Proposal to delay release of Precise Pangolin

James Freer at
Wed Dec 14 00:00:12 UTC 2011

On Tue, Dec 13, 2011 at 9:20 AM, Allison Randal <allison at> wrote:
> On 12/13/2011 12:11 AM, James Freer wrote:
>> After reading the following posts i wanted to raise the release issue.
>> It seems that staff are under  a lot of pressure to deliver the 6
>> month releases as well as LTS. I've been using Ubuntu for about  5 yrs
>> and it seems that quality varies between releases likely due to the
>> pressure staff are under.
>> Would it not be better for all to produce an annual version that's
>> allowed time for testing and bug fixing. LTS is ok but second year and
>> one is starting to find quite a few apps that have been updated and a
>> six month release simply doesn't give adequate time for staff. If
>> you're wondering what i do... i'm an april updater
> A release cycle that's twice as long doesn't really give you more time
> to test changes, it just gives you twice as many changes to test. And it
> makes some kinds of changes much more difficult, because they need to be
> staged over multiple releases for a smooth transition.
> Here's a good post (short):
> But if you have time, I recommend reading Martin Michlmayr's full
> Doctoral dissertation.
> From the conclusion:
> ==========
> In contrast to traditional software development which is feature-driven,
> the goal of time based release management is to produce high quality
> releases according to a specific release interval. This dissertation has
> shown that feature based release management in FOSS projects is often
> associated with lack of planning, which leads to problems, such as
> delays and low levels of quality.
> [...]
> Time based releases are associated with two factors that act as
> important coordination mechanisms:
> 1. Regularity: the production of releases according to a specific
> interval allows projects to create regular reference points which show
> contributors what kind of changes other members of the project have
> made. Regularity also contributes to familiarity with the release
> process, and it leads to more disciplined processes.
> 2. Schedules: by using time rather than features as the orientation for
> a release, planning becomes possible in voluntary projects. Time based
> projects can create schedules which describes important deadlines and
> which contains dependency information between different work items and
> actors.
> Together, these mechanism reduce the degree of active coordination
> required in a project. Developers can work on self-assigned work items
> independently and with the help of the schedule integrate them into the
> project in time for the release. As such, the time based release
> strategy is a means of dealing with the complexity found in
> geographically distributed volunteer projects with hundreds of contributors.
> ==========
> Allison

Allison... WOW

I really do appreciate your reply. I didn't fully understand time
based releases and should really have done some research... all seemed
'above my head'.

I have downloaded Martins' dissertation but it's going to take me a
few days to 'read and digest'.


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