Did we really release 8.04?

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at kitterman.com
Mon Jul 7 15:35:36 UTC 2008

On Monday 07 July 2008 09:04, Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 07, 2008 at 08:30:28AM -0400, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> > This is not sustainable in the long term.  Before long people will be
> > saying, "Everyone know not to upgrade Ubuntu until the first point
> > release".  Then we don't get the end user base to test until .1 and we
> > have to bugfix from there.
> While this is a natural assumption, if you think about it a bit further, I
> think you'll agree that this is not the case in practice, because we don't
> have a single "end user base" which behaves consistently.

I agree that we don't have a consistent user base.

> Ubuntu serves a wide variety of different users, who have different
> expectations and levels of willingness to participate.  These range from
> hard-core developers who are already running Intrepid, through power users
> who may upgrade during the beta period, through enthusiasts who will
> upgrade as soon as a new release is out, through casual users who will wait
> until later, to conservative users who will only consider LTS.
> By orienting our quality processes toward these different groups, we allow
> our users to choose their own tradeoffs between stability and timeliness.

Yes, but if the quality level at each particular milestone is declining, each 
segment will, over time, move their adoption (and testing) to the right.  So 
the trend will be the same, just more complex to map.  

It is my, subjective, opinion that Hardy when released was less mature than 
either Dapper or Gutsy and we are headed in the wrong direction.  More of the 
same will not change that.

My main work desktop is still on Dapper.  I'm about to switch to a new box.  
I'm concerned enough about Hardy (given my experience with it on my laptop) 
that I'm still not completely certain if it will have Gutsy or Hardy on it 
(and yes, to the extent I undertstand my problems well enough to provide a 
useful bug report, it's reported).

> > Once 8.04 was released and its problems became apparent, then fixing it
> > was needed and the response from Canonical is laudable.  We need to find
> > a way to avoid repeating the experience.
> The 8.04.1 point release was planned, and the supporting team organized,
> long before 8.04 itself was released.  It was not a reactive move, but a
> well-considered change in our approach to LTS.

OK.  That's good to hear.  Back to your original response on this thread, no.  
I do not think this was well communicated.

> > Personally, I'd like to hear users saying, "Yes, I know it's beta, but
> > it's an Ubuntu beta so I'm sure it's fine."
> There is one class of users from whom we would like to hear this.  But
> there are also those from whom it's appropriate to hear "That's a brand new
> release, I'm not going near it until the first point release!"

True, but the larger the class of user that rightfully expects the beta to be 
usable for them, the better things will be at release time.  I say again that 
I think Hardy was a step in the wrong direction.

> > I think the only path to better tested releases is higher quality test
> > releases.  I suspect more discipline about feature freeze is a part of
> > it, but I don't know what else?
> There is no single path to quality; we should segment our approach and
> employ the best methods for each stage of stabilization.  During alphas,
> this might mean focusing on installation and hardware testing; for the
> beta, engaging a broad community of testers to use the new release for
> their everyday work; for an LTS release, to have comprehensive point
> releases to fix issues which weren't caught by testing, etc.

I agree with this.  I don't think we do a very good job of it.

The alpha/beta milestones seem to me to be focused on good CD/DVD images and 
milestoned bugs.  I don't see a lot of segmentation in the approach for each 

I think that we need a significant rethink in what we are doing.  I do agree 
that a lot of good work is being done, but I don't think it amounts to 
something that will reliably and consistently get us to a good release.

Scott K

More information about the Ubuntu-devel-discuss mailing list