We'll collect our visions and ideas for the Desktop of the Future over here. But some words in advance: please make sure this page is for
- coordinating those visions,
- getting people pulled in to work with you on those,
pointing to the specs you wrote (["SpecTemplate"]) and to links how to achieve it.
Let's make this page as organized and well-structured as we can.
Common Install Hook
05-09-30 Frank Niedermann (fbn): I'm adding three ideas I had the last few days, they are not that much Ubuntu only related but IMO they would improve the Gnome desktop:
Possibility to use keyboard in Gnome dialog windows
Many times I try to close dialog windows or application windows with the escape key or I tried to confirm a dialog window with the return key for OK. Sometimes this works, many times nothing happens. Would be nice if at least every window that has a discard/close button can be closed with the escape key.
Video projector management
I often see people having some issues with video projectors and their Laptops running WinXP (users have to activate external vga output - some don't know how to do this, sometimes WinXP then has two displays and the video projector gets an empty desktop - some user's don't know how to configure this ...).
It would be nice to have a GUI tool that supports the user on Gnome with video projectors connected to Laptops (or workstations as well). Gnome should recognize if a video projector got connected to the client and ask the user what to do: Do you want to display your desktop to the video projector? Do you want to switch resolution so the video projector can display your desktop correct (maybe the tool can suggest the right resolution)?
A nice features could be to create a brand new virtual desktop just for the video projecton, the normal virtual desktops would be only shown on the Laptop and the new desktop will always be shown on the video projector. That would make sense to have a presentation or movie running on the projector and some other applications that are not for the auidence on the "private" desktops Actually not sure if this is possible ...
After all Gnome would have a way to guide the user in using video projectors - users should not have to worry about how to get it running.
Would be nice to get some feedback on this because I'm not even sure if there really are such issues on Gnome or is it already fine like it is?
Personal Backup with reminder
As I'm using Ubuntu on my Laptop I'm sometimes thinking what would happen if my Laptop gets stolen or I loose it or the harddisk will crash. My personal data (/home) would be gone - happy that I have a backup - made some month ago ... damn. It would be nice to have a tool that reminds the user (if the user wants it) to backup important data. Like the update manager does with the notification area if there are new updates available. The backup reminder could tell the user that the last backup was x days ago and ask if a new backup should be created now or later (remind again in ... ). If the user chooses to make a backup the tool should suggest what to backup (don't know - /home, maybe the dpkg package list, whatever is important ...) and offer some ways to store the backup (burn it cd/dvd, store it on file server, to a directory, ...).
The tool should also have a function to restore the data to a brand new installation because that would make sense after a complete hard disk crash or laptop loss.
[https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/home-user-backup See the Home User Backup Spec]
Geographic Location Desktop Service
This is an idea in the area of user service enhancements. Not everyone may be a friend of the idea to expose personal data to (some kinde) of public audience. The basic idea is to public where I am currently, based on my calendar or other information sources. A draft version is available as ["GeoLocDesktopService"]. 200600118/["goern"]
Universal Control Panel
A Universal Control Panel Launcher
Currently we throw all user based contorls in to one bag and system administrator tools into another.
The goal of this project is to consolidate and organize these tools for a better and easier user experiance. http://www.geocities.com/nw15062/ucp.png
["DesktopTeam/Universal Control Panel"]
The ability to que set number of files being copied simultaneously, when a new file is selected to be copied at the same time a current file is being copied it will be qued rather then having another copy dialog window popping up.
That's a SoC 2006 project (see [http://code.google.com/soc/gnome/appinfo.html?csaid=BDC2B16B17589F8]).
See interesting idea on page [https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HideFilesystemStructure HideFilesystemStructure] (or [https://launchpad.net/distros/ubuntu/+spec/hide-filesystem-structure specification])
Only One Gnome Panel
See interesting idea on page [https://wiki.ubuntu.com/OnlyOneGnomePanel OnlyOneGnomePanel] (or [https://launchpad.net/distros/ubuntu/+spec/only-one-gnome-panel specification])
Meta Home Indexing
Having all saved user files stored in the home directory and let Nautilus sort them out into virtual folders based on type and Meta Data, Virtual Meta Folders could be user created to sort in user specified ways depending on personal categories.
Fast Language Switching
A gnome Applet that would allow a user to switch which language was being displayed on a desktop, without the need to log out and back in again. Such a feature would be useful for trouble shooting in multilanguaged enviroments.
Reviewing other GNOME based distros
I think a interesting idea would be to review what gnome other distro offer (specially Novell SLED/Opensuse and red hat/fedora) to see if they have a killer app/patch that ubuntu could use but that hasn't gone upstream yet. Of course the reviewer of the patch could ask upstream to include it.
Smart Applications Menu
I know that when I began using Ubuntu (back when I was relatively new to Linux anyway), I remember when I first saw the many applications found in the menu - I was overcame with intimidation and even frustration, as I attempted to sort through the list and determine which worked out of the box. What I would suggest is a type of smart applications menu. For example, say we wouldn't use the 'Calculator' found in 'Accessories' for a given amount of time (perhaps for greater than a week?) - the 'Calculator' would be then removed from the main/root 'Accessories' menu and put into some type of 'least used' submenu of 'Accessories'. I think this would reduce clutter and greatly enhance readability in our already over-crowded menus.
Complexity and depth of the Applications menu is a problem, but this particular solution [http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=30851.275639 slows people down] (which is why [http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2006/03/31/565877.aspx Microsoft Office doesn't do it any more]). I suggest instead making it easier and more obvious for people to make their own easily-launchable collection of commonly-used programs. -- MatthewPaulThomas
If there is one thing I like about Ubuntu, is that there is more than one piece of software to use depending on what you would like to do. This is fantastic for the power-user who is comfortable with tweaking configuration files and exploring different uses - but I think that Ubuntu should have some type of standard software suites that encourage our newer users to try first due to their known compatability with most hardware and computer models.