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Dividing the Linux desktop
LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 13, 2013
A report from pgCon 2013
Little things that matter in language design
When did a 6 month release cycle become desirable? New hardwarre support is nice, but even the
quick release folks at Ubuntu do 18? month LTS versions.
Truth in advertising, I do run Debian testing on workstations, now.
Good work Debian!
LCA: The state of Debian
Posted Jan 29, 2008 12:43 UTC (Tue) by liljencrantz (guest, #28458)
It is my experience that the LTS releases are mostly used by server people, whereas desktop
users are usually more in a hurry to get their new hardware supported. It's a basic conflict
of interest, the server people want long release cycles, the desktop people want short ones.
Debian aims to be an operating system for everyone and is therefore caught in the middle.
Posted Jan 30, 2008 20:15 UTC (Wed) by drag (subscriber, #31333)
Plus it's nice when systems syncronize. Gnome and X both have a six-eight month release cycle
and so do lots of other big software projects.
Application developers depend on Gnome's new stuff to get the latest and greatest features.
Gnome depends on features being present in X to get the newer features (like compositing or
xrandr improvements). X depends on the kernel for some of it's features (like DRM texture
management improvements for compositing and hotplug input devices support).
So by having everything sync up it makes Linux more reliable platform for software developers
since they can depend on release timelines. Projects have realistic expectations on new
features and users get the best improvements, better hardware support, and quicker bug fixes.
So on and so forth.
Another example is Gstreamer. With no time line for releases projects based on Gstreamer were
very hard for users to test and use since no distro had the up-to-date dependancies for the
software. In order to get some of the neater gstreamer-based applications working users and
testers would end up having to break dozens of other programs by compiling custom versions of
With Debian, for previous releases, people were very hurt because they wanted to use Debian as
a platform for their own projects. As months and years went by before another stable release
those projects died on the vine.
Six months is a good target to aim for. If you overshoot it then you'll get a new release in
eight months. As it works out (with holidays and such) you end up getting a rotating schedual
of 2 releases at the beginning and end of one year, and summer of the next. That's pretty good
and will help keep Linux very competative with Vista or OS X.
Posted Jan 31, 2008 10:10 UTC (Thu) by mbanck (subscriber, #9035)
Another solution is just running testing on your desktop.
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