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Why GNOME 3.14 Won’t Be Included in Ubuntu 14.10

Wondering why the newly release, stable GNOME 3.14 desktop won’t be shipping in Ubuntu 14.10 next month? Well, wonder no more. 

Ubuntu GNOME developer Ali Linx, once again, explains the reasoning. Despite GNOME 3.14 being released before Ubuntu 14.10, the strict development cycle the latter holds to works against its inclusion.

“Ubuntu, as all of you may know, have a strict schedule and something called feature freeze,” Linx explains.

Feature Freeze is the point past which no new features, packages or APIs are introduced, with emphasis placed on polish and bug fixing to ensure as stable an experience as possible. Feature Freeze for Ubuntu 14.10 and its flavors came into effect on August 21 – a month prior to the release of GNOME 3.14 Stable.

It’s this tight timeframe that conspires against the Ubuntu GNOME team, making it impossible for them to include latest GNOME stack. If you were one of those who hoped to find GNOME 3.12 in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, you’ll be familiar with the impact this has, as Linx goes on to explain:

“Within one month, we can’t test Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 with the latest GNOME (3.14) and then release it, For all that, simply, and shortly, we can NOT include the latest GNOME with the latest stable release of Ubuntu GNOME.”

Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 will ship with GNOME 3.12 by default. Ubuntu (Unity) will offer a mix of 3.10 and 3.12 packages.

Getting GNOME 3.14 in Ubuntu 14.10

But just because it won’t be shipping by default, or be available through the standard software sources, doesn’t mean you can’t try it if you really want to.

A series of maintained PPAs — Stable, Staging, and Next — provide backports of newer GNOME releases to Ubuntu, allowing you to optionally roll with (potentially untested) newer software should you want to.

We’ll offer more information on getting all that set up nearer the release of 14.10 itself.