• Ubuntu Linux vs. Windows 10 Fast Releases

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    I want to try out an experiment in enhancing clarity to one aspect of Woody’s Lounge moderating policies.

    I am not criticizing Lounge moderators or policies in this thread. 

    When Linux is mentioned in topic threads which start out being about Windows subjects, many Lounge users have complained that the original topic of the thread gets diluted and difficult to follow. So with this in mind…

    Continuing from:

    ElReg: Three urgent changes Redmond must make to stop the QA crisis


    Some of the following Replies were trashed only because they are about Linux, not about Windows. If there were other more serious reasons for some replies being trashed, they can be trashed again. I am not trying to second-guess Lounge Moderators here (or anywhere).

    I would like to split out some discussions about Ubuntu and its fast release cycle from a thread about Windows Fast Release Cycles and Windows Quality Controls. This has developed into an entirely separate discussion thread, and it was causing issues with Windows users trying to follow the original Windows Fast Release Cycle thread.


    -- rc primak

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    Viewing 6 reply threads
    • #227141

      Please note that this post is not a complaint about the moderation policies in these forums.

      Microsoft does not have a monopoly on these flaws in the release cycle of its operating system.  A whole other thread has been started in the Linux forum area about Ubuntu Linux and its fast-release cycle. Some of their problems parallel those of Windows 10 only too closely lately. So criticizing Microsoft without mentioning other OS developers seems to me to be a bit biased, to say the least. I hope this paragraph is not too off-topic here.

      Interestingly enough, the major web browsers (Firefox and Chrome) have release cycles which are just as fast, and yet their quality controls have (generally) been better than what Microsoft has achieved with Windows 10. I wonder what these other developers have been doing right which Microsoft might emulate? I think that would be a very productive discussion thread, though here it may be a bit off-topic. If this part of the discussion would  result in splitting off into a new topic, perhaps a link here could be provided?

      Also of interest to me (but maybe also probably off-topic here) is the apparent fact that Apple’s Mac OS and Google’s Android phone OS do not seem to find a need for fast-release cycles to stay relevant. So the suggestion in the article to just slow down may indeed be a possible way out for Microsoft with Windows development.  I may be wrong on this point, so I would appreciate anyone with more detailed Apple and Google knowledge chiming in, either here or in a more appropriate place in these forums. If elsewhere, perhaps a link here would be permitted?

      -- rc primak

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #227142

      (Woody replied:)

      I think it would be a very appropriate topic, and would love to see the links….

      -- rc primak

    • #227149

      This trashed Reply might be OK here?

      October 24, 2018 at 7:43 pm #226878


      Still, if you chose an LTS-version you are stable. It’s all about choice. But the developers of Ubuntu indeed became also infected with the ‘we know what is good for you so shut up’-attitude. Nothing new, actually.

      Edit to remove interface buttons

      -- rc primak

      • #227152

        And this Reply which was not trashed could be moved here? (This thread has not yet shown up in the selection list for me to move it here myself.)

        October 25, 2018 at 1:31 am #226933


        The Ubuntu LTS releases are great for slowing down, however I can say that there are hoops and tricks that maybe required to get hardware like Bluetooth to work again after switching to a Long Term Service release. Unable to figure out how that broke but it was good to see some positive results.

        Edit to remove interface buttons

        -- rc primak

    • #227154

      And finally this Reply which was trashed as off-topic in the Windows thread?

      October 25, 2018 at 4:52 am #226969


      @ rcprimak

      You are comparing apples and oranges.

      Ubuntu’s 6-monthly or twice-per-year upgrades or releases are optional. Only a minority of Ubuntu users opt to install them, eg fanbois, developers and bleeding-edgers. The majority of Ubuntu users opt to install the more stable once-in-2-years Ubuntu LTS releases.

      Edit to remove interface buttons

      -- rc primak

      • #227157

        Only a minority of Ubuntu users opt to install them, eg fanbois, developers and bleeding-edgers. The majority of Ubuntu users opt to install the more stable once-in-2-years Ubuntu LTS releases.

        I think you’ll find that this is not so. Most Ubuntu users I’ve met have been taking the interim releases as they come, much as Windows 10 users take their releases as they are pushed by Windows Update.

        I am a more savvy Linux user than many newbies, and I do stick with the LTS releases. For example, I am skipping Ubuntu 18.10 in favor of retaining Ubuntu 18.04. The LTS changes were jarring enough for me. No need to compound the damages. But again, I am in a minority by far, among Ubuntu users.

        -- rc primak

        • #227175

          According to Canonical/Ubuntu themselves, about 95% installations are LTS releases.

          For those of us who use a derivative of Ubuntu like Mint or Neon, we’re on the LTS track automagically, since those distros only release based on the LTS versions.

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          • #227190

            Are those new Ubuntu installations, or do they include in-place upgrades? Is the figure based on downloads or on numbers of copies actually circulating around among users? With open source, it’s important to know how the install figures were obtained.

            -- rc primak

        • #227450

          @ rc primak

          Thanks for “resurrecting” my post.

          Personally, I’ll be only upgrading my Linux Mint LTS machine once every 5 years, as per the duration of LTS support. Others may opt to upgrade LM LTS once every 2 years.

          Previously on Windows, I upgraded about once every 7 to 10 years, ie Win 95 in 1995 –> Win XP in 2002 –> Win 7 in 2011 ——-> Linux Mint 17.3 in 2016, after the Win 10 GWX KB3035583 fiasco. By skipping the upgrades to Win 98, Win Vista(2006) and Win 8.x(2012), I saved quite a bundle of $$$, as did many of the enterprises/businesses/companies.

          Upgrading an OS once every 6 months or every year simply does not compute for me because I rely more on a stable system. There is likely, mainly and purely a $$$ reason why M$ forces twice-per-year upgrades on Win 10 users.

          Luckily, I am a DIY-er and non-power-user and non-gamer, and was able to escape Windows 10 by DIY-installing LM after doing some googling.

          Even Apple does not force her MacOS users to upgrade even though there are upgrades available once every year.
          In this world, only M$ forces OS upgrades, either sooner or later, ie Win 10 users cannot refuse upgrades or updates.

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    • #227173

      please note, some of those message header functions included in the copy and paste are not available to all loungers. They are tools available to MVP’s to accomplish much of what you are experimenting with here.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #227189

        I would have moved some replies myself, but this thread was too new at the time to show up in the destination threads list. I tried, really.

        -- rc primak

        • #227215

          I understand the synchronization lag time involved, and was not commenting on the maneuvering required by setting up a target before linking or moving. Woody has to field those criticisms every month when patience is required to view the upcoming Computerworld article.

          I suppose I could have more directly asked if you intended that portion of the header to be included in the pasted copy, as they are features not available to most loungers.

          Extending beyond your immediate needs, I hope to let all readers know that even an anonymous user can begin a topic of their own and link to new topics with the limited tools available without logging in. Subject to moderation, of course. It is possible I should have done that here, but you have introduced many comments here with similar off topic phrases. Even framing the OP as an experiment.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #227260

             It is possible I should have done that here, but you have introduced many comments here with similar off topic phrases. Even framing the OP as an experiment.

            Nah, I think we’re good here. And in this Linux area, we are definitely not off-topic.

            Since PK Cano has offered his stamp of approval, this way of handling similar situations as they arise in the Lounge looks like it will work well. That is, when Linux and Windows have parallel issues, if the original thread is about Windows, a Linux thread on the same topic can be split off with links between the two threads in case some folks want to look on both sides of the curtain.

            The point is to keep Windows threads on the Windows side and Linux parallel threads on the Linux side, so as to allow both camps to follow our topics with less difficulty.  I think we are beginning to achieve this goal already, though some refinements will be needed.

            Similar parallel threads may from time to time arise with Apple or Android or other OSes.

            -- rc primak

      • #227411

        Interface function panels removed by moderators. Good move.

        -- rc primak

    • #227255

      I think you have several issues or points here which might be summarized as follows:

      • Ubuntu, with releases as necessary, has fewer problems than mandatory faster Windows releases. Ubuntu testing and implementation seem to be more thorough.
      • Long-Term Service releases provide stability for Ubuntu that appear to be lacking with Windows releases.
      • It’s unclear how open-source lends itself positively to the Ubuntu model, but results seem to indicate the open-source model is effective.
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      • #227259

        Good summary. Do you agree with those points, or are we off track here?

        And within the Linux topic area, can we make any recommendations as to how Microsoft might benefit from what we think is the relative success of the open source model for development and testing of new releases?

        -- rc primak

        • #227433

          And within the Linux topic area, can we make any recommendations as to how Microsoft might benefit

          The obvious one to me would be to let the development cycle lead the marketing, not the other way round.  The features added in each Microsoft release don’t seem organic or in any way a natural evolution from what was there before… they’re more tacked-on stuff to give MS something to put in the release notes in order to justify the release schedule, in a grand example of circular logic.  Ubuntu releases tend to be more evolutionary, as we can see in the recent 18.10 release vs. the 18.04 LTS release.

          In the Kubuntu variant, the only one I am familiar with, there is nothing big I can think of offhand that would make a marketing department happy.  It uses a later kernel?  Ordinary people wouldn’t know what that is.  It uses a newer version of Plasma?  Same deal.  I know there were a few things in the notes when I read them, but nothing left an impression that I can actually remember.

          There have been some big changes in Ubuntu, like when they dropped Unity for GNOME, but even that wasn’t like what MS does with Windows.  The move to stop Unity development by Canonical was a business decision, not a marketing decision.  In Microsoft, marketing is driving the development.  The best features would be the things people have been asking for, which is to essentially take the Windows 10 out of Windows 10 and make it more like Windows 7, but that appears to be completely out of the question.

          Some pundits keep saying that the 6 month release schedule for Windows 10 isn’t the problem, but for Microsoft, it really is, because they feel the need to pack every release with enough features to justify a new release after only six months.  This suggests an arbitrary mix of features thrown in for no good reason, which will always tend to disrupt the stability of the code, and their development process is too slow to be able to handle it.

          If MS would stop the parade of new but generally unwanted features all the time and just work on what operating systems are supposed to do (run programs and be boring in their reliability and unobtrusiveness), it would be a far better situation, but then how can they pitch the idea that this release schedule is an improvement over the old one where everyone actually had control over their computers?

          MS is copying only part of the Ubuntu release schedule (they skipped the bit about offering releases good for 5 years within that mix), and they’re doing it for the wrong reasons.  Disrupting stability in order to give marketing some exciting new features to promote isn’t how one should develop an operating system.  A game, perhaps, but even then people hate crashes and instability.  There’s a certain level of quality that is expected from a commercial product, regardless of genre.


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          XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/16GB & GTX1660ti, KDE Neon

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          • #227709

            There have been some big changes in Ubuntu, like when they dropped Unity for GNOME, but even that wasn’t like what MS does with Windows.

            For some of us, this was almost as jarring a change as when Microsoft went from Windows 7 to Windows 8. We don’t get faced with a dual-screen “frankenstein’s monster” UI, but if you want to run some of your favorite apps as Root (Bleachbit, LinSSIDer, others) it’s necessary to put in a Command Line parameter or two, or else start an X Session within GNOME. (This applies only if you are running Gnome and Wayland.) Not pretty, and not simple! I find this change to be every bit as challenging to my everyday productivity as the Windows 8.0 interface changes were at the time.

            -- rc primak

            • #229368

              … hence my sticking to an Ubuntu variant that has X by default. With all the problems that X has, it’s still the only thing that’s actually reliable… as of right now. Hopefully Wayland will get there eventually but we’ll probably need at least an X compatibility layer for decades still.

              (BTW, all those “fundamental security problems” that X has, compared to Wayland… most of them I’ve seen occur on Windows 10 too, at some point or another with all the updating hassles and library conflicts with display drivers… including the one where the screensaver fails to cover the entire screen.)

    • #227442

      In my opinion, the only reason for updating an operating system is to keep abreast of significant changes in the technology of computing (more advanced hardware becoming common place in OEM PCs) and in more advanced software applications designed to take advantage of those hardware advances, as well as significant changes in Internet communications’ technology. In other words: OS upgrades should be meant to keep abreast of real and important changes in computing that can actually bring significant bits and pieces of the software into obsolescence.

      In spite of the impression given by many who write about computers and IT, we are not at, or even close to, the Singularity Apocalypse (a critical and fundamental phase change in our relation to computing technology). So I see no critically fundamental need for updates that are made at a particular set cadence, or that once the upgrade has been installed (installing it usually being something inconvenient and disruptive to the user) it should have an expiration date of less than 5 years, and preferably of 10. This should be perfectly suitable to the interests of the OS developers, because there will be not those many “legacy” versions to take care of in a period of 5 or even 10 years if versions are released only as needed to keep up with the advances in the basic technology of hardware, software and Internet communications. Instead of being released just to make work for the people employed by the software developer company (from janitor to CEO) to give the impression that great new things are being brought to market all the time by them, because they are such great leaders of industry.

      And I am writing here about new OS versions, not patches to existing versions under support, that might be needed much sooner than every 5 or 10 years. I think that is self-evident, but I put this clarification here in case someone does not read it that way.

      Ex-Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7); since mid-2017 using also macOS. Presently on Monterey 12.15 & sometimes running also Linux (Mint).

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      • #227711

        The original fast-release cycles (except for some Linux “rolling release” distros) seem to have been a result of a contest between Google and Mozilla over whose web browser was the most “up to date”. The practice seems to have spread out from there, as in when a cancer spreads from a malignant tumor.

        Microsoft does not need to be led into this kind of carnival atmosphere. They are big enough and influential enough to go against the trend and restore sanity to update and upgrade cycles. But of course, where’s the money in that?

        -- rc primak

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