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Old 12-15-2011, 10:20 AM
Jo-Erlend Schinstad
 
Default Providing a less dramatic upgrade for LTS-users.

I have been thinking about the LTS upgrade that is ahead of us. It seems
to me that a lot of the users who are sticking to LTS releases will be
users who are only interested in getting things done, and not interested
in the computer itself. These can be "you have to show me exactly where
to click"-type users, or it can be corporations that has basic desktop
needs, and doesn't want to spend time educating the users in a new
environment.


Many of these users will be presented with a "New distribution
available" upgrade for the very first time. It is likely that many will
just go right ahead and install the upgrade. When they reboot, they will
log into a completely new environment. As we've seen, this can upset
people when they don't expect the change. These have mostly been
experienced users, and they still get upset. I think we should learn
from this for the LTS upgrade.


My proposal is that users who _upgrade_ from 10.04 should be presented
with a Gnome Panel desktop, kept as close to the setup in 10.04 as
possible. This should be very easy since most of the stuff on the panel
has been converted to indicators in any case, and the indicator applet
has been upgraded to Gnome Panel 3, along with the default applets. At
the first login after the upgrade, the user should be presented with a
dialog that tells the user about the new desktop and that you can open a
guest session to try it without any consequences. Or perhaps a "Try it
now"-button in the dialog to a user that will automatically switch back
to your own user account when you log out. When they come back, they can
choose to switch to Unity, or keep the classic session.


I think this creates a more smooth and friendly transition, and this can
be very important for certain users. It is easy to do and it requires
very little extra download. We should not loose sight of the fact that
there are a lot of users who are downright intimidated by technology,
and actively avoids any kind of exploration. We should respect that --
particularly for LTS releases which, for obvious reasons, should be
recommended to this user group. This is also a special situation.
Hopefully, the Unity experience will be stable enough that the
transition between 12.04 and 14.04 will be less dramatic.


The only issue I can think of that might require a little work, is panel
applets compatibility. Some will not have been upgraded and therefore
not available. It would be nice to have something similar to what
Firefox has for its extensions.


Thoughts?

Jo-Erlend Schinstad

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Old 12-15-2011, 12:48 PM
Jo-Erlend Schinstad
 
Default Providing a less dramatic upgrade for LTS-users.

Den 15. des. 2011 14:25, skrev Chris Wilson:

I don't think turning off Unity after the upgrade is the way to go,
partly because there isn't anything to replace it with since Gnome 2
is no longer maintained, but mainly because any disruption to the
user's workflow caused by the transition (and you're right in thinking
there will be) will only be temporary until they learn how to use
Unity, which isn't too difficult once you get down to it.


First of all, you're wrong. The classic desktop is available and
supported in Ubuntu. The indicator applet is also available, though from
a third-party repo, but that's easily handled.A few weeks ago, I made
this screenshot, for instance. It is Gnome 3 in 11.10:
http://ubuntuone.com/0FQKR9MBQp5lMTgtg3jRg5. I did that in only a couple
of minutes. Not a big deal at all. Otherwise I wouldn't have suggested it.


But the notion that it is easy to learn how to use Unity is only valid
when people are willing to learn. A lot of people are not. I've taught a
number of really basic users how to get stuff done in Ubuntu, for
instance. I feel confident that a high percentage of those will stop
using their computers until I can teach them Unity. LTS users are
special, and I am only recommending this for LTS-upgrades, only for
upgrades and switching to Unity should be possible by the click of a
button at the center of the screen. Fresh installs should use Unity.



I think a better solution would be to notify the users of the new
interface during the upgrade process, preferably as close to the
beginning as possible, but of course spin it in a positive manner,
such as "Ubuntu's had a facelift and now looks even better then ever".
Preferably, users should've read the release notes before upgrading to
begin with, so such a notification should be pointless. But we don't
live in an ideal world, and as I said in my original post, a large
number of users are either afraid or unwilling to explore their systems.
I don't think that should be required in order to keep using Ubuntu. I
agree that most people should find Unity easy to learn, but I think the
friendly thing to do is to let the user choose. For those who know what
it is, it'll be one click. For those who doesn't, it will be one click
to try it and one click to keep the classic or switch to the new one.
This gives a sense of control that tends to dispel the fear and
uncertainty that some users do feel when things suddenly changes.



Then provide a link to a resource where the user can learn all about
Unity while their system upgrade, perhaps the Ubuntu Tour website with
an added interactive tutorial to lead the users through their new
workflow for the first time.


"The upgrade was successful. Welcome to Ubuntu 12.04LTS. Click _here_ to
RTFM"


Jo-Erlend Schinstad

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Old 12-15-2011, 07:55 PM
Otto Kekäläinen
 
Default Providing a less dramatic upgrade for LTS-users.

Hello,

2011/12/15 Jo-Erlend Schinstad <joerlend.schinstad@gmail.com>:
..
> My proposal is that users who _upgrade_ from 10.04 should be presented with
> a Gnome Panel desktop, kept as close to the setup in 10.04 as possible. This
> should be very easy since most of the stuff on the panel has been converted
> to indicators in any case, and the indicator applet has been upgraded to
> Gnome Panel 3, along with the default applets. At the first login after the
> upgrade, the user should be presented with a dialog that tells the user
> about the new desktop and that you can open a guest session to try it

Very good idea!

I fully support the reasoning and the proposed solution.


- Otto

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Old 12-20-2011, 07:36 AM
Martin Pitt
 
Default Providing a less dramatic upgrade for LTS-users.

Jo-Erlend Schinstad [2011-12-15 12:20 +0100]:
> Many of these users will be presented with a "New distribution
> available" upgrade for the very first time. It is likely that many
> will just go right ahead and install the upgrade. When they reboot,
> they will log into a completely new environment. As we've seen, this
> can upset people when they don't expect the change.

This sounds like we should perhaps address this in update-manager? It
could show a slideshow similar to the one in Ubiquity, and/or also
point out that the default desktop changes?

> My proposal is that users who _upgrade_ from 10.04 should be
> presented with a Gnome Panel desktop, kept as close to the setup in
> 10.04 as possible.

At some point we need to switch those users to the current stuff
anyway, we can't keep the old panel stuff forever. Even today, only
few people are still working on it. Also, if you upgrade to a totally
new OS version, it is really not realistic to not expect any change.

I do agree that the change is indeed quite big, and I've heard a few
complaints and "how do I do X now?" questions myself, but if Unity has
some discoverability/usability issues (and it does), we need to
address those for all people, not just for LTS upgraders.

Also, from a purely technical perspective, changing the configuration
for all existing users by packages or even update-manager is a no-go
area. u-m could switch the default session at the system level, but
then new users/guest session would also use the old one, and you would
never see the desktop which we actually support anywhere.

If users see the GNOME-3 variant of GNOME panel, they will rightfully
have the impression that there's nothign really new, just a lot of
stuff has stopped working. Is that really the experience we want to
convey? I think not.

> This should be very easy since most of the stuff on the panel has
> been converted to indicators in any case, and the indicator applet
> has been upgraded to Gnome Panel 3, along with the default applets.
> At the first login after the upgrade, the user should be presented
> with a dialog that tells the user about the new desktop and that you
> can open a guest session to try it without any consequences.

That sounds more feasible -- you could show a screenshot/dialog how to
switch back to the old environment.

One thing that we should do is to make sure that LTS->LTS upgrades
will keep gnome-panel installed, to already have the session available
in lightdm (for fresh installs you need to explicitly install that
package).

> The only issue I can think of that might require a little work, is
> panel applets compatibility. Some will not have been upgraded and
> therefore not available.

In fact, the vast majority of panel applets are gone now, so there's
nothing to upgrade. Cf. my statement above about nobody really working
on the old panel stuff any more.

> It would be nice to have something similar to what Firefox has for
> its extensions.

The upgrade mechanism isn't the problem here -- if a panel applet
package is available for GNOME 3, it'll be upgraded automatically. The
problem is that nobody has ported all the old panels in the first
place.

Thanks!

Martin
--
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Ubuntu Developer (www.ubuntu.com) | Debian Developer (www.debian.org)

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Old 12-20-2011, 03:18 PM
Jo-Erlend Schinstad
 
Default Providing a less dramatic upgrade for LTS-users.

Den 20. des. 2011 09:36, skrev Martin Pitt:

Jo-Erlend Schinstad [2011-12-15 12:20 +0100]:

Many of these users will be presented with a "New distribution
available" upgrade for the very first time. It is likely that many
will just go right ahead and install the upgrade. When they reboot,
they will log into a completely new environment. As we've seen, this
can upset people when they don't expect the change.

This sounds like we should perhaps address this in update-manager? It
could show a slideshow similar to the one in Ubiquity, and/or also
point out that the default desktop changes?


Having some interesting slides while doing a distribution upgrade would
be nice in any case. I don't think that solves the issues I'm pointing
out, though.



My proposal is that users who _upgrade_ from 10.04 should be
presented with a Gnome Panel desktop, kept as close to the setup in
10.04 as possible.

At some point we need to switch those users to the current stuff
anyway, we can't keep the old panel stuff forever. Even today, only
few people are still working on it. Also, if you upgrade to a totally
new OS version, it is really not realistic to not expect any change.


Why can't we keep the old panel stuff forever if people want them, they
don't cause any conflicts and developers develop them? I spoke to
Vincent Untz about the panels, and he confirmed my impression that the
panels were mostly finished. So, while it may be true that few people
are working on the panels themselves, it is also true that there is
little work that needs to be done. It makes very little sense to me to
remove programs _because_ they are stable, mature and finished. Some
things just doesn't need that much more innovation, and that should be
considered a good thing. So most developers move onto more modern and
challenging projects, and take most of the users with them -- and that's
a good thing too -- but I see no reason why we can't have both. The nail
gun didn't replace the hammer, even if it's a lot more efficient for
many use cases.


I do agree that people should expect changes when upgrading to a new
operating system. However, many LTS users are actively trying to _avoid_
changes, but are being forced to upgrade in order to keep their systems
safe. In any case, I think upgrading users should _choose_ to switch to
Unity, and switching should be dead easy.



I do agree that the change is indeed quite big, and I've heard a few
complaints and "how do I do X now?" questions myself, but if Unity has
some discoverability/usability issues (and it does), we need to
address those for all people, not just for LTS upgraders.
Sure, but that's a completely different issue. I don't think Unity will
ever be automatically understood by everyone, and I don't think that
should be a goal either. I used to think that, but I no longer do. The
main goal should be to make the system comfortable and efficient to use.
I really love the way Unity hides UI cruft when it's not actually
usable. It does make the desktop a little less didactic, but most users
are going to spend a lot of time using it, so even if it should require
spending a couple of minutes browsing a small pamphlet, it's worth it.


But no matter how friendly Unity becomes, there will be users who are
afraid of changes. By giving control to that user, you're reducing the
fear.



Also, from a purely technical perspective, changing the configuration
for all existing users by packages or even update-manager is a no-go
area. u-m could switch the default session at the system level, but
then new users/guest session would also use the old one, and you would
never see the desktop which we actually support anywhere.
Changing the users configuration is the current situation. The user has
Gnome Panel, which will still be available in Precise. After the
upgrade, the users configuration will be changed to use Unity instead.
Or have I misunderstood something? Because my suggestion is that we
_don't_ change the configuration. Instead upgrading users keep using
their familiar shell, but will be presented with a dialog that tells
them about Unity at the first boot after upgrade.



If users see the GNOME-3 variant of GNOME panel, they will rightfully
have the impression that there's nothign really new, just a lot of
stuff has stopped working. Is that really the experience we want to
convey? I think not.


The users I've used in my scenario won't have lots of stuff stop
working. Only heavy users of third-party panel applets will experience
that. Those users will by necessity have some background information,
which means they'll probably understand the situation. All the default
applets that were used in 10.04 is still available, and someone has
ported the indicator applet.


But you do have a point, though I have an opposite view. Replacing the
shell at the same time that underlying technologies were changed, has
created more confusion than anything else I can recall. Now, people are
talking about Unity vs Gnome 3 and people are screaming for MATE. It's
mostly nonsense, in my opinion, but it is understandable. I don't think
it was a good idea to "shell shock" the community that way, if you'll
pardon the pun.


The experience I would want to convey if it was up to me, is first and
foremost that there is continuity in the development. Gnome 3 is not
something completely different from Gnome 2. In fact, it's just a large
collection of relatively small fixes the user doesn't have to care about
at all, except that it'll make things better. I think Gnome made a huge
mistake by replacing the default shell and making the "fallback" look
and feel entirely alien, which was completely unnecessary.


Ubuntu has the opportunity with this release to show that, even if there
can sometimes be some dramatic changes and experiments in the tweens, in
the long run, with LTS releases, Ubuntu is predictable and stable.
Precise is a continuation of 10.04, not a clean break. This should be
emphasised.


One thing that we should do is to make sure that LTS->LTS upgrades
will keep gnome-panel installed, to already have the session available
in lightdm (for fresh installs you need to explicitly install that
package).


Yes, that is my proposal, but not only should Gnome Panel still be used.
It must also look similar to the way it does in 10.04, and if possible,
deactivate the need to press alt in order to display menus for adding
applets and to move applets around. The default look for Gnome Panel 3
is so different to the default look we've had for Gnome Panel 2, I'd see
little benefit of providing that.

In fact, the vast majority of panel applets are gone now, so there's
nothing to upgrade. Cf. my statement above about nobody really working
on the old panel stuff any more.
No, they're not gone. Where would they have gone? They need to be ported
to GTK3 and to use GSettings, most likely, but that's not exactly unique
to Gnome Panel. I would assume that to be the case for mostly all
applications that use plugins in a similar way. I have real difficulties
believing that all third-party developers have chosen not to port their
applets. If they have, it's most likely because they've been tricked
into thinking everything is different in Gnome 3. I've ported a few GTK
apps, and it's usually not a very big deal. I don't know why panel
applets should be any different in that regard.



Jo-Erlend Schinstad


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Old 01-03-2012, 09:16 AM
Didier Roche
 
Default Providing a less dramatic upgrade for LTS-users.

Le 20/12/2011 09:36, Martin Pitt a écrit :
One thing that we should do is to make sure that LTS->LTS upgrades
will keep gnome-panel installed, to already have the session available
in lightdm (for fresh installs you need to explicitly install that
package).


It does, I took care on that during the lucid -> natty upgrade and as
well in the lightdm switch keeping in mind the LTS -> LTS upgrade. I'll
ensure that it works, but the additional "gnome-fallback" session should
be installed on upgrade.


Note that as for the natty -> oneiric upgrade, the user is moved to
the unity session only if ligthdm is (which is the default) as the
default desktop session manager.


Cheers,
Didier

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