View Full Version : Share your Ubuntu User Experience Survey comments!

June 1st, 2011, 08:58 PM
Community sentiment, and especially user base input is important for progress. Lest ideas go unnoticed and progress be impeded, it's important for the public to have access not only to those ideas, but also to a means of making their own ideas public, and to a discussion of them. This is the essence of open-source: the "ideas" be always publicly available, and everyone be allowed to modify and improve them.

Thus, it's great that Ubuntu is taking a survey, but they neglected (oops...) to add a comments or discussion section, or even a read-only archive of our comments. Let this be that discussion. Share and discuss comments related to the Ubuntu User Experience Survey (https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dGRLSmxTQ05VYzh6NmdBN3BsakhpM3c6M Q) on the Ubuntu Forums mainpage.

Obviously some of us have strong opinions, perhaps about common and well known issues that have gone unresolved for years, so lets keep this within the bounds of forum rules! I simply copied and pasted my comments from the two provided fields in the survey, but feel free to remember your comments or simply reword them here.

Comments about the above (Audio support, Graphics support, Peripheral support (plug-in devices), Ubuntu's installer, Software (package) installation, Update installation, Upgrading to a new release, Included help documentation, Availability of software I need/want, Software quality, Ease of use, Default theme)
The good — Everything works out of the box with a full install.
The bad — A full install doesn't give the user an option to NOT install the unnecessary promoted software and various packages most people don't need.
The point — Ubuntu is the preferred mainstream distro because hardware (i.e. wifi) works OOTB, no research, troubleshooting, trial and error or compiling involved. However, there's no reason to force users (especially unwitting, new inexperienced users who don't know how to resolve this on their own) to download and/or install software they may not need (i.e. Ubuntu One, Evolution, LibreOffice, Banshee). Keep this automation while allowing for users to deselect DURING INSTALL anything or any categories of things they might consider bloat. In other words, people want an automated minimal install. It's common sense. If you want to promote specific brands, at least give us the option to say no during install, and to choose our preferred brands or none at all instead.

Further comments about help resources
People wouldn't need so much help if they had:

A) Access to their stuff like it was a personal OS instead of a locked-down system for industrial servers or public access. This alone would eliminate most of the beginner questions.
B) Better options and explanations during install (specifically, the options NOT to install most of it, but also options to choose their prefered "parts", with explanations to help the new user decide).
C) An official, well maintained library of 5min "Learn Ubuntu" instructional and follow-along videos, similar to videos put out by the Khan Academy and Lynda.com, sortable by topic, prerequisite knowledge, experience-level, etc.

As for the forum help, it's been hit or miss. Most of the responses I've received are explicit off-topic advertisements for other distros, or else people wondering why you would want to do such things. Nowadays, instead of asking "how to do this or that", I start with a disclaimer that I don't want other distros or workarounds, just a straightforward tutorial will be fine.

Final comments
From a businessman's perspective, it looks like Ubuntu wants to become THE mainstream distro. They are beginning to take actions like M$ and that makes me uncomfortable for the future of Ubuntu, though thankfully not for the future of GNU/Linux. I'm put off by what I've learned in such a short period of time about Ubuntu's tendency to make decisions for the sake of the brand instead of to satisfy the demands of its user base, their increasing tendency to make choices regardless of community sentiment, or in outright defiance of it, and their failure to resolve common issues for years, and their insistence on forcing bloat down our throats (obviously it would be simple to give us the option during install, so it was an explicit call to keep that choice from us). Thankfully, GNU/Linux is staged to become mainstream precisely because it's so open, so soon enough some different devs (i.e. those not restricted by employment with Ubuntu or Canonical) will be able to pick up Ubuntu's slack. And when that distro becomes mainstream and corrupted, there will be even better methods, technology, and devs to pick up their slack. God bless open source and free markets.