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Based on my comments here and my messages in Raiders of the Lost Downboat, I think the term "end of life" is sometimes confusing and may be misleading for new users. As of now, one of the closing reason states:

This question is specific to an end of life Ubuntu release. These are no longer supported and are therefore off-topic here. To upgrade, see: How to install software or upgrade from old unsupported release?

But on the page (where "end of life Ubuntu release" redirects), "End of Life" is basically defined as the End of Standard Support+End of Extended Security Maintenance(which is off-topic here).

So, I think it's the time that the help center and closing reason be edited and "End of Life" is changed to "End of Standard Support" or "End of Public Support" to make an attempt to avoid confusions and such answers.

  • 3
    I love your being a nitpicker exactly like I am – the world needs more per(s)nicketiness. – dessert Aug 30 at 18:26
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    I think users would find that helpful, and it fits what is happening elsewhere. I coped flak from Canonical staff when 14.04 LTS reached EOL (fridge.ubuntu.com/2019/05/02/… posted by meta.askubuntu.com/users/153297/wild-man) over the wording in the heading. Canonical wanted End of Standard Support there, but I resisted based on precedent. I don't like change, but I think it's for the better (user-wise). – guiverc Aug 31 at 4:55
  • @guiverc Respect. I get that Canonical is trying to promote ESM, but changing a word's definition without warning is super confusing. – wjandrea Sep 1 at 18:44
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    I think "End of Public Support" would be a great replacement – Robert Riedl Sep 3 at 12:10
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    How about we redefine “life” to mean “standard support” and introduce “afterlife” as a synonyme for the Extended Security Maintenance period – sadly, this way the afterlife has an end as well and for most there is none at all… – dessert Sep 3 at 16:28
  • "End of Public Support" is more explicit than "End of Standard Support" and "End of Basic Support". I likes it. "Afterlife" would require more explaining, so I don't, even though it's a great pun. – K7AAY Sep 3 at 16:44
  • @dessert Is afterlife a myth? No, it's not when you have ESM – Kulfy Sep 4 at 12:17
  • I think we have to be careful, because "End of Life" is an Ubuntu term from Upstream, and therefore we have to be careful 'redefining' that term independently – Thomas Ward Sep 12 at 14:05
  • @ThomasWard What if we can link "end of life Ubuntu release" to this meta Q&A instead of Ubuntu Wiki? And I think we should consider guiverc's comment. – Kulfy Sep 12 at 14:11
4

This "End of Life" issue is confusing the end-users.

On one hand, the Releases on Ubuntu Wiki mentioned the term "End of Standard Support" and "End of Life". On the other hand, the Ubuntu release cycle on Ubuntu.com mentioned "five-year public support" or "subscribe to ESM". Then, searching on Ubuntu.com will lead to the Releases on Ubuntu Wiki (again), and the recent post of Ubuntu 18.10 End of Life on Ubuntu Fridge, and then 'end-of-life' tag on Ubuntu Blog.

The problem: Ubuntu Wiki makes the term confusing by defining "End of Life" equals to "End of Standard Support" and "Extended Support Maintenance (ESM)".

In my opinion, Ubuntu Wiki should rename the terms as follows.

  • End of Standard Support -> End of Life
  • End of Life -> End of Life ESM

The naming is similar to the Releases on Debian Wiki: End of life date, EOL LTS, EOL ELTS. These names are defined clearly. Then why not Ubuntu Wiki?

If renaming the terms on Ubuntu Wiki is made possible, then no need to redefine in the help center on Ask Ubuntu. That would solve the problem immediately--just two lines of text!

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    But here on Ask Ubuntu we can't control things on Ubuntu Wiki unless someone really see this Q&A. – Kulfy Sep 6 at 17:09
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    Well then, share the link to this meta post and let others know of this suggestion. Just pass the word that we have this suggestion, eventually someone will reach to the "right" person. That is what we can do. – clearkimura Sep 6 at 17:30
-4

I know that this is probably not going to be a popular answer, but i think that this is an example of a knee-jerk reaction proposal in the format "I don't want somebody else to answer these questions, make them stop!"

The idea of askubuntu.com was "Answer questions about Ubuntu family of GNU/Linux distros until they reach End of Life". If End of Life can be extended, there is no harm in allowing such answers.

  • Is there any damage what-so-ever in allowing somebody to answer such questions?
  • Is somebody forcing you to answer these questions if you personally do not want to do that?
  • What uses more resources: trying to stop people from getting answers until EOL or simply letting such questions remain here?
  • Excelent. Downvote with no comment, because "I want people to stop answering questions I don't like because reasons and because I don't like". – v010dya Sep 12 at 3:22
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    Extending EOL means opting Extended Security Maintenance. For ESM, private archives are provided from where users can download/install packages. We on Ask Ubuntu won't know which packages are being provided to them. Also, in Ubuntu packages and dependencies could be very much different. For example, 12.04 is currently in ESM. Most of the packages still depend on Python 2 but this ain't true for releases after 18.04. You may find this meta Q&A interesting. PS: I didn't downvote your answer. – Kulfy Sep 12 at 14:08
  • @Kulfy I see where we differ. You seem to think that EOL meant "end of public support" and thus consider other uses to be an extension of EOL. However, i would agrue that EOL means (and always meant) "end of support"; thus it is not about extending or not extending, it is about limiting or not limiting. I do not have any extended security management, but if somebody were to answer a question with a sourced "It is not possible, but you can do that if you ESM" i would definitely upvote that answer. True it is not useful for everybody, but not having such answer is not useful to anybody. – v010dya Sep 12 at 18:26
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    Well honestly speaking, I don't think people here on Ask Ubuntu actually take interest in answering those questions. (Reference: jrg's comment). Moreover, the intent of this question was to reconsider the definition of EOL not the scope of the website. If you think EOL releases should be on-topic, please ask a new question. Thanks :) – Kulfy Sep 14 at 11:56
  • @Kulfy Wrong. Currently releases that have not reached EOL are in scope, but the OP wants to redefine EOL, which de-facto will change the scope. I want the scope to remain as it. Perhaps we can add a tag "End of Public Support". – v010dya Sep 15 at 3:42

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