[ubuntu-art] ubuntu-art Digest, Vol 27, Issue 17

Kenneth Wimer kwwii at ubuntu.com
Mon Sep 24 23:25:28 BST 2007

Hi Misosaki,

On Tuesday 25 September 2007 00:03:26 Misosaki wrote:
> Hi,
> Thanks for your quick response. My apologies -- I am actually a member
> of the list, but the email client's SMTP was set under another account
> with the same email provider and I didn't realise it until the
> auto-response arrived in another account.

No worries, everything outside of the 5 spam mails a day are going through now 
that I spend part of every day administering the mailing list :-)

> First, to clarify: I am not accusing anyone of being rude/mean/etc.,
> merely suggesting why some might perceive the process as being
> indifferent or "secret" to the community. The lack of a comprehensive
> source for information (again, an IRC and mailing list archive will not
> suffice for a public that wants to know at a glance what is happening)
> and roadmap (which indicates some level of organisation) made the
> situation seem worse that it may have been.

Right, I did not mean to respond to your mail in that part of mine. I was more 
responding to several comments which have been floating around recently. 
Sorry that I did it in a response to your mail - I should have started a new 

> The top of the wiki page shows two images, along with the adjectives
> "unique and beautiful", along with a link to WallpaperRules. The palette
> is unofficial (kindly provided by a designer who sampled previously
> accepted designs), nor is WallpaperRules officially sanctioned. Because
> they were toted as unofficial (as opposed to pre-approved by the
> authorities), some designers took liberties with the palette, design
> elements, etc. because that was all the "guidelines" were -- merely
> starter ideas that don't have to be followed. In other words,
> documentation is considerably lacking, and the designs submitted reflect
> this confusion. There are also major differences between saying "the
> goal is to get back to something as (adjective) as x" and saying "the
> goal is to develop designs that reflect x, and since these colours form
> our theme palette, please keep designs to those colours only."  The
> latter is much more direct and helpful practically, because right off
> there are more definite starting points that -must- be followed (i.e.
> palette, message), rather than attempting to visualise "unique" or
> "beautiful" and expect designers to churn out work that will adhere to
> those terms (whatever they even mean for individual designers, let alone
> a non-designated audience).
> As the forum thread also indicated, much of the concerns are centered
> around the default wallpaper rather than the package, so emphasising
> that the second candidate will be included in the package, as opposed to
> elaborating further on the rationale behind the first candidate being
> the default, makes some people think their questions are being
> misunderstood or intentionally ignored. If the final decisions are to be
> made by certain authorities, then it should be stated clearly in the
> wiki as part of the documentation on the entire planning/design process.
> Many in the community, who were under the impression that the community
> will take part in the decision-making, are now upset because they
> probably assumed otherwise, understandably from the Ubuntu reputation of
> community and sharing.
> There was praise for the default wallpaper, of course, but what is more
> interesting is that there was considerably more praise for the second
> candidate. Even if the complaints are subjective, often there's also
> something to learn from them, and one should not be so quick to dismiss
> them. They are among the first signs that there is a problem, even if
> not everyone can express what that problem is exactly in useful
> feedback. If the final word rests with the authorities, I hope at least
> the authorities are informed of the feedback and the community is
> informed (that the authorities have been informed.) This is also where
> the Forum Ambassadors will be of much assistance, and I agree with
> Nothlit on this idea.
> In summary, much of this could be rectified for future releases if there
> were better docs, and more communication to the public (whether through
> the Ambassadors or "official" representatives). If the community is not
> to have the final word, please, at least let them know what is happening
> from time to time, and be prepared to present the final decision (to
> convince people that it's the best choice.) Not just "it's set to be x,
> but y will be included, so you can change it if you like"; not only in
> terms of why x is better than y, but what makes x stand out and what x
> has to offer. People want to know that a lot of thought has been put
> into that design, into that choice, so even if they may not like it,
> they will at least understand and respect it.

I agree with pretty much everything you have stated here. During the Edgy 
cycle we tried a more open, community approach to the artwork and it failed 
miserably. Feisty was pretty much closed to the public and with Gutsy I 
wanted to try to open the doors while not making any huge mistakes like 
promising anything to anyone - this proved to be wrong. Apparently you either 
do it right or you do not do it at all. I worked for SUSE for nearly 7 years 
in a totally closed environment so doing things openly, while still having a 
closed decision making process, is quite new to me and has proven to take 
time to learn how to do correctly.

Thanks for putting things so eloquently and precise. Great to see that someone 
around here can keep their head on their shoulders :p

I look forward to working with you and others in the future to improve the 
process and make ubuntu rock (even more)!


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