[PC-BSD Testing] Canonical to boost Ubuntu usability by tackling "papercuts"

Jeff dejamuse at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 15 18:28:25 PDT 2009

Canonical to boost Ubuntu usability by tackling "papercuts"
aims to improve the Ubuntu user experience by fixing a multitude of
minor usability glitches. The project, which is called One Hundred
Paper Cuts, will entail a collaborative effort by Canonical's new
design team and the Ubuntu community to fix one hundred usability bugs
before the release of Ubuntu 9.10.
          Ryan Paul
          | June 15, 2009 - Ars Technica

Canonical, the company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution,
is launching a new project to improve the usability of the platform.
The developers aim to identify and resolve 100 minor bugs that
negatively impact the Ubuntu user experience before the release of the
next major version in October.

The initiative, which is called One Hundred Paper Cuts, will be
implemented by Canonical's new design and user experience team in
collaboration with the Ubuntu community. Canonical's design experts
have called for Ubuntu users to participate by helping to identify
relevant bugs. They are specifically looking for easily fixable bugs
that impact the usability of key system components such as the panels
and file manager. Canonical hopes to boost the overall quality of the
platform by addressing a multitude of subtle issues that developers
would otherwise ignore. Many of the improvements that are applied
through this effort will directly benefit upstream projects.

Canonical began assembling
a team of professional designers last year to lead a broad
community-driven usability initiative called Project Ayatana. The new
One Hundred Paper Cuts initiative is one of several strategies that
comprises Ayatana. Another major facet of Ayatana is Canonical's experimental notification system,
which was introduced in Ubuntu 9.04. During this development cycle, the
new notification system will receive additional improvements as the
design team simultaneously tackles the papercuts.

David Siegel, the developer of the popular GNOME-Do launcher,
recently joined Canonical as part of the user experience and design
team. In his blog, he describes the function of the One Hundred Paper Cuts project and provides more specific insight into what kind of issues are classified as papercuts.

"If some small usability detail has been bothering you release after
release, now is your chance to step up and get it the attention it
deserves," he wrote. "If we can find and heal one hundred paper cuts,
Ubuntu 9.10 will surely be the most usable release of Ubuntu yet."

Users can participate by reporting bugs and flagging them as
papercuts in Ubuntu's Launchpad development site. As Siegel points out
in his blog, this is a great way for new contributors to get involved
in the process of improving Ubuntu. Users can also help by
participating in the Ubuntu 9.04 usability study. If the papercut project is successful, Siegel says, it might be reiterated during future development cycles.

Many of us who are experienced Linux users have become so accustomed
to ignoring minor glitches that such problems practically become
invisible. The result is that there are a lot of really subtle
deficiencies that have long been overlooked by developers but are
immensely frustrating to new users. The One Hundred Paper Cuts project
looks like an effective way to overcome this challenge and smooth out
some of Ubuntu's rough edges.

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