Raring Ringtail Logo HalfLast week’s sudden, but not unexpected, proposal to switch Ubuntu to a Rolling Release model brought with it a less-than-savoury suggestion: axing the April release of Ubuntu 13.04.

Canonical’s Rick Spencer argued, in his case for the rolling release model, that skipping it was important if Ubuntu plans to reach its goal of convergence – that is having ‘one OS’ running across multiple devices – by 14.04, expected in April 2014.

Ubuntu 13.04 was originally announced with an 18 month support period.

Going Ahead With Caveats?

In a discussion at yesterday’s Ubuntu Developer Summit on the topic of Rolling Release, the minutiae effects that such a switch would have on the rest of Ubuntu were discussed.

While the session focused less around why to switch to a rolling release, and more about how to switch to a rolling release, the question of what happens to Ubuntu 13.04 – which already 4 months into development and fast approaching a feature freeze – was raised,

The options presented were:

  • Skip Ubuntu 13.04
  • Release Ubuntu 13.04 as planned
  • Release Ubuntu 13.04 with shorter support window

Neither the first nor second suggestions were popular, but the third, in which released Ubuntu 13.04 as planned, but with a shorter support period and security-only updates, did seem to be the best compromise between the two at this late juncture.

Decision Reached?

While no formal decision has been announced on the subject thus far, KDE’s Jonathan Riddell, who was present at the discussion, feels that enough ‘consensus’ was reached for Ubuntu 13.04 to ‘go ahead on the schedule agreed at UDS last October.’

One hopes, for the communities sake if nothing else, that this is, indeed the case, but as switching to a rolling release is yet to be formally agreed to, it seems we’ll probably remain in limbo for a little while longer… 

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