Part 3 - 1/4
After I spent a lot of time searching for Ubuntu, looking at other distributions and OS’, and after I came up with the idea for the new design, I stopped at two sentences in the first part of “Finding Ubuntu”:
Also, a very important task to do: To ship every necessary standard app. For the basic work and play.
With that, I started to try apps, programs and tasks. How to do this, how to do that. And this is basically the essence of part 3: To see, how everything works on actual systems. Are they really complicated? When do I need to use the terminal? How to perform certain tasks? Search for files? Get to my apps? Get informations?
I used Ubuntu and Ubuntu Gnome (17.10 Beta), because they are the main focus. And what can I say: There is a lot of stuff that works, a lot is weird, and some things are just not good at all.
You will see, I tried to use every app and program for everyday tasks and did everyday tasks with the system suggested apps and programs. How can I do it, how do I need to do it and so on. It became quite a list.
And to get started, let’s repeat the sentences:
Also, a very important task to do: To ship every necessary standard app. For the basic work and play. And to give the user a straight and easy line how to handle lot of the day by day tasks.
Standard apps are apps or programs, shipped with the operating system, to perform standard, everyday tasks. This is very important, maybe more important than the operating system itself. Because people are not working with the operating system, they are working with apps and programs.
People want to get things done, copy pictures and edit them a little, show a slideshow, cut a video and surf in the web. Or write something, make lists and read/write emails. That is and was one of the prime disciplines that macOS and Apple in particular understood from the beginning right away.
When you have a look at macOS, it seems they compromise here and there to not have to change the operating system on the surface, but to bring new functions to it. So, the system works basically the same for years now, like having a DeLorian DMC-12 on the outside (still a stylish, cool car, but also a little outdated), with the same way to drive it, but upgraded everything else – from the engine, to the transmission, the wheels and so on – also including new buttons in the interior.
They understood that the average user is sick to pay and have to get third party apps, maybe working well with the system, to maybe do tasks better. The user is also sick of having choice – they are not interested which program brings them to the goal. It is just the goal they wanna reach, as easy and fast as possible. Also, Apple showed us that the user is accepting compromises to have a simple and working way to perform whatever task, as long they can do most of it. But the apps are getting better and better over time – and richer in functions.
This is where Microsoft started to work hard on the built in apps, to also have a simple, intuitive and out of the box working experience. They did not completely succeeded to this day, but they are making great progress over the last years. And this is where Ubuntu is nice, but not enough.
Develop and contribute
Well, I think as a developer of open source apps and programs you have the same problems like other developers. It’s kind of fun to start and build the main functions, but after a time, it is boring to fix bugs and to develop some small stuff that is also needed. So the app stands still at version 0.58 because of for whatever reasons. At Apple or Microsoft, they get paid to go on and on.
Gnome is doing well. Maybe the way to get things done faster is to bring more people together and to control everything that needs to be done from one place and exchange between Gnome and Ubuntu. And yes, it will feel like hard work and it is. This is also what scares people, when having a full-time job next to an open source project.
People maybe have the feeling their opinion is counting less. This could also be right. What we are facing is the possibility to serve the greater good. This is not about not to listen to every voice, but to decide whether this brings us closer to the set goal or not.
It is simply not possible to satisfy each individual. But it is possible to offer something to the great masses. And for me, that is the sweet spot.
It feels a little bit like taking the fun out of it. Because I think of something like having some people in charge and let them decide what to do and they should not be too involved in the pure development and programming process. They only should care about thinking of the best Ubuntu desktop for everyone. And the programmers should take care of realizing it.
This is a little like a well known working method, because the Linux kernel itself, is developed by hundreds of people, but only a few decide whether a new patch is worthy to get in. Sure, with a desktop it’s not possible to work the same way, but kind of the other side around. Some say what to do, others do it. The people in charge got to always have an overview of every project and always the goal in mind. That is their big responsibility.
And so you say: That’s just like in a company. Having a manager for the whole thing also, having project manager for different parts of it and programmers and designers to get all of it realized.
Yes it is. Why? Because it works. And yes again: People will have to bring out their best to feel well in that kind of working order. From the programmer to the manager.
And now you maybe ask yourself: Why should we use a company management structure in an open source project? One does not exclude the other. This is kind of the fastest way to get back on track. In order to even have a chance to rule a part of the desktop world. And this is also the part where a lot of good people are needed to get things done.
As said before, I’m very grateful and appreciate all of the developers’ work which is done to this day and from this day beyond. But to me it is so important that I spend dozens of hours to write and design all of this, to bring Ubuntu not only back to the top of the Linux desktop ratings, but to bring Ubuntu in a serious position against every other operating system. Nothing less.
Again, it is up to a lot of people to achieve that wish. To appreciate all of the work of the Ubuntu, Gnome and of course the Linux kernel team and focus on those parts as hard as possible to make progress. Leave selfish thoughts aside and work together. There will be time for other stuff later.
And then you ask: Why work for Canonical? They are a company and they are making money with all of that. Sure, they do. But how much costs Ubuntu? How many distributions are building on Ubuntu? How many systems are built on Ubuntu?
What makes Ubuntu strong, makes us all strong.
Because we are Ubuntu.