstein Says:

    Hello Mark,

    Please try to get in contact with me. I would like to discuss collaboration.

    No business intention. I would like to discuss shortly with you what
    we can do for the community.

    Best regards,
    Marky Goldstein
    CEO, R.Ø.S.A. Creation. Technology. Intelligence. AG, Switzerland

  66. Ubuntu soll Usability von Linux verbessern - Linux Hilfe Forum Says:

    […] eine Reihe von DesignerInnen und User Experience-ExpertInnen anheuern, wie Shuttleworth in seinem Weblog bekannt gibt. Zusammenarbeit Dabei will man sowohl mehr Konsistenz beim Look erreichen, also die […]

  67. zelrik Says:

    I think it’s time to create strong standards for GNU/Linux. Something similar to the ISO format but for actual code. Here is a thought about it Split the GPL and other compatible OpenSource licences into 3 parts :

    GPL Standard, GPL Standard Candidate, GPL Custom.
    The First would be a standard piece of code is certified to be fully integrated and compatible with other GPL Standard programs. One could modify it and commit back the modified version as GPL Custom or GPL Standard Candidate.

    The Second is a Candidate for Standardisation that can be submitted for certification.

    GPL Custom would be any kind of other program written under GPL. That program can be specific to a distribution…a flavor…or to another program.

    Maybe I am saying something stupid here I dont know…or something that has already been done in some other way.

    My 2 cent…

  68. xlinuks Says:

    I’m surprised that the L&F has only been now (end of 2008) given the attention it deserves. There are a few other issues that are quick to fix but still not fixed, pitty.

  69. Shuttleworth: Ubuntu As Pretty As Apple In Two Years « Adventures In Computing Says:

    […] commitment to have Ubuntu out do Apple within two years (see Information Week article, see Mark Shuttleworth blog), he proves to us that he doesn’t have cold feet.  He has decided not to thread in the […]

  70. Ubuntu to take on Apple Mac OS: Says Canonical CEO « Technology is Fascinating Says:

    […] realize this, Mark Shuttleworth writes in his blog: We are hiring designers, user experience champions and interaction design visionaries and […]

  71. Everaldo Says:

    Hi Mark,

    My name is Everaldo, I am the creator of the Crystal icons that KDE use and I have been designing interfaces to major software companies all around the world.
    I read your post and I agree with your points.
    There are several factors that troubles tha Linux interface in all it’s desktops.
    In fact a pretty interface it is not only aesthetics, it must consider the psychologig and semioptics human factors. That’s what you say in different words when you comment your “15 seconds”.

    I love Linux and Ubuntu and I would really like to cooperate with your project.

    Best regards,


    Mark Shuttleworth says: Hi Evaraldo, I think we should arrange some sprints for folks interested in this. If you could come to one of those, it would be a good opportunity to find common interests. I’ll spread the word once we have folks in place to make those sprints interesting.

  72. Ubuntu Linux To Improve User Experience ~ The Blade by Ron Schenone, MVP Says:

    […] Source. […]

  73. bill Says:


    Hooray for finally hearing something I’ve yearned to hear since I started using Linux two years ago, and from someone in a position to actually get something done! Most of my hardware is Macintosh hardware, so I have quite a bit of experience using Macintoshes. I can say the thing I like best about them is consistency, something the Linux desktop has always been sorely lacking in. My favorite apps in Linux are divided about evenly between GTK+ (Rhythmbox, The GIMP), Qt (Opera, Amarok), native X11 (Xterm), and other UI styles (Zimbra Desktop). I would love to see not just visual unity in Linux, but also consistent behavior. Drag-and-drop, for instance, is huge in the Mac world, but is haphazard at best in Linux. The only real interchange format for the Linux pasteboard (among GTK+, Qt, and others) is plain ASCII text, something I’m not too fond of.

    None of these UX quibbles have stopped me from using Linux — I love it and it runs on my main desktop. (Ubuntu, I might add.) It’s a lovely desktop as it stands, but it needs the input of professional designers. As a programmer myself, I wouldn’t trust myself to design a user interface, just the parts beneath it. This is especially true given how aware Apple has made me of the user experience just by simply using a Macintosh. (I still want to stab myself in the leg with an X-Acto knife when I have to use the KDE file dialog in my preferred GNOME environment.)

    Not that I’m comparing Canonical to Apple — I’m certainly not, and it would be an unfair comparison besides — but I think the time is right for the Linux desktop to take off and leave Apple’s offerings in the dust. We know the bazaar works. Now it’s time to show the world that with some help, the bazaar can rule once and for all. The installation process is as painless as painless gets — now let’s make the desktop just as easy and consistent to use.

  74. Daniel Jensen Says:

    You keep pushing on your end… And I will keep pushing on mine… We are very interested in Ubuntu here at The Ohio State Medical Center… Hopefully, we will be able to put together a pilot project and introduce Ubuntu…

    Thanks Mark,

    Daniel Jensen
    LAN Manager – Center for Biostatistics
    The Ohio State University

  75. markus Says:

    I am in general rather a critical person, and I tend to lash out on other people (like Miguel de Icaza) but on this part, I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree.

    Humans are the most important part of programming and computers. And every programmer should in fact realize that social interaction means
    working with and for humans – not to make an AI or a UI perfect, but to make the life for humans better. And UI design is a big important

    And even though I personally run a Linux from Scratch Variant that is close to Gobolinux (and very far away from Ubuntu), I acknowledge
    that Ubuntu has a huge user base and hopefully CAN do a lot of change. (I alone can hardly do this, a community and smart people
    supporting it, or being part of the community, really helps a LOT. )

  76. Don AKA Seeker Says:

    “# K Says:
    September 10th, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    I understand the benefits of allowing everybody do their own thing, but when it comes down to consistency of user experience, it seems like a focus on one or two very capable, cross platform toolkits would be a wonderful idea. Imagine how fast things would be if there were one toolkit and everybody focused strictly on improving the efficiency, usability, and performance of that one toolkit.”

    If everyone used the same toolkit where would the change/enhancement driving competition be.

    Yeah you could view another platform as your competitor, but we have seen with Microsoft (and even with Linux in the past) how implementing stuff that looks like stuff done elsewhere without having the underlying infrastructure to make it work without some kind of kludge is less than satisfying in the long run.

    It’s much better to have multiple things that run natively that can be compared in a more direct fashion.

    To me one of the big strengths of Linux is that you can have all these things developed in parallel that do the same or similar things, then once certain things are developed to a sufficient degree they can compare notes see what works and decide where standardization should occur so things can work more seamlessly. So you have some shared mime types, udev and hal, icon sets, KDM and GDM using the same face files, etc….

    Looks like the help file system could be up for discussion……


    Later, Seeker

  77. Mark Shuttleworth Says:

    Mr. Shuttleworth: PLEASE do not try to impose your vision of doing things to others. The needs of Ubuntu aren’t the same of other distros and the other operating systems. If you have not noticed, there was already strong and active community, and even other distros “user-friendly” well before its Ubuntu.

  78. Nichael L. Dean Says:

    As a sociologist studying technology advances over the last 2 decades, I am amazed at the breadth and depth of “blindness in perception” of the technology community (i.e. developers and those who fund these developers) in their conclusions regarding what consumers really want. To hold the Apple os/x as the standard is both a strategic and a perceptual blunder which will not reap sufficient conditions for widespread adoption of Ubuntu, or any other flavor of Linux. You guys “just don’t get it!”

    Now there is nothing wrong with throwing money at your obvious deficiencies. This fosters incremental but pedestrian improvements that will leave Windows users remarking “so what”. Apple is a cult – what they say does not matter in the least. You can’t accomplish what they have done, not without rethinking your goals. What you must do with your wealth Mr. Shuttleworth, is foster a true paradigm shift after Kuhn, which leaves Windows the follower, and Ubuntu the leader and Apple with its cult following. You don’t accomplish that by throwing a few bones to more programmers out there . You accomplish that by bringing true thinkers into the picture — engineers are not enough. Engineers refine and bring to fruition the concepts of others, rarely do they create.

    So Mr. Shuttleworth, back to square one for you. You are bound to disappoint, because you are starting from false premises, an illusory standard, and and your own biases about how the world works.

    Mark Shuttleworth says: Well, that’s throwing down the gauntlet if ever I saw it ;-). The beauty of free software is that you get to shape it exactly the way you want to. I’ll put my energy into bringing together a great team to have fun and dream about a better desktop experience, and also into writing some of the code that will make that dream a reality. You can do the same, based on your own biases about how the world works. And in the end, folks will choose the innovation that suits them best! I think that just rocks.

  79. Ubuntu Podcast by the Ubuntu Georgia LoCo - Ubuntu Podcast Episode#7 Says:

    […] Design, user experience and development at Canonical […]

  80. isal Says:

    OK. i see linux (ubuntu) is more stable. Easy to install, easy to add apps and also there is no complicated hardware issue. I agree with Zelrik, we have to strong standard for GNU/Linux.

  81. Amanda McPherson's Linux Foundation blog · Shuttleworth’s Apollo Challenge to the Linux Community Says:

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  82. Easily Distracted » Blog Archive » GNOME 3.0 Ideas (Intelligent Desktop) Says:

    […] based off of a Summer of Code application I made in 2007, titled “Intelligent Desktop.” Recent discussions have reminded me to at least blog about it. And given my current employment status, I […]

  83. Juergen Beckmerhagen Says:

    Writing apps for Mac is like furnishing an apartment while I use all the rich infrastructure around, such as elevators, gas and water pipelines, electricity, emergency staircases, etc. As a developer you are given the rich and powerful Cocoa framework together with a lots of help files and tutorials, a wonderful implementation of the Model View Controller (MVC) concept and the Interface Builder, which makes it easy for developers to adhere to Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines (HIG). All this is nicely integrated into the Xcode development environment.

    On a Mac you are embedding your application into the Mac system, while with all other systems I know I build my application on top of a set of layers I can assemble as per my individual preferences and knowledge.

    Of course, also on a Mac you find applications from developers who wanted to build a better elevator or who love their “standard SQL Database” more than the “propriety Core Data Object”. I also remember all these discussions I had with developers who want to sell me on Eclipse or NetBeans. But what about the user?

    As a user I don’t care if there is a “better” technology in my application – I don’t even want to realize that there is a different technology under the hood, unless it really helps solving my problems. I know that my car has a Hybrid technology build in – this is good as long as it does not get into my way.

    See what Microsoft does with Office:Mac. I am sure there is so much wonderful code in this system – but as a user I wonder why Microsoft applications on a Mac behave so different from other Mac applications. Sometimes it is just a minor feature, such as switching between windows in one application or cutting and pasting.

    In my home office I have two Macs, one Linux and one Windows laptop. Windows I only use because in my industry there are a couple of applications which run on Windows only – written in Java – how funny is this?! Linux I have, because I love this concept of freedom and I can’t stop dreaming of a better world (Woodstock, Concert for Bangladesh, …). And Mac I use for every day work.

    I wish we – as developers / architects – realize that we are building solutions mostly for non technical users. Our job is to reduce (!) complexity – make computers as easy to use as TV sets (Tanenbaum) and to build natural, intuitive interaction models (Doing with Images makes Symbols – Alan Kay).

    I am all for it.

  84. Mikael Says:

    For me, “Mac user since 1986” is the lack of user easiness on the deskop “i.e. Finder” is one of the worst thing in Linux and Windows. Also the lack of a menubar placed on the top of the screen. Those, “but for Nerds hated” so simple things as having a drive with a Name on the desktop is worth it all. And the hole stupidness by forcing people into thier own “usr” places is nuts, for me it is typical “Nerd things”. When you use a computer, the thing you want to see is the top level of the computer and your desktop with the avaible disk and other connections. The most powerful desktop all time avaible was Mac OS 9. Sadly Stefen Nerds at Apple have step by step killing that wonderful interface with his failed Nuxt crap. And then the horrible ways to install things in Linux and Windows must be removed. The next behavior that is missing in Linux/Windows is the One Software includes thier beloning windows i,e, the windows belongs to the software and not to them selfs. So if I can find a new platform to support, I may be willing to put my money and time on Ubuntu if it is heading into the correct path for my taste.

  85. Canonical Invests In Usability And Appeal | iface thoughts Says:

    […] is investing in making its desktop more appealing and usable. Kudos to Mark Shuttleworth for taking this initiative. It is not very often that open source […]

  86. Leonardo da Firenze Says:

    The best user experience is not APPLE but AMIGA!! Still today AMIGA OS 4 is the best OS, the ui completely customizeble, the fastness (extremely fast), and the intuitively make AMIGA much better than MAC OS X too!!
    I am doing today the same things I did on my old AMiga 20 years ago!! But my AMiga was much, much better and faster. I can imagine how fast should be my amiga with the newest hardware, low latency, and a very efficient OS! Today, software is very inefficient just b/c companies want to sell more powerful hardware (like microsoft), during the 80s programmers programmed incredible software using few kB!!! this is the key to have a great new computer experience, EFFICIENCY.
    Have a great day,

  87. Canonical quiere contratar personas para que Ubuntu compita con Apple | laiguana.com.mx Says:

    […] en su blog, Shuttleworth sostiene que la libertad de los desarrolladores de Código Abierto los hace […]

  88. Brain Says:

    Does Shuttleworth wants to impose “The Ubuntu Way” to ALL distros such as: Slackware, Arch, Gentoo and so many others? One moment, I have the right to make things as I want.

    I like of command line, is my right as well the users of Ubuntu, Fedora or OpenSUSE are entitled to enjoy the “advantages” of their favorite distro.

    I do not want my distro with the “usability” of Ubuntu, much less I believe that users of Slackware, Gentoo or Arch want it too. There was a time when Mark said some thing that the “Linux” should adopt a unified system of packaging? From my part, I am very happy with my Package Management Tool and believe that the community of Gentoo and Arch distros are satisfied with their Portage and Pacman, respectively. And, the mentioned projects (X, OpenGL, Gtk, Qt, Gnome and KDE) are used by all systems (free or not) like as the BSDs, Solaris, AIX, HP-UX and even by the Mac OSX.

    Mr. Shuttleworth: PLEASE don’t try to impose your vision of doing things to others. The needs of Ubuntu AREN’T THE SAME of other distros and the other operating systems. If you haven’t noticed, there was already a strong and active community, and even other distros “user-friendly” well before its Ubuntu.

  89. Amjad Says:


    About time I heard this from the Linux scene. I have tinkered with Linux since getting my first machine just under a decade ago. Used Linux off and on. When it comes to some tasks I have no real alternative i.e. pen testing. However even with much use of Linux, I still prefer, and pay to use OSX. Not because I am more familiar with the latter it just fells so much more polished. Everything is integrated and just works. The biggest annoyance for me with Linux has always and still is the fonts. A web page rendered in Firefox, Konqueror or anything else looks rubbish compared to the same applications in OSX and even Windows. As good as Linux has become in the recent years from a usability perspective (i.e. apt-get a massive improvement over spending 3 days installing Xine on my first distro) it still feels rough. I simply wont use any distro for day to day tasks because it looks crap compared to OSX/Windows for mundane uses like web browsing. Apparently Steve and Bill hold same patents on font rendering hence Linux missing out on some tricks apparently. I would put this on your todo list if possible.

  90. Brian Blackburn Says:

    First off I think that the goal of creating the best user experience is both admirable and doable. I hope it will help to bring new users to Ubuntu, new users that will cause manufacturers and service providers to look at Linux users as an attractive market. That recognition will allow Linux to truly have a shot at attracting the average, not technically inclined user.

  91. Qchan Says:

    All these things are fine and dandy, however, what really needs to happen is this: There needs to be a link on the desktop that says, “New to Ubuntu? Click Here” that links to the Help and Support tutorial on how to USE Ubuntu. There are far too many people who complain that they can’t do this and that or complain that Ubuntu doesn’t do something like Windows does, when in actuality, it does. This can make the transition from Windows to Ubuntu much easier if new users had a tutorial right there waiting for them.

    As it stands, Help and Support doesn’t stick out enough for new users to see. New users can’t identify the strange icon on the top panel, so it’s not that apparent that the Help and Support is there. So, therefore, they just wing it. However, if its right there on the desktop, they’ll have the ability to jump right into Ubuntu. Heck, you can even make the New to Ubuntu interactive the moment Ubuntu is first installed or first booted up. Something that brings up a prompt and says, “Would you like to explore the amazing features of Ubuntu?” or something like that. There are several video clips available online that it could easily link to to explain how each function works. There’s absolutely no reason why this can’t be there! It can be easily done!

  92. Johan Says:

    First of all Mark, I think it’s great that you want some consistency of the user interface of Linux desktops. However, I hope it will look Nothing like OSX, simply because quite frankly, I hate the look and feel of OSX. I couldn’t stand having to deal with it more than five minutes. But, I realize that many of your employees run Mac’s (why is that? Apples isn’t better than Microsoft when it comes to software freedom after all) and that probably has something to do with it.
    And, I don’t really know if consistensy is important to the average joe’s and jane’s out there. Look at Windows, with all the popular freeware applications that are being used. Consistant? No, still it’s being used, and people are sticking by their favourite tools no matter how they look (VLC is a great example of this). Well, just some thoughts.

  93. sidenote » Ubuntu felhasználói élmény Says:

    […] Forrás: Ubuntu.hu, HUP, Mark Shuttleworth […]

  94. Dmec Says:

    Mark, I was just reading that HP is looking to offer an alternative to Windows. This is the perfect opportunity for Ubuntu to shine.

  95. Mark Szentes-Wanner Says:


    I am glad you focus on this issue. The way how FOSS works encourages code quality and neglects design and UI experience. It strikes me how unresponsive developers from both GNOME and KDE are to proposals. Many usability studies were conducted in the past decade, yet the overall UI has improved little.

    When I converted my wife from Mac/Windows to Linux 8 years ago, she, an artist, found GNOME outright ugly and accepted KDE only reluctantly. Lack of usability for her, a non-tech person, was a huge issue. An example: she does not care about the hierarchical nature of the file system, so the GTK/GNOME file selector dialogue was unusable – it took the GNOME project more than 5 (!) years to improve that specific UI item.

    Generally, I find the KDE project to assign more attention to the actual looks of their product. Specifically, I find the KDE artwork of significantly higher quality than its GNOME counterpart. The interaction between the native applications is also way smoother. Click on an itpc:// link in Konqueror and the podcast subscription dialogue of Amarok opens. Click on a zip file and it opens in-place in the file manager. Drag-n-drop a picture into an e-mail you write. Select 30 8-megapixel JPEGs in Digikam and send them via e-mail, they will be scaled down and attached to 3 separate e-mails without crashing. Editing a file on a remote server actually works. Click on an iCal in an e-mail and it is imported into your calendar. Access your address book entries from your e-mail, VOIP or IM applications. These things work well because all those programmes use common libraries. I really hope that the big desktop projects will share more and more building blocks in the future, via freedesktop.org, including artwork!

    I second Artem Vakhitov and “bill” above: it would be great to shape all those different toolkits (Qt, GTK+, XUL, VCL and also WINE) to at least _look_ the same. But I am not very optimistic. Let us recall how much flame Red Hat got for just setting the Bluecurve theme for both GNOME and KDE. Ridiculous.

    I wish you accomplish what you propose and hope you will not lose your vision in the midst of difficulties.


  96. Putting people first » How to make open source projects care more about usability and user experience? Says:

    […] and KDE, Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical chief executive and founder of the Ubuntu project, wrote in a blog post on […]

  97. Open Source mobile edition Says:

    […] capital Ubuntu is putting serious investment into improving the interface of its Linux. Mark Shuttleworth wants Linux to become comparable to the Apple Macintosh, quoting the watchwords of Web […]

  98. Jonathan Roberts Says:

    I’ve only scan read these comments, so this may have been said already but I believe it’s an important enough comment to repeat it.

    Please, ensure that the work you do is in the open. Let upstream projects know where you’re working, let users see the progress and test it through frequent, early releases, and let everyone contribute.

    I spend most of my time with GNU/Linux doing marketing for Fedora as a volunteer, shouting about how closely our developers work with upstream and how open our processes and tools are. I’d love for Ubuntu to give me the opportunity to do the same for them because I care about free software as a whole, not just about Fedora. For me, the most critical idea is the same as you, I believe: that people should have equal access to tools and culture, no matter what background they’re from. This idea is realised by working closely with upstream communities, and allowing the full participation of the community at all stages of development.

    And btw, I’m posting this because what you’re saying here is exciting. I hope that whatever distribution I use I’ll be able to benefit from the work you do, and I hope that I’ll be able to follow it’s development closely, contributing where I can.

  99. Kevin Says:

    Just a few additional infos to some of the points made by other posters

    1) Password storage: the maintainers of both GNOME keyring and KWallter are already working on that, see https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=16581

    2) Drag&Drop/Clipboard: in any such operation the “sending” application will announce a list of MIME types it can provide the content in and the “receiving” application decides which one it can handle best and asks for the data in that format.

    Anything text related will therefore almost certainly be at least announced as text/plain but usually in several other formats as well. If the receiver decides to go for plain text despite it being capable of using one of the better options, e.g. text/html, it is most likely a bug and should be reported.

  100. pligg.com Says:

    Mark Shuttleworth wants Ubuntu to look like the MAC…

    Mark Shuttleworth, head of Canonical Ltd, who is the parent company to churn out our beloved Ubuntu, thinks that the next Ubuntu Release (Ubuntu 9.04, codenamed Jaunty Jackalope), should have the User Experience comparable to Apple’s Mac or even Micro…

  101. Jupiter Broadcasting » Blog Archive » The Linux Action Show! Season 9 Episode 4 - OGG Says:

    […] Canonical to try and make a significant contribution to desktop Linux experience […]

  102. Jupiter Broadcasting » Blog Archive » The Linux Action Show! Season 9 Episode 4 - MP3 Says:

    […] Canonical to try and make a significant contribution to desktop Linux experience […]

  103. ¿Ubuntu será mas bonito y espectacular que MAC? « Lo mejor de Linux Says:

    […] Fuente:http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/162 Tags: ubuntu […]

  104. Jupiter Broadcasting » Blog Archive » The Linux Action Show! Season 9 Episode 4 - MP3 - Repost Says:

    […] Canonical to try and make a significant contribution to desktop Linux experience […]

  105. sportember Says:

    Consistent user experience means extremely powerful GUI-designing tools for that experience.

    If a six years old child can produce usable GUI with playful creativeness, the tool is getting good.

    If a sixty years old person can produce usable GUI with her wisdom, the tool is almost good enough.

    If the six years old child, the sixty years old person and the 33 years old adult all produce usable GUI, and enjoy doing so, the tool fulfils it’s purpose and the goal will be achieved.

  106. Jupiter Broadcasting » Blog Archive » The Linux Action Show! Season 9 Episode 4 - MP3 - Fixed Says:

    […] Canonical to try and make a significant contribution to desktop Linux experience […]

  107. How to make open source projects care more about usability and user experience? | aboutCREATION Says:

    […] and KDE, Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical chief executive and founder of the Ubuntu project, wrote in a blog post […]

  108. George Smith Says:

    Demian said:

    In programming you only need code that works. It can be elegant or spaghetti code. While elegant, minimalistic and efficient code is always preferred, it really doesn’t matter as long as the code works (and if you don’t have a better alternative, you use what you have, right?).
    So you can take parts of the code and assign that to different individuals, with different ideas, but the goal remains the same: that it works.

    The goal it works is ill defined. The system can work, but it can perform slow or fast. It can be buggy or free of bugs. The system can be modular and easily extendable or monolithic. It can be customizable to allow the artwork to be plugged in from outside or it can contain a single hard-coded theme. And writing applications for a system that just works can be easy or hard.

    I’ve never seen good looking cutting edge UI backed up by spaghetti code. The first good looking and distinctive UI I’ve seen was designed by NeXT, and boy, the code did not just work, the system was an art of engineering. And their good engineering practices were passed on to OS X. This is why most people who are thinking about good user experience, including yourself, always refer to Mac.

    I’m not saying that graphic design is not important: good graphic design is as important as good software design. Not less and not more. When both graphic and software designs are good and in agreement with each other the resulting system will be visually appealing. And to achieve this graphic and software designers need to work closely together instead of being in two separate camps pointing fingers at each other.

  109. » Richard Stallman: intervista su vari temi - Canonical farà il lifting al software libero OS3: OS3 Officina per la decrescita digitale Says:

    […] altra novità importante da parte del Signor Ubuntu.CanonicalMark Shuttleworth ha annunciato sul suo blog che Canonical è in procinto di assumere esperti di design e di interfacce utente per migliorare […]

  110. TuxJournal.net » Canonical: nuove assunzioni per un Ubuntu da favola Says:

    […] pagine del suo blog, Shuttleworth sembra più deciso che mai: “quando devi presentarti sul Web hai circa 15 […]

  111. Canonical: nuove assunzioni per un Ubuntu da favola « GmG’s Weblog Says:

    […] pagine del suo blog, Shuttleworth sembra più deciso che mai: “quando devi presentarti sul Web hai circa 15 secondi […]

  112. Truefire Says:

    YES!!!!!!! You rock Shuttleworth!! This is EXACTLY what FOSS needs! This is exactly what Linux needs! YOU! I almost thought I would never see this world come out of the DRM Domination Age (term coined by myself, Robbie Pence) but we will! God bless you!

    -Truefire, http://www.easygeek.org

  113. Eduardo Willians Says:


    Ubuntu achieved a faithful and strong community. People want to feel the freedom of all great free projects, like Linux. We just have to converge all energy to one way, and for that we need a leader with strong ideas and respect. You can do that through Canonical with a simple calling up, like Firefox did with the “download day”. So, lead.

  114. My needs have changed, so has my distro. - Monochrome Mentality Says:

    […] all sounds great, and Mark is even tossing money at it to do it. What mattered to me though, was the discussion about this that I ended up having on Libervis about […]

  115. Simon Asselbergs Says:

    Dear Mark,

    I am a user experience designer with experience in improving the userfriendlyness of corporate software. I a also an avid user of free software. I work with Ubuntu (as much as possible) and Mac OS-X. I would gladly like to contribute my knowledge and skills to Ubuntu as a volunteer. I want to give something back to Ubuntu and its community, and I see many opportunities and ways to contribute.

    It would be nice to get in touch so we can explore how I can help you with your efforts. Upon request I can provide you with a portfolio and references about my work. If you like, you can contact me via my emailaddress.

    I am very excited about your inspired efforts making Ubuntu more user friendly and attractive. In case we would’t connect I wish you all the best with your efforts.


    Simon Asselbergs

  116. Nicholas Petreley Says:


    I agree that the fonts in Ubuntu are terrible, but is that somehow related to GNOME? The KDE fonts look fine to me. Even Firefox looks a lot better when you run it under KDE 4.1.1 (and previous versions). The fonts are bigger and cleaner than they appear if I run Firefox under GNOME.

    Speaking of Web 2.0, will Canonical be making any effort to integrate web applications into the desktop, a la Prism? All of the current solutions for doing this are quite flawed in one way or another. It seems like that particular area is ripe for innovation, and perhaps Canonical can forge a path there.

  117. Destino Ubuntu » Mark Shuttleworth invertirá en Ubuntu para poder superar a Mac OS X tanto en diseño y rendimiento Says:

    […] ¿Será fácil lograr este objetivo?. Mark Shuttleworth afirma en su blog que no, acompañandose de unas cuantas palabras provenientes de su blog: Cuando revelé el objetivo de ofrecer una experiencia de usuario que pudiera competir con la de […]

  118. benalib Says:

    just remove that ugly brown based theme and more people will switch to ubuntu

  119. Brain Says:

    Does Mr. Shuttleworth wants to impose “The Ubuntu Way” to ALL distros such as: Slackware, Arch, Gentoo and so many others? One moment, I have the right to make things as I want.

    I like of command line, is my right as well the users of Ubuntu, Fedora or OpenSUSE are entitled to enjoy the “advantages” of their favorite distro.

    I do not want my distro with the “usability” of Ubuntu, much less I believe that users of Slackware, Gentoo or Arch want it too. There was a time when Mark said some thing that the “Linux” should adopt a unified system of packaging – From my part, I am very happy with my Package Management Tool – and believe that the community of Gentoo and Arch distros are satisfied with their Portage and Pacman, respectively. And, the mentioned projects (X, OpenGL, Gtk, Qt, Gnome and KDE) are used by all systems (free or not) like as the BSDs, Solaris, AIX, HP-UX and even by the Mac OSX.

    Mr. Shuttleworth: PLEASE don’t try to impose your vision of doing things to others. The needs of Ubuntu AREN’T THE SAME of other distros and the other operating systems. If you haven’t noticed, there was already a strong and active community, and even other distros “user-friendly” well before its Ubuntu.

  120. Potsed Says:

    I think there are major enhancements to the desktop that would make it more functional and better equipped for all users that are totally ignored by the gui designers (gnome, kde etc). Where could one put suggestions forward to the gui designers for instance. Let the users be the ones to give suggestions about how best to work the gui, what are the most common customizations that users make to the default settings as far as usability is concerned, incorporate those ideas into the main look and feel of ubuntu… maybe a section on brainstorm dedicated to gui enhancements. What about putting different gui settings for different use cases with an easy interface (think Flash for developers or Flash for designers)? Another suggestion… as i am right handed my mouse pointer is generally hovering over the right side of my monitor, how about menus being made to be within easy reach on the rhs of the display and being able to swap for lh users, this would cut down on the mouse movements needed on increasing resloutions…. There is no way of getting these ideas out into the mainstream ‘heirachy’ who end up doing the same as everybody else… Apple got one thing right, they where not restrained by what people expected a gui to be like, they were free to make changes how they saw fit…. lets make changes based on what the comunity sees fit… get some ideas from the comunity!!

  121. » Canonical to fund upstream Linux usability improvements Says:

    […] broader portfolio of applications than one person or company could do alone,” he wrote in a blog entry. “That’s why it’s so important to me that Canonical’s design and user […]

  122. Mark Shuttleworth invertirá en Ubuntu para poder superar a Mac OS X tanto en diseño como en rendimiento « Thetuxteam Says:

    […] ¿Será fácil lograr este objetivo?. Mark Shuttleworth afirma en su blog que no, acompañandose de unas cuantas palabras provenientes de su blog: Cuando revelé el objetivo de ofrecer una experiencia de usuario que pudiera competir con la de […]

  123. Ubuntu Linux To Improve User Experience | JpmStyle.com | Lifestyle, Internet, Music and Gadgets Says:

    […] Source. […]

  124. 5 applications to make the Linux Terminal more productive | MakeUseOf.com Says:

    […] shortcut key?”. Well because its faster this way and more prettier/stylish too. Now that the Linux desktop is trying to outshine Apple you should start getting used to some ‘fancy and useful’ […]

  125. Ubuntu to increase WOW factor? | Think Forward Says:

    […] Understanding that a pretty face may be the first attraction; putting money toward that goal. […]

  126. desktoplinux.com : Ubuntu to fund Linux development | Rich on Linux and FOSS! Says:

    […] Now, the other shoe is about to drop, Shuttleworth apparently believes. “Increasingly, Canonical is in a position to drive real change in the software that is part of Ubuntu,” he wrote. To learn more, read the complete blog post, here.” […]

  127. Will Says:

    Hey Mark! Do you know Paul Bieganski by any chance? I know him. I know a lot of things…

  128. Brain Says:

    I do not want my distro with the “usability” of Ubuntu, much less I believe that users of Slackware, Gentoo or Arch want it too. There was a time when Mark said some thing that the “Linux” should adopt a unified system of packaging – From my part, I am very happy with my Package Management Tool – and believe that the community of Gentoo and Arch distros are satisfied with their Portage and Pacman, respectively. And, the mentioned projects (X, OpenGL, Gtk, Qt, Gnome and KDE) are used by all systems (free or not) like as the BSDs, Solaris, AIX, HP-UX and even by the Mac OSX.

    Mark Shuttleworth says:
    I’ve never asked that everyone adopt a single packaging tool, but only that we explore ways to simplify and unify this so that we reduce the unnecessary duplication of effort, make it easier for people to collaborate, and make it easier for users to choose whatever platform they want. I think those are worthy goals.

  129. Sudo Aptitude Says:

    Mark, you are a brilliant man! this is what the Open Source community means!

  130. Will Says:

    OK jerk. You shouldn’t have run away with Paul’s source code and dumped him. He coded too! You are a jerk and I could release the whole story to the world so you better get things straight and stop taking all of the credit!

  131. Gregg Says:

    Mark, the main problem with Ubuntu is that its still not completely free (as in freedom). That is its fundamental and important defect. That’s what needs to be fixed. Yes, make it as good and as pretty as you can, but first make it free. To take a quote from the movie Disclosure, “SOLVE THE PROBLEM”.

    A. Friend

  132. Keith Says:

    I, for one, welcome our new South African overlords…

    I’d like to see what you mean in terms of “comprehensive design ethic.” Do you mean something like modifying AWN so that acts “native” to Gnome/KDE, instead of something totally alien running on top of everything else? Does this in any way involve third-party developers, so that, for instance, if I write an app, there are guidelines I should follow to “fit it in” with Ubuntu?

    Though I must say, if any of this in any way involves the color orange, then I’m out. Seriously. I’m switching back to Windows. 😉

  133. El escritorio de Ubuntu será mejor que el de Mac OS X - FayerWayer Says:

    […] Design, user experience and development at Canonical (Mark Shuttleworth Blog) […]

  134. yman Says:

    1. Create clear, detailed unambiguous HIG.
    2. Design a simple, consistent UI for all supported apps (default apps are top priority, of course).
    3. Implement the design.
    4. Fix non-native apps (FF, OO.o) so that they render in an indistinguishable manner to that of native apps.
    5. Ensure all supported apps have consistent behavior.
    6. Have a single consistent all-encompassing theme for all desktops (Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu), with some necessary variations: unique color scheme for each one, and Edubuntu would need it’s own wallpaper and icon theme. When it comes to color scheme, there should be a single color scheme for all elements of the theme, and it should be configurable by the user with the ability to install, customize, and save color schemes. Changes to color scheme should affect not only windows and widgets, but icons and wallpaper too.
    7. NO TEXT! I don’t want to see any text screens or blank screens in any stage what-so-ever. From start-up to shut-down everything should be graphical. BTW, the theme thing applies here as well.

  135. Cristián Arenas Says:

    I really think, this kind of work, should be recorded and archived so that everybody can look back anytime to when people got together and changed the world…

  136. Kosta Kontos Says:

    Hi Mark

    Slightly off-topic, but what are your thoughts on Greg’s criticism of Canonical’s upstream contribution to Linux? His presentation at the recently held Linux Plumbers Conference, while being rather derogatory towards Canonical, seems to be based on fact.

    For those that are interested, his keynote address is available here: http://www.kroah.com/log/linux/lpc_2008_keynote.html

    Cheers from Cape Town;
    A happy ubuntu user.

  137. Kosta Kontos Says:

    In retrospect, while your “upstream” contributions are minimal, your distro’s ease-of-use (and hence popularity) has done a great deal for making Linux a household name. No other distribution comes close.

    I’ll rather focus on that as your primary contribution. Keep it up.

  138. Analisi ampiamente condivisibile. Anzi no « pollycoke :) Says:

    […] [↩]Le aree di intervento saranno in dettaglio X, OpenGL, GTK+, Qt, GNOME e KDE, cfr “Mark Shuttleworth – Design, user experience and development at Canonical e “Fabio Marzocca – Memo per Canonical“ [↩]I vari […]

  139. Ubuntu Eee 8.04.1 | Basbag.com Says:

    […] founder. Another, potentially more far-reaching, was this lengthy post on his weblog entitled Design, user experience and development at Canonical. In it, Shuttleworth revealed that Canonical had hired developers to work on bridging the […]

  140. ju4n Says:

    Mark (if i can call you this way), you rock. There’s nothing to add. :)

  141. yman Says:

    Also, I think in order to be officially supported, an app should first conform to the Ubuntu HIG and the native look-and-feel.

  142. El escritorio de Ubuntu será mejor que el de Mac OS X | Las cosas curiosas de la red Says:

    […] Design, user experience and development at Canonical (Mark Shuttleworth […]

  143. This Site Was Social Bookmarked at Tutable.com Says:

    Design – user experience and development at Canonical…

    When you present yourself on the web, you have 15 seconds to make an impression, so aspiring champions of the web 2.0 industry have converged on a good recipe for success. Make your site visually appealing, Do something different and do it very, very w…

  144. OSZine Says:

    Canonical stellt Usability-Visionäre ein…

    Canonical-Chef und Ubuntu-Gründer Mark Shuttleworth hat auf der diesjährigen OSCON verkündet, man müsse den Linux-Desktop mehr an Apple orientieren. Den Worten möchte Canonical nun Taten folgen lassen.
    Lesezeichen erstellen/Beitrag suchen mit:…

  145. Peca Mitic Says:

    I agree almost completely. The only difference, from my standpoint, is that you do not necessarily need to do something different, as long as you do it very good:-) Linux have great opportunity to attack home/media server and small business section of market (Microsoft WHS and SBS). With good visual appearance bundled with already good performance a good experience is sure to come. Keep on the good work!

  146. Tomás Pollak Says:

    Inspiring words Mark!

    This is exactly what the FLOSS community needs: vision. The big challenge is to get everyone aboard in this quest — that is, the search for solid design standards, not picking up the same theme for GNOME & KDE. Freedom of choice is the single best thing that Linux has. :)

    Anyway, you should take a look at what some people have been designing for Ubuntu. Here’s an amazing set of mockups for Intrepid:


  147. Paolo Says:

    Hi Mark,
    Can you please comment on what has been discussed at the Linux Plumbers Conference?

    ” The first Linux Plumbers Conference started on September 17, 2008; the opening talk was a keynote by Greg Kroah-Hartman. He got the conference going with with a provocative sermon on how the development ecosystem works and the niche we all occupy within it. It was a fun talk – unless you happen to work for Canonical. ”

    I’m sure you know what I”m talking about :-)


  148. Pablo Barrera Says:

    I think that the main challenge is the “cultural evolution” that FLOSS community needs to operability and “human beings focus on”. This cultural change, comes, of course with consistent technologies, but cultural changes is more than code improvement. Seems, in some way that all FLOSS community are too much focused on ephiciency more than ephiciency and ephicacy.
    Cultural changes of a “global FLOSS concepto pro Free Software User experience evolution” need cultural actions. And it comes behind the distro or the technology. Diversity is required, but get in concense to know “where to go” is the core of the future of FLOSS.

    As FLOSS community we have a problem. Very big problem. We think that if we go all together in the same direction, we are losing the diversity, so we are losing the freedom. This is not true. Join efforts like yours and Ubuntu Comm, could be a point of reference for the future…i am absolutely agree.

  149. robbat2 Says:

    You said “… we want upstream to be happy with the way we express their ideas and their work. More than happy – we want upstream to be delighted! …”
    As an upstream author, I’d love it if you actually fed back your changes to my work. My main package i take issue with is readahead-list (packaged as readahead in Debian and Ubuntu). I’ve never seen anything back from Debian OR Ubuntu, despite multiple emails asking for clean submissions of your changes, and I do believe that both distros use it in their bootup sequence.

  150. Craig Says:

    Thank-you… oh and Thank-you. To be fair, I suspect this is natural evolution, as the platform is to the point of capability and stability that a usability and look and feel has moved to the top as a major barrier. While other issues noted above are significant to various degrees, the addition of resources to work on this issue certainly will not take away from existing initiatives that are solving those problems.

    I’m actually glad that you are hiring designers (those trained in the visual and interaction problem spaces). The DIY approach of the community has meant that there are programmers playing the role of designers, which has let to inconsistent interfaces, or interfaces that value functionality over usability. Worse yet, some cases usability has meant dumbing some applications down so they are equally unusable.

    Special request: I think the biggest value that can be brought by your design team could be two fold. The first is obviously the skills and time to develop a design/usability vision, and communicate and/or implement it, as would seem you are planning on implementing. Some times it’s just better to get something done yourself if you want to get there right [and I would gladly pay money for Ubuntu to support this initiative]

    I would think a valuable second would be to create a design centre of excellence, something that would be a focal point design in the community. I could see it hosting a graphical brainstorm (ala GIMP) to engage the community. It would help develop guidelines to advance look and feel but perhaps also be a community unto itself where graphic geeks and UI guys can collect and debate ideas or critique prototypes. This could potentially give a ‘community’ destination for software projects to get UI consultations on their projects, it might help stave off any negative reaction to what be perceived as undue influence, and perhaps engage the ‘independent’ developers who might be inclined to want to do his own thing.

    [BTW… can you add to your donation form a check box for the “design” guys… that’s where I want my money to go :-) … well and 15-20% can be skimmed off by Canonical for platform architectural and infrastructure projects or maintenance that perhaps are less exciting but must do’s ]

  151. El escritorio de ubuntu será mejor que el de Mac OS X « La máquina diferencial Says:

    […] FayerWayerLink: Design, user experience and development at Canonical (Mark Shuttleworth […]

  152. Guanglin Du Says:

    In China, people are getting to know Linux/FLOSS and use it, and even CCTV talked about this weeks ago in a program that a Windows hacker was arrested for stealing, though here Windows still prevails. Ubuntu has been playing an important role to let people know Linux is also easy to learn and use. The Chinese Ubuntu forum (http://forum.ubuntu.org.cn/) is extremely active. Ubuntu has contributed much to the ease of use. I agree with Mark that this IS a great contribution to FLOSS.

  153. Hoàng Chí Chín Says:


  154. Hoàng Chí Chín Says:

    GT Công nghệ 3D (

    – Quá trình phát triển công nghệ ảnh 3D.

    Xa xưa con người đã biết lưu lại những khoảnh khắc, những cảm xúc bằng những bức hoạ. Qua nhiều năm con người đã nghiên cứu và phát triển lên công nghệ chụp ảnh. Đầu tiên chỉ mới bắt đầu bằng ảnh đen trắng và tiếp theo đó là ảnh màu, ảnh kỹ thuật số. Tất cả những công nghệ trên nhằm lưu giữ những khoảnh khắc, cảm xúc ngày càng trân thực và sắc nét. Công nghệ ảnh 3D cũng được bắt ngồn từ đó.

    – Đặc điểm nổi bật của công nghệ ảnh 3D.

    Ảnh 3 chiều ( ảnh 3D hay ảnh lập thể ) thực chất là một bức ảnh tích hợp với một lượng thông tin nhiều gấp 20 đến 30 lần so với một tấm ảnh 2D bình thường. Một bức ảnh 3D thể hiện được toàn bộ quang cảnh hay một sự vật theo một góc nhìn 360o x 180o. Vậy có thể nói Công nghệ ảnh 3D là một bước đột phá của công nghệ lưu giũ hình ảnh hiện nay.

    – Công nghệ ảnh 3D được ứng dụng trong nhiều lĩnh vực.

    Ảnh, ảnh cưới, ảnh chân dung, ảnh gia đình…

    Trong công nghiệp Quảng cáo hiện nay…

    Tranh ảnh nghệ thuật…và nhiều những ứng dụng khác.

    – Làm thế nào để có một bức ảnh 3D.

    Thật rễ dàng để có được một bức ảnh 3D cho riêng mình, bạn chỉ cần gửi cho chúng tôi file ảnh 2D bình thường. Chúng tôi sẽ chuyển bức ảnh 2D bình thường của bạn thành bức ảnh 3D theo yêu cầu của bạn.

    Mọi chi tiết xin liên hệ:


    ĐC: 85 Đại la – Hai bà trưng – Hà nội

    ĐT: 04.2962979 – Fax: 04.8691470

    Web: http://www.thienha3d.com

  155. tecosystems » Define “Contributions” Says:

    […] clear mission was to embarrass Canonical. We also, thanks to Matt’s response and a piece from Mark, know some of what Canonical thinks on the subject: not shockingly, they take exception. Amanda, […]

  156. val Says:

    Hi Mark,

    I have been using Linux/Ubuntu for a couple of years now and try to forget about Windows.

    But the real problem IMO with Linux is not the interface, but the real apps. Searching on the forums why people using Ubuntu still have dual boot with Windows, concludes that Linux/Ubuntu is missing or have sub-par apps compared to Win and Mac. The best example is video editing. So maybe focus should be on putting teams in place to create this kind of world-class apps, instead of the ones which looks like amateur software and are very buggy(Pitivi, kdenlive and the like)

    Other than that I think Ubuntu is heading in the right direction and look forward to see improved apps down the road.



  157. Bill Rosmus Says:

    “It should just work.” …sorry, way off topic… quote: fakeraid unquote. Linux: “It should just work.” It Doesn’t.

    Can something be done on the install process to support ‘onboard raid’ (motherboard) a.k.a. fakeraid. It is very common now-a-days, and a very important vector for Windows users to switch to Ubuntu. I know several people who gave up on Linux because they couldn’t install/dual boot Linux on their striped Windows box without many hours of severe frustration. The raid was via onboard controller. I LOVE the attitude of ‘it should just work’. This I think is very important for ‘onboard raid’.

    Here is a snip from one of the Ubuntu forums to illustrate (I am in the same boat):

    A Carafe of Ubuntu

    Global_Inferno’s Avatar

    Join Date: Jan 2008
    Posts: 83
    Thanks: 2
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Send a message via MSN to Global_Inferno Send a message via Skype™ to Global_Inferno

    Re: FakeRAID on 8.04
    Even when I did finally get the RAID working, it wasn’t as intended, and I had loads of problems with random non-mountable drives appearing, etc.. In the end I got so fed up with it I went back to Vista! (Now that IS desperate!)

    Mark, why should I have to spend more money and time to buy a raid card to dual boot my machine; which would also mean re-installing a functional Windows install to stripe the drives with the new card (which also means many hours or days of re-installing all my software and configuring the machine)? Please, please, please… It should just work.

    I don’t have the time for this even though I would like to try Ubuntu.



  158. Alex K Says:

    In the 2nd year of my Comp. Science course at Warwick Uni we did a module on Human Computer Interaction which I quite enjoyed. Our lecturer who taught this course over many years said that on *average* students doing Computer Science got worse results in the HCI module coursework than students doing Computer Engineering which in turn did worse than people doing Computers and Business Studies. The best students were the ones who did Computer Science and Psychology. During my yearyear the coursework was to design the GUI of an e-book reader device.

    I find this correlation very interesting and enlightening. I believe this is a challenging area which requires a good amount of team work between the developer and the front end designer. Any designer will also know that testing a design is an important step and one advantage Ubuntu could potentially have over other OSes is in utilising the amount of community feedback in this area.

    see http://developer.apple.com/documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/AppleHIGuidelines

  159. Jimmy Forrester-Fellowes Says:

    Great news- Thanks Mark!!! look forward to seeing the all new sexybuntu! ^_^

  160. Alexandre Says:

    Dear Mark,

    First of all, let me tell you that I do not want or expect anything from you, not even an answer. You already gives us all pretty much with Canonical and Ubuntu.
    (Ok, I know it’s a bit odd and even sad to have to start like this, but that’s what whe do get in this cynical world we live in, where there’s always a catch: you first defend yourself even when it’s not needed at all…)

    Then, I’d like to (already) apologize for my eventual English slips.

    I could and maybe should be filling this letter with frills, bells and whistles, so it wouldn’t look like a cave man’s message, but what I want to express here is really simple and straightforward: you are such a great person!

    I think it’s amazing what you have accomplished through your work and what you have decided to do next (Thawte, HBD and Canonical).
    For me it’s fantastic and inspiring to see that there are people like you, that want to make the difference, and are effectively reaching that goal, enriching minds and thus helping other people.

    And that’s why, in an instant of sheer gratefulness and megalomania, I write you this. At this very moment I wish I was the world’s spokesman, just to add more importance to my words while I say “thank you”. And, of course, “keep up the good work”!

    Warmest regards,


  161. sportember Says:

    I join to the folks who were complaining about FONT quality in the free software desktop experience. The main problem I meet day to day is that most of the sets of fonts available in Ubuntu is not I18N-ed.
    Therefore there is a high quality free font in front of the user, and the special characters that many languages contain – and I am talking just about latin alphabets – are rendered with *a different font*.
    We have in the Hungarian language: öüóőúéáűí – accented characters that only a few fonts include.

    I am to seek an opportunity to extend the default Ubuntu fonts with such characters, but I have no clue where to start searching.

    What is the tool to use? Which are the default fonts? Which are the fonts to fix after the defaults?

    I am pretty sure that many different languages offer very similar problems. THE FONTS MAKE UP THE WORDS WE COMMUNICATE WITH!

    It also would be a pleasure to do this as a full-time :-).

  162. adredz Says:

    Hi Mark, I have been a loyal follower of ubuntu for 6 months now. I am happy to have heard this from you because I have been fantasizing about Linux being more beautiful than Mac or Windows. Now that it is about to become a reality, I can now have a piece of mind.

    As what I understand in your blog, you are giving belance attention to both of the most popular variants of *buntu–Ubuntu and Kubuntu. But I am skeptical whether Kubuntu will get as much magnitude of development Ubuntu will get. I understand Ubuntu is the main OS, but please this time around give Kubuntu a full swing because KDE 4 really has a great potential to realize this particular goal.

    A Happy Kubuntu User

  163. LINUX HOME » Blog Archive » Ubuntu to fund Linux development Says:

    […] Now, the other shoe is about to drop, Shuttleworth apparently believes. “Increasingly, Canonical is in a position to drive real change in the software that is part of Ubuntu,” he wrote. To learn more, read the complete blog post, here. […]

  164. Eva Says:

    Mark you should relax a little bit, sending you one of the traditional Macedonian (note not Greek, evident by the Cyrillic writing) folklore songs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLPXHfZY9Ws given your Russian boasting :), you should be able to read the Cyrillic a bit. Stay well!

  165. El escritorio de Ubuntu será mejor que el de Mac OS X Says:

    […] Design, individual undergo and utilization at Canonical (Mark Shuttleworth […]

  166. Scholli Says:

    15 seconds to make a impression should be enough 😉 I don’t know if the Website will work … so I paste it here again :) http://schollidesign.deviantart.com/art/Royal-Icon-Set-95441179 … it would be nice, saying one day: “Hey this Icon is mine in this great new Human-Icon-Set!” ??? 😀 … but unfortunately I think I am too late… 20 days for the big Final! I am really curios 😀

  167. Scholli Says:

    Thanks Ubuntu I know and use Linux. Thanks the great work of all, Ubuntu (Linux) comes to be better and better … Ubuntu and Human are very good chosen words, because there is a lot of truth behind 😉 (Sorry if I do something wrong before and hope I can stay in your great blog 😀 )

  168. sean Says:

    Not to sound repetitive but I would tend to agree. The very first thing I change on a new installation of Ubuntu usually is. start-up sound, login-theme, desktop-theme and icons, along with the background and removal of any and all brown I could possibly find for something a little more refreshing with a modern appeal.

  169. Revue de presse du libre 12/10/2008 | [Hightux@net:~$] Says:

    […] nouveau thème est loin de révolutionner le style est l’ergonomie de cette dernière aprés les récentes annonces faites par Mark Shuttleworth himself qui souhaite déclasser Apple en termes d’ergonomie et de style et ce avant deux ans. […]

  170. FS Says:

    Dear Mark Shuttleworth,

    I hope I use my 2 minutes well.

    > We need the same urgency, immediacy and elegance as part of the free software desktop experience

    I agree. In recent weeks, this has been a hot topic on idea #12644 on Ubuntu’s Brainstorm website –>Start an experimental project aimed at redesigning the Ubuntu user experience.

    To summarize: If you want to catch up with Apple, you need Ubuntu to foster great and compelling end user experiences. Why not enlist the user community to test drive usability concepts *before* they get implemented in code.

    I propose the creation of a website devoted *not to code* but to showcasing (in flash videos, mockups, mock screenshots, interactive models, etc.) various UI and usability concepts, in order to solicit voting and comments from the users themselves.
    Think: Youtube for user interfaces. The goal is to put as many different user experiences before as large an audience as possible to get their input and impressions on how well we are succeeding at conveying whatever it is we are trying to convey.

    Mr. Shuttleworth, would you kindly consider lending some of your newly-formed design team’s time to consider this idea?


  171. cosmix.org | Delusions. Says:

    […] announced that Canonical would hire developers to work on the kernel, basic platform libraries such as Xorg […]

  172. Ubuntu-Umstieg sinnvoller als Mac-Kauf « Ubuntu Observer Says:

    […] muss man ein Stück weit Mark Shuttleworth widersprechen, der ja postuliert hat, Ubuntu müsse sich an Mac OS orientieren. Ich denke vielmehr, der Ubuntu-Weg hat sich als vielversprechend bewiesen und sollte […]

  173. F. Trifanov Says:

    Nice of you Eva to send him a video of folklore songs. I like this one just more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYnS6YBP_w0
    Hope you enjoy, Mark. Stay Well.

  174. Noman Says:

    The latest RC theme with coffeestain wallpaper is terrible ugly. Buy some designer for two days, will make better works.

  175. Douglas Says:

    Sei ler em ingles, porem da preguiça tem muita coisa.
    alguem pode fazer um resumo se realmente tera um tema melhorzinho o 8.10?

  176. Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex: get it while its hot! | Lawyerist Says:

    […] 8.10 includes a number of improvements. One of Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth’s goals is developing a user experience that matches Apple’s within two years. To that end, Canonical, the company that spearheads the Ubuntu program, has hired a handful of […]

  177. Ubuntu 8.10 released at stream of bytes Says:

    […] line is that I believe this energy motivated Mark to hire designers, usability and user experience experts. It’s always good to see community getting so energetic around something *they* think is […]

  178. Ubuntu 8.10: lo stambecco è intrepido « GmG’s Weblog Says:

    […] in arrivo con la release successiva, la 9.04, che dovrebbe invece prendere ispirazione da un recente post di Mark Shuttleworth, in cui si traccia la linea verso nuovi design, “user experience” e […]

  179. [News] Canonical rilascia Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex - BBD3-IT Says:

    […] in arrivo con la release successiva, la 9.04, che dovrebbe invece prendere ispirazione da un recente post di Mark Shuttleworth, in cui si traccia la linea verso nuovi design, "user experience" e sviluppo. Da diversi […]

  180. Barx Says:

    Mark!!! That’s a Great New. Some people was looking a desing working for Ubuntu. We had commented that WinXp is nased on plastic, Mac OSx in brushed Metal, and Vista in Crystal.

    Well, had you ever seen melting Chocolate? It’s amazing, and maybe get a texture like that for Ubuntu eye-candy can work.

    I wanted to add that if Ubuntu is for humans, maybe we should remember what humans did, like War, peace, fishing, caos, etc. Themes like that you know. Chocolate is an human invention it would be a great idea, isn’t it? haha

    Well, as youg desinger I only can give some ideas, hope inspire you to you and your team

    See ya!

  181. Scotty Says:

    Thanks for your vision and commitment to the Linux environment, Mark. I am a software and electronics designer, started my computer experience in the early 80s with MSDOS when productivity tools were simply incredible (remember Clipper 87 ?), worked with IBMs OS/2, another stable OS, and have been working with Windows since 95 came out, mainly due to the specific applications I used. Always frustrated with Windows, I tried to move to Linux a few times, but the productivity downtime in making this work was always too much, so back to Windows each time. I work with many varied apps from pro audio and video software to RAD software development tools. Last year I had had enough of Windows limitations once again and tried to move to Ubuntu but I couldnt even get an internet connection via an AVM modem, without searching forums and going into setup code, and while the experience looks OK at first view, the reality is you still have to get into complicated installation and setup stuff to get it going, and it just doesnt work with existing hardware as easily and elegantly as Windows. So I am targeting a new Mac next year, finally getting an environment that is robust, uniform, and hopefully simple. I would so love the linux environment to be the same, because I dont really want to change the hardware.

    My vision for linux would be 2 user levels – a ‘standard user level’ experience, similar to Apple, where it just works with all existing hardware, period. This would of course require massive design and quality control from Ubuntu, esp from 3rd party driver providers, but if Apple can do it, so can you. By providing a ‘standard’ or ‘default’ experience, the user can be assured of a seamless installation and experience that just works. Level 2 for advanced users can then wander off on their own and choose a ‘non-standard’ experience, for those game enough to start tweaking and playing around. But the mass market just wants a productivity tool. And if you can get the Apple experience and reliability on Windows hardware cost, you have it cracked !

    For most, I believe, Linux is still seen as a guru-only environment. This view has to change. What I see is vital to Linux dominating the desktop environment is guaranteeing productivity. It simply has to be easier, faster, and better than Windows (no problem) and Apple (not so easy). You touched on the terms “interaction design visionaries “, and “user experience team” – this is exactly my area of skill (more design than engineering – I call it ‘interactioneering’), and the area why I believe many products on earth fail in terms of user experience. Most manuals and handbooks are crap. Many electronics products (Sony!) are designed for japanese hands. The Microsoft website is a galaxy of gibberish to the majority of users out there, as are many other websites to a lesser degree. And on and on it goes … but in the software and computer arena, after working on Windows XP for years, and you get to sit at a new iMac, the difference is breathtaking. And the reason for this, I believe, is that Apple have a great focus on the “User Experience”. They ask great questions – What result does the user want ? How do they expect the system to work ? How intuiative is the interface ? Whats the quickest way to get that result ? Not guesswork from an engineer, like “I believe they will do that” or “this is logical, so this is how it should be done”. No, I mean real user investigation – sitting with them, watching them click away, studying how they interact, looking for areas of frustration, and then building real, amazing solutions out of this.

    I believe Ubunutu can do this. But keep the Engineering team away from the User-experience team, or you will end up with Vista.

    ps: great comment from ‘val’ re video editing. I believe any newly designed applications would have to be fantastic, not just a ‘mostly working with a few bugs’ alternative to Windows as they are now, but stunning, something to really draw a crowd away from other environments.

  182. kikl Says:

    Well, I’m a simple Ubuntuuser and these are my thoughts:

    I think two issues are being discussed here that need to be kept apart:

    1. Aesthetics

    People complain about fonts and desktop images. This is about beauty and style, it does not affect the way the OS system works.

    2. Usability

    Well, this means that it’s just supposed to work instantly, without having to study manuals…

    Both topics are important, but please give PRIORITY TO USABILITY. Whenever aesthetic wishes compromise the usability of the interface, usability should win. Its more important that the OS “just works” than pleasing looks.

    Furthermore, there is a further fundamental difference between usability and aesthetics. People complain about the look and style of ubuntu, which is supposedly akin to the 90s. Well, in 10 years time, the 90s will be hip and anything that looks like the 90s is going to be regarded as in style. I think Zeitgeist is the right term for this phenomenon. However, usability is something you can actually measure. Just let a decent number of randomly chosen people perform a task on an interface and measure the time they need to accomplish. This will tell you, whether the interface works well or not.

    Aesthetics is subjective and subject to Zeitgeist. Therefore, aesthetics should be – as far as possible – a matter of choice for the user.

    Usability is objective. Therefore, the user feedback should be decisive for determining the usability of the interface.

    Nevertheless, I think that the default looks of ubuntu should be updated in order to be pleasing to most users.



  183. Design, expérience utilisateur et développement chez Canonical Says:

    […] française de l’article “Design, user experience and development at Canonical“. Auteur : Mark Shuttleworth – Traducteur : Bernard […]

  184. Putting People First in italiano » Come fare che i progetti open source si preoccupino di più dell’usabilità e dell’esperienza dell’utente? Says:

    […] L’azienda pianifica di assumere designer e specialisti nell’esperienza d’utente e l’interazione per guidare il lavoro di Canonical sull’usabilità e per contribuire ad altri progetti gratuiti ed open-source sul desktop, tra cui Gnome e KDE, ha scritto Mark Shuttleworth, CEO di Canonical e fondatore del progetto Ubuntu, in un blog post Mercoledì” […]

  185. Priorities Says:

    The vision sounds good and is important for long-term goals.

    In the short-term, however, Canonical and Ubuntu are dropping the ball. The Dell Mini 9 release is indicative of serious problems. Not sure if it’s an issue of priorities or resources or lack of marketing awareness or lack of awareness of the importance of good user experiences, but consider the following:

    Although users can buy an Ubuntu Mini 9 direct from Dell, they can’t install Skype because of LPIA vs. i386 architecture issues. Yes, I know you can repackage the DEBs manually or force install via dpkg. The point is that point-and-click doesn’t work for something very common and popular; what can be reasonably expected for “average” user tasks and expectations.

    Webcam doesn’t work. Driver hangs and crashes out-of-the-box.

    For users that upgraded to 2GB of RAM only 1 GB shows up because of an oversight in the compilation of the kernel for highmem support.

    The Mini 9 was released in the 1st week of September. The above feedback was available in the 2nd week of September. It’s now almost December and nothing has been done. Nothing for any of the above critical issues.

    Meanwhile first time Linux and Ubuntu users who buy the Mini 9 continue to be puzzled by the problems and wonder why so many basic things don’t work. See the Ubuntu and other forums to see what I mean.

    See https://bugs.launchpad.net/dell-mini to see the lack of attention and effort on what is likely the most public and readily available release of Ubuntu to the general public to date.

  186. Priorities cont. Says:

    It is worthwhile to note that the above problems are for a fixed and known hardware platform.

    In spite of this, these are not really software bugs, so much as management and marketing “bugs” that deal with basic questions that don’t appear to have been asked:

    1. Can users easily install/upgrade free killer apps (skype)?
    2. Can users install/upgrade the hardware that can be upgraded (RAM)?
    3. Can users reliably use all of the available hardware (webcam)?

  187. quixote Says:

    Artwork and fonts aren’t the biggest issues for me (although more beautiful is always better :-) ). I have a huge bone to pick with the goddamn, blankety-blank gvfs.

    I know it’s supposed to be a big improvement. I know it’s all about security. It reminds me of the old joke about “real” librarians who’d like to bind the books on both sides so the users can’t mess them up. I run a single user linux system. I don’t have security issues. I have HUGE gvfs issues.

    1) Taking away root’s ultimate control of filesystems. Backup scripts no longer run right. Often times I have to use rsync with –ignore-errors. I hate that. But I have no choice because some doofus has decided I need to be safer than safe. I also can’t, for instance, unmount a phantom corrupted SD card, because root can’t touch it and the user no longer exists.

    2) The way it plays badly with programs like Simple Backup. The first time I used SB, gvfs decided the whole backup was also somehow part of my root directory, which filled it, which made my computer dead in the water. I managed to climb back out of that disaster by booting off CD, deleting the backup as root, and deleting every .gvfs directory on the system. But for many users that would have been a rather serious “usability issue.”

    3) The Absolutely Asinine naming conventions for removable media mounted to the desktop. Do you have any idea how many “8.0GB Media” I have? Thumbdrives, SD cards, pcmcia cards, the list goes on. It’s totally useless, but — and this is the thing that has me spitting nails — there is no way at all for me to name those drives what *I* want. I’m stuck with the aforementioned doofus’s ideas! (Sure, I could use tune2fs to rename the volumes, but a) that is again not something some users will want to do, and b) I want to give it a name relevant to my current work. I don’t want to have to change the volume name every time, just to get a useful desktop name.)

    I guess I’ll quit there. I could go on. Really, I could.

    I love Ubuntu, and have since I started using it somewhere back before Dapper. I convert people to it every chance I get, and it’s not difficult. It’s really an absolutely beautiful work. It was pretty much a straight line improvement all the way through Gutsy. And then this gvfs crap hit, and I wish I hadn’t been so trusting that I just hit the upgrade button! Please, Mark. Please, please, please! use your clout to make those upstream doofuses think about the user as well as their precious security and elegant code and whatever else they have on their tiny minds.

  188. Nuovo look le notifiche di Ubuntu Jaunty | L'angolo della condivisione Says:

    […] Shuttleworth ha annunciato sul suo blog che Canonical è in procinto di assumere esperti di design e di interfacce utente per migliorare […]

  189. Özgür Yazılım » Blog Archive Says:

    […] kar amacı gütmeye çalışan firmaların bu alana yatırım yapmak istemeleri gözden kaçmıyor. Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu’yu 2009 yılında daha kullanışlı bir dağıtım yapmak üzere kolları sıvadı. […]

  190. sjun demartelaere Says:

    I think about a desktop with not much on it. Give it an OS X like dock, easy changeable iconsets and put the Opera browser and VLC mediaplayer standard in the Ubuntu distribution

  191. Paradise Road: Ken’s Blog » Blog Archive » The Year End Blog Post Says:

    […] rightfully, I suppose they shouldn’t.  But if anybody can achieve such a task, it’s Mark Shuttleworth.  Canonical is, as far as I can tell, the exception to the rule.  They’re small, nimble, […]

  192. Road2Mayotte Archives » Dell, Ubuntu, Debian et les autres… Says:

    […] et d’améliorations. Pour le plus grand bien de tous. Fort heureusement, comme le rappelait Mark Shuttleworth sur son blog en septembre dernier, Ubuntu n’est pas seule : l’expérience utilisateur est un puissant vecteur […]