"Smart" Desktop

Registered by Jason Warner

--- This full spec haven't been discussed at UDS for time constrain, postponing to next cycle.

In a world where we are using more and more connected web services doing some of our tasks (web mails, online documentation editing, online music players…) should we imagine having a more adapated image to our users? This will mean reducing our main image footprint by removing some of those tools we install by default:
I'm thinking of thunderbird, libreoffice, rhythmbox and other main applications of our desktop for instance.

The counter-part would be to make our desktop smarter. I can imagine:
- having the messaging menu (or an icon in the launcher, or an icon in the dash) showing, the first time you try to configure your email account, a window asking for your email
- based on the answer, either proposing to directly use a web application (with unity integration) for an @gmail.com, @yahoo.com… and other email providers known to have good web integrations. Otherwise, proposing to install thunderbird, ideally opening the account creating setup prefiled with the information already be done.
(we can of course imagine a checkbox to override the "smart" behavior).

This is just a field example, we can expand to document editing, and a lot of other areas.
There is already some integration of this for other parts of the stack (like double clicking on an odt when you don't have libreoffice installed), we can make sure all our desktop have this kind of tweaks, and try to make a sharper, more adaptive image to our finale users, without having lots of post-install applications to remove.

What do you think? Is that a goal worth having?

Blueprint information

Not started
Sebastien Bacher
Didier Roche-Tolomelli
Needs approval
Didier Roche-Tolomelli
Series goal:
Proposed for saucy
Milestone target:

Related branches



mitya57, 2013-02-28: I don't like the idea of completely dropping Thunderbird in favour of web apps, which are bound to service providers (like GMail or Yahoo), work in different ways, and don't start automatically. Instead, I propose to use Unity Mail <https://launchpad.net/unity-mail>, which works with any IMAP-compatible server, has low resource usage, works in background, provides good Unity integration (messaging menu, quicklist, launcher count badge), and is extremely configurable.


Work Items