Thought that could do with blueprinting: Juicier release notes

Dylan McCall dylanmccall at
Sun Oct 18 16:51:02 UTC 2009


Ahead of myself a bit here, but one problem I noticed a lot of during
the Karmic alphas (and earlier, really) is that the people testing the
release are often in the dark about why things are as they are, where
feedback is particularly appreciated and where things are going.

If we look at the release notes for the alphas, it is fairly evident why
that is happening:

Now, this works - it mentions a few big details like Ubuntu One, the
software store and the important known issues. I like how the new boot
experience was introduced in the release notes :)
However, I think more things could be done for Lucid...

Here is some stuff that I think should have appeared in the release
notes at some point:

      * As an experiment, many icons have been removed from menus and
        buttons. We intend to only use icons for objects like files and
        applications. If you see an exception to this pattern, please
        file a bug report. Please leave feedback on the experiment
      * It is under consideration to disable tap to click by default on
        most laptop touch pads. That behaviour will be introduced soon.
        Users will need to use the hard buttons beside the touch pads.
        This is to avoid issues where one could accidentally brush the
        touch pad while typing. It is now really easy to configure the
        touchpad via System -> Preferences -> Mouse. Please let us know
        about this change [somewhere].
      * The login screen (GDM) has been upgraded to version 2.28, which
        is a complete rewrite from that shipped in previous versions of
        Ubuntu. As a result, full fledged configuration tools are not
        yet available for it but we have made a tool to change the most
        important options. However, it is a much more shiny and
        integrated experience :)
      * Services Administration has been removed because...

It makes sense to explain the technical reason behind changes here, and
to explain whether they are temporary, required for something else or
could be fixed with a helping hand. Otherwise, we end up with users
feeling lost, getting angry about experiments (because lots of people
assume we don't listen, when in fact the purpose of many changes that
feel like useless regressions is we _want_ them to give feedback) and
generally being less constructive than they could be if we gave them the
right information in a central place.

To accommodate this, it would also make a lot of sense to have two
different release notes pages (or maybe a fancy collapsing container via
Javascript), to get server and desktop changes detached from each other,
simply to be more readable, maybe with Known Issues and Download shared
between the two.

Another possibility is an official news page (blog style, with an RSS
feed) for the development release :)

Dylan McCall

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