Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Mon Jan 10 23:20:37 UTC 2011

On Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 10:29 PM, Avi Greenbury
<avismailinglistaccount at googlemail.com> wrote:
> Liam Proven wrote:
>> On Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 4:42 PM, Gilles Gravier <ggravier at fsfe.org>
>> wrote:
>> > Hi, Liam!
>> >
>> > Yes. That's the reason. 4.0 is a major update. In effect, more of an
>> > upgrade. :)
>> Ahh, I see.
>> I have to say, I don't agree. Keeping people current is a good thing,
>> surely? I'd think it would reduce the support burden.
> It depends on what the support burden is. With new features come new
> bugs. New major versions also often feature different ways of doing
> things.
> These, it is often thought, increase the support burden substantially
> more than just not changing something. It would also very much annoy
> people who support these installs - they want bug-fixing updates, but
> don't want to come in on Tuesday to find 900 emails asking where the
> 'save' button has moved to.

Well, that's a point, but in this instance, I'm not talking about
auto-upgrading anyone. I'm talking about *telling* them about a new
version, nothing more.

In a corporate scenario, I had a group on each network called "Power
users", who would be allowed to upgrade their own apps - but those
were users who were capable of doing it & wouldn't ask stupid
questions. Anyone who would be so easily flummoxed did not get into
the "power users" group; they were an ordinary user, with the silent
"L" on the front.

But this is just a question of /notifications/.

> It's the age-old compromise between stability and features. Keeping at
> the bleeding-edge provides all the latest and greates features, but
> does mean a lot more changes for a userbase to work around, and more
> bugs to fix.
> Ubuntu's quite far towards the new-features side as Linux distros go,
> but not by arbitrarily changing the major version of a piece of software
> mid-release (that would annoy lots of people). Instead, Ubuntu's
> six-month release cycle makes it quite easy to keep
> about less-than-six-months-behind the included software.

But, to be fair, this is not an Ubuntu package, nor an Ubuntu issue.

The "full" edition of VirtualBox must be downloaed and installed from
www.virtualbox.org and that is where the app itself checks for new
versions, I am guessing, and the app itself notifies you if there is a
new one. It does not and cannot upgrade itself; it just takes you to a
download page.

I think if you're not "with it" enough to understand how to upgrade an
app or use a new version, you're probably not going to be playing with
VM hypervisors, are you?

> If you want more cutting edge, the PPAs on Launchpad often let you
> keep closer-to-up-to-date with specific bits of software, or it might
> perhaps be an idea to try a more bleeding-edge distro, such as Debian
> Unstable or, less so, Arch? The closer to bleeding edge you are,
> however, the more time you spend fixing things. That's why lots of
> people prefer to not be so close :)

I've considered it, but life is too short. I just want my computer to
work, simply and reliably. If I had a lot more money, I might run
Macs, but there are times - e.g. in terms of notebooks - when I
distinctly prefer PC hardware; in that example, Thinkpads.

Liam Proven • Info & profile: http://www.google.com/profiles/lproven
Email: lproven at cix.co.uk • GMail/GoogleTalk/Orkut: lproven at gmail.com
Tel: +44 20-8685-0498 • Cell: +44 7939-087884 • Fax: + 44 870-9151419
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