Providing a less dramatic upgrade for LTS-users.
joerlend.schinstad at gmail.com
Thu Dec 15 11:20:06 UTC 2011
I have been thinking about the LTS upgrade that is ahead of us. It seems
to me that a lot of the users who are sticking to LTS releases will be
users who are only interested in getting things done, and not interested
in the computer itself. These can be "you have to show me exactly where
to click"-type users, or it can be corporations that has basic desktop
needs, and doesn't want to spend time educating the users in a new
Many of these users will be presented with a "New distribution
available" upgrade for the very first time. It is likely that many will
just go right ahead and install the upgrade. When they reboot, they will
log into a completely new environment. As we've seen, this can upset
people when they don't expect the change. These have mostly been
experienced users, and they still get upset. I think we should learn
from this for the LTS upgrade.
My proposal is that users who _upgrade_ from 10.04 should be presented
with a Gnome Panel desktop, kept as close to the setup in 10.04 as
possible. This should be very easy since most of the stuff on the panel
has been converted to indicators in any case, and the indicator applet
has been upgraded to Gnome Panel 3, along with the default applets. At
the first login after the upgrade, the user should be presented with a
dialog that tells the user about the new desktop and that you can open a
guest session to try it without any consequences. Or perhaps a "Try it
now"-button in the dialog to a user that will automatically switch back
to your own user account when you log out. When they come back, they can
choose to switch to Unity, or keep the classic session.
I think this creates a more smooth and friendly transition, and this can
be very important for certain users. It is easy to do and it requires
very little extra download. We should not loose sight of the fact that
there are a lot of users who are downright intimidated by technology,
and actively avoids any kind of exploration. We should respect that --
particularly for LTS releases which, for obvious reasons, should be
recommended to this user group. This is also a special situation.
Hopefully, the Unity experience will be stable enough that the
transition between 12.04 and 14.04 will be less dramatic.
The only issue I can think of that might require a little work, is panel
applets compatibility. Some will not have been upgraded and therefore
not available. It would be nice to have something similar to what
Firefox has for its extensions.
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