Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu honcho, has a post on his blog discussing “The Art of Release.” He applauds the team and community that got version 8.04 out the door precisely on schedule.

He diagrams (above) how, by design, some Ubuntu releases are supported longer than others.

He also makes an interesting proposal: to synchronize the releases of the various major Linux distributions. That would give all the various software developers concrete milestones to which to sync their own releases, among other advantages.

There’s one thing that could convince me to change the date of the next Ubuntu LTS: the opportunity to collaborate with the other, large distributions on a coordinated major / minor release cycle. If two out of three of Red Hat (RHEL), Novell (SLES) and Debian are willing to agree in advance on a date to the nearest month, and thereby on a combination of kernel, compiler toolchain, GNOME/KDE, X and OpenOffice versions, and agree to a six-month and 2-3 year long term cycle, then I would happily realign Ubuntu’s short and long-term cycles around that. I think the benefits of this sort of alignment to users, upstreams and the distributions themselves would be enormous.

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