Heads Up: Smart Scopes Not Landing

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at kitterman.com
Fri Mar 29 16:35:32 UTC 2013

Jono Bacon <jono at ubuntu.com> wrote:

>Hi Everyone,
>I just wanted to give you what I think is a pretty uncontroversial
>heads up
>as I promised to do a better job preparing our leaders for any
>As some of you will know, the dash team has been working to get the new
>smart scopes functionality in the dash ready for 13.04; this
>delivers a far more comprehensive dash experience, performing searches
>50 or more different data sources.
>The team has been working as part of a Feature Freeze Exception (FFe)
>get this into 13.04. but unfortunately the feature is simply not mature
>enough for 13.04 -- it is nearly there, but doesn't meet the quality
>for Ubuntu, so the team has decided not to peruse landing in in 13.04
>to instead move it to the Ubuntu 13.10 cycle where it will be developed
>soon as the archive opens. Currently this feature has been developed in
>PPA and has not landed in 13.04 yet.
>Now, this might cause a few questions as there has been some blogging
>the feature as it stands in the PPA and some folks may be expecting the
>privacy features to land in 13.04. I worked with the team to prepare a
>with the key questions. Copied in is Olli Ries who can also answer any
>questions. The FAQ is below.
>Olli will update the FFe late today, and I plan on notifying the news
>to let them know and will blog about it on Planet Ubuntu. This should
>ensure everyone is on the same page, but do let us know if you have any
>Q: The FFE (1154229) got a sabdfl override and is now being rejected,
>A: A sabdfl override always has high requirements regarding code
>and User Experience. After looking at the current status of the smart
>scopes project we decided that the User Experience simply needs more
>and it does not meet the quality requirements for Ubuntu. We would
>to delay the feature until the next release cycle to ensure that it is
>Q: Why was this feature being pushed at the last minute?
>A: We believe the feature does provide additional benefit to Ubuntu
>by improving the search experience in the Dash, which is Unity’s weak
>Landing the feature in 13.04 would have given us 1 additional cycle on
>way to 14.04 to train and improve the suggestions provided by the
>and further refine the overall Dash experience.
>Q: When, if at all, will the feature make its way into Ubuntu?
>A: We are planning to provide the feature in a PPA for Ubuntu Raring
>will be always rebased on Unity shipped on Raring. It will land it as
>as we are confident enough on the feature quality in Ubuntu S.
>Q: What about the in-dash purchases feature? Will that be landing?
>There were some final outstanding issues with in-dash purchases and we
>striving to have a conclusion to this ready for early next week (week
>beginning 1st April).
>Q: What about the privacy enhancements that were part of the smart
>A: It is unfortunately not possible to get the privacy enhancements
>the smart scopes projects without the larger project itself. Smart
>would have allowed to disable individual scopes and limit network
>for searches at all. In Ubuntu 13.04 you will still be able to disable
>server communications  through the settings apps. You can also remove
>scopes and lenses you are not interested in using them by directly
>uninstalling the corresponding packages.

Adding the release team to the discussion. 

It's probably worth noting in you summary that the in-dash purchase feature has neither an approved FFe nor a sabfl override.  Mark had asked for some additional testing.   I'm not quite sure where that stands since the recent testing has all been with the new the new smart scopes version of Unity that's now not landing. I would expect it to need some additional testing with what is now the planned version of Unity.

Scott K

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