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This is a general review of Ubiquity in Feisty, aimed at having some new folks look at the installer to spot areas where we could tweak or polish the UI or other elements.


While there are certainly many flaws in Ubiquity's current advanced partitioning, these are to be addressed by ubiquity-advanced-partitioner, which outlines a complete rewrite of the advanced partitioner. Nothing of the current interface is expected to survive, so polishing it would be a waste of time and is out of scope here.

Other major UI changes to Ubiquity for Feisty include:

Everything else is up for grabs.


General issues

The Back, Forward, and Cancel buttons are only localised if the relevant language pack is installed in the live session. We will move the text of these buttons into Ubiquity's own translation infrastructure, which is not subject to language packs (and take advantage of this change to rename "Forward" to "Next"). [done, ubiquity 1.3.19; "Next" not done because the only such string in GTK is for media (e.g. "next track") and translations may not be appropriate]

The margin around the outside of the window should be 12 pixels, not 6 pixels, per the GNOME HIG.

Welcome/language page

The layout of the welcome page is strange. The heading should be on top, the language list on the left, and the text on the right (on the basis that you need to select a language before you can read the text). [done, ubiquity 1.3.7]

Timezone page

The bottom of the page looks a bit messy. The menu looks too crowded if the city and region are combined in the city combo box. However, we will merge the time and timezone displays, and instead of showing seconds in the time we will make the colon between hours and minutes blink to indicate that it's dynamic. Furthermore, it does not appear to be possible to tab out of the "selected city" combo, which should be fixed.

Keyboard page

This page was changed from the original specification due to new requirements in the console layer, and because a keyboard illustration turned out not to be useful in that interesting differences are too small to see.

We will port cdebconf-keystep to GTK so that the keyboard layout detection system from d-i can be used.

User page

The explanatory text isn't properly associated with its fields; this may be a bug in the Orca script.

The second question is ambiguous, and phrasing should be found that makes it clear that this is a username, e.g. "Choose a short name, without spaces, for logging in"; gdm uses "username" so we should match this.

The username should be automatically generated from the first word of your full name. [done, ubiquity 1.3.22]

Even if the hostname field has already been edited, it should still be automatically generated from your username if it is empty. [done, ubiquity 1.3.8]

Either the error messages should be shortened so that they don't push the later contents down (e.g. for username: "Must begin with a letter and contain no spaces" or for password: "Passwords must match"), or more space should be added between widgets so that the error messages will not cause other widgets to be moved.

Summary page

"GRUB will be installed to [foo]" is confusing; we should use a "Change..." button instead. [moved to Advanced dialog, ubiquity 1.3.8]

We need a way to display advanced options such as GRUB, network configuration, possibly accessibility, and so on. This will be added by means of an "Advanced options..." button on the summary page. [done, ubiquity 1.3.8]

Future plans

Some people have expressed interest in a facility to enable remote assistance by SSH (i.e. install openssh-server on the target system). This could be added to the advanced options dialog.


Ubiquity/FeistyReview (last edited 2008-08-06 16:24:45 by localhost)