In a wonderful email from Scott Remnant to the Kubuntu-Devel mailing list there are some great questions addressed about what exactly is happening with Kubuntu 8.04.
The decision was made by the company that provides the LTS, which is Canonical and not the community.
The Technical Board was not formally involved in the decision whether
or not to release Kubuntu 8.04 as an LTS. “LTS” is a commercial support
commitment provided by Canonical Ltd, who shoulder the financial and
administrative burden of doing so; as such, it is entirely their
decision as to whether or not they provide that support for a particular
And here are some questions that were asked:
Will KDE 4 be stable enough to support for the term of the release?
I’ve not seen anybody who believes that this would be the case; a
long-term supported release would have to be based on the stable KDE 3.5
series. This gives us the second question:
Will a bug in KDE 3.5 receive upstream attention in March 2011?
In order for Canonical to make a commercial commitment to their
customers, who have signed contracts and terms of service with them,
they need to be sure that they can honour the terms of their agreements.
The KDE upstream position appears clear, KDE 4 is the focus of
developer attention; KDE 3.5 will be supported as long as KDE 4 isn’t
suitable for support.
Given the attention being paid to KDE 4, it is difficult to believe
that this will not be the preferred release in three years time. Thus
it is difficult to guarantee that upstream will still support the
current stable series for the timescale required.
Is the development community able to sufficiently test the new release?
Again, in order for the commercial commitment to be made, Canonical
has to believe that the development community (which includes its own
staff) are able to provide sufficient testing of both the new release
and upgrades between older releases and the newer one.
This judgement is both based on the number of active testers for the
previous release according to the ISO test tracker, and the relative
popularity of the available packages/seeds.
The number of Kubuntu developers testing releases and recording their
results is right now at an all-time low, this makes it difficult to
guarantee sufficient test coverage of installs and most importantly
Likewise the current download interest is entirely directed towards
KDE 4 packages and CD images.
Thanks again Scott for posting this email, it provides some great answers as to the direction of things.