Quick brainstorming (long)
ramon at linux-labs.net
Tue Dec 7 10:52:29 CST 2004
Hi, I find Ubuntu a great distro and I have been recommending it to
users which don't have much experience with GNU/Linux. I'm GNU/Linux
teacher and I have prepared some Linux Desktop courses. As an
experienced user I don't have any problem to do the common tasks in
Ubuntu but teaching to average users which come from the MS Windows
world you learn a lot of what are the weak points in Linux at the
desktop (and the strengths as well ;-).
I have done a list of easy-to-implement things which could give more
acceptance among the new users who try Ubuntu for the first time.
Remember that at every point I'm thinking about making John Smith's life
with Ubuntu easier.
- Make Nautilus by default to navigate in the filesystem instead of
opening a simple window in which when cliking on a folder opens
another one and so on (that reminds the default behaviour of file
exploring in W95). That's just activating an option in the view menu
if my memory doesn't fail.
- Include, commented out, the multiversal repository in sources.list
(the universe is already included but commented, isn't it?) so that
being able to activate it easily with Synaptics.
- Include in Synaptics pre-configured filters to show packages in the
multiversal, universal, with origin=Ubuntu, security updates, etc. in
order to understand better the package system and to able to select
them separately. Some users want to have just the security updates
while others will be happy if they are able to find all the mp3, dvd
and flash stuff. The name of the filters could identificate this.
- Don't start so many services by default. A normal desktop user don't
need postfix, atd and so on.
- Something for managing the services in the menu. rcconf or
sysv-rc-conf would be enough although having some gnome app would
always be better, Red Hat has something called "Services Configuration
Tool". Porting it to Ubuntu (and to Debian) may not be an
easy-to-implement task ;-) (at least not a 10 minutes job).
- Put gdm at the very beggining of the boot up process, a desktop distro
has to bee as quick as possible when booting up.
- Include some icons on the Desktop like Home, System, Network, Trash,
- Although I have checked this superficially I have the feeling that
lsmod shows me lots of modules I don't need.
- Use a 1024x768 framebuffer (e.g: 791). This beautifies the boot up
- The same for the installation process.
- Include autocomplete by default in /etc/bash.bashrc (OK, that's not
for John Smith but it makes our life at the shell easier ;-)
- Have you ever discussed about creating a monthly cd with security
updates and put it available to download and for adding it with
Synaptic to the repositories. The same for the universal and
multiversal repositories (one or more cd's). There are lots of
users all around the planet who don't have access to the Internet or
are still connected with a 56K modem. This way they could get the cds
in Linux magazines, at work, from buddies, etc.
- I like the Ubuntu Calendar, why doesn't it come by default?
Well, that's my quick brainstorming after playing for one (whole ;-) day
with Ubuntu. Great job guys!
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