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Obviously this is the kind of major decision that would require public feedback and a meeting of the technical board, but I can't seem to find the minutes from the meeting it was discussed.

Were there UDS sessions? A thread on the mailing list? I admit I wasn't paying as much attention as I could have, but I was a bit surprised when Mark made the announcement at this developer summit. I got there halfway through the first day, and by that point most people were acting as though making netbook edition the default was a foregone conclusion, so I figure I must have missed something.

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There was no public discussion. (Yes there were sessions on Unity at UDS, but these were about the path forward for Unity, not about whether it should be default or not.)


Making Unity was a decision made by Canonical on behalf of the Ubuntu community. It was announced in the first session at UDS by Mark Shuttleworth. As far as I'm aware this was the first time the idea was announced (although there were blueprints on Launchpad prior to the announcement that suggested it was a possibility).

All members of the Ubuntu Technical Board are Canonical employees (at least they all have @canonical.com emails) and I am sure they were all involved in the decision to use Unity.

Some things I think we should appreciate: it would have been very difficult for the community alone to make a unanimous balanced decision about the best way forward. This is especially true given Canonical's planned improvements to Unity in the next six months. Canonical was able to conduct usability testing, etc and also talk to OEMs (e.g. Dell) about the impact of the switch.

This being said, it can certainly be argued that the roles of the Ubuntu technical board, other Ubuntu teams and Canonical could made clearer.

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I sincerely doubt the usability testing played a role in the decision, as the results for the Unity in Maverick were quite poor. Unfortunately the UDS session on it wasn't recorded but from memory over 50% failed at very basic tasks (copy+pasting, for instance), and a vast majority failed at something that's supposed to be easy: installing and running an application. –  Scott Ritchie Nov 13 '10 at 8:52
    
I haven't seen the data you're referring to, but it seems to me that copy/paste and the Software Centre are two things that are unrelated to whether you use Unity or GNOME Shell or 'GNOME 2'. –  8128 Nov 13 '10 at 15:14
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Scott, the results of the usability testing weren't really that bad. I don't know how close attention you were paying, but most of the issues could be noted simply as 'bugs'. The only larger design flaw (as far as I remember) was how to handle multiple documents at a time. The rest were pretty much, "oh ok we just tweak that" or "add this small feature" –  Alex Launi Nov 13 '10 at 16:38
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Turns out that only today then the Canonical design blog has published the results of the usability testing. –  8128 Nov 13 '10 at 20:37
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