I have a bit of a complaint here... Please note that I am a long-time Ubuntu user, I have been registered here for years and I have used every version of Ubuntu since Warty. Ubuntu has so many advantages over other distros that I really don't want to switch. However, I am becoming increasingly frustrated with Ubuntu's packaging policies.
Basically, Ubuntu does not update their packages until the next version six months later, unless the upgrade is a major security fix. And even in that case, they have been known to ONLY port the security fix, and leave out any new features. This is even the case with "universe" repositories, which are supposedly unsupported anyway. And the backports repos are not a solution either, since they have very restrictive policies for backports, and I personally have never found updates that I need in backports. It seems to me that they should stop doubting the creators of the software, and simply include the updates, since the creator probably knows better than Ubuntu what the bugs are in his own software. By reviewing and submitting programs to a long review process, it seems that Ubuntu is just adding another level of complexity to an already complicated system. The result of all this is that when a major program releases a big update two days after a new version of Ubuntu, the Ubuntu users have to wait six months to get it. Why should it be necessary to upgrade an entire operating system just to update a program to the next version?
Here's a few examples:
Current Official Version: 2.4.0
Gutsy Version: 2.3.0
Result: Gutsy users are missing out on both 2.3.1 and 2.4.0, and have to upgrade their entire system to Hardy just to upgrade their office suite.
Current Official Version: 0.8.6g
Gutsy Version: 0.8.6c
Hardy Version: 0.8.6e
Result: Gutsy users miss out entirely on .d .e .f and .g releases. Hardy users miss out on .f and .g releases, and will have to wait until Intrepid to get a newer version
Current Official Version: 1.5.5
Gutsy Version: 1.5.3
Hardy Version: 1.5.3
Result: Gutsy users miss out on 1.5.4 and 1.5.5. Hardy users are also stuck on 1.5.3 for no reason, and will have to hope that this gets noticed six months later for Intrepid.
See what I mean? And if you want, compare these stats with the package listings at http://rpm.pbone.net/ , and you will find that Mandriva, SUSE, and Fedora generally have up to date packages within days of a new release from the program creator.
So, the point of this post is to ask: "What is the solution"? Is anyone working on some big community repository, like PLF for Mandriva or Packman for SUSE? Or will Ubuntu ever officially address this? Or am I the only one who has noticed this?
Thanks for the help!