reflecting on first UDS session on "rolling releases"

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at
Thu Mar 7 14:27:02 UTC 2013

On Thursday, March 07, 2013 11:52:40 AM Robie Basak wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 06, 2013 at 07:34:55AM -0800, Allison Randal wrote:
> > Also remember that, as the idea currently stands, the tiny set of
> > "enthusiasts" are the only people who will get updated versions of
> > applications. The majority of users will have a stale experience, and no
> > reasonable alternative.
> To expand on this "stale experience", I think there's a whole separate
> important class of users. These are users who otherwise would use the
> LTS, but need some particular feature or version of some program that is
> newer than the LTS.
> These users aren't necessarily self-selecting; anyone at any point may
> find himself in this class. I certainly have. Before I worked for
> Canonical I generally used six-monthly releases, but only updated when I
> needed or wanted something specific, upgrading through multiple releases
> at a time.
> Another example: I found that some particular wireless card didn't work
> except in the latest 6-monthly release. So I put my mother onto that
> until the next LTS was released. Here, I wanted to use the LTS but was
> unable, so I put her on a supported release that didn't change under her
> until an LTS was available.
> I think a rolling release would mostly serve this class of user, except
> perhaps in environments where multiple people want to be on the same
> release (eg. they are developing against a framework for which they need
> a newer version than the LTS).
> Backports and PPAs could also help solve this for some specific cases,
> but in general I think we need far more PPAs and backports for this to
> work. The problem is that the group of users who need this often aren't
> in a position to do the backport themselves, so it doesn't happen.

This is exactly the case that backports are for.  I don't think users who want 
a generally stable experience, but need a thing or two newer are at all 
candidates for running the development release.

Scott K

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