Software Updater Changes in Ubuntu 13.04

Thanks to Matthew Paul Thomas’s specification and work by Dylan McCall and myself, there is a proposed patch to change the Software Updater’s details panel.

I’m excited about the work and just wanted to highlight it here. See the difference for yourself:

Old ViewNew View

This hasn’t landed yet, but there is enough time before 13.04 that I’m confident it will make it.

A bit about what you’re seeing in that new view:

  • The “Backup” text and icon is being pulled from the .desktop file for the app.
  • “Backup” has subitems because there are some updates that only “Backup” depends on.
  • Updates that are not apps but are part of the base system (i.e. “on the CD but no .desktop file”) are under “Ubuntu base”.
  • For flavors, that should intelligently change to “Xubuntu base” or whatever and use the right metapackage.
  • Notice that the package name is no longer shown, so make sure your package descriptions are high quality!

35 thoughts on “Software Updater Changes in Ubuntu 13.04”

  1. Hi,

    looks really great, more clear and concise… BUT, why let identifiers (package names) down in favor on unriliable descriptions, that change from one localization to the other ? Please, keep the package name ! How can “easy to use DVCSS” be the _only_ information you display ? This can be a legitimate description for bzr, git, mercurial, etc…

  2. This looks great!

    Maybe as a solution to the lack of package names, could you allow the mouse hover text on individual lines to show the package name and more full description?

  3. Thanks for doing all the hard parts, Michael! 🙂

    One other bit of fun in here is Software Updater will intelligently respond to packages with the XB-Restart-Required key in their control files. This means, if packages start to use that key, we can tell you that an update will require a restart before you install it.

  4. This is a catastrophe. So much ambiguity. Should I make my App description like «MyApp | Easy to use Myapp for everything» or what? 

    Why aren’t you guys using something in one line but with the package name included, e.g. my example: MyApp | This is my app etc. pp.

  5. On the whole, I love the changes. The vast number of updates and their incomprehensible nature is worse does confuse users, and we need some good design to fix that. This is good stuff.

    Unfortunately, I do agree with the other commentators that using the first line from the Description field of the control file is not a good choice. The bzr example is good evidence: it’s not clear at all what is getting updated, bzr or git or what. Unfortunately, control files don’t seem to have a Human-name field like a Description field, so we have to use the non-internationalised package name to identify updates.

    Here’s an idea: why not fit all updates that don’t fit into a .desktop application or “Ubuntu base” into one big category “libraries and command-line utilities”? When expanded, you would see the individual updates, prefixed with the package name, with the one-line description as well.

    I’m interested to see if the content under the “Technical description” expander has been changed too.

  6. Jeremy, I see. But I guess it’s kind of a problem anyway (it also states that »The display software knows how to display this already, and you do not need to state it«) So I guess the update manager is wrong on this one 🙂

    As much as I love the new design and the cleanliness, I still think it’s also too vague about what exactly gets updated, information you can’t easily get from the description alone.

    Anyway, I am sure you guys will make a good and benifitting decision (sorry if I sounded like one of those »unity«-whiners who hate everything that’s changing… )

    Cheers and keep up the good work.

  7. A decent improvement indeed.

    You people should look into the software sources as well.
    I did an upgrade to Raring today, and was about to enable sources that had been disabled during the upgrade.
    What met me was a complete chaos. Just about every listing was described as ” Disabled during upgrade” – followed by a non-informative hyperlink.

    After a period of getting PPAs from web sites to install software that is not found in Software Center, you easily loose track of what repository is belonging to what software.
    And the listing in Software Sources is not even trying to give me any idea either.

    You have a big challenge making this intuitive as the Software Updater

  8. Jeremy, I think there used to be documentation on that, quite a long time ago. The infornation stopped being produced by packages because it wasn’t being used by anything, but there were a few different possible values. I’ll see if I can surface some useful information. With the way it’s hooked up here, the restart required indicator should only appear if the package will touch the system restart required file. (If it appears in any other case, that’s probably a bug).

  9. Please let the package name information inside and dont remove it. Maybe display it in an extra column between install and download. Or better, give the packiage name information in lower case under each “package-install-name” (like previeus version).

  10. If Ubuntu is being targeted at the non-technical user then the basic update interface needs to be a simple as possible and I think there’s an argument for an automatic updates option too for those users. Let the technical users have a more advanced updater based on synaptic as an option. Pleases both maybe ?

  11. Kubuntu has this in 12.10, and I think it had it in 12.04. It’s nice to see Ubuntu getting it, too.

  12. The increased ambiguity is aggravating the problem that already exists… inability of user to match what has been installed and the packages he or she has downloaded… Definitely a step backwards from that perspective.

  13. I definitely like the new look, it’s much cleaner and easier to see all updates at a glance.

    Regarding package names, I had the same thought as Mario, show them in hover text. Or maybe you can offer an “expanded detail” checkbox (default=off) that pushes the parent lines apart and inserts detail lines under each entry (package name, full description, ppa source, dependencies).

  14. I absolutely agree with other commentators that there should be a way to view the package names. Perhaps an optional setting, off by default?

  15. I should have mentioned this in the post, but you can view the package name if you click the “Technical description” expander.

  16. What the hell made you think removing the package names was a good idea ?
    Well I guess I’m back to using aptitude for package updates.

  17. Seriously, the first comment complains about the package names not being shown. Here we are, a year and a half later, and there still are no package names and not even an option to switch back to the old style.

    This is why ubuntu has been going down hill – you asshole devs don’t fucking listen!

  18. 丈夫怀疑妻子出轨在其脸上划24刀
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  19. 丈夫怀疑妻子有外遇 将妻割喉后在墙上留名|外遇|杀妻|割喉_新浪新闻
    温州鹿城区仰义某出租房内,一名女子被人割喉,凶手还在墙上留下了“死者王某、杀人者蔡某”这样的字迹。 到底是怎样的深仇大恨,惹出了这样一幕悲剧? 昨天,温州中院公开审理了这起“杀妻惨案”,温州中院院长徐建新担任审判长,庭审全程网络视频直播,温州法院等官微也同步跟进。 案件回放: 出租房惊现女尸,墙上写有凶手名字 今年3月15日,温州鹿城区仰义某出租房内,惊现一具女尸,警方发现案发墙面上还留有“死者王某、杀人者蔡某”字迹。这名女性死者的手臂上,还留有“宝贝等我几天,黄泉路上你不会寂寞”和“或许另一个世界不会有欺骗和背叛”等字迹。 这些字迹,也成了警方破案的重要突破口。 循着笔迹线索,民警迅速锁定了躲藏在云南彝良县的嫌犯蔡某。蔡某,男,27岁,云南省彝良县人,是死者王某的丈夫,曾因盗窃罪被判处拘役6个月。 公诉机关指控,2011年8月21日,蔡某怀疑王某有外遇,把她带到云南省邵通市某山上,对她进行殴打,导致她晕迷。蔡某以为王某死了,把她丢在山洞里,离开了现场。王某之后苏醒过来,自己报了警,获救。 没想到,事发后,他们仍保持着电话联系,蔡某还逐渐取得王某的谅解。今年年初,蔡某得知王某在温州打工,就赶到了温州,租了一间位于鹿城区的出租房,和王某一起生活。这期间,蔡某又怀疑王某和另一名男子有染。 1月11日下午,蔡某为了这件事,和王某在出租房里发生争吵。蔡某随后从公共灶台上拿了一把菜刀,朝王某颈部猛砍一刀,导致王某当场被砍死。蔡某随后在现场墙面上写下“死者王某,杀人者蔡某”等字样,逃离。 庭审直击: 怀疑妻子有外遇,两次要取妻子性命 庭上,蔡某对自己用菜刀砍死妻子的犯罪事实供认不讳。 不过,他辩称,2011年8月,因怀疑妻子与一罗姓男子有染,气极之余,将妻子带到山上殴打,那次并没有杀妻的念头。 去年5月,他因盗窃罪被判拘役,刑满释放后,又与妻子通过QQ取得了联系。“我很爱她。只要她向我要钱,我马上就打钱过去。”蔡某说。 如此深爱妻子,为何又痛下杀手? 今年1月10日,蔡某发现妻子王某背着自己,和一个叫阿付的男子,混在了一起,关系密切。气愤的他用啤酒瓶砸伤了阿付。 夫妻俩又为了这件事,在出租房发生了激烈的争吵。 “自己当时脑子一片空白。”蔡某说,“后来跑到公共灶台拿了一把菜刀,又跑回到房间里,朝妻子砍去……” “她流了很多血,双手不停地抖,眼睛一直瞪着我,我就找来一条丝巾盖住了她的眼睛。”蔡某回忆。 庭审中,公诉人问他:“案发后,有没有清理现场?” 蔡某回答很干脆:“没有。”他用被子盖住了妻子的尸体,给女房东打了个电话,说要续租房屋,随后把房门从外面锁上。 蔡某的辩护人提及,他左手上的伤疤,是在老家自杀留下的。杀掉妻子后,只是想回家看看父母和儿子。 他或许是想说明,蔡某也是个重感情的人。 庭审细节: 案件视频、微博直播 嫌犯称不需要从轻处罚 庭审中,王某的家人提出刑事附带民事诉讼,要求蔡某赔偿各项经济损失39.6万余元。 蔡某说,他愿意赔偿,但是他不知道拿什么来还。 法庭辩论阶段,公诉人认为,蔡某因感情纠纷持械故意杀死一人,犯罪情节特别严重,犯罪事实清楚,证据确实充分,应当以故意杀人罪追究其刑事责任。 而蔡某的辩护人发表意见,认为2011年蔡某杀人未遂的事实,只是夫妻之间的吵架斗殴,并不构成犯罪;认为2013年的杀人事实,王某负有主要过错,是本案发生的直接导火线,蔡某属于激情杀人,主观上属于间接故意。 出人意料的是,蔡某当庭表示,自己不需要从轻处罚。 本案将择期宣判。 为何要对这起案件进行网络视频和微博直播? “作为司法公开工作的重要一环,网络直播和微博直播,能让公众第一时间目睹案件审理细节,保障公众对案件的知情权,打破传统的‘司法神秘主义’,这也是我们司法工作越来越公开、自信的表现。今后,温州法院将逐步推进网络直播、微博直播工作,努力打造‘大案小案同上微博,网络直播渐成常态’的新局面。”温州法院有关人士表示。(编辑:SN054)

  20. 丈夫发现妻子手机上暧昧短信后将其杀死
    事发当天,在警方劝说三个多小时后,晏某终于投案(资料图片)记者 冉文 摄
    本报讯 偶然看到妻子手机上的暧昧短信,出租车司机晏某恼羞成怒,在争吵中杀死妻子。昨日,晏某在市五中院受审。 今年3月22日凌晨4时30分,开夜班出租车的晏某回到位于渝中区白象街的家中,无意翻看妻子手机时看到一条短信,感觉语言很暧昧,于是将正在梦中的妻子叫醒,质问怎么回事。两人因此发生争吵,情绪失控的晏某从厨房拿菜刀将妻子连砍数刀致死,然后爬到楼顶欲跳楼轻生。 民警、消防官兵赶来,晏某与之对峙。“爸爸,你不要跳楼!”晏某5岁多的儿子哭着哀求父亲。3小时后,晏某终于放弃轻生。 昨日受审时,晏某虽然对杀妻深感后悔,但仍坚称妻子有外遇,并称案发前就看到过妻子手机里的10多条暧昧短信,对方姓杨,是妻子昔日同窗。晏某还称,事发当天,是妻子提出离婚才让他动了杀心。 在举证时,公诉人拿出晏某家人曾交给公安机关的一份“谅解协议”复印件,称上面有死者弟弟、父母等亲属签名。由于是复印件,法官表示将在庭审结束后核实。 “这种坏人应该严惩,还责怪死者有错。”庭审刚结束,死者周某的母亲哭叫起来,老人告诉法官他们压根没在“谅解协议”上签字,那是假的,他们不认。 不过,死者周某的弟弟承认签过字,他说,当时姐姐还在殡仪馆,晏某的哥哥拿了一份谅解晏某的字据,让他们签名,当时考虑到为尽快办理姐姐的后事,同时考虑到尽量不让只有5岁的侄儿以后生活在仇恨里,他就签了字。 “哪晓得之后对方态度大变,侄儿在他们那边,我们去看看都不行。”死者周某的弟弟称,直到昨日开庭,他才又一次见到晏某的母亲,这期间她从来没去安慰过失去女儿的亲家。 晏某的儿子昨日也来到法院,自始至终几乎没说一句话。有人问他恨爸爸吗,他愣了半天,仍然没开口。 记者 莫雪庆

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