[ubuntu-uk] Upgrading to 12.04 ....

alan c aeclist at candt.waitrose.com
Sun Apr 29 21:54:12 UTC 2012

On 29/04/12 21:04, Alan Bell wrote:
> it says "do you want to upgrade?" and you can say yes or no to it.
> Clearly "yes" is the preferred option, but why shouldn't we encourage
> people to upgrade to new cool stuff that will make their experience
> better (which is the aim of it, sometimes that doesn't work out so well)?

Why? because some regular users like my 80+ year old friend (sadly now 
no longer with  us) easily confuse an up'date' with an up'grade'. 
Whereas updates are usually fairly safe, upgrades are not. Upgrade and 
update sound similar and seem similar. They appear even in the same 
window in the same situation.

Some users are ordinary non technical people. Update or upgrade is all 
the same to them. One can consider that such ordinary human beings 
are, or are not,  capable of using the first user account to have 
access to the admin level. My 92 year old relative, who only does 
online shopping and is closely administered by tech family members if 
changes are needed has a restricted account, but it is not appropriate 
for an independent active 84 year old who goes to windows club every 
week and uses Windows (was XP) routinely, and can and does expect to 
install stuff from say the ubuntu software centre when he needs to in 
his dual boot laptop.

There are strong moves to make Ubuntu good for a vast user base, but 
many existing users are diy users like my 80+ friend, and in terms of 
a discussion list like this one, they are novices and do not know 
what, say, a partition is, like most Windows users don't.

It is such users that will get tripped up by Upgrade vs Update. This 
is especially because the enthusiasm of our community and devs to 
encourage upgrades is aimed at the traditional enthusiast linux based 
os user, not the less competent  joe or jane. Version upgrades are 
notified by default and the reason a health warning would be 
appropriate is because the least technical user is *likely* to fall 
for it, like my friend.

Or will we move to a discussion about the wrong sort of leaves on the 
track or the wrong sort of users for Ubuntu, I trust not. It is the 
sort of thing which will hopefully get addressed  before too long, now 
that unity is  finding its feet. But it is an important type of issue 
and it is something which (Windows etc) are well versed at, although 
they have a knack of being condescending, and somehow untrustworthy.

This danger of 'relatively little knowledge' only exists in some 
areas, not all. Many aspects of Ubuntu really are very good for 
novices, I have many examples.

However because the main user base currently has to self install, the 
less-technical end of this group can get trouble from information 
intended mostly for more experienced users.

Not an upgrade situation: but a novice danger example was ubuntu 10.10 
cd where one of the options for install caused loss of all the other 
partitions on the disc. This problem was a severe problem, but 
fortunately relatively few people chose the problem option. Of course, 
I did (!) and lost multiple OS's on the test machine, but then I had 
images. The problem remained unchanged throughout the life of 10.10. 
Even Mint had the same bug, they did not seem to think it important! 
My point here is that although such problems can be coped with by 
techy enthusiasts they are much more serious for novice but slightly 
adventurous Windows users, who have may have been encouraged by friends.

The sort of trouble that some users can get themselves into - a type 
of user that we deliberately are aiming to increase in numbers - 
continues to need a type of design vigilance which is a bit unusual in 
the GNU/Linux world.
alan cocks

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