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Coincidence or Subtle Influence? Ubuntu’s Impact on Software Naming Conventions

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Could Ubuntu have had an impact on the versioning and naming conventions of other software projects, including Windows, Android and more?

Reader Abu A. pinged us earlier today to share this interesting insight he has on Ubuntu’s contributions to the wider software community.

Musing on the possibility of this (admittedly anecdotal) observation — inspiration isn’t always immediately attributable, y’know — shows that things do line up somewhat neatly.

For instance, perform a Google search for “LTS” with results filtered to early 2006 (before Ubuntu 6.06 LTS appeared) and you’ll find few, if any, references to “Long Term Support” in software projects.

Could it be that Ubuntu popularised the use of this label?

Without going all Ancient Aliens about it: some Ubuntu enthusiasts believe so.

“Wikipedia has a table of many projects that adopted the LTS name which Ubuntu has pioneered,” Abu points out. “[This includes] Linux Kernel, Windows, Firefox, Joomla, and Node.js.”

His dot connecting doesn’t stop there. Abu points out that versioning for Microsoft Windows 10 now follows a similar year/month syntax to Ubuntu, e.g., 1507, 1511, 1607, 1703, 1709.

Finally, clearly on a roll, Abu posits that Android, the world’s most popular smartphone OS, may have been inspired to use ditzy dessert-based codenames in alphabetical order of Ubuntu blazing the cute codename trail first.

All conjecture, but an interesting (if wonderfully coincidental) way of looking at Ubuntu’s more subtle impact and influence on the world.