Application of UIFEs

Matthew East mdke at
Fri Oct 5 13:13:08 UTC 2012

On 5 October 2012 12:42, John Lea <john.lea at> wrote:
> On 05/10/12 12:11, Matthew East wrote:
>>> -------- Original Message --------
>>> Subject: Application of UIFEs
>>> Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2012 11:28:19 +0100
>>> From: John Lea <john.lea at>
>>> To: product-strategy at
>>> CC: Sebastien Bacher <sebastien.bacher at>, Didier Roche
>>> <didier.roche at>, Jason Warner <jason.warner at>,
>>> iain.lane at, kate.stewart at, Cristian Parrino
>>> <cristian.parrino at>
>>> Hi All,
>>> Over the past week there have been a couple of cases where bug fixes
>>> have been IMHO incorrectly marked as requiring UIFEs.
>>> UIFEs are an important process step to make sure that string changes are
>>> translated and that users reading documentation are not confused.
>>> However visual bug fixes that do not involve string changes or bug fixes
>>> will not cause any user confusion if the documentation is not updated
>>> should not require a UIFE.
>> Please also take into account that documentation includes screenshots,
>> which are invalidated by changes to how the desktop or its components
>> look visually. We used to have two separate freezes, one involving
>> changes to strings, another involving changes to the user interface.
>> These have now been combined into a single "User Interface Freeze",
>> which applies to both types of change. I appreciate that not all
>> design changes will invalidate screenshots, but many of them have the
>> potential to, so this should be borne in mind as this discussion
>> proceeds.
> Yes, I think it is exactly the question of what impact visual changes have
> on screenshots that needs clarification.
> Do we fix the 'pixelated app icons in the App Lens' bug even if this would
> mean that the implementation would be slightly different from the screenshot
> in the documentation?
> Would any users be confused by this difference?

It's a question of balancing, on the one hand, the benefits of fixing
the bug, against on the other hand, the effects that will have on
screenshots (which - depending on the context and the extent of the
change - may not just be about confusing users, but also a question of
ensuring that the screenshots look professional).

Weighing up that balance is not something we can address in the
definition of what fixes are subject to the UIFE process in the first
place. It's exactly what the freeze exception process is there to do:
to weigh up the pros and cons, and decide whether an exception is
justified or not.


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