reflecting on first UDS session on "rolling releases"

Clint Byrum clint at
Mon Mar 11 16:11:56 UTC 2013

Excerpts from Bjoern Michaelsen's message of 2013-03-10 16:40:56 -0700:
> Hi all,
> Rob wrote:
> > On 10 March 2013 14:38, Steve Langasek <steve.langasek at> wrote:
> > 
> > > Our SRU policy reflects this: we only allow updates to stable releases for
> > > specific bugfixes, and don't allow other changes.
> > 
> > ... except for firefox. And kernels.
> > 
> > -Rob
> And for LibreOffice. Except that it doesnt work, when even a SRU suggested for
> the *LTS release* gets first submitted on 2012-11-02 and gets struck in the SRU
> queue so long that it receives updates on 2012-11-28, 2013-01-10 and 2013-01-24
> for additional issues found and fixed in the meantime to finally hit the repo
> on 2013-02-15 -- some three and a half months later. Anyone rejecting rolling
> releases outright for keeping 'business as usual' is mistaking the map for the
> territory.

The man power required to use the current SRU policy is daunting. The
guarantees that have been made about the releases (LTS and interim) are
strong, and users have enjoyed this guarantee over the years. Regressions
slip through the current process, but they aren't rammed through in the
name of progress.

Because of that, you see this effect. The SRU team is tasked with
measuring how likely your upload is to break things. The process
outlined is to streamline that as much as possible. There are hundreds
of developers but only a few SRU team members. So often the queue is
overwhelmed (it has been basically permanently > 30 items since 12.04
was released).

LibreOffice is, IMO, a good example of where the OS (Ubuntu) should
*not* care about the app. Its too big for the high-stability model of
the OS to support. Firefox is also in this boat, and I for one *love*
that the newest version is shipped to all users. We should just do the
same for LibreOffice.

I'd be thrilled if Ubuntu, the OS, kept shipping every 6 months with a
new, well tested core/kernel/UI, and apps just rolled on in a completely
disconnected fashion, blissfully unaware of what OS is "supported" or not
right now.

More information about the ubuntu-devel mailing list