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Debian Usability Research


after the entusiasm gathered at the Linux Conference Australia 2003, I'm
honored to announce the birth of a new Debian effort.

			The Debian Usability Research

 * Where it is

     Web site: http://deb-usability.alioth.debian.org
 Mailing list: http://lists.alioth.debian.org/mailman/listinfo/deb-usability-list

 * What it is

The Debian Usability Research is a volunteer research effort focused on
identifying and addressing Debian-specific usability issues.

 * What it is not

The Debian Usability Research does not intend to address general human computer
interaction, nor any other usability issue that is not specific to Debian, like
Gnome, KDE or OpenOffice usability problems.  For that purpose, other
infrastructure and communities have already been available for a long time.

 * Brief history

At the Linux Conference Australia 2003 there was a BOF about debian usability
issues.  At the end of the BOF we gathered e-mail addresses and decided to
continue working on these issues once we got back home.  The continuation of
that BOF is what is now called "Debian Usability Research".

The initial main areas of interest were:

 - status of package metadata: what is ok, what is still missing, how could it
   be added;
 - package searching and browsing techniques, to cope with the large and
   increasing number of packages;
 - how "debian flavours" (debian package subsets targeted at specific needs)
   could help produce distributions that better address the needs of different
   communities and how they could be more easily created;
 - how to handle usability bug reports.

Recently, there have been many interesting discussions in debian-devel
on topics like these, and it seems that there is a strong and growing
interest in them.  I especially welcome all the people who followed
those threads to join and participate to the list: the Debian Usability
Research intends to be the place where this kind of issues can be
seriously studied and taken care of.

Debian is steadily growing, and the growth introduces new and
interesting usability problems.

I hope you will decide to join in, and share the fun.

Yours truly,


I would really like to thank the staff of www.bononia.it for kindly
volunteering to host the project.  We had already started setting up
things there, but Alioth came in and it was the right place to be.

GPG key: 1024D/797EBFAB 2000-12-05 Enrico Zini <enrico@debian.org>

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