Help requested for Ubuntu Brainstorm response on Ubuntu One

Matt Zimmerman mdz at
Tue Nov 23 12:06:23 GMT 2010

Once you've read the details below, please respond with an acknowledgement and
let me know if you can participate.  The expected time investment is on the
order of a couple of hours over the next couple of weeks.

The Technical Board recently began a new program to respond to top voted topics
on Ubuntu Brainstorm:

Our goal is to improve our responsiveness to the questions, concerns and
suggestions we receive from the user community.  Note that this does NOT mean
that we will commit to following the suggestions, but we will evaluate and
respond to them.  By explaining what we will (or won't) do and why, we will
show that we are paying attention and trying to make good decisions on behalf
of our users.

The way the program works is that the Technical Board identifies people within
the Ubuntu project who are knowledgeable in the specific topics proposed in
Brainstorm, and asks each of them to write a short response to one topic.

This is why I'm writing to you now. :-)

One of the most popular topics in brainstorm at present is the difficulty of
ascertaining when Ubuntu One is synchronizing files:

I saw this came up on a Canonical mailing list thread recently as well.

Since you are well versed in this area, we would appreciate if you could spend
a short time reading the Brainstorm content about it and writing a few
paragraphs.  You don't need to have all the answers, and I encourage you to ask
for input from others who might have a view on the issue.  This can be in the
form of a blog post, an email, or any other suitable format.  It shouldn't take
more than an hour or two to complete.

Our goal is to have everything ready for publication by the 8th of December.
Can you confirm that you're willing and able to help with this?

You can formulate your response as you see fit, but make sure that the tone is
sympathetic.  Many of the comments in Brainstorm take the form of demands or
complaints: just treat these as if they were questions, and answer them
politely.  Try to listen to the *need* behind the suggestion, not just the
suggestion itself, and connect with your audience by telling a story about it.

Here are some example formulas which might be helpful to you:

 * "It sounds like the problem described here is X.  We address that in Ubuntu
   today by doing A, B and C.  Maybe that's not working for everyone because
   of Y.  We could improve this by doing Z."

 * "I would love to see a new feature like that in Ubuntu.  It's consistent
   with the way other parts of Ubuntu work, and seems genuinely useful.
   We're busy with some higher priority projects at the moment like X, but
   if someone is interested in writing a patch for this, I will help them
   get it into Ubuntu and upstream."

 * "This is a really hard problem without an easy solution.  It's complex
   because of X, Y and Z.  It will take some time for this to be completely
   solved, but here are a few projects we're working on which will make things
   better, bit by bit."

 * "That's an easy fix.  I've written a patch and uploaded it to Natty.  It
   will be in the 11.04 release!"

 * "That's a great idea, and we already thought of it!  Here's the blueprint,
   and here's how you can follow along as this gets implemented in Natty."

 * "I passed on your suggestion to the upstream developer of the software, and
   we had a conversation about it.  Here's what we decided."

 * "This seems like a genuine problem, but I'm not sure that's the right
   solution, because of X and Y.  I asked our usability expert Jill about
   this, and here's what she suggested."

 * "I didn't understand what the problem was here, so I had a conversation on
   IRC with Jamie, who submitted this topic to Brainstorm to understand better.
   Here's how it went:


   In the end, we both decided that the best course of action is X."

If you have any further questions about what is expected here, please let me

 - mdz

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