Welcome To The (Ubuntu) Bionic Age: Behind communitheme: interviewing Stefan Eduard

Interviewing people behind communitheme. Today: Stefan Eduard

As discussed last week when unveiling the communitheme snap for ubuntu 18.04 LTS, here is a suite of interview this week on some members of the core contributor team shaping this entirely community-driven theme.

Without further ado, here we go with the first one!

Who are you? What are you doing/where are you working? Give us some words and background about you!

My name is Stefan Eduard Krenn, I live in Vienna/Austria and in Carinthia/Austria. Since about a year a friend an I are building up a Creative Agency, where I work on websites, advertising concepts, film/videos as a (future) Creative Director. With an education in IT/Telecom technician, directing/acting, dramaturgy, project management and at the moment I am training myself in the direction of design and design psychology.

What are you mainly contributor areas on communitheme?

Mainly design, adjustment and bug hunting. And annoy others if some areas do not work yet :) Also I always try to sum up and work out important or next steps. At the beginning of course a lot of mockups, to find an overall direction.

How did you hear about new theming effort on ubuntu, what made you willing to participate actively to it?

I was working on a little study about Ubuntu and how to improve it and was up to spread it and get feedback. I guess it was someone from itsfoss.com who said, that there will be an announcement for participation for a new theme and so I start following the activities on the forum. Because I already spend a lot of time in researching and writing the study, it was clear that there is a big chance to improve the system - and this is what my biggest wish was. To improve Ubuntu to be better, or more pretty in that case. A good first step.

How is the interaction with the larger community, how do you deal with different ideas and opinions on the community hub, issues opened against the projects, PR?

This is something to get used to, also, that needs to be ignored from time to time, because you could spend days writing back and arguing about things, also repeat ourselves over and over again. There are so many opinions and POVs, it is impossible to satisfy every one of them. But the good thing about this is, that people are contributing good ideas and other ways to look at details. This also forms the theme in a more community and user-friendly way, which is very important, because Ubuntu is for the masses, for the normal person out there. We’re going a bit bolder ways than other big OS’s, but still it’s important to maintain some conservatism to keep the system clear and logical for everyone.

What did you think (honestly) about the decision for not shipping it by default on 18.04, but curating it for a little while?

Because the start was not at the same time as the 17.10 release, in the end, we only had a few months - which of course was a very tight schedule. Since each of us also has a private life, there were also delays here, and so that was a logical decision. Of course, I would have liked to have seen it differently, but then we would have had to start already in autumn or summer. We catch the next LTS - with a new theme, standard snap support/usage, Wayland and a more improved Gnome. Ubuntu will be reinvented from inside and out!

Do you think the snap approach for 18.04 will give us more flexibility before shipping a finale version?

I hope so, also because I have great expectations in the snap system. Although it is still quite new at the moment, I believe that the basic idea (implemented correctly) will greatly change the way software is distributed in Linux systems. Fast, easy and without having to worry about dependencies or a clean install/remove. As said - Ubuntu is for the big crowd and no one likes to spend time on worrying about that stuff.

Any idea or wish on what the theme name (communitheme is a codename project) should be?

Good question. After Ambiance, maybe Atmosphere? Or Enviro? Or latin words like Fuscus (dark), Ravus (grey), or Orbis (area, circle, region and so on) sounds also nice. Something where we can get some inspiration in the community.

Any last words or questions I should have asked you?

Maybe what I wish for Ubuntu in the next years: Because there is a lot going on and with the move to Gnome I see a good chance to evolve the overall system faster and to catch up to the big players. I really hope that the team is contributing to Gnome and is up to work on the many open things to make Gnome the easy, stylish and well-grown system it should be. Because an operating system is now much more than just a layer to run your apps and programs - it needs to give the user a whole environment of interaction, apps, and solutions and at the same time, be not too visible, but also always there. And to catch the masses, be easy, fast, secure and (again) stylish!

The future seems bright and Linux based ;)

Thanks Stefan Eduard!

More interviews coming up tomorrow, stay tuned! :)

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