Category Archives: scopes

Ubuntu Wants Your Opinion On Scopes and Colors

A question mark in a circleGot a spare five minutes? You can help the Canonical design out by filling in a questionnaire. The team is looking to “gather information about how people perceive colours and use Scopes.” The short questionnaire is split into two sections: colour and Scopes. The section on colours …well you don’t really need me to explain […]

This post, Ubuntu Wants Your Opinion On Scopes and Colors, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

Ubuntu Plans To Make Scopes Even Better — Here’s How

Scope redesign mockupA couple of days back we mentioned that big ol’ design rejig is headed to Ubuntu Scopes. More details about the ‘design evolution of Ubuntu Scopes’ was shared by the Canonical design and engineering teams at the Ubuntu Online Summit. Why the need for a change? The usual mix of user-testing, developer feedback, design review. Perhaps it’s best put by the Canonical […]

This post, Ubuntu Plans To Make Scopes Even Better — Here’s How, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

How Ubuntu Plans To Make Scopes Much Better

Scope redesign mockupA couple of days back we mentioned that big ol’ design rejig is headed to Ubuntu Scopes. More details about the ‘design evolution of Ubuntu Scopes’ was shared by the Canonical design and engineering teams at the Ubuntu Online Summit. Why the need for a change? Th usual mix of user-testing, developer feedback, design review. Perhaps it’s best put by the Canonical […]

This post, How Ubuntu Plans To Make Scopes Much Better, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

Smart Scopes ‘Not Mature Enough’ to Ship in Ubuntu 13.04

smartSmart Scopes will not ship as part of the Ubuntu 13.04 desktop as originally planned. 

The feature, which powers up Unity’s Dash with data from a wide variety of online sources, has been deemed ‘not mature enough’ to be included in Ubuntu 13.04 by default.

“[Smart Scopes] does not meet the quality requirements for Ubuntu. We would prefer to delay the feature until the next release cycle to ensure that it is rock solid,” explains Olli Ries, part of the Product Strategy team at Canonical.

But the feature isn’t being abandoned. On the contrary, Ries describes the feature as being of considerable ‘benefit’ to Ubuntu users by ‘improving the search experience in the Dash, which is Unity’s weak spot’.

“We would prefer to delay the feature until the next release cycle to ensure that it is rock solid,”

Instead, the smart dash features are to be held over for the Ubuntu 13.10 release. Work on it will continue shortly after the release of Ubuntu 13.04.

Ubuntu will also be making Smart Scopes available through a PPA for 13.04 users who want it.

Smarter Dash

Plans for to make the Dash smarter more comprehensive and more relevant were first announced back in late January. Reaction to news of the feature was, at the time, generally positive – especially as Ubuntu announced additional privacy features would also ship alongside it, mitigating concerns many had had with the ‘Amazon Shopping Lens’ in the previous release.

New of this postponement comes just weeks after being given a ‘Feature Freeze Exception’ by Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth to ensure that it could – should it be ready – land.

As well as not including the Smart Scopes, the previously-announced amped up privacy controls will also not be making it to Raring.

So what went wrong?

Timing, it seems. I’ve been tracking the Smart Scopes feature for the last few weeks and during that time it has matured at an exceptional rate, although is still far from being perfect.

With Ubuntu 13.04′s release date now less than a month away, and Ubuntu developers burned by shipping less-than-satisfactory code in previous releases, time and attitudes have been firmly stacked against it.

You can see a video Smart Scopes in action in the video below

Credit for Bring Cautious

I’m a massive fan of the Smart Scopes idea. The notion of putting so much data within reach of the desktop is inspired. But am I sad to hear that it won’t be arriving in Ubuntu 13.04 as planned? Not a jot.

Ubuntu deserve credit for being bold enough to plan features like this – features that are worth of the ‘disruptor’ title recently awarded to Mark Shuttleworth. They’re not universally popular, but they’re new, innovative, and, for many, incredibly useful.

So to renege on what was, to be frank, one of the key new features in the 13.04 desktop is pretty commendable. Admitting that the code isn’t up to par, being frank about its shortcomings, and wanting to ensure that the Ubuntu experience is as solid as possible are all mature, sensible approaches.

Reasons Why I Love Unity Previews #735

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Prolific Unity Scopes developer David Callé has recently been showing off some interesting new features he’s built into Unity Previews.

Perhaps my favourite so far is this neat Preview for patterns fetched from ColorLovers.

Aside from giving a giant close-up view of the pattern you’re previewing, a link to the website, and some meta data, the preview also lets you instantly set the design as your desktop wallpaper – skipping the need to open your browser, download it, and then set it yourself!

Fantastic stuff.

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Raring’s Smart Scopes Service Arrival Delayed, Coming April 1st

Raring testers expecting to find Ubuntu’s new ‘Smart Scopes’ feature landing on their desktops today (March 25th)  will be disappointed – it’s arrival has been pushed back to April 1st.

Although such delay will irritate many tester’s impatience streak, it’s fair to say that nifty new the feature is in need of some extra development time.

The experimental builds available through a PPA are, at the moment, more ‘Good effort!’ smart than ‘You’re a genius!’ smart.

Such is the nature of development; tracking work in progress means you really do get an overview of progress – from those early stages of ‘not working’ to the joyous moment where it’s ‘working well’.

And having played with these builds for a while, the feature is certainly edging ever-nearer to the latter.

Video

If you’re interest is piqued in how the feature looks, below is a short real-time video of how the service is today, March 25th. If you’re viewing this on March 26th, April 3rd, or December the 29th 2056, you’ll want to seek out a more ‘up-to-date’ example.

Again, I stress that this is a development snapshot and not indicative of the final, finished product due in April.