View Full Version : Two Releases Per Year Is One Too Many!

November 10th, 2009, 02:45 PM
Although my relationship with Linux started a while back (with RedHat 5) it was just under 2 years ago that I fired up Ubuntu for the first time and decided that Linux had come of age. This led me to switch to Ubuntu as the one & only OS for 4 out of our 5 home computers.

I was also hoping that Ubuntu would move Linux away from being a domain purely for teckies, to one which would present a viable alternative for ordinary computer users. Unfortunately I don't think its quite there yet, and one of the problems is due to the release of unstable software.

If I had been given the task of testing Jaunty and Karmic at the end of October, but not been told which was the new release, after a couple of weeks I would have returned the disk with the cuddly marsupial graphic in favour of the one bearing the fearsome critter. I'd have assumed that I'd chosen the latest release because it boots up quicker, my wifi runs at 54Mb/s (rather than 1Mb/s), videos play happily on all 4 of my video applications, and I can print across my home network from a remote computer.

Now I know these are little more than teething problems, and that by Christmas we will all be laughing about them ("...oh, how we laughed!"). But these kinds of issues can and do put people off, and result in some timid types running back to the warmth of there Mac or the view from their Windows.

Don't you think that trying to develop, test and manage 2 releases per year is just too much?

Wouldn't it be better if there was just one truly stable release per year (say, in the spring) followed by a bleeding edge release (say, in the autumn)? The spring release would benefit from greater testing and bug fixing, in addition to feedback gained from normal alpha & beta testing.

The only difference this would make to the current situation is that when a new potential user goes here: http://www.ubuntu.com/ they would see a big download button for the current stable release. Somewhere further down the page there would be links to download the latest release candidate.

Surely this would help to keep new users, while still satisfying the desires of propeller heads and budding teckie tinkerers like me?

November 10th, 2009, 03:05 PM
You might want to have a look here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1311836

November 10th, 2009, 03:07 PM
But upgrades are pretty much completely optional though, unless your version reaches its end of life

November 10th, 2009, 03:23 PM
If you want more distance between updates, go LTS to LTS!

Looking at the latest LTS (8.04), its applications are still more up-to-date than Red Hat's current version which is probably the next longest supported version.

Or you could look at openSUSE which is releasing every 8 months instead of 6 or so.

At least Ubuntu tries to make it easy to upgrade. If it weren't for the Ext4 format and Grub2 (to boot from Ext4 partitions) then Upgrade is all you need.

If I can control my impulse control, then I would go LTS to LTS, but I get distracted by too many "shiny" things! :lolflag:

November 10th, 2009, 03:33 PM
Thanks for the info slakkie, I had not seen this poll.

I'm with you Dragonbite when it comes to shiny, shiny things. I just see lots of posts from potential newcomers who can't understand why the latest release is giving them so much grief!
I guess it should come with a health warning.

November 10th, 2009, 03:41 PM
As Wim Sturkenboom so eloquently described in this thread (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1315887&page=4):

4.10 dapper alpha
5.04 dapper beta
5.10 dapper rc
6.06 dapper
6.10 hardy alpha
7.04 hardy beta
7.10 hardy rc
8.04 hardy
8.10 lucid alpha
9.04 lucid beta
9.10 lucid rc
10.04 lucid

One of the few things that got me off of 8.04 was that my webcam worked with 9.04 (actually, did with 8.10, but it took me so long to upgrade that 9.04 came out and was even better with the webcam). Karmic works a little bit better but still isn't 100% (it's a Microsoft LiveCam) so I think I'll hold off.

Although Fedora specifies webcam support improvements in Fedora 12 (out in a week or so), so I may try that out and see if that improves it but will probably stick with what I have now (Jaunty) and hope Ubuntu includes any improvements Fedora.
has.with 12.

November 10th, 2009, 03:44 PM
Mamma mia, here we go again...

November 10th, 2009, 03:45 PM
I agree with SteveDee.
and of course with the idea of moving from LTS to LTS.

November 10th, 2009, 03:47 PM
The solution is simple. If you would to use a more refined version of the os, don't upgrade right away. Run JJ until maybe Dec or Jan, then upgrade.Alot of current post release bugs will be worked out by then. I'm still using JJ on most of my PCs and upgraded to KK on what I deem my test box just to test functionality and find/report bugs.

November 10th, 2009, 03:51 PM
LTS to LTS would be nice, but it seems like whenever I upgrade my hardware I always end up waiting 2 releases to get full driver support for the new hardware. I don't know if the drivers are patched into LTS, but I always end up using the new release.

When the new LTS comes out I may use it as a stable install on my netbook that does not have a built in drive to run live-cds, but I'll probably just use the current release live-cd on my desktop since I don't like dealing with a dual boot system that much.

November 10th, 2009, 03:53 PM
I don't know if the drivers are patched into LTS, but I always end up using the new release.

linux-backports-modules is the name of the package FYI