The Tale of Fixed Release Schedules

Once upon a time there were some dwarfs who wandered around the earth and told everyone who liked to hear that they would produce a desktop including the distribution of their handcraft every sixth months. And some people believed them and the dwarfs' business grew a bit. But the dwarfs wanted to grow further and so they continued to praise themselves as the high lords of fixed release schedules - and it worked some times somehow. People who had an own project or business to place on the desktop started to trust the dwarfs' telling. The dwarfs were happy and built bigger and bigger furniture...

But on one dark day the dwarfs couldn't deliver anymore in time, their business outgrew them. Sad for the people who were dumb to trust the promises and made themselves dependent on a delivery in time. Let us welcome the dwarfs in the reality and next time you hear them talking remember The Tale of Fixed Release Schedules.


(Too bad comments cannot be deleted... This is the second time I end up with the same comment appearing two times.)

By amantia at Thu, 03/16/2006 - 22:23

Not that worried... At this point it is a single one off 6 week delay... Mentioned well in advance. If you really need to upgrade - the current development release is *better* (for kubuntu anyways) than the last stable release...

If a promise was made to always release exactly every six months then purhaps some words need to be eaten.

By kayosiii at Sun, 03/19/2006 - 04:19

I don't know why you replied to my message, but I think the point behind Stephan's post is that the problem is not with the delay itself, but with the marketing of Ubuntu, one of the central
marketing slogans being: :
The team behind Ubuntu makes the following public commitment to its users:
Ubuntu comes with full commercial support from hundreds of companies around the world. Ubuntu is released regularly and predictably; a new release is made every six months. Each release is supported with free security updates and fixes for at least 18 months. :
With a predictable 6 month release cycle and part of the Ubuntu project, Kubuntu is the GNU/Linux distribution for everyone.

On the official CDs:
"A new version is released every six months."

With big projects (be it open source or not) sooner or later you will end up with the case that you have to delay the release, for whatever reasons. Fixed release schedules simply don't work in long term. That's all. From my point of view it doesn't mean that it's a bad product or it has problems (remember the KDE 3.something delay due to the code review?), it just means that their marketing was not the best...

By amantia at Sun, 03/19/2006 - 11:13

I am a SuSE user since I don't know when. I like it a lot and I'm eager to get 10.1. But the fact that I cannot install it without swapping my hard drives around in the case doesn't make me happy. I'm getting the delta-isos for beta8 right now to test it, but I don't have too much hope.
And Kubuntu had no problems with this setup in their 5 month old release... And don't tell me that SuSE does not patch the vanilla kernels, as I know they do, and it was quite some time to test my patch or grab it from the kernel tree.

Regarding the fixed release schedule: I agree, this is something that sooner or later will not work. Bad, that they focused on advertising the product with this slogan. Well, even if it is delayed, I'm intersting to see the new version as well, as it has some potential.

By amantia at Thu, 03/16/2006 - 22:24

Before Sarge landed, people were frustrated by Debian's horrible release schedule. So when Ubuntu came out, Shuttleworth and friends used that argument to switch users from Debian without "really" switching them. So many Ubuntu advocates are actually Debian advocates that Debian somehow left behind in its quest for "release perfection".
Obviously the argument was going to backfire one day, but they gave Debian a much-overdue kick in the backside, and in a way it's Debian's fault for giving weight to the argument by disregarding it too much.

Businesses don't care much about release cycles as long as you provide a clear update path, because they often won't upgrade as quickly as the distribution does anyway; I don't think that was a major selling point for Ubuntu outside our little world of linux aficionados.

This said, I'm a Gentoo user and I don't give a toss about releases anymore :D

By Giacomo Lacava at Fri, 03/17/2006 - 13:19

You have the next options:

a) Make your own distro.
b) Start helping and stfu.
c) Go and cry to momma.

Pick the one you like the best.

By rams at Fri, 03/17/2006 - 18:24

You should do some research what my work involves before posting...

By at Sat, 03/18/2006 - 19:32

I couln't care less.

By rams at Sat, 03/18/2006 - 19:45

Obviously you aren't using Dapper as you would see it is already highly stable even in Alpha stage. The release was not delayed for not being complete. It is infact the first release that has to be supported for 5 years. How many Linux distros are doing that? You are comparing apples to oranges with OpenSuse and Fedora...Dapper as a release will be along the lines of Suse Enterprise or Redhat. What was your point again? This sounds alot like flamebait.

By psoleko at Sat, 03/18/2006 - 17:54