Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Re: Ubuntu 13.10 should be upgraded to LTS status

On 18 December 2013 10:33, Oliver Grawert <> wrote:
wow, you highly underestimate how much manpower it costs to support a
release for *five* years ... LTS releases need to be selected in advance
so that the versions of the software we include in the release are
actually supported by their upstreams for that long time or if they are
not, at least easily supportable by us.

Fair comment, and since raising it 6 weeks ago I'd pretty much come to the same conclusion.

The core point remains that Ubuntu ought to have a specific plan to support migrating XP users, assuming those users are desirable.
what scott said is absolutely right, XP users should just use 13.10 and
upgrade to 14.04 once it is out.

So there's a definite preference for 13.10 -> 14.04 rather than 12.04 -> 14.04? That's something that needs spelling out.

If 13.10 -> 14.04 is the preferred route then there should be a fairly strong commitment that any hardware (and in particular graphics hardware) supported by 13.10 will continue to be supported in 14.04. Doing an in-place upgrade to 14.04 that massively breaks things and leaves an ex-XP user facing a command prompt will set public perception back by years. And indeed this is only relevant if 13.10 supported the hardware typically found on XP systems. There's a very small time window between 14.04's release and end of support for 13.10 in order to get everyone upgraded.

To that end I've tended to favour 12.04 -> 14.04 as 12.04 is more likely to run on older hardware (as it is itself older), and there's a much bigger time window in which to migrate to 14.04. Although perhaps a 12.04 respin with backports for things like LibreOffice would be a better compromise (older LO versions don't handle MS office files well and again this will affect perception of Ubuntu in general).
What is lacking here is a clear migration plan for XP users to follow, and I think that is a missed opportunity. Whether or not 13.10 LTS (or 13.10 "LTS-Lite") is an appropriate part of that migration plan is probably to miss the main point.

Mark Rogers // More Solutions Ltd (Peterborough Office) // 0844 251 1450
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