Got-to-have-it-now software installers

Every now and then, someone on the Ubuntu Forums complains that it’s difficult to get the latest versions of software and that the software in the Ubuntu repositories is several months old.

I don’t get this.

That’s the whole point. That’s a benefit. It’s one of the great things about Ubuntu (and lots of other Linux distros, too) that you don’t have to keep track of what the latest version is or download individual applications on their various release days. The whole point of package management is that the manager manages software packages for you. Every six months, you can get the latest software available for all your installed applications; or, if you don’t want to do a full operating system upgrade every six months, you can just keep your old software but install security updates for those programs.

I love this about package management (a feature Ubuntu and other Linux distros have). Gone are the days of keeping up with tech news and saying to myself, “Oh, I’d better download the setup.exe for that program to get the new version.” Windows Update will update only Microsoft’s software. Apple Updater will update only Apple software. But Ubuntu’s Update Manager will update everything installed on the system (provided all the software is in the repositories, and the vast majority of it should be).

Nope. Some people just have to have the latest and greatest right now. God forbid they ever run several-months-old software.

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  1. Well, the point that most users don’t like is that the packages themselves are not updated very frequently, but I do see your point.

  2. Running Dapper 6.06 myself.
    Can still surf the net and write letters and mess with pictures and create mp3’s etc etc etc.
    No point in the pain of refreshing just yet. But, yes, it does always seem like some sort of cold war arms race to jump from one OS version to another. (and they then spend ages on the forums bemoaning the new problems requiring new tweaks… ).
    BTW. Just posting to let you know people do read your blog, even if they don’t always comment :)
    and to thank you for all the sensible stuff you write.

  3. Well I agree mostly but remember Dapper.
    After Dapper was released a few months later Firefox 2 was released too, I know Edgy bundled FF2 but I preferred Dapper anyway and had to manually install FF2. Would it be better if they had automatically updated the Firefox to version 2 than just releasing FF 1.5.x updates at that time even as late as a month from release of Firefox 2 at that time.
    So when Firefox 3 final is released don’t you think Firefox gutsy should be updated to Firefox 3. Even if a month later we wont mind.

  4. So, given what you have written, have you upgraded to hearty? I haven’t, but I upgraded to FF3 yesterday, but required your link to psychocat. Thanks for being you.

  5. Well, I got rid of my desktop computer before Hardy was officially released, but I did try installing Hardy on my Eee PC. Even though most of the basics worked, it required too much hardware-compatibility tweaking to get working right, so I went back to Xandros.

    When I went back to Ubuntu, I chose to install eeeXubuntu, since it had all the tweaks already done. The latest version of eeeXubuntu is 7.10, and most eeeXubuntu users on the EeeUser forums report that upgrades to 8.04 break most of the customizations, so I’m holding off on that upgrade.

    I’m kind of in the middle, I guess. Most non-tech-savvy users I know have absolutely no desire to upgrade (or, unfortunately, even update) their software, and most tech-savvy users I know always want the latest and greatest, even if it breaks their computers (they’re constantly using alpha or beta software).

    I kind of feel like if I can have the latest and have it work, great. If the slightly older version works better and still gets security updates, I’ll use that.

    Glad the link worked out for you.

  6. New releases = new features. I get annoyed at not being able to use Feature X on my eee that I can on Hardy on my main PC.

    “Well, I got rid of my desktop computer before Hardy was officially released, but I did try installing Hardy on my Eee PC”
    You got rid of your desktop leaving just your EeePC? I love my eee, but I couldn’t see it as a viable replacement…

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