Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 24th Nov 2010 17:58 UTC, submitted by visitor
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu After announcing the move to Unity, and the eventual move to Wayland further down the line (someday one day perhaps eventually maybe once when unicorns roam the earth), Ubuntu is announcing yet another major change, this time in its release policy. While they're not moving to a rolling release as some websites are claiming, they will update components and applications more often.
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Separation of OS from apps is needed
by phoenix on Wed 24th Nov 2010 20:36 UTC
phoenix
Member since:
2005-07-11

I've said it before, and I'll keep on saying it until some Linux distro clues into it: you need to create a clear separation between "base OS" and "user apps". And they need to be developed separately, but in tandem.

Windows does this.
All of the BSDs do this.
MacOS X does this.

It's only the Linux distros that don't.

You can install Windows XP today, and run the latest version of Firefox on it. Or the latest version of OpenOffice.org. Or the latest version (with a few exceptions) of AppX.

Same with the BSDs. You can install version Y from 3 years ago, and still install the latest (with a few exceptions) version of AppX.

Same with MacOS X.

But it's almost impossible to do that with a Linux distro. Want the latest Adobe Flash 10.1? You need to upgrade GTK+, which means you have to upgrade glib, which means you have to upgrade half your installed packages.

Want to install the latest Firefox? You have to wait for your distro to include it, then upgrade a bunch of inter-related packages. Or download it from Mozilla, and have it poorly integrated.

We're fighting with this right now with Debian. Even on our 5.0 (Lenny) boxes, we're stuck with Flash 10.0 due to the GTK requirement being higher than what's available in the Lenny repos (no, we're not going to install GTK from the backports repo, as that requires upgrading some 100+ packages). And we're stuck with 9.0 on our Etch boxes for the same reason.

But, I can install Adobe Flash 10.1 on FreeBSD 7.0, released how many years ago? And on Windows XP, over a decade old. Without having to upgrade half of the installed OS.

Repos are good for package management. But the same repo shouldn't be used for the core OS and the user apps.

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