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Mark Speaks; New Artwork For Lucid, Awesome Messaging Applet Improvements Coming, View On ChromeOS, More!

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Lucid, Lucid, Lucid. It’s the only word on Ubuntu-fervents lips these days!

As part of the post-Koala release, Mark Shuttleworth held his usual Q&A session in an IRC in somewhere land and spilt all sorts of awesome beans – from artwork planned to his views on ChromeOS!

I’ve fished around the entire session, pulled out the interesting stuff regarding Lucid and garnished it with some formatting for your lovely eyes to feast on…


QUESTION: New artwork for Lucid?

New window decorations, some new icons for the panel indicators, some new styling on boot and login, no new gtk theme.

Interesting stuff! Could the UbuntuSun theme in the Lucid proposals be one-step ahead of the Ubuntu Design team?

QUESTION: How is Ayatana coming along? Are you still energized by it? Is it still on the high priority list? (lots of Ayatana questions)

I love that part of the project and spend a few hours on it every day (a lot of time for me). There’s a great and growing team – they really care about the desktop experience, and they are not fundamentalist about GNOME or KDE, they want *both* to get better.

I like how it’s going, though it’s taking longer than i would like to get a really effective machine running.

If you liked the notifications bits, and the messaging menu, you will love lucid we are going to make sure that all works perfectly across all of main and universe we’ll neaten the panel up a lot and if you like the UNR, that’s their design work too.

QUESTION: to what extent do you see Lucid as a critical release, especially for the home user who may be used to a longer upgrade cycle?

Lucid is critical for us, yes. We’re working harder than ever on the details of the plan, we will need a lot of support from the community and from upstreams to make it *amazing*.

QUESTION:  Where is Ubuntu actually heading?  It seems at the moment that it is on the verge of becoming a lot more Windows user friendly. (For example plans for the Ubuntu Software Centre)

We have to be friendly to established platforms. The software centre is going to rock! Making it easier for people to find the goodness that’s already there. As for the long term… it’s a work in progress, I have good plans for lucid, and rough plans for lucid+1, but it’s tough to be detailed beyond that.

A few other interesting questions from the session are below: –

QUESTION: What’s your opinion of ChromeOS?

There’s a lot of concern in the desktop environment groups (Gnome, KDE) that Chrome will be bad for desktop linux, but i think it will be very good. One of the toughest challenges for us in desktop linux is hardware compatibility and ChromeOS gives PC manufacturers *another* good reason to invest in Linux compatibility for their peripherals. Same goes for Intel’s Moblin.

I’m sure there are PC manufacturers now trying to figure out how to deliver Chrome. Since they don’t know which peripherals and devices they will use, they are telling their suppliers "make sure it does linux" for *all* devices, that’s got to be good for us too.

QUESTION: We, at least in the US, have seen Apple’s "I’m a Mac and I’m a PC" ads. We’ve seen Microsoft’s "Windows 7 was my idea" ads. When will we see Canonical’s Ubuntu ads?

We do advertise, but mostly to the corporate market. I can picture our equivalent, though – it would feature a poodle for the mac.

QUESTION: Hi from Saint Petersburg, Mark. Ubuntu is one of the first distributions to adopt 2.6.31 kernel, but many users discovered a lot of troubles with it – sound issues, disk issues, filesystem issues, usb issues.  How could this happen?

I don’t think there are substantially more issues with 2.6.31 than with .28 but there are likely *different* issues. You don’t notice the new things that work (especially if you don’t have those devices) but you definitely do notice regressions.

I hope people tested the milestones, and reported bugs for Lucid, we’ll freeze the kernel earlier and call for more testing and have more time to address issues. I believe .32 has a bunch of new stuff but .33 is supposed to be quite stable.

You can, of course, read the entire transcript in utterly eye-hating courier font over @