Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Welcome Didrocks and UNE Application Selection

The Lucid cycle brought a couple of fun changes to the Ubuntu Platform team. First, the Mobile team renamed the Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR) to Ubuntu Netbook Edition (UNE). Then they moved the project to the desktop team.

So this week we welcomed didrocks to the team. He's the first of three folks that we will hire to work on maintaining the high standards for UNE that the mobile team set with UNR.

So I have joined a few folks in Paris this week to get the first real Lucid spin of UNE ready. We just finished with the blueprint for UNE application selection.

We decided that to start, UNE is for computing on the go, it's not going to be a work horse distro out of the box. Of course, users can use Software Center to customize the installed apps as they wish, but by default we are going to start with some very opinionated choices. Based on user feedback, we will continually revisit these choices.
  1. No office applications installed by default. Perhaps we will add links to some web based office apps. Otherwise, users can install Abi Word, etc... as they wish.
  2. No email client by default. We will assume that users will be using web based mail. They can install Thunderbird, Evolution, etc... as they wish.
  3. No photo manager. The assumption being that folks will consume photos but won't be managing them, etc...
  4. Have Cheese and Gwibber available by default, assuming folks will want to do some fun socially stuff with their netbooks.
  5. Hide some of the app menu entries for utilities that are available in the normal stream of use. This includes stuff like print job manager, the screen shot tool, etc...
We are expecting that these choices will bring the size of the ISO way down, making it more accessible to folks who want to try it.

18 comments:

  1. yup! no office, no MUA, no photo manager, I doubt what else will be kept in netbook edition. As we all know that the original target of netbook is for office/email, but we gonna all these stuff dropped.
    We can install it via software center, but that is another story, otherwise we needn't choose those in ubuntu-desktop by default, we may just build a mini iso for end-user and let them install it by themselves. :) Besides this, the internet connection speed is a problem when they're using edge/gprs, it will be painful for those kind of users.
    And also end user's experience need to be considered, I think most of ubuntu's user are fond of what they have after they finish installation. Most of their requirements are there, thats the amazing thing to them.

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  2. So if you strip most of the desktop productivity apps, how is UNE going to be significantly different than ChromeOS?

    I wonder though if Abiword and something like Gthumb might be good alternatives to that all-or-nothing approach. Abiword has collaborative capabilities which make sense for an "on the go" OS. Though these users may not want to be photo managers, they are likely to want to share/upload photos so it seems like a photo manager with basic capabilities (rotate/organize/upload) would make sense.

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  3. I have been using an eee 901 with Ubuntu for just over a year now and think these changes are excellent.

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  4. This is illogical. Strip email client because it's available on the web, but include Twitter client because... well, why?

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  5. I would disagree with the dropping of F-spot. Netbooks are perfect for photographers to carry with them to get a slightly larger look at their pictures in the field.

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  6. I also commented on the spec that dropping Tomboy was foolish, as it syncs into the cloud and is a great little note-taking app. for small, quick notes, exactly what people are going to use a netbook for.

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  7. Apart if you are going to implement .doc viewing in Evince or include another viewer apps for theses, I would recommand at least installing Abiword, otherwhise some user will be pissed when they won't be able to open their attachement out of the box.

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