Kubuntu LTS

Richard A. Johnson nixternal at kubuntu.org
Thu Dec 20 21:38:42 GMT 2007

On Thursday 20 December 2007, Jonathan Jesse wrote:
| Ok I think we will disagree with this.  Just curious as to what has changed
| since UDS-Boston when we talked about doing a release of KDE4 for both
| Gutsy and Hardy along with LTS of Kubuntu that ran 8.04.

That is still the plan, however I believe that for the KDE 4 release, it was 
just going to be vanilla, as it would be impossible to maintain such a work 
load with the current amount of contributors for Kubuntu. It is tough to keep 
up with development at times with the amount we have now, Gutsy is proof.

| I think we are doing a diservice to Kubuntu by not creating a Long Term
| Support.  Kubuntu is already viewed as a 2nd class citizen to Ubuntu and I
| think this proves it even further.  In fact after using Ubuntu on my wife's
| machine I am begining to agree with this as well.
| Bring on the LTS

No matter the route we take, I believe we would be doing a disservice to 
Kubuntu. One thing I don't see is what does having an LTS release do to make 
Kubuntu not look as a 2nd class citizen? KDE 4 right now is all the hype in 
the community, and I think many of us have recognized this to help us to not 
be viewed as 2nd class in the future. If we don't put our current resources 
on KDE 4, then 2nd class might be something we would wish for.

Right now, Jonathan Riddell is stretched thin as well as the active 
contributors/volunteers. It is tough trying to keep up with everything when 
99.9% of our developers have a life that comes first before Kubuntu, so many 
of us contribute when we can.

Another thing to consider is this. With our current setup with KDE 3.5, we 
aren't bringing in any one new to help out. By focusing on KDE 4, one thing 
we are hoping for is for this to change.

Don't get me wrong, I am torn between LTS and non-LTS for a multitude of 
reasons. I know people want LTS and just as many, if not more, want KDE 4. I 
am afraid that if we do the LTS way, we will miss out on KDE 4 and the hype 
behind it. At the same time I worry about those who were looking forward to 
an LTS release. At the same time, I also realize we do 6 month releases, and 
majority of our users follow our releases and typically upgrade on release 
day, the amount of noise created in the past about dist-upgrade breakage 
supports this.

I am sure that Canonical won't let people down with the LTS release side 
either, as their current clients/customers that are using KDE will need this. 
I don't see Canonical, nor Kubuntu, not doing security updates over the next 
couple of years when they arise.

Another thing to realize is that upstream is changing as well. More and more 
KDE applications are focusing on KDE 4 packages and not so much on their 
current KDE 3 packages. So if we were to go LTS, we would have to also pick 
up the slack for lack of upstream support as well. If a KDE package gets an 
update after the 8.04 release, we will still backport it like always for 18 
months. In the next 18 months, or even the next 12 months, you are going to 
see the current set of available KDE 3 apps drop their KDE 3 support. We 
definitely don't have the manpower to maintain those as well.

Richard A. Johnson
nixternal at kubuntu.org
GPG Key: 0x2E2C0124
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