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 like it!!! LTS for normal users, and rolling for nerds!
I hope they can works more on hardware tweaks, optimization, etc before release the LTS!
With a better focus on LTS, it's an overall improvement.
At the moment, they don't focus enough on LTS and they have short-term goals...
Rolling release would be suicide for server installs - you can't deploy stable code on a rolling platform. It's insane.
What is DEFINITELY INSANE, is to expect to use the same software on desktop and on server installs. Do you install Windows Server on your gaming pcs?
On the news now, the main reason i refuse to use Ubuntu as my Desktop OS is exactly its release model. I hate it when even minimal minor updates don't happen, and you end up with bugs too. And of course you are required to wait for months to acquire the latest functionality.
For example, Libreoffice: I do not know what is the official version at the moment, but Ubuntu 12.10 shipped with version 3.6.2, and to my knowledge hadn't updated it until 3.6.4 was out(i switched back to ArchLinux after that time). Now from what i recall 3.6.3 and 3.6.4 solved hundreds of bugs and where drop-in replacements of 3.6.2: No need for new configuration or anything extreme. So, why Ubuntu didn't update them? Is it because "they need the stability"? Don't make me laugh...
Another example is Netbeans. On Ubuntu repos there is Netbeans 7.0.1(a 2 year old version) from what i remember. But the latest version was 7.2.1 (which is reasonably improved).
Another example is Transmission torrent client. I don't remember its exact version but was several versions behind. And newer versions solve bugs too except introducing new features.
Of course i could add ppas to keep up-to-date and/or install manually. I tried actually. Installed a ppa for Transmission. Couldn't find an updated ppa for Libreoffice or i didn't try hard enough. For Netbeans i didn't find a ppa but actually installed it manually.
Now, what is the point of using a "just works" distro if in order to install bug-fixing updates and newer than 2 years software you have to create a repo-hell and maintain manually some of your packages?
So i switched to ArchLinux (again) and voila: An up-to-date distro, actually more stable than Ubuntu, and for my use cases actually less maintainance than Ubuntu...
Ubuntu should have changed -at least for the Desktop and Application Software- to a rolling release model YESTERDAY! It seems those people at Canonical maintain some actual common sense after all for thinking about it. I had lost faith in them...
Ubuntu should defiantly use Rolling Release.. if not for the Kernel and Core software, at least for the User-Software.. The reason I I switched from Ubuntu/Fedora distro's to Arch Linux (which I love) is because I'd have to:
a) Use outdated versions of software.. Blender, Gimp, Inkscape, etc. Or have to hunt down hard-to-find PPAs. On Arch, I get the latest versions of these software automatically.. just like on Windows or Mac, I can go download a simple installer the day they're released. EVERY user wants this, don't be in denial.
b) I'd have to upgrade my entire system every six months (backup.. reformat.. install.. reload data..) OR brave the often buggy "auto-updater". That simply isn't an option for casual users.
I think Ubuntu should still have some Major releases... only do it every 2-4 years (like Windows) which have updates to major components that would otherwise take a lot of effort to upgrade users to. For instance, when Arch switched from InitV to systemd, there was a lot of files and settings that needed to be switched over. However, during those 2-4 years the project is active, all the user-application software and packages should be on a rolling-release cycle. Even the kernel and friends could mostly be upgraded without issues (albeit much slower).
If Ubuntu was rolling-release, I would seriously consider switching back (there's a lot to maintain on Arch that Ubuntu just makes easy), but I'll never switch to a system where the main software I use is months behind.