[ubuntu-art] Kyūdō: Working on the Foundation

Thorsten Wilms t_w_ at freenet.de
Sat Oct 4 20:25:37 BST 2008


I just cleaned stuff up a bit and added sections about the consequences
for the theme that can be derived from Ubuntu's goals and

Moved Message and Audience to its own page.

Please have a look at the following and tell me if you have anything to
add or edit:


The foundation consists of the considerations at the very core of the
project. It's the starting point and what everything else will build

Within in the long-term goal of achieving an optimal presentation for
the Ubuntu GNU/Linux Distribution: 

Create and deliver an optimal theme for each release, starting with
Jaunty Jackalope. Where optimal means: made to the project participants
best ability within a release cycle, with the aim to further the goals
of Ubuntu. 

Optionally: create additional themes to meet the needs of other or more
specific audiences or specific uses. 

Imperative characteristics of the optimal theme
      * The optimal theme must further, or at least be in line with, the
        goals of Ubuntu. 
      * It has to maximize usability. Usability shall be the combination
        of effectiveness, efficiency and user satisfaction in a specific
        context. Here the context is all tasks directly affected by the
        theme, executed by users of Ubuntu. 
      * Every part of it has to be designed to our best knowledge and
        ability. There's no space for random decisions. 
      * People, knowledge, technology and culture change. The optimal
        theme must march ahead or follow. It requires constant renewal. 

Goals of Ubuntu
      * To offer a free (in both the economic and FSF sense),
        sustainable platform for commodity requirements with optional
        commercial support 
      * To act according to the following ideals (from
             1. Every computer user should have the freedom to download,
                run, copy, distribute, study, share, change and improve
                their software for any purpose, without paying licensing
             2. Every computer user should be able to use their software
                in the language of their choice. 
             3. Every computer user should be given every opportunity to
                use software, even if they work under a disability. 
      * Have free software break into Microsoft's majority market share
        (Bug #1) 
      * Improve the overall usability of free software within Ubuntu.
        Surpass Apple in the quality of the user experience.
        (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/23/shuttleworth_apple_challenge/, http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/162) 

Consequences for the theme: 

      * Use a free software theme engine 
      * Only use fonts and graphics with free licenses 
      * Avoid fixed text, e.g. as part of wallpapers 
      * Take users with less than perfect motor skills and sight into
        account. However, users of average ability must not be made to
        suffer from the consequences of the needs of the impaired. 
      * The theme must support the notion that Ubuntu is a viable
        alternative to Windows. It must help in attracting more users. 
      * Aim at improving the user experience under combined functional
        and aesthetic aspects. Beyond the obvious, this should be an
        invitation to think a little farther than the currently

Key aspects of Ubuntu
      * Ubuntu is an African word that can be roughly translated as
        'Humanity to others', or 'I am what I am because of who we all
        are'. Read more about it at
      * A strong, friendly and involved community 
      * A benevolent dictator for setting direction and making difficult
      * Some emphasis on translations 
      * Strong infrastructure (Launchpad) 
      * A history of brown and orange in themes 

The consequences for the theme are obvious topics to pick up: 

      * Africa 
      * The word Ubuntu and its meaning 
      * Community, collaboration, support and sharing 
      * Unity, willpower 
      * All around the world 
      * Handling the heritage of brown and orange 

Thorsten Wilms

thorwil's design for free software:

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