Two potentially crazy ideas for Feisty

Daniel Acton daniel.acton at
Fri Oct 27 08:29:12 BST 2006

Hi Evan.

I like these ideas.

The way I see it, Ubuntu's key differentiator as a Linux distro is it's ease
of use. Ubuntu wants to be on the desktop of 'normal people' (as opposed to
geeks), because Ubuntu is "Linux for human beings". That said, any effort to
have the end-user experience made easier and more efficient is great in my

As it stands, installing Linux is normally a thing geeks are seen to do. A
'normal person' would back out of the install at the first sign of a
problem. Your first idea is great because it would let the user have a
feeling of peace - there is help at hand.

The second one is also great -- it extends the concept of using the magic
number to identify a file type. Windows uses that web service thing, where
it says you can look for information on programs to open the file via a Web
Service. So I would think it'd have 3 levels. 1) Check if the magic is known
and registered. 2) If the magic is known but no app is registered, check the
local database of known apps for magics, propose to install that. 3) If the
magic is known, but the local database doesn't contain anything about an app
for it, check the webservice, update the local db and offer to install.

I'm a developer, these would be cool projects to be involved in.


On 10/27/06, Evan Dandrea <xevand at> wrote:
> I'm tempted to write specifications for two ideas, but I'm not sure if
> they would be feasible, so if any knowledgeable developer has some
> time, I'd appreciate some input on the following:
> Would it be feasible to maintain a database of known-to-have-issues
> hardware, keyed against the hardware ID and used by a
> post-installation utility that links the user up with the appropriate
> page via a libnotify popup.
> Also, would it be insane to use libmagic to identify what program
> opens files that do not already have an association and use this
> information to suggest to prompt the user to install the appropriate
> application.  Lets say I get a Dia diagram in an email, but I don't
> have Dia installed.  When I click on the file, a dialog tells me that
> I do not have Dia installed and thus cannot open the diagram,
> presenting me with a button to install it and then try to reopen the
> file.
> --
> ubuntu-devel mailing list
> ubuntu-devel at
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