Let's Discuss Interim Releases (and a Rolling Release)

Stefano Rivera stefanor at ubuntu.com
Fri Mar 1 13:12:38 UTC 2013

Hi Florian (2013.03.01_14:06:37_+0200)
> > That means users could choose:
> >  * The LTS release
> >  * The rolling release updated daily or as frequently as desired
> >  * The rolling release updated at least monthly
> Neither of those choices fits my needs. I want new versions more
> often than every 2 years, but I can't affort the time of monthly
> upgrades. 

And we have to ask the question of what advantage Ubuntu is providing
over Debian, without 6-monthly releases.

Ubuntu has a few packages Debian doesn't. Including a desktop
environment that people seem to complain about a lot.
Of course, it would also be nice to see most of those in Debian
eventually. Ubuntu would benefit from that too.

After that, you're left with commercial support and certified hardware.
Commercial support is of course available for other distros too, and the
hardware certification work will benefit other distros eventually, as
the changes go upstream.

Most developers want to be developing on the latest libraries.
Essentially, developing on their target. For open source developers,
that could mean the latest Gnome/KDE, but for everyone else probably
wants a rock-solid desktop environment.

If we are finding that our non-LTS releases aren't stable enough, and
people are using the LTSs, what makes us think we can get a significant
userbase onto a rolling release that's less polished than our existing

Dare I ask what happens when we approach the next LTS? Does the rolling
release freeze? From our current plans, I'd guess so.
Isn't that exactly what people who like rolling releases want to avoid?
The "debian-testing is frozen" problem?

I have a hard time seeing huge benefits for our users, from a rolling
release. I only see the benefits for developers like us, and a reduction
in stable-support manpower.


Stefano Rivera
  H: +27 21 461 1230 C: +27 72 419 8559

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