I have written a new article to follow up my previous (admittedly strongly worded) article on Ubuntu, with the two suggestions posted on my blog recently. I have no delusions that it will make any difference what-so-ever, but hopefully it’ll get people thinking about the issue anyway..
Everyone seems to know that you don’t upgrade Ubuntu straight away but rather wait one month so that major bugs can be fixed. If that’s acceptable, then my first simple suggestion is for the update manager to not prompt the user to upgrade until the stable release has been out for a month (or whatever time frame works. It could even be dynamically flagged when ready).
The problem as I see it, is that the average user gets notified and upgrades straight away. Problems occur and they’re stuck. Ubuntu (and Linux in general) looks bad.
Simply delaying this a month or two means they are blissfully unaware of the newer version until all the major issues are resolved. When they do upgrade, they should have a much more trouble-free experience. Advanced users can upgrade straight away, discover problems and get them fixed.
Secondly, it seems to me that many of the problems faced with a new version of Ubuntu are due to the fact that it’s a time based release. Come hell or high water, it’s released in that scheduled month. The problem with this is that there’s no room to slip the release, especially when it’s due date is already at the end of the month.
So my other suggestion is simply to schedule the release for the 1st day of the month. If all is well, release it. If there are major bugs that need fixing, then you’ve got 4 weeks to slip the release and still make that month. It won’t solve issues with a fresh install, but many bugs seem to come from upgrading an older version.
Perhaps these two simple suggestions will help overcome some issues users face when upgrading, and will help to make Ubuntu more trouble free and therefore better quality.