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For Ubuntu 8.04 we should make conservative changes to Add/Remove Programs, Synaptic, and Update Manager to make them simpler, more grammatical, and more consistent.

Release Note

None of these changes are important enough to feature in release notes.


Ubuntu 8.04 will be a an LTS release, so we want to make small conservative improvements. We will not be doing anything big like switching to PackageKit tools, implementing session management, or localizing changelogs.



ScottJamesRemnant: during hardy, different packages will have different terms of support. The installer should clearly say whether the package is supported for 3 years or 5 (in remaining months), and whether the package would be supported if you installed it (we don't support KDE packages installed on Ubuntu Desktop).

Update Manager

To make update descriptions understandable to more people, we should:

For other UI improvements, we should:

Also done:

Add/Remove Programs

To make it easier to uninstall applications, we should:

To make the categories and search more understandable, we should:

General improvements:


To relieve some annoyances, we should:

Test/Demo Plan

Since these changes are entirely in the UI, and we don't yet have a UI testing framework, they should be tested by human use.

Future work

Not discussed

These applications were not discussed:


TomaszD: I'm not really sure if comments are allowed here, but anyway, just a minor thing to think about when doing this spec. Synaptic still has these two absolutely hideous and outdated icons that haven't been replaced by Ubuntu (Human, etc.) icons. The "Mark everything for update" (I'm using Synaptic in Polish so I'm guessing what the English label says) button has an ugly icon (it also appears in the Edit menu) and the icon beside the Filters menu item in Settings. I don't think that a lot of effort is needed to change these. I'm not an artist, so I cannot help you, but surely someone from the Artwork Team would.

CharlesPax: I suggest that Add/Remove Applications allow the user to filter by desktop type. If I have things set to show "All available application," having both Gnome and KDE applications clutters things up. Perhaps it would be best to have a column displaying an icon indicating the program is either for Gnome or KDE.

DaengBo: No exactly within the spec here, but I've always thought (and proposed a few times) that the main menu should have a "Remove this package" choice when right-clicking an entry. This would make it a lot easier to remove unneeded programs or ones which the user tries then does like (or which don't work at all, which seems to be a problem with multiverse).


DesktopTeam/Specs/PackagingToolsUsability (last edited 2008-08-06 16:21:16 by localhost)