Tomorrow, Ubuntu’s second ‘long-term support’ release, 8.04 or Hardy Heron, will propagate its way through the list of mirrors. OSNews took a short look at the beta release of Hardy Heron a few weeks ago, and concluded that “All in all, this release packs some interesting new features and frameworks, some of which should have been part of any Linux distribution three years ago. It is quite clearly a beta though, and definitely not ready yet to be labeled as a ‘long term support’ release.” In anticipation of the release, El Reg caught up with Mark Shuttleworth in London.Shuttleworth advocated the idea of the major Linux distributions synchronising their release schedules, which would enable easier collaboration between the various distributions. Ubuntu is willing to alter their own release schedule to make such a synchronisation a reality.
Timing your releases drives a whole bunch of things. It means a greater ability to collaborate on bug fixes. If we are on the same versions of the Linux kernel, it is a lot easier for us to say, ‘Hey, here is this patch to make this device work. Do you know any reason why we shouldn’t put it in?’
El Reg continues, confronting Shuttleworth with Martin Owens, the Ubuntu Massachusetts LoCo leader. Owens said that PulseAudio, one of the big new features in Hardy Heron, produces a lot of problems instead of fixing any of the long-standing audio issues in Linux. Just like ALSA, OSS, and ESD, PulseAudio is ‘just’ another audio system, and instead of it being a replacement for the other three, it is added as the fourth audio subsystem, making the whole audio landscape even more intricate than it already was. Shuttleworth agrees the situation is “messy”, and joked “I am glad you are not into video editing because the story there is worse”.
Ubuntu Hardy Heron will be released tomorrow, so stay tuned for a review round-up from across the net – and there will be reviews, trust me.
I’m using Hardy RC (I had to use the alternate CD because GParted freezed) and I noted with great surprise that my fav editor, jedit, is included in packages.
It’s interesting to note that jedit by default depends on openjdk-6-jre and not on sun-java6-jre.
Netbeans 6.01 is also included.
Good job guys :-D.
Edited 2008-04-23 08:17 UTC
I agree that synchronizing releases would be a good thing for every distro and for 3rd parties. As Linux becomes more mature there is not the need anymore to release too often with all the new stuff and to innovate constantly. Now Linux needs to stabilize a bit, put more resources into QA, focus on normal users’ needs, etc…
For example, if all the major distros agreed to release once a year during the same month, and use the same versions of each package, things would be much easier for everyone. You would just say: “I have X problem,I’m using Linux 2008”, and that would be it. No need to say you’re using distro X that has version Y of this package and version Z of that other package. Bug fixes would run across all distros rapidly, 3rd party packages would just have to care about the year of the release, etc…
The 6 month release cycle is good for enthusiasts and for rapid development, the rolling release method is good for geeks, developers, etc… But for normal users, one release per year is better (or even one every two years, but that might be asking too much for now…)
Now, what about unifying package management too? Would the RPM distros be willing to drop YUM, URPMI, YAST and switch to deb/APT? Again, I’m afraid that’s asking too much, but who knows, maybe some day…