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.
Currently, Ubuntu is on a six month release cycle, a cycle it has adhered to very strictly. However, this has had one major downside – when major applications, like Firefox or
OpenOffice LibreOffice are updated, users will have to wait until the next major release before getting their hands on these updates. This can be quite aggravating when such newer versions include important big fixes or desirable new features.
Mark Shuttleworth wants to change this stringent cycle to allow for more regular updates of common Ububtu components and accompanying applications. “Today we have a six-month release cycle. In an internet-oriented world, we need to be able to release something every day,” Shuttleworth said, “That’s an area we will put a lot of work into in the next five years. The small steps we are putting in to the Software Center today, they will go further and caster than people might have envisioned in the past.”
No word on when these changes will be implemented, but I’m hoping sooner rather than later. With Debian’s package manager as flexible as it is, it seems counter-productive to just hoard all these updates until a major release hits.
Not to mention annoying.
This is just treating the symptoms of a wider problem in that Linux distributions don’t have a sane software installation method for non-core distribution applications.
The next question is how long you will keep providing ‘backports’ (because that’s all this is) for, and for how many releases, and who is going to quality check them. It just isn’t scalable.
This just sounds like rearranging some deckchairs to be honest.
Edited 2010-11-24 18:13 UTC