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

Interviewing people behind communitheme. Today: Mads Rosendahl

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.

Today is the turn of Mads, madsrh on the community hub.

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

My name is Mads Rosendahl (MadsRH) and I’m from Denmark. My dayjob has two sides, half the time I work as a teacher at a school of music and the other half I work in PR (no, not pull requests ;) ) where I do things like brochures, ads, website graphics, etc.

I’m no saint - I use OSX, Windows and Linux.

I got involved with Ubuntu back when everything was brown - around 7.10. When I read about Ubuntu, Linux and how Mark Shuttleworth fits into the story, a fire was lit inside me and I wanted to give something back to this brilliant project. In the beginning I set out to make peoples desktops brown and pretty by posting wallpaper suggestions to the artwork mailing list.

Because I can’t write any code, I mostly piggyback on awesome people in the community, like when I worked on the very first slideshow in Ubiquity installer with Dylan McCall.

I attended UDS in Dallas back in 2009 (an amazing experience!) and have had to take a long break from contributing. This theme work is my first contribution since then.

What are you mainly contributor areas on communitheme?

I do mockups, design, find bugs and participate in the conversations. I also suggested new system sounds and have a cursor project in the works - let’s see if it’ll make it into the final release of the theme.

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

I’ve been asking for this for a long time, and suddenly Merlijn suggested a community theme in a comment on a blogpost, so of course I signed up. It’s obvious that the best linux distribution, should have the most beautiful out of the box desktop ;)

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?

There’s an awesome community within Ubuntu and there has been a ton of great feedback and conversations around the decisions. It comes as no surprise that with (almost) every change, there are people both for and against. Luckily we’re not afraid of experimenting. I’m sure that with the final release we’ll have found a good balance between UX (what works best), design (what looks best) and branding (what feels like Ubuntu).

We have a small but awesome team put together back in november when the project was first announced, but we’ve also see a lot of other contributors file issues and step up with PR - fantastic!

It’s easy to see that people are passioned about the Ubuntu desktop.

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

It’s the right move. I rest comfortably knowing that Canonical values stability over beauty. Especially when you’ll be able to just install a snap to get the new theme. Rather dusty and stable, than shiny and broken.

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

No, but off the top of my head how about: “Dewy” or “Muutos” (Finnish for change)

Any last words or questions I should have asked you?


Thanks Mads!

Next interview coming up tomorrow, stay tuned! :)

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