reflecting on first UDS session on "rolling releases"

Michael Hall mhall119 at
Wed Mar 6 00:41:23 UTC 2013

On 03/05/2013 06:49 PM, Allison Randal wrote:
> There were a few things that concerned me in today's session on cadence
> of rolling releases:
> But, the biggest was at the very end when System76 said that two years
> is too long between releases for their customers, but that they were
> willing to at least *try* the new rolling releases. The reply was that
> the rolling releases weren't expected to be stable enough to deliver to
> customers. This surprised me, since "stability" is exactly the purpose
> of rolling releases.
> If the "rolling releases" really aren't intended for end-users, then we
> should just drop the fiction, say the change is from a 6-month cadence
> to a 2-year cadence, and be done with it.
> Yes, it has all the problems we've come to know-and-hate with stale
> applications. So, either allow SRU exceptions for more applications like
> we do for Firefox, or start really supporting Backports for the LTS.
> It's a waste of everyone's time and effort to rework the whole project
> around talk of "rolling releases" when it's really just the same old
> development release on a slower schedule. (Remember how we used to call
> monthly images alphas and betas? That was ages ago, like 4 whole months.)
> Allison

I think different segments of the community have different ideas of what
"stable" means:

Distro devs & power users: "stable" == "things don't break"

App devs, OEMS, NTEU: "stable" == "things don't change"

I think what we're going for in a rolling release is a release where
things change, but don't break.  While an LTS release is one where
things neither change nor break.

Michael Hall
mhall119 at

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