When joining Ubuntu Community I found Brainstorm not only a wonderful idea but great in execution to.

Now after watching the site for 3 releases I wonder if its only fluff that's shown to new users. Maybe to get them excited about Ubuntu?

  1. Do developers pay much attention to Brainstorm?

  2. How many votes in the positive does an idea require before being seriously looked at? (Some ideas have tens, close to hundred(s) and they are still not moved to the upstream development area)

  • I think this should be reopened as it's a question that many people who propose ideas on Brainstorm would want answered. I think this is a real question.
    – user2405
    Jan 15 '13 at 9:48
  • You'd need to edit this question, and especially the title. As it currently stands it actually fits the definition of "not constructive" as given in the FAQ, since it's a question best put to the developers (and you probably wouldn't get a complete consensus out of them either). There's also two quite good answers to the questions raised in the body of the text. These pretty well sum the situation up. Jan 15 '13 at 12:21

First of all it is not necessary that Most popular or Most voted ideas should get Implemented by the Ubuntu Developers team.

I mean if anyone is so Inclined towards bringing it in Ubuntu , then there exists other way using Launchpad PPA where you can Build your Idea and Implement in more Customizable form.

From Ubuntu brainstorm Wiki page

Ubuntu brainstorm provides a simple way for anyone to contribute ideas for improving Ubuntu. Ideas are voted on by the user community and the most popular ideas are brought to the attention of the development teams

From idea to feature

There are several routes from idea to implementation:

  • The idea submitter implements by themself, and contributes the package or patch to Ubuntu.
  • The idea generates interest, and several volunteers form a new project to blueprint and implement the idea.
  • The idea attracts interest from the appropriate Ubuntu Teams, which form a working group or schedule a UDS Session to blueprint and milestone the idea.
  • The idea concept influences another forum, and is implemented by an unrelated group.

Ubuntu blueprints

For complex changes, write a 'blueprint' based on the result of the Brainstorm idea.

  • A blueprint is a feature design document. It is used to describe a proposed feature in enough detail for a developer to implement it (not quite the same as a specification, though that term is often used).
  • Anyone can start a blueprint though some software design or development experience would be useful. After a first draft has been composed the blueprint is typically discussed on an appropriate team or project mailing list, forum thread, or at a development meeting like UDS.

For example Here are the ideas about Ubuntu that are currently being implemented for the Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal release.

From my point of View,

Brainstorm is Platform to improve and contribute in innovative way to Ubuntu which includes bringing attention of Developers Team towards your Idea .

Alternatively bringing other proposed ideas or own ideas to life by developing and implementing it using PPA, if it found more useful then it may get ended up in Official Ubuntu Repositories bringing more interested Developers and volunteers to develop and maintain it.


In addition to tijybba's excellent answer, it really comes down to pure numbers. It takes a few minutes to come up with an idea, it takes weeks, months, or sometimes even years to implement.

Give the average linux user 10 minutes to come up with 10 ideas and they will likely generate years and years of engineering work, which is why we can just write them down so if new developers come around they have something to work on.

Also a bunch of ideas do get solved, they might just not be marked off on Brainstorm or they're merely bugs or improvements that are just not implemented yet. Let's look at some examples from the most popular ideas from the last 6 months.

  • Display downloading speed software center: just needs to be implemented, that's just a feature request.
  • The shutdown screen is very outdated: Everyone knows that already, someone just needs to do the work.
  • KDE native application should be marked in Software Center: just needs to be implemented.
  • update-manager should choose automatically a mirror to update in case of failure: Actually the update-manager already supports the mirror:// method, it just hasn't been tested enough to be turned on by default.
  • Magnet links should be supported in Ubuntu download page: Someone just needs to implement that.
  • The family may use Ubuntu - which is basically "making users sucks", no argument from me there!
  • Inexperienced users don't know when/how to safely unplug removable drives - that's a problem in every operating system.
  • Be able to create a hot-spot in network-manager- We already do that!
  • unnecessary complicated system boot menu - doesn't really matter because we hide the menu by default and only advanced users go in there anyway.

Now, some of these are good ideas, some are really just bug reports.

It's best to think as Brainstorm as a place for people to put ideas down so when a new developer wants to work on something they have a place to look at ideas, it's not a place to put a TODO list for existing Ubuntu developers mostly because they are a finite number and most of them are busy getting the OS out the door to users.

Also many of the pain points that users put down there are known problems. The guy who writes the shutdown dialog probably doesn't need to know it's old and crappy, he deals with it every day! Or my personal favorite: Speed up the file managers

It's just a matter of time to get things like that implemented, it's not as if the Nautilus developers intentionally made the file manager slow.

  • TL;DR: Unlimited ideas, limited people to do the work.

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