Time to try something new

22Feb15

Try Something New

Photo copyright Mandy Crandell

I’ve not actually checked how many times I’ve helped organise the process of getting new wallpapers into Ubuntu but it’s about two a year since some time in 2009 I think, so that’s quite a lot I suppose. It’s been really fun but I’ve noticed in the last couple of cycles that the number of submissions was in decline from thousands at their peak to hundreds. There may be lots of reasons, people don’t like using Flickr, it’s not the most exciting part of the release perhaps, whatever the reasons though, this cycle it is especially quiet.

At the time of writing, about midday on Sunday, we have 19 submissions – basically you’ve never had a better chance of being included.

This all suggests to me that it’s time for a change, time to find another way to source these images or scrap the process entirely and accept that many users maybe don’t change their wallpapers or find their own.

Ubuntu is, and hopefully always will be, about the people pitching in to be a part of development, able to make the things that they want to make together and to that end I think we should interpret the numbers as clear feedback. it’s time for some new blood to freshen this process up or for the community to decide it doesn’t need this part of the process anymore.

This will be the last wallpaper process I try to kick off unless there’s an outcry, and I’m really not expecting one. I think this has been a fun way to include non developers for a while but it may be time to find another way, if another way is needed. I really enjoy doing it but if we’re not getting the interest then probably better to put our energy into something else.

Personally I also have a bit more on my plate with a 7 month old boy and a new job I’m about to start so probably won’t have the capacity to be on IRC/ Flickr groups I once had. Some people have expressed interest in being more closely involved over the years and some of them have really stepped up to help sort images. I say again to them and to anyone else who’s interested, this isn’t a Canonical process and it isn’t an Iain process, it’s our process and _we_ can do it if _we_ want to or not. We don’t need anyone’s permission 🙂 Get involved if you’d like to, you can drop me a line to iain_at_ubuntu_dot_com if you’re feeling a bit lost but are powerfully compelled to do something.

In the meantime, get snapping/ scribbling and here’s to seeing out this process once more with feeling 😀

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