Mark Shuttleworth Talks About Ubuntu

"Ask Mark" session on IRC was held on May 1st, 2012

Yesterday, May 1st, we've announced that the Ubuntu Open Week event will take place on IRC from May 2nd to May 4th, and that Mark Shuttleworth will be present a day before the event to talk with the Ubuntu users.

Therefore, the "Ask Mark" session was held on May 1st, 2012, between 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm UTC, and Mark Shuttleworth answered a few interesting questions.

Below we will publish some of the most important (in our opinion) ones, asked by various users who attended the "Ask Mark" event on IRC last night.

Q: Where is the Dash search going? Will the Dash find exif, ID3 tags in the future?

A: Dash wants to read your mind, as does the HUD, so the answer is "whatever fits your brain best". It's something to invite collaboration and inspire innovation, lenses and scopes are a lot of fun to work with.

Q: Is there any OEM interest in 12.04?

A: Yes, 12.04 will ship on PC's / laptops from all the major brands, in different parts of the world.

Q: It was noted that in order for the Heads-Up Display to completely replace the current application menu system, the tools all need to be discoverable (not just searchable), as they are in the traditional menus. Does the Ubuntu team have any ideas concerning what solutions to this obstacle could look like?

A: No concrete ideas, beyond keeping traditional menus around as long as we need them for that purpose.  It's a fun topic to brainstorm around, and an area for creativity. Since we have all the data in the global menu now, it should be possible for people to experiment with lightweight Python programs, to mock up ideas or suggestions.

Q: Unity has got many positive reviews in Precise due to its stability focus. Wouldn't it be best if the Unity team focussed another cycle for stability and fixing Ubuntu backlog ideas first?

A: The Unity team has a lot of QA support now, so we will add quality in each cycle. We have a tough decision ahead about how we merge -2D and -3D, which will result in us having to re-do some work, either way but in general it is forward and continuous improvement every day.

Q: Will Ubuntu have a 'game mode' in future that allows game developers to disable all unnecessary things easily, to provide maximum system resources for the game(s)?

A: It's hard to say "no", because it's software and anything is possible.

Q: What is the status of Wayland? Do you think that the next LTS in 2014 will use Wayland?

A: I think Wayland will be exactly 2 years more mature for the next LTS.

Q: In your Quantal Quetzal announcement you touched upon visual changes - will 12.10 finally see a new icon theme?

A: We've wanted to do a new icon theme for years! It's not hard to start drawing, but yet another icon theme, without a proper analysis of the framework that we use icons in, would not make the world much better. So, we've pulled together some experts, both artists and interface gurus, to look at the use of icons across the desktop and we'll start with proper analysis, the art part will come later :)

Q: What happened to the sound theme which was supposed to land in Ubuntu 12.04 (atleast a part of it)?

A: It wasn't perfect yet.

Q: How long does it take you to come up with a code-name for Ubuntu releases? What is your inspiration?

A: It takes AGES. I end up reading the dictionary. P was excruciating, but I hope you like the result.

Q: Has Canonical made any headway on getting interested parties to partner with for the purpose of delivering a great Ubuntu for Android experience on their mobile devices?

A: Difficult to say, there is a lot of work still to do there. but that's a very fun project, yes, and i think we will do more with it.

Q: Why is "Gnome-shell" or "Gnome Classic" no standard for installation --> 12.04?

A: Based on user testing, Unity provides a much better desktop shell experience for our users. Individuals can get whatever they want from the archives, but we have always made tough choices about what works smoothest.

Q: What do you think about Windows 8? Have you tried it? Do you think that it is a big chance for Ubuntu?

A: I admire some of the gutsy choices Microsoft are making, it's difficult for them, and they are doing some things very well.

Q: How close is Unity to your initial vision in 12.04? 2/3 complete? 3/4 complete?

A: 2/3 is pretty close, for the desktop, yes. Of course, it's a moving target :)

The complete IRC log can be found here.

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