LTS and release methodology

Peteris Krisjanis pecisk at
Thu Jul 10 08:47:01 UTC 2008

I think resume of all this is very clear - avoid regressions at any
costs. You don't need two versions of OO.o if newest one works as old
one (except bugs of course) and features works as they supposed to be.

All this can be achieved with careful testing (using spec-like test
cases) and spotlighting such bugs early in development cycle so they
can be fixed in time.

2008/7/10 Krzysztof Lichota <krzysiek at>:
> 2008/7/9 Matt Zimmerman <mdz at>:
>> On Wed, Jul 09, 2008 at 09:47:56AM +0200, Krzysztof Lichota wrote:
>>> It is a lot of effort, but if we want to compete with Windows, which
>>> makes it possible (and easy), it should be done.
>> As far as I'm aware, Windows provides no tools or infrastructure to make
>> this easier.  It is completely up to the ISV how their software is
>> installed, and many of them detect an existing installation and upgrade it
>> rather than install in parallel.  Every application does it differently.
> Yes, some do not allow parallel versions, but many do.
> But at least they allow installing different versions without hassle.
> Linux users must jump through the hoops if they need OpenOffice 2.4 on
> Dapper which has 2.0.

Non-existance of Windows installing system is nightmare for admins and
fact that many installators are clearly broken and allow two different
versions is not a feature. It is bug. Actually it is biggest issue why
Windows tends to be unstable after myriads of installs and uninstalls
of different software.

> The argument about ISV doing their packaging in this way is void (at
> least for FOSS software) as in Ubuntu, Ubuntu packagers are doing
> packaging, not ISVs.

ISV can do packaging without big problems, if they know how to do it.
Skype has never been a problem for me. It has deb and it installs
perfectly. Maybe someone could create superduper packaging service for
ISV for cheap money.

> It is not a question how it is done, but that it is possible (and
> easy) to install various versions of apps. To the point that it is
> easier to explain user how to run Firefox 3 through Wine on Dapper
> than to explain him how to get it running on Ubuntu itself.

Firefox is not the best example, because a) download tar.gz, b)
extract it via gui in home directory, c) create link. Vola! Why you
would want them to install it via Wine is beyond my understanding.

>>> BTW. It is already done for example for PostgreSQL - Dapper has
>>> packages for PostgreSQL 7.4, 8.0 and 8.1. They can coexist and run
>>> along each other. User chooses which package to install and then which
>>> versions to run.
>>> I know Postgres is not desktop package, but it shows it is possible to do.
>> No one would argue that it is impossible, but with the current tools, it is
>> done at a linear increase in developer effort.  Ubuntu developers can much
>> more effectively spend their limited time making one version very good than
>> making two versions mediocre.

Having different versions of server programs is understandable,
because they sometimes differ greatly in features and working
principles. However, newer desktop app usually should support data
from old app. Of course it is not always so, but we should try to
achieve that. Multiple versions of won't create better
desktop, it will mess it up. It is short term vision which is not
worth to implement because for now everyone can download .tar.gz and
extract it in home directory and run it.

I think one version policy is what make open source/free software
desktop so great. It is foundation and you shall build upon it. Mess
with regressions, don't mess with apps.

Just my two cents,

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