Usabilty report on Empathy and Pidgin

I just realized that Matthew Paul Thomas’ blog isn’t on the planet, so for the people who aren’t yet subscribed to his blog, he’s been doing a lot of usability work on Ubuntu, and did a very interesting evaluation on Empathy’s and Pidgin’s usability, helping the desktop team decide with all the facts on the table, whether it Empathy is mature enough to be the default choice in Ubuntu (he concluded that Empathy just wasn’t there yet).
What’s even more interesting, is the fact the he reported bugs based on his findings, to both projects, to help improve free software in general.

Personally, I look forward to seeing more of his insightful evaluations, and I’m thrilled to see usability getting more and more attention in open source!

Jaunty Jackalope

Fresh off the ubuntu-devel mailing list, Mark Shuttleworth has announced the code name for the next Ubuntu release, “Jaunty Jackalope“.
The highlights for that release, to me, are:
– Start pushing the user experience to a higher level, to match and exceed what Apple is providing today
– Cut down on boot and resume time
– Blur the line between the desktop and the web
– Move all Ubuntu packages to bazaar
– Enhance the way developers currently participate

Exciting times!