One of the first things I did when I joined Canonical just over a year ago was conduct some user research. The idea was to identify some broad areas that needed to be addressed and so I devised sessions that included topics like dealing with music and photos, browsing the Internet, chatting with friends, etc. This initial set of participants had never used Ubuntu nor were they familiar with open-source.

One thing that became apparent very quickly is that it is the little things that get neglected in many open-source applications and in Ubuntu itself. It seems that often, the easiest things to fix go neglected for the longest time. I chatted about this to people like Rick Spencer and so the Hundred Paper cuts project was born.

Today, as Ubuntu 10.04 LTS goes out the door, I would like to celebrate the fact that the papercutters succeeded in healing <blink>102</blink> paper cuts!

The project has been running for two release cycles. The first time we ran it David Siegel, on my team, put a huge amount of effort and energy into getting things running. The second cycle was able to build on the momentum of the first; processes were refined and the understanding of what a papercut is had already entered our collective vocabularies. We came out of the gate faster! In this second cycle, I would like to thank all the papercutters and especially Vish, Sense and om26er who have contributed an enormous amount of work into this splendid result.

This project doesn’t restrict itself to addressing bugs in Ubuntu. The perspective is the users’ so many upstream applications are included. For this last cycle a special thanks to Gwibber and Empathy!

Hip hip hooray!