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. 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 […]

  2. 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.

  3. Hoàng Chí Chín Says:


  4. 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

  5. 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, […]

  6. 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.



  7. 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.



  8. 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

  9. Jimmy Forrester-Fellowes Says:

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

  10. 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,


  11. 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 :-).

  12. 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

  13. 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. […]

  14. 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!

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

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

  16. 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 😀

  17. 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 😀 )

  18. 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.

  19. 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. […]

  20. 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?


  21. cosmix.org | Delusions. Says:

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

  22. 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 […]

  23. 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.

  24. Noman Says:

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

  25. 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?

  26. 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 […]

  27. 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 […]

  28. 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 […]

  29. [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 […]

  30. 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!

  31. 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.

  32. 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.



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

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

  34. 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” […]

  35. 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.

  36. 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)?

  37. 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.

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

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  40. 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

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