For another cycle a selection of images has been put forward for inclusion in Ubuntu. As there have been some questions on other blogs about the process I thought it was worth doing a quick refresher. Each release we ask the community contributors whose images were included in the last release if they’d like to help choose the images that should go into the up coming release. This release we are endebted to the following Flickr users and community members:
- Deacon MacMillan
- Noah Bertilson
- Fix Peña
- Fejes Ádám
- Mohamed Malik
- paco • espinoza
- Emilio Merlino
- fernando garcía redondo
They and I carefully went through the thousands of images and we thank them for their effort and care. Once some images are shortlisted the creators are invited to add them to a shortlist group and supply us with high resolution images (minimum 2550 x 1660) and make sure the licence they use is CC by SA
The deadline for the wallpapers is the beta freeze and at this point the shortlisted images we’ve received are attached to the appropriate bug in Launchpad
. We almost always have more images to put on the CD than will make it in but we always make sure that all the chosen images we receive from contributors are included in bug for inclusion in the distro, if some don’t make it at least everyone has access to these images.
As with all processes it’s about refinement over time so while this process went well and we’ve got some really great images, what can we do next time to make it better?
Firstly we’ll be looking at limiting entries, many people submitted way more images than is sensible. We have a very detailed photo diary of someone’s holiday, for example, and that’s not what choosing wallpapers is all about. We will also look to bring the deadline for entries forward to allow for more time to gather files. One of the reasons that the number of illustrated wallpapers we invited to be in the final shortlist haven’t made it is because at time of writing we don’t have high resolution files from them. Rest assured that if they do appear in the remaining time before release I’ll work to cajole cuddle and squeeze any additional great images in but it looks like in this case a week wasn’t long enough. This may in part be due to the fact that the contributors we get here are often new to the project and not always aware of the delivery mechanisms used and aware of how important deadlines are. We’ll allocate more time next release for collation and review so we can help educate people on what the development schedule, Creative Commons licensing and the like are all about. Members of the team who helped this time around have said they’d be happy to help moderate and educate during the next release so we should also have more hands to help with the process which is splendid!
Having read comments on some other blogs and news sites I’d also like to end on a very important point. Every six months we contribute in a small way to Ubuntu with this submissions process. Community members from all over the world provide a number of new images which if users choose, they can have as the wallpaper on their desktop. People take photos, draw illustrations and tinker to create images specifically for this project and it is unfair to them and the team who review the images to simply post comments saying that the images are poor and not what you’d have chosen. Wallpapers are an optional component. They’re a small part of the whole and a team of willing community volunteers, myself included, select what we hope people will like and what we hope is a bit different to last time to keep things fresh and interesting. If you don’t see something you’d have chosen, that’s ok, you can choose your own image(s) and even post yours in time for the next release. Get involved!
So to all of you reading on this Friday afternoon, if you like the work of someone whose image was chosen or included in the submissions process, tell them about it. Blog it, show it to your friends, tweet it, send it to friends who don’t even use Ubuntu who might like it. Let’s celebrate the creation of free content and celebrate Ubuntu. That’s what it’s all about isn’t it?