Congrats on karmic, looking forward lucid

Jo-Erlend Schinstad joerlend.schinstad at
Wed Nov 11 14:59:26 GMT 2009

ma., 02.11.2009 kl. 14.45 +0100, skrev Sebastien Bacher:
> Hey everybody,
Hey Seb :)

> - try to be conservative in the changes which will land in lucid, GNOME
> upstream will likely rework some component in the GNOME3 optic and other
> teams or upstream will probably keep working on changes to improve the
> user experience, while the work they do is great it would probably be
> good to wait until lucid+1 to bring those in the default installation.
> I expect we will have some of those discussions at UDS too


It is difficult to overestimate the importance of this. The LTS releases
should be the main releases for new users and companies. That means they
should not only be stable from day one, but should have high quality
documentation, books, and support both commercial and free. One way to
accomplish this, I think, is to consider the last release before the LTS
a QA release. Between Karmic and Lucid, there should be as little change
as possible. Documentation written for Karmic should require only minor
changes in order to be applicable to Lucid. One of the key strengths
Microsoft has (especially for Win XP), is that everyone knows someone
who knows all the secrets and workarounds since they've used it for some
time themselves. (I can still do blind support of XP over the phone even
though I haven't used it in a year -- I cannot do that with Hardy). If
we consider Karmic a QA release to Lucid, we'll have a lot of users who
can help their neighbours once Lucid is released. It will also give less
technical users more confidence when recommending Ubuntu. We really need
that in order to reach the crucial tipping point. 

I really wish the development of Ubuntu could become something like

LTS+1 (first release after LTS): time for changing lanes. Radical
changes can be done, if it makes sense. I hope we'll refrain from
changing stuff for the sole purpose of elevating the fancyfactor. We
really push the limits in this release and everyone knows that chances
are high that regressions are introduced. This is where we pave the way
to the future, and new users aren't made to expect this to be flawless.
It should still be useful to normal users of Ubuntu, of course. 

LTS+2: Push further in the direction set in the previous release,
learning from the experiences of the previous cycle, and work on
stabilizing the system. Sometimes, good ideas just don't work in
practice. This is a good place to revert if we find examples of those. 

LTS+3: The way forward is now clear. Refine the changes from the two
previous cycles, preparing for the LTS. We now know mostly what the LTS
will be like, so greater resources can be put into writing long-term
documentation, books, screencasts, etc. Since we have six months to do
this work, we can try to make this available in more languages in a more
consistent way. People have been expecting this six-month QA period, and
have planned for it so they have time to work on marketing and docs for
the LTS. 

LTS: After three cycles of high pulse and intense work on features, this
is a good time to catch our breath. It is a time for philosophy,
debating and figuring out what the future should be like. 

These are of course just some ideas, but I think it's very important
that users know what to expect. Karmic has been labeled "ME of Ubuntu"
and "Vista of Ubuntu", etc. The reason is not that Karmic is bad, it's
just that the expectations were sky-high without the users knowing about
the big changes behind the scene. This is really bad marketing. Yes,
this is free software, but more users still mean higher potential, and
higher potential means more effort. 

What do you think? 

Jo-Erlend Schinstad

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