Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Do we need new versions of distributions

Having upgraded to Fedora 7, do I or my parents notice any difference?
Fortunately, my parents have not noticed any difference and that is the way we would have liked it.

Had the upgrade made any changes to the way my parents worked, I would have had a problem in helping them with their work. So, the question comes, why upgrade and what do we expect in the upgrades?

If we got a new computer, we would have no choice but to upgrade. If we need newer versions of some programs, it would be easier on a recent distribution. It is easier for me that if my parents' computer is on the same version as mine so that in case they have a problem, I can simulate it.

Do I want to spend a day every 6 months upgrading? Am I looking forward to the annual coordinated release of the new version of Eclipse? That is the news which triggered this thought.

Linux kernel now appears to be following a new path. There is no new version in site. There is no reason that Fedora cannot follow the same method. With the separation between core and everything else gone, there isn't even a question of deciding what goes into the core.

Instead of a new distribution, it would be nice to focus on new ways of upgrading a distribution. There could be packages which are installed but rarely used so we may not wish to upgrade them unless we ask for it or the upgrade of another package breaks this one.

The upgrade system should not pester us about upgrades available for a package which we have installed but never used. If I am using, say, xpdf, and evince is introduced as a preferred product by the Fedora community, the upgrade system could perhaps offer the option of upgrading to an alternate product. Only once - unlike the telco's.

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