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The new shortened support duration and it's concomitant assumption about the purpose of the different versions is explained as:

Our working assumption is that the latest interim release is used by folks who will be involved, even if tangentially, in the making of Ubuntu, and LTS releases will be used by those who purely consume it. (quoted in this question)

The release of 14.04 is not that far away, and with EOL for 13.04 only a couple of weeks away, it doesn't seem to be too early to begin to think about the effects of this issue.

Already with 13.10 there seemed to be a general increase in questions about bugs (real or perceived) or other behavior changes, with many questions along the lines of:

12.04 (or 12.10 or 13.04) was great but 13.10 broke my (wifi, input method, favorite app, etc.)

Many people, especially the new and casual users that, under the new assumption, should be guided to an LTS automatically assume that the newest version is the best one for them.

I would like to raise for discussion the idea that we start keeping this distinction in mind and explaining it in answers much more often.

I've generally been a little uncomfortable when we close even bug-related questions from new users who are having trouble using 13.10 without suggesting they try 12.04 or explaining that now the latest release -- if not an LTS -- may not have the stability they need.

Please note that I'm not talking about true dupes, or questions with no details, nor am I saying that bugs are not off-topic.

I'm only suggesting that we could perhaps salvage more of these questions by viewing the questions and the users' needs through the lens of this distinction. Sometimes I worry that we are alienating the new users that we want to bring to Ubuntu.

  • I remember a duplicated of this.. – Braiam Jan 9 '14 at 2:32
  • Um... firstly, your first sentence is WRONG. 13.04 is the first with the shorter cycle. Second, what exactly are you suggesting we do? Thirdly, isn't there a dupe of this already somewhere? – Thomas Ward Jan 9 '14 at 2:32
  • possible duplicate of Quantal -> Raring -> Saucy upgrade path, how? – Braiam Jan 9 '14 at 2:32
  • @Braiam I don't see that as a duplicate. I'm not trying to talk about upgrade paths but about which versions a user (especially a new user) should use and that questions about bugs, hardware problems, etc might be met with try the LTS for maximum stability and compatibility. – chaskes Jan 9 '14 at 2:36
  • @ThomasW. The first sentence was just a typo, obviously 13.04 was the first since it's ending soon. I'm suggesting that we keep the distinction between the 2 types of users clearly in mind and that we start explaining it frequently in answers, guiding "consumers of Ubuntu" to LTS when they have problems running the latest version, and that we more often try to salvage their questions, which often appear to experienced users to be bug related or asked without thought. And, I don't believe this is a dupe. (I wouldn't have asked it if I had.) – chaskes Jan 9 '14 at 2:52
  • I'm not really sure having them use an LTS release will fix most people's problems.. It's usually just a driver that they need. – Seth Jan 10 '14 at 16:38

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