Offering some feedback to Ubuntu for a small but easy improvement. In recent releases, ls began outputting quotes in files names with spaces (but not those without) plus the \ escape character in some cases per this announcement from coreutils.
Ubuntu should turn this off by default. The quotes clutter and make it harder for the eye to visually scan. It makes an ambiguous display for the eye to process: for some files the all of the characters I see represent the file name, and for others some of the characters (the quotes or backslashes) do not. It also makes it more difficult to copy/paste file names into a non-script text file, such as if I wish to copy/paste a list of files into an e-mail or into a Libreoffice document.
Defaults should represent the principle of least astonishment and provide the most value for the intended purpose of the program. The primary purpose of ls on standard out is to produce human-readable content. This is why distro like Ubuntu alias ls to ls --color=auto even though color is not the default for ls. Adding color makes ls on the standard out pipe better suited for its primary purpose of human readability. Similarly, providing human-readble output on the standard out pipe achieves the same goal.
We can fix this by aliasing ls to always have -N just the same as we currently have --color=auto in /etc/skel/.bashrc or setting QUOTING_STYLE=literal in the same file.
I know I can override it in .bashrc (and I have). My point is we shouldn’t have to override defaults when the defaults undermines the primary purpose of the tool. Ubuntu has always had the principle of shipping with “sane defaults,” and this is in the spirit of sane defaults.