[Desktop 13.04-Topic] Having a smart ubuntu desktop

Didier Roche didrocks at ubuntu.com
Thu Oct 18 09:10:02 UTC 2012

Hey everyone,

In a world where we are using more and more connected web services doing 
some of our tasks (web mails, online documentation editing, online music 
players…) should we imagine having a more adapated image to our users? 
This will mean reducing our main image footprint by removing some of 
those tools we install by default:
I'm thinking of thunderbird, libreoffice, rhythmbox and other main 
applications of our desktop for instance.

The counter-part would be to make our desktop smarter. I can imagine:
- having the messaging menu (or an icon in the launcher, or an icon in 
the dash) showing, the first time you try to configure your email 
account, a window asking for your email
- based on the answer, either proposing to directly use a web 
application (with unity integration) for an @gmail.com, @yahoo.com… and 
other email providers known to have good web integrations. Otherwise, 
proposing to install thunderbird, ideally opening the account creating 
setup prefiled with the information already be done.
(we can of course imagine a checkbox to override the "smart" behavior).

This is just a field example, we can expand to document editing, and a 
lot of other areas.
There is already some integration of this for other parts of the stack 
(like double clicking on an odt when you don't have libreoffice 
installed), we can make sure all our desktop have this kind of tweaks, 
and try to make a sharper, more adaptive image to our finale users, 
without having lots of post-install applications to remove.

What do you think? Is that a goal worth having?

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