Mark's been blogging a lot lately about the many changes by Canonical within the Ubuntu world recently. Mark Shuttleworth penned a new blog post entitled Let's go faster while preserving what works best on Monday evening.
Rick Spencer of Canonical has been formalizing three Ubuntu release proposals by mid-March, but Shuttleworth has come up with his own fourth proposal.
The key considerations to Mark's "updated Ubuntu Release Management proposal" include:
- Making better Ubuntu LTS point releases by for the first two years of a Long-Term Support cycle life to offer better software updates. The newly-introduced kernel feature to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS would be strengthened while continuing to support the original LTS kernel. Optional newer versions of "major, fast-moving, and important platform components" would also see updates. With Ubuntu 12.04 they are already updating for Firefox and Openstack, but other key software would be back-ported to the LTS releases too. (He also notes some software might be required to be upgraded to newer versions during the LTS cycle as long as there is no API breakage and the newer version is significantly better.)
- Reducing the amount of release management, and duration of support, for interim releases. The new proposal might bring down the support life-span of new Ubuntu interim (non-LTS) releases to just seven months. So if you want to go with a non-LTS distribution, you better upgrade to the new Ubuntu release almost immediately after its release.
- The daily development packages will serve as the rolling release. Due to improvements to the quality of the Ubuntu development/daily packages, Canonical would define that as their "rolling release" path.
These are just considerations being voiced right now by Mark Shuttleworth and are subject to approval by the Ubuntu Technical Board, etc.
In his blog post he also expresses that releases are good discipline while cadence is valuable, release management detracts from development time, the Ubuntu daily quality has "raised the game dramatically", LTS point releases are "a great new enhancement", and separating the Ubuntu platform from applications would enhance agility.