New user help center (Was Re: Firefox startup page)

Michael V. De Palatis depalatis at
Tue Apr 11 19:00:53 BST 2006


On 4/11/06, Matthew East <mdke at> wrote:
> This discussion would be more profitable on the Documentation mailing
> list, because the Documentation Team looks after that page, and there
> are a number of documentation issues which arise out of what you say.
> I'll cross-post this email, when you reply, please remove ubuntu-devel
> and leave ubuntu-doc.

You're right, I apologize. I should have sent this to the ubuntu-doc mailing
list. All further messages regarding this topic will continue on ubuntu-doc.

First of all, a question: are you talking about the start page in Ubuntu
> 5.10, or Ubuntu 6.06? The page has changed enormously in the latter, the
> top three lines explain about Ubuntu's philosophy, and the immediate
> next section deals with getting help with Ubuntu. This links to the
> Official documentation (which explains clearly how to add mp3 support,
> flash in the browser, etc), as well as the forums, chat support, and
> community documentation (wiki). It then explains how to participate in
> Ubuntu.

I am basing this primarily on the start page in Breezy, as I haven't used
Dapper extensively yet. I would also say that in principle, the concept I
have in mind does not necessarily have to be the Firefox start page. The
suggestion of having a desktop icon (for example) which goes to this "New
User Help Center" is perhaps the better option.

Furthermore, since not every new user is guaranteed to use Firefox,
separating this from Firefox would be a better idea to begin with (say, for
example someone has used Mozilla in the past, and they like it better. If
they get it installed, they will use that and not Firefox, though if he
knows how to do this, he probably doesn't need the Help Center anyway).

It's very late in the release to change the front page: the
> documentation is frozen now, and translation has begun.

Certainly. This wasn't meant to be a suggestion for a change in Dapper as I
was well aware of the current status of Dapper.

Another really cool thing about the firefox homepage is that it will be
> translated for Ubuntu 6.06: so users will get the information it
> provides in their own language.

Another excellent point.

Thank you very much for your input. You brought up some issues that I hadn't
considered, and that is incredibly helpful.


What further suggestions would you have on this idea? Personally, I am now
convinced that a better way to display these FAQs and links to help for new
users would be better served in either a desktop icon link or perhaps even a
system tray icon that pops up a bubble on the first few boots or so (similar
to the bubbles that pop up when updates are availalable).

Thanks again for any input,

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