Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'currentwork'

Iain Farrell

It’s _almost_ there. Happy “so close to release I can almost taste the Ubuntinis” Day everyone! And if you’ve not tried an Ubuntini, well you should. The next release of Ubuntu releases on the 10th October but the release candidate is out there now and as I write this the final release meeting of the cycle is happening on Freenode in #ubuntu-meeting.

It’s been two weeks since your last update from the design team, so what have we been up to?

smiley face emoticon

Well, for one thing the smiley fella above was born and has started appearing on the design blog. More on him and his siblings from Otto in a later post ;)

Probably the biggest news is that the new Ubuntu font family have made their first appearance in our desktop release and those of you running Maverick will now also notice that the Ubuntu and Canonical websites make use of the regular font as well as this very blog.

The new type face at work in the desktop

You can also read some more thoughts on the type face in Mark’s Blog.

It’s very exciting to see this in the wild and it seems like a good time to say thanks to the people who’ve helped us get here. Thanks to Bruno, Lukas, Amelie, Malcolm and Shiraaz at Dalton Maag who’ve designed the font, Paul Sladen for managing the bugs and liaising with the community and also Ken Vandine and Dan Holbach for helping us package the files, Robbie Williamson for approving exceptions that meant we could get it in after deadlines had passed and finally Scott Kitterman for finally hitting the approval button.

We hope you like it, it’s part of your desktop so get involved over on the project launchpad page. More enhancements are coming so stay tuned for more in the coming months.

So now that our Meerkat is grown up our attention turns to a particularly Natty Narwhal that will need our love and attention before they’re released into the wild about 7 months from now. That’s what we’ll be focusing on and we’ll be sharing more of our ideas in the coming weeks as we prepare for UDS.

And finally, a video treat for you to the end the week with. Those lovely people over at OMG! Ubuntu! reminded me that the Blender Foundation have been working on a new short film called Sintel and they’ve released it online for you to enjoy.

A scene from Sintel

The particularly exciting thing about the work they’re doing is that once it’s finished they’ll share their output with the world not only as a video but also all the source files will be released under a creative commons license meaning that they can be used by others to learn from. You can find out more about the project and the Blender Foundation on their website.

Have a fantastic weekend and here’s to our launch parties in the next week or so!

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Inayaili León

29 days later

It’s been 29 days since I’ve started working at Canonical and, let me tell you, they went by really fast.

In the past few weeks I have worked on lots of projects and there is a lot more in the pipeline. I’ve mainly been working on the “realign” (rather than “redesign”) of canonical.com and ubuntu.com; we’ve also been thinking about how we can make the design toolkit more interactive, making it easier for anyone who needs to use it to find the information they need, to name but a few projects.

More importantly, I have learned that:

  • You shouldn’t use Iain’s favourite mug
  • Marcus takes a long time to decide what he’s going to eat
  • Michael can make origami cranes
  • John has a truck
  • Alejandra eats more chocolate than I do

UDS – Ubuntu Developer Summit

A few days after I’ve started I was told I was going to the next UDS, which will be held in Orlando from 25th to 29th October. No-one has really given me a clear explanation of what is supposed to happen at UDS — I think they want it to be a surprise. So I’d be happy to get any tips that fellow attendees might have for me: What mustn’t I forget?, What should I be expecting?, How I can I make the most of it?

That is all for now, reporting from the design corner of the Canonical Millbank headquarters.

(Oh, and the view is still amazing.)

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Iain Farrell

Sign saying closed for winter used in relation to our final freeze before release
Photo by Ralph courtesy of Flickr

Normally we spend a lot of time thinking about how to work on things in a an open way. This week the big news was all about closure as the final freeze on the desktop for 10.10 is now upon us. This means that we enter a period of bug fixing and the focus of design work shifts more towards 11.04 as we start to prepare for UDS in October.

As this week was the freeze a lot of time has been spent on the desktop filing bugs, submitting content and making sure that the next few weeks are just about refinement.

In support of this Robbie has posted the following video. I await the final edit with glee.

Perfection is coming

Those of you running Maverick already will have noticed the new wallpaper has made it into the release. Maverick final wallpaper
We’re really pleased with the outcome. Otto will doubtless read your comments, we were hoping for some words from him but sadly he’s not well so get well soon chap!

We’ve also been working on the t-shirts for 10.10 to be handed out at UDS – but more on these and an exciting shirt related project soon. In the meantime you’ll have to cope with this teaser ;) What's that!? Mystery image

And finally, I’m away next week* so there will be a bumper double edition of this week in design when I’m back!

Have a great weekend!


*since you asked I’m riding my new motorbike to Scotland :)

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Iain Farrell

I don’t want to sound like a broken record but “PHEW! What a week”. Next Thursday will be our final freeze for Maverick. After this point it’s full steam ahead bug fixing, checking translations and making sure everything is ready for the release on the 10th Ocotober.

The main news from the design team is that a lot of us are working on bug fixes and the last changes to the desktop. Otto’s been hard at it on a new wallpaper and we’ll talk to you more about that next week. The release is really stabalising now and if you’ve not yet upgraded as I’ve said in previous posts hop on over to the dailies server and try it out. At least whack it on a USB stick and boot from it. You’ll be a happier richer human being for it*.

On the font typeface front you’ve no doubt enjoyed the updates this week from our guest bloggers at Dalton Maag. There’s more to come and if you haven’t looked I encourage you to take a look at Bruno’s post about the slant on the Hebrew characters.

As promised Lilly introduced herself in a fine post and followed that with a report on dConstruct. UK readers may be aware of dConstruct, an annual conference on design held in Brighton on the south coast of England. It looks like it was a great event this year and I’d encourage you to go and look up the talks online – you can listen to them in their podcasts section.

And also on the team front we announced that we are hiring!

And finally … we ended this week by taking a look at some of the new things that are and will soon be appearing on the Ubuntu shop. The one that really took our fancy was the travel mouse which is already available!

Lovely Ubuntu merchandise

And on that shamelessly self promoting note thanks for all your comments and feedback. Have a great weekend!

* Canonical and Ubuntu in no way guarantee that you’ll be a happier richer human being once you’ve tried Maverick. Perhaps boot and watch this video. It’s the best I can do … it’s late on Friday and I want to go home …

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Iain Farrell

A couple of months back Marcus and I got a call from a magazine in Japan who wanted to produce stickers for Ubuntu. We’d _just_ signed off the new logo and word mark and so we collaborated back and forth and finally yesterday the finished article arrived!

Ubuntu Magazine - Japanese edition

And here are the lovely stickers!

The stickers

They look great! We’re very excited to see this stuff out there and being made by other people using the assets available in the design toolkit!

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Iain Farrell

This week was a short one in the UK but it seems as though we set out to fill it with as much as we possibly could! For a start we hit beta this week. If you’ve not upgraded to Maverick, you really should. We all have and are enjoying the updated Radiance and Ambiance themes. On the subject of arrivals we also welcomed Lilly to our web team this week – we’ll set her up on the blog in the coming weeks and coax a post or two out of her.

Elsewhere in the world of the web Ale asked you guys why you use Ubuntu. We’d love more input into this thread so if you have ideas leave them in the comments and join in the conversation. Another post which got a lot of interest this week was Otto’s post about the default wallpaper. This explains in some detail the idea behind our approach to this design and we’ll be updating you and hopefully roping some of into helping us make our grander ideas a reality in the next cycle.

Away from the blog we’ve been busily working on the font family which is extremely close to being ready to share more widely. We have a few bugs we want to review and in the next week we’ll be adding milestones to the project and assigning some bugs to future releases so everyone can see what we’re focusing on fixing in time for 10.10. The release is by no means finished in October. Much will be added and refined over time. More on that from the Dalton Maag team soon.

Maverick on netbook and desktop is also taking up a lot of our time as we work closely with the platform and DX teams to make sure all the work we do and that is contributed by you guys in the community, is rolled into the next release. Unity in particular is coming together and if you’ve not tried it yet you really should!

We also wished Charline “Bon Voyage” as she set off to Japan to take part in the EPIC conference and she’ll be talking about her experiences once she’s back from there.

And lastly, while we’re on the subject of travel, I got an e-mail this morning from Rick. He’s apparently still traveling and bumped into Jane at Linux Con. I await with interest the next mail I get from my missing statue! :)

Have a great weekend – especially our lucky American cousins who get a nice long weekend!

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Iain Farrell

Frozen in time (c) Alyssa NicoleFrozen in time (c) Alyssa Nicole via Flickr

This week we caught a chill in the form of our UI Freeze. That meant that from here on we should only be fixing bugs in the next release of Ubuntu.

A highlight of the design contributions this week was the wonderful user contributed wallpapers!

17 images were added as the new user contributed wallpapers for this release. This isn’t all the images that were shortlisted but the ones we had larger sizes of and felt would make your desktop really shine! We hope you like them. You can review all shortlisted entries in the Flickr group and if none are to your taste then why not take a look in the Ubuntu artwork pool for even more possibilities and share your favorites in the comments.

We have also landed our updates to Ambiance and Radiance in the dailies and those brave enough to be running Maverick will already be enjoying the benefits of Andrea and Otto’s hard work. You can read more in Andrea’s guest post on the matter.

In other team news we received an update to the Ubuntu fonts this week which are unfortunately not quite ready to be given out on general release. However, we’re close and in the meantime if you are interested or need access to the Ubuntu font family then you can make your case over in this Launchpad group.

If successful in your application you’ll get access to the PPA and all the goodies therein for capturing screenshots or making sure your launch materials are all decked out.

And finally this week in research we also prepared to send Charline on a bit of a tour of Asia as she prepares to user test in China and then head to the Epic conference in Japan to discuss the work we’ve been doing in research. We used the work of UX advocate Jan-Christoph Borchardt and his clever Python application called Pongo to make a mobile user testing rig. Pongo uses Istanbul (see the ubuntu software centre) to record the desktop but also overlays input from a webcam so we can see what people are doing on screen as well as in front of the computer. It also records audio for review later. We’ll report back with how we got on and our findings when she’s back in late September.

And that’s it for this week! Have a great weekend. The design team in London get an extra day of weekend this week thanks to Monday’s bank holiday so we’ll all be back bright eyed and bushy tailed on Tuesday 31st.

Toodleoo!

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Iain Farrell

In this latest post from Dalton Maag Lukas Paltram updates us on the development thinking that went into the italics in the new Ubuntu font family.

The design of the regular weight of the Ubuntu font, in all three script systems, was a big step forward. All design principles were defined and fixed. We could now proceed to it’s close companion, Ubuntu italic.

Upright and italic characters

The first trials for the Italic were concerned primarily with the question whether this should be simply a slanted and refined version of the regular style, typical for grotesque and geometric font styles, or should it be a classic, true Italic as we know it from serif and humanist sans serif fonts. We felt that only a true italic could satisfy the design of the Ubuntu font.

In typography, the purpose of the italic is to emphasise certain words or sentences. Therefore, a textural difference to the regular is important. The italic angle is of course the most obvious difference but in addition a slight reduction of width further helps to differentiate the italic.

Italic fonts have their roots in cursive handwriting and accordingly some characters have different shapes to the upright version. This is most obvious in the characters a, e, f or g, for example. As Latin script readers we are used to seeing these alternative glyph shapes and they are perfectly legible. Yet Ubuntu is a multilingual typeface, and we also had to consider other scripts and the changes that a switch to the cursive structure would bring to them. So, how does that affect Greek and Cyrillic letters, or other characters that we are not so familiar with?
Changed shapes

The principle of the regular design is simplicity and clarity. This principle needed to be carried across to the italic design,  so we introduced just enough true italic elements to give it its own warm and human character without compromising on simplicity and clarity.

Lukas Paltram

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