I think it's a good idea... when done correctly... This just solves a rather big problem (remember gimp 2.8 that was released for all (all who added an additional repository, used a rolling release distro or used Windows, Mac).
However, this has to be done right. Even a single (pretty serious) bug that is introduced after updating is unacceptable.
Of course, it has to be done with care, but I think it's doable, even if it's not fully rolling release.
As others said, canonical already does rolling release for Firefox. It could do it for many other non-core packages, basically things that didn't have (many?) other things that depended on them.
Then in 6-months or whatever intervals, they could do major kernel and Xorg updates. Combine that with keeping a few older versions in the repository (so if Firefox 18 breaks my font hinting I don't have to go hunting for computers where my /var/cache/apt/archives still has a copy of FF17), and it's definitely doable.
There's a bunch of people saying they should go down to 1 release a year.
There's also a bunch of people saying rolling release is great.
I agree with both.
There are some stable, important plumbing in the system that always needs to work and doesn't need to be updated all the time. Things like X.org, PulseAudio, Unity features (bugfixes are another matter), Compiz and so on. They need to be kept the same for a year so people can settle in. I've seen so often that I install Ubuntu on a new PC at my friend's house and he's super happy with it, and the next time he turns the PC on he gets a black screen because Canonical decided it would be a great idea to rev X.org or something retarded like that; or all of a sudden sound doesn't work because they revved the drivers - and so on. This should go on a 1-year release cycle and, safe for the occasional forced security update, should NEVER EVER update more often. NEVER update for new features.
On the other hand, I'd always like to have bleeding-edge builds of apps like Firefox, GNOME, Eclipse, GIMP, and so on. This should go rolling release.
I see an big drama is comming. I hope Canonical and Valve can make enough pressure on AMD that they change there Linux Plan and start Supporting new Kernel and x-server releases like nvidia.
i bet Valve will not so amused if their steambox customers get only a black screen because there update the system.
They typically try to. What you typically get are releases that are being beta tested months in advance of even the "beta" drivers on their website which do support said kernels and x-servers. Although, I do agree, nvidia tends to be much better about that. I think the thing that would help the most would be to focus on that sort of compatibility first and foremost and worry about quality later.
- regular / non-tech users should use LTS anyway ; to a greater extent, now that important apps & even updated drivers are backported in the LTS (in 12.04.2 if I understood properly)
- regular versions are NEVER tested enough and are beta-quality anyway. It may sound harsh but, being an Ubuntu user since 2005, and still loving it, I think I'm entitled to some criticms .
Overall, IF done properly, it would be better :
- for the Joe user who would use a LTS which would be more widely used and would have more backports
- for the enthusiast tester who would be always up to date. Fixes would be available more quickly. Maybe the rolling release wouldn't be that "breakable" as Canonical (I mean : the community) would have fewer distros to support at a time !
Canonical, please do it !
(BTW, I wonder what it would imply regarding the sync with the Debian base & Debian testing)
Last edited by torturedutopian; 01-23-2013 at 04:04 PM.
And how will the average user use askubuntu anymore? I mean you could say I upgraded to 11.10 and now I booted in command line. It would help the answerer since he could have something so use, he upgraded to 11.10. Now when somebody asks a question it's not gonna be obvious for what version their asking. And for those reading the question months from then it won't be obvious if the answer might still apply to them. Those versions had a purpose of orienting when looking for an answer. Now if they remove them what will people do?