Thoughts about software-properties

Mohammed Amine IL Idrissi ilidrissiamine at
Fri Aug 6 15:27:43 UTC 2010

Hi Matthew, thanks for your reply.

On Fri, Aug 6, 2010 at 3:52 PM, Matthew Paul Thomas <mpt at>wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> Mohammed Amine IL Idrissi wrote on 04/08/10 17:45:
> >
> > Sorry for the tiny images. Here they are:
> > * update-manager "Repositories" tab:
> I think most people, looking at this interface for the first time, would
> ask: "What does it mean by 'distribution'?"

True. We could replace it by "Ubuntu updates" (or "Debian updates" if we're
running under Debian)

It also seems messy to have the same operation (selecting/deselecting)
> on very similar items (Ubuntu archives, and other archives) handled at
> separate levels (outside a listbox vs. inside).

The only reason I did this is because we don't know the exact number of
other archives (usually, we should see 4 items for Ubuntu archives, the ones
I put in the mockup).

> * update-manager "Automatic updates" tab:
> What is the reason for distinguishing "distribution updates" from "other
> updates"?

Because of the same reason I distinguished distribution repositories from
other repositories. For me, it's just a way to provide the user with more
means of configuration. No problem with me if you decide to simply remove

> * software-center "Provided by Ubuntu" pane:
> Are you suggesting that those checkboxes would be shown all the time?

Not at all, just that I haven't found some kind of expander in Balsamiq
Mockups :-)
We could use a toggle button or an expander to optionally show this screen.

> (Also, "Provided by Ubuntu" and "Commercial software" are mutually
> exclusive.)

Yeah, I guess so. Just ignore this.

> > * software-center PPA/authenticated source pane:
> I don't understand what this is showing. Perhaps you could fill in a few
> more of the details or a bit more of the context?

It just shows that the PPA is an authenticed source. But you are right, this
is outside of the context :-) Just ignore this mockup.

> >...
> > On Wed, Aug 4, 2010 at 4:23 PM, Matthew Paul Thomas <mpt at
> > <mailto:mpt at>> wrote:
> >...
> >> Splitting it into two is an intriguing idea. It looks like the main
> >> awkward point would be the download server setting -- that's the thing
> >> that's most obviously shared between installations and updates.
> >...
> I notice that none of your wireframes show where the download server
> setting would go. :-)

We could just put a "Select Server" button in the "Provided by
Ubuntu" screen. When clicked, the usual download mirror dialog shows up.

I was thinking of doing mockups for adding and editing sources in
software-center, but since browsing PPAs is a planned feature of
software-center, I abstained from this :-)
Like I said, please share your thoughts. Those mockups were quickly done
using Balsamiq Mockups, and I'm not an UI designer, so obviously this may be
horrible interfaces :p
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