I’ve just upgraded some of the computers in my house to Ubuntu 13.10. The main PCs, the ones used by my wife and I are still on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, due to the fact that they are essential to our jobs. We can’t afford a break in work whilst we sort out an unsuccessful upgrade.
Aethernet Magazine is due out in three days time. We’ve been caught out before by broadband outages, hardware failures, and simple but the worst trouble we’ve had was my upgrading to org mode 8 just days before going to press. Org mode 8 is a worthwhile upgrade, but we wasted valuable time having to read up on the new features and configuration settings when we should have been upgrading.
So why bother upgrading the other computers?
Because this is how we pay back the open source community. There are complaints about the direction that Ubuntu is going, about the Unity interface, about Amazon sponsorship of search results. And all this is right and proper, these debates will determine the future direction of the software, maybe not such much as we would like, but there are always other operating systems. Personally, I like the Unity interface, the only thing that really irritates me is the fact the menu items appear at the top of the screen. But that’s just my opinion, and, actually, it’s irrelevant to the question of upgrading.
At the end of the day, we are getting an operating system for free. Installing the upgrades mean we’re submitting crash reports and bug fixes. It can be a pain, particularly if the system doesn’t reboot as happened to me on two PCs with the upgrade to 13.04. Actually, it can be more than a pain: it’s incredibly annoying, particularly when something that was working before the upgrade, like the sound, stops working. It’s frustrating, it’s annoying, it can leave you cursing the stupid developers who released this incomplete implementation. But’s the deal. Things are going to go wrong. That’s why you’re upgrading. If you don’t like it, stick with the LTS version. If it’s really that bad, switch to another distro, or better yet go to Microsoft or Apple.
After all, they’re perfect. They never go wrong.
Or.. write some hybrid of the two.. Usually when something updates I take a diff of the two, figure out what parts are what, and only bring in the parts I want.. That way only the new parts that actually bring merit to my experience.