Default Desktop Experience for 11.04

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Default Desktop Experience for 11.04

Rick Spencer-2
Hello all,

Back at UDS for 11.04 in Orlando, Mark set the goal of using Unity by
default on the Ubutu desktop. Given the current course of development,
it appears that we are going to achieve this goal, and Unity will stay
the default for 11.04.

I'm following up on this list at the suggestion of the Tech Board to
give folks a chance to respond or escelate any concerns.

Note that there are some arguments for changing the default from Unity
to "classic' GNOME:
1. There are key feature regressions, for example, there is no systray
support for many important applications.
2. There are usability problems, for example, settings are hard to find,
the launcher icons behave differently when you click on the trash can
versus the home folder launcher, it's hard to find a categorized view of
applications, searches do not always turn up expected results.
3. We are coming in too hot, there are too many crashers on some
hardware and the final product will be buggy.

I won't rebut these points myself, as I am rather striving to represent
the viewpoints not argue against them.

Representing the desktop team, Jason Warner believes that Unity will
deliver the superior experience for most users in 11.04. I agree with
this position and support staying the course.

Cheers, Rick

PS - You can reference the recent and current bug fixing efforts of the
Unity team here:
https://launchpad.net/unity/+milestone/3.8.4
https://launchpad.net/unity/+milestone/3.8.6
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/unity



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Re: Default Desktop Experience for 11.04

Brian Curtis-8
Hi all,

I think I can offer some opinions on this without repeating what
others say too much.

I want to compare this to the decision a few releases ago to make
Empathy the default IM client in Ubuntu.  Then why I think Unity
should become the default desktop session and not classic GNOME.

Pidgin was the running favorite, there were a ton of fans of the
client, people were really liking the application and along came the
rookie Empathy, which at that point few had heard about, but was a
very good candidate based on the amount of time their devs had put
into the client and the potential of the software.

Once the switch was officially made, the backlash in bug reports and
in the social media was harsh, and rude at times.  Look where that
client has come to this point since we made it default.  I sincerely
believe (and the devs have expressed the same sentiment) that it
wouldn't be as good as it is now if it weren't for that decision and
amount of attention.

Not to digress any further, I feel that Unity will thrive in the same
environment.  If we delay it any further then we are keeping some
valuable attention from its development.  There will be backlashes, in
bug reports, in the social media.  With the amount of attention and
use it will get by being default, it will grow fast.

It may appear to be a couple steps back, but I think in the end we
will find that Unity as the default desktop environment for 11.04 will
be a gigantic leap forward later on.

Thanks for all of your time,

~Brian

On Thu, Apr 7, 2011 at 9:38 PM, Rick Spencer <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello all,
>
> Back at UDS for 11.04 in Orlando, Mark set the goal of using Unity by
> default on the Ubutu desktop. Given the current course of development,
> it appears that we are going to achieve this goal, and Unity will stay
> the default for 11.04.
>
> I'm following up on this list at the suggestion of the Tech Board to
> give folks a chance to respond or escelate any concerns.
>
> Note that there are some arguments for changing the default from Unity
> to "classic' GNOME:
> 1. There are key feature regressions, for example, there is no systray
> support for many important applications.
> 2. There are usability problems, for example, settings are hard to find,
> the launcher icons behave differently when you click on the trash can
> versus the home folder launcher, it's hard to find a categorized view of
> applications, searches do not always turn up expected results.
> 3. We are coming in too hot, there are too many crashers on some
> hardware and the final product will be buggy.
>
> I won't rebut these points myself, as I am rather striving to represent
> the viewpoints not argue against them.
>
> Representing the desktop team, Jason Warner believes that Unity will
> deliver the superior experience for most users in 11.04. I agree with
> this position and support staying the course.
>
> Cheers, Rick
>
> PS - You can reference the recent and current bug fixing efforts of the
> Unity team here:
> https://launchpad.net/unity/+milestone/3.8.4
> https://launchpad.net/unity/+milestone/3.8.6
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/unity
>
>
>
> --
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> [hidden email]
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-desktop
>



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Re: Default Desktop Experience for 11.04

Jorge O. Castro-3
In reply to this post by Rick Spencer-2
On Thu, Apr 7, 2011 at 9:38 PM, Rick Spencer <[hidden email]> wrote:
> 1. There are key feature regressions, for example, there is no systray
> support for many important applications.

According to the AppIndicator Design document the notification area
will be phased out:
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/CustomStatusMenuDesignGuidelines

We've been transitioning since 10.04 now so I don't think this should
be attributed to Unity entirely, we could have easily run into this by
not shipping the notification area in classic mode.

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Re: Default Desktop Experience for 11.04

Martin Owens-2
In reply to this post by Rick Spencer-2
On Thu, 2011-04-07 at 18:38 -0700, Rick Spencer wrote:
> Note that there are some arguments for changing the default from Unity
> to "classic' GNOME:

But what is available isn't classic ubuntu gnome... at least not in
testing so far:

- Windows menus
+ Global menus
- Ubuntu "Menu bar" widget
+ GNOME "Main Menu" widget

Are the issues with nvidia looking like they will be resolved? I don't
know how many people are effected but I can't imagine a happy people if
1/3rd of users are forced into classic, especially since Unity rocks so
much.

Martin,


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Re: Default Desktop Experience for 11.04

Scott Kitterman-3
In reply to this post by Jorge O. Castro-3
On Thursday, April 07, 2011 10:00:45 PM Jorge O. Castro wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 7, 2011 at 9:38 PM, Rick Spencer <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> > 1. There are key feature regressions, for example, there is no systray
> > support for many important applications.
>
> According to the AppIndicator Design document the notification area
> will be phased out:
> https://wiki.ubuntu.com/CustomStatusMenuDesignGuidelines
>
> We've been transitioning since 10.04 now so I don't think this should
> be attributed to Unity entirely, we could have easily run into this by
> not shipping the notification area in classic mode.

Ubuntu is alone, AFAIK, in deciding to do away with the notification
area/systray (in KDE it's called the systray).  I think it's reasonably
inevitable that there will always be packages that don't support this Ubuntu
unique functionality.  I'm not sure if that's an argument for waiting (more
time might yield more support) or an argument for going ahead (no matter how
long we'll always lose some fraction of support).

It does seem relevant to this discussion however because even though removing
the notification area could have been a classic mode problem, it's at present
something that is tied to Unity.

Scott K

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Re: Default Desktop Experience for 11.04

Alex Launi
In reply to this post by Jorge O. Castro-3
I can honestly say that when I am not in a unity environment, I don't feel at home. I bounce back and forth between ubuntu and osx, and when nvidia was broken, and when I'm in osx, I often find myself trying to 4 finger slide, throwing my mouse to 0,0, tapping super, and generally evoking unity idioms. unity has very quickly made itself a very natural part of my workflow and i couldn't imagine working without it any more.

It's leagues beyond anything I've ever used, and I am massively impressed with what we've created.


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Re: Default Desktop Experience for 11.04

Martin Pitt-4
In reply to this post by Rick Spencer-2
Rick Spencer [2011-04-07 18:38 -0700]:
> 1. There are key feature regressions, for example, there is no systray
> support for many important applications.

For the record, this is currently purely a design decision, not a
technical problem. Unity does have a systray, but most applications
are not allowed to use it. The current exception list is AFAIR Java
applications, Skype, and Mumble.

If this is a major issue, then frankly I'd rather just remove the
whitelist and allow all old-style systray applications than dropping
Unity by default completely.

Martin
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Re: Default Desktop Experience for 11.04

Martin Pitt-4
In reply to this post by Alex Launi
Alex Launi [2011-04-07 23:46 -0400]:
> I can honestly say that when I am not in a unity environment, I don't feel
> at home.

I couldn't have believed it even two months ago still, but today I
feel the same. When I switch back to classic GNOME it feels inferior
now; I'm particularly missing the super-fast keyboard
shortcuts/search/navigation and bigger screen real estate.

Martin
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Re: Default Desktop Experience for 11.04

Timo Jyrinki-4
2011/4/8 Martin Pitt <[hidden email]>:
> I couldn't have believed it even two months ago still, but today I
> feel the same. When I switch back to classic GNOME it feels inferior
> now; I'm particularly missing the super-fast keyboard
> shortcuts/search/navigation and bigger screen real estate.

I have started to like Unity a lot, at least on a though level and
also seeing in practice that it's really improving. The biggest issues
have been that unity has been crashing for me all the time. Today is
actually the first day that unity/compiz didn't crash within a minute
of logging in when alt-tabbing or something similar (then it usually
took longer time before it crashed the next time). Fingers crossed
that unity 3.8.4 is now actually more stable in real use - same was
said about 3.8.2. If it stays for a day of work without crashing,
that's a really good accomplishment compared to before.

Besides fixing crashers I really would see need for more accessibility
support and help. I don't know how to access eg. indicators or system
menu from keyboard, which is quite essential for me even without
disabilities, but for people with disabilities I believe the
accessibility in general is relatively poor at the moment. gnome-shell
already has a lot of a11y stuff integrated in 3.0 (considering it's
the first stable release), and Ubuntu with accessibility as one of the
core Ubuntu philosophy items should have as well. Of course, by 12.04
LTS at least.

There are a lot of bugs and lack of features (and many have been fixed
already as well) and the performance is quite bad in parts, but those
are not as serious as a) crashers and potentially b) accessibility and
lack of any help.

For 11.10, probably something should be done about the logging in
time, with is terrible at least with a traditional spinning, encrypted
disk, compared to normal Gnome. Weirdly sometimes I saw a pretty fast
logging in even after reboot, but normally it's 30s+ from gdm to
desktop. Something is seriously churning the hard disk with seeks,
possibly something that only occurs with specific conditions.

-Timo

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Re: Default Desktop Experience for 11.04

Marcin Juszkiewicz-10
In reply to this post by Jorge O. Castro-3
Dnia 2011-04-07, czw o godzinie 22:00 -0400, Jorge O. Castro pisze:

> On Thu, Apr 7, 2011 at 9:38 PM, Rick Spencer <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > 1. There are key feature regressions, for example, there is no systray
> > support for many important applications.
>
> According to the AppIndicator Design document the notification area
> will be phased out:
> https://wiki.ubuntu.com/CustomStatusMenuDesignGuidelines
>
> We've been transitioning since 10.04 now so I don't think this should
> be attributed to Unity entirely, we could have easily run into this by
> not shipping the notification area in classic mode.

Good that there are other environments then default Unity/GNOME ones in
Ubuntu. From apps which I use at least two are still systray ones:
Last.Fm and PSI. I use them for years and do not want to change just
because there is no systray support.

But I also use XFCE so I should be safe from your changes ;D



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Re: Default Desktop Experience for 11.04

Philipp Kern
In reply to this post by Martin Owens-2
Martin,

am Thu, Apr 07, 2011 at 10:47:15PM -0400 hast du folgendes geschrieben:

> On Thu, 2011-04-07 at 18:38 -0700, Rick Spencer wrote:
> > Note that there are some arguments for changing the default from Unity
> > to "classic' GNOME:
> But what is available isn't classic ubuntu gnome... at least not in
> testing so far:
>
> - Windows menus
> + Global menus
> - Ubuntu "Menu bar" widget
> + GNOME "Main Menu" widget
what I find really annoying is the lack of the default GNOME applets which are
even advertised in the gnome-applets package description.  Where has the volume
applet gone?  Yes, it was replaced by indicators, but can we please get it back
at least manually?

When I deactivate/remove the indicators I get some back in the systray (like nm
and bluetooth) after re-login but they all miss their icons.  (The icon is
replaced by the icon missing symbol.)

(And yes, given that it isn't my laptop that's influenced by Canonical's design
decisions, I didn't report those as bugs yet.)

Some instructional page on the wiki how to revert to classic GNOME would be
helpful, too.

Kind regards
Philipp Kern

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Re: Default Desktop Experience for 11.04

vila-2
In reply to this post by Martin Pitt-4
>>>>> Martin Pitt <[hidden email]> writes:

    > Alex Launi [2011-04-07 23:46 -0400]:
    >> I can honestly say that when I am not in a unity environment, I don't feel
    >> at home.

    > I couldn't have believed it even two months ago still, but today I
    > feel the same. When I switch back to classic GNOME it feels inferior
    > now; I'm particularly missing the super-fast keyboard
    > shortcuts/search/navigation and bigger screen real estate.

You weren't using Gnome Do don't you ?

But yes, even if I haven't yet been able to use Unity much, from my
tests, I'm eager to switch to it as soon as I can.

*Finally* an auto-hiding dock that works, gee, and it's not coming from
Apple ?

Kudos to the design team... is all I can say.

      Vincent

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Re: Default Desktop Experience for 11.04

Dave Walker (Daviey)
In reply to this post by Alex Launi
On 08/04/11 04:46, Alex Launi wrote:
I can honestly say that when I am not in a unity environment, I don't feel at home. I bounce back and forth between ubuntu and osx, and when nvidia was broken, and when I'm in osx, I often find myself trying to 4 finger slide, throwing my mouse to 0,0, tapping super, and generally evoking unity idioms. unity has very quickly made itself a very natural part of my workflow and i couldn't imagine working without it any more.

It's leagues beyond anything I've ever used, and I am massively impressed with what we've created.


--
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I would like to echo this point aswell.  Increasingly, when using an Android phone - I'm finding that not having a whizzy hotkey to open a text input area, then be able to type the app name is frustrating.

The area I am lacking in Unity is following the correct terminology, and ability to discover some of the hotkey shortcuts.  The reliability has increased massively within the last two weeks.

Additionally, shipping this as default will help uncover more issues which will continue to become unresolved until it does hit the masses.  If Beta 2 does yield some negative feedback, perhaps adding some notification on first login how to revert back to Classic desktop might help satisfy those that struggle with the conversion.

Kind Regards,
Dave Walker

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Re: Default Desktop Experience for 11.04

Dave Morley-3
In reply to this post by Philipp Kern
On Fri, 2011-04-08 at 10:33 +0200, Philipp Kern wrote:

> Martin,
>
> am Thu, Apr 07, 2011 at 10:47:15PM -0400 hast du folgendes geschrieben:
> > On Thu, 2011-04-07 at 18:38 -0700, Rick Spencer wrote:
> > > Note that there are some arguments for changing the default from Unity
> > > to "classic' GNOME:
> > But what is available isn't classic ubuntu gnome... at least not in
> > testing so far:
> >
> > - Windows menus
> > + Global menus
> > - Ubuntu "Menu bar" widget
> > + GNOME "Main Menu" widget
>
> what I find really annoying is the lack of the default GNOME applets which are
> even advertised in the gnome-applets package description.  Where has the volume
> applet gone?  Yes, it was replaced by indicators, but can we please get it back
> at least manually?
>
> When I deactivate/remove the indicators I get some back in the systray (like nm
> and bluetooth) after re-login but they all miss their icons.  (The icon is
> replaced by the icon missing symbol.)
>
> (And yes, given that it isn't my laptop that's influenced by Canonical's design
> decisions, I didn't report those as bugs yet.)
>
> Some instructional page on the wiki how to revert to classic GNOME would be
> helpful, too.
>
> Kind regards
> Philipp Kern
Have Gnome not done away with the notification area in 3.0 also in which
case how do their apps handle not having the notification area.

We now have the blue Ubuntu indicator when an application requires
viewing so I don't particularly see not having an indicator as an issue
as long as the application icon shows up in the app launcher.  If we
went with gnome 3.0 people would have the same complaint it's a new
desktop shell get over it.

I have 2 boxes that I run all day my laptop on Natty Unity and my main
desktop on maverick,  I keep wondering where the launcher is on
maverick, as I have the key application setup there that I use all day.

I can't wait to upgrade my main desktop but that won't be till stable is
released.
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Re: Default Desktop Experience for 11.04

Neil Jagdish Patel-3
In reply to this post by Timo Jyrinki-4
Hi,

On Fri, 2011-04-08 at 11:13 +0300, Timo Jyrinki wrote:

> 2011/4/8 Martin Pitt <[hidden email]>:
> > I couldn't have believed it even two months ago still, but today I
> > feel the same. When I switch back to classic GNOME it feels inferior
> > now; I'm particularly missing the super-fast keyboard
> > shortcuts/search/navigation and bigger screen real estate.
>
> I have started to like Unity a lot, at least on a though level and
> also seeing in practice that it's really improving. The biggest issues
> have been that unity has been crashing for me all the time. Today is
> actually the first day that unity/compiz didn't crash within a minute
> of logging in when alt-tabbing or something similar (then it usually
> took longer time before it crashed the next time). Fingers crossed
> that unity 3.8.4 is now actually more stable in real use - same was
> said about 3.8.2. If it stays for a day of work without crashing,
> that's a really good accomplishment compared to before.

3.8.4 should be much, much more stable, especially if you're on a 64-bit
system. The entire team is concentrated on crashers and I think we'll
have a very stable Unity by hard-freeze.

> Besides fixing crashers I really would see need for more accessibility
> support and help. I don't know how to access eg. indicators or system
> menu from keyboard, which is quite essential for me even without
> disabilities, but for people with disabilities I believe the
> accessibility in general is relatively poor at the moment. gnome-shell
> already has a lot of a11y stuff integrated in 3.0 (considering it's
> the first stable release), and Ubuntu with accessibility as one of the
> core Ubuntu philosophy items should have as well. Of course, by 12.04
> LTS at least.

Both the panel and the launcher have a11y support but we really wanted
to achieve more in this area this cycle but fell a bit short with the
Dash. We do have keyboard shortcuts to access the different components:

F10 - Opens first available menu in Panel and then left/right arrows let
you move between all the menus on the panel
Alt+F1 - Focuses the launcher and allows you to keyboard-navigate the
icons and also navigate the Quicklists.
Super - Opens the Dash

> For 11.10, probably something should be done about the logging in
> time, with is terrible at least with a traditional spinning, encrypted
> disk, compared to normal Gnome. Weirdly sometimes I saw a pretty fast
> logging in even after reboot, but normally it's 30s+ from gdm to
> desktop. Something is seriously churning the hard disk with seeks,
> possibly something that only occurs with specific conditions.

I'll be looking into this, I believe it's because we needlessly
initialise the place-daemons during log-in.

Regards,

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Desktop Experience Team
Canonical
27 Floor, Millbank Tower
London SW1P 4QP
Ubuntu - Linux for Human Beings
www.canonical.com



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Re: Default Desktop Experience for 11.04

Timo Jyrinki-4
In reply to this post by Timo Jyrinki-4
2011/4/8 Neil Jagdish Patel <[hidden email]>:
> 3.8.4 should be much, much more stable, especially if you're on a 64-bit
> system. The entire team is concentrated on crashers and I think we'll
> have a very stable Unity by hard-freeze.

Sounds good, and yes I've 64-bit which explains a bit.

> F10 - Opens first available menu in Panel and then left/right arrows let
> you move between all the menus on the panel
> Alt+F1 - Focuses the launcher and allows you to keyboard-navigate the
> icons and also navigate the Quicklists.
> Super - Opens the Dash

Yippee! Super and Alt+F2 I had realized (and Alt+F2 was great to have
when it appeared and I noticed it from changelog), F10 and Alt+F1 were
news to me and they seem to work great at the first sight (except when
in calendar, where it seems there is zero way of getting out with
keyboard only - I will check if there is a bug for that).

The keyboard usability just got a huge boost for me. This illustrates
though somewhat the problem of finding these out and the lack of any
built-in Help.

-Timo

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Re: Default Desktop Experience for 11.04

Philipp Kern-6
In reply to this post by Dave Morley-3
On Fri, Apr 08, 2011 at 10:56:48AM +0100, Dave Morley wrote:
> We now have the blue Ubuntu indicator when an application requires
> viewing so I don't particularly see not having an indicator as an issue
> as long as the application icon shows up in the app launcher.  If we
> went with gnome 3.0 people would have the same complaint it's a new
> desktop shell get over it.

As you replied to my mail:  I deconfigured all of Unity as far as possible.
Unity still uses GNOME 2 as its base but it seems that some changes broke the
classical GNOME, which is all I want to mention.

(And I was asked to get rid of Unity, it wasn't my decision neither.  The whole
"you won't be able to configure indicators in a meaningful way" seems to annoy
people, too.)

Kind regards
Philipp Kern

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Re: Default Desktop Experience for 11.04

Martin Pitt-4
In reply to this post by Neil Jagdish Patel-3
Neil Jagdish Patel [2011-04-08 11:38 +0100]:
> I'll be looking into this, I believe it's because we needlessly
> initialise the place-daemons during log-in.

Does that include zeitgeist? As a Python program, it has a pretty heavy
impact on the login sequence. In previous releases we tried to keep it
out of the critical path, by delaying sytem-config-printer by 30
seconds (and we didn't have any other Python stuff during boot).

Martin
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Re: Default Desktop Experience for 11.04

Neil Jagdish Patel-3
On Fri, 2011-04-08 at 16:15 +0200, Martin Pitt wrote:
> Neil Jagdish Patel [2011-04-08 11:38 +0100]:
> > I'll be looking into this, I believe it's because we needlessly
> > initialise the place-daemons during log-in.
>
> Does that include zeitgeist? As a Python program, it has a pretty heavy
> impact on the login sequence. In previous releases we tried to keep it
> out of the critical path, by delaying sytem-config-printer by 30
> seconds (and we didn't have any other Python stuff during boot).

Right, exactly. I need to be careful about not breaking random things
but it's a lot of win and I believe it's a safe change overall.

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Desktop Experience Team
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London SW1P 4QP
Ubuntu - Linux for Human Beings
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Re: Default Desktop Experience for 11.04

Martin Pitt-4
In reply to this post by Jorge O. Castro-3
Jorge O. Castro [2011-04-07 22:00 -0400]:
> We've been transitioning since 10.04 now so I don't think this should
> be attributed to Unity entirely, we could have easily run into this by
> not shipping the notification area in classic mode.

Well, we can always break things harder, but IMHO this is a battle
which we aren't going to win until/unless we actually get indicators
landed upstream...

Martin
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