There has been a lot of discussion in regards to what exactly going on with the next version of Kubuntu 8.04, the Hardy Heron. I am a little disappointed to find out the 8.04 will not be a long term release for Kubuntu due to the nature of KDE4 being released.
I think this is a mistake, I think it only distances Kubuntu even further from Ubuntu and moves it further into the step-child role that so many people claim it already has. I understand the fact we only have one paid full time developer. (Something Mark once said would be resolved but now looks like that will never happen.) I also know Jonathan Riddell is doing a great job and is already probably spending more working on Kubuntu then is probably healthy. However I think it is a mistake to have been made by Canonical.
Everyone says it was a decision made by the technical board, the leadership of the Ubuntu Community, but I’m trying to find where that decision was made. I’ve read the meeting logs that are posted on the wiki and see no reference to the change that was made on any of the discussions that are posted. This would leave to point this once again to a decision made by Canonical and not by the community or the technical board. Apparently this decision was made sometime between Jonathan’s recent announcement and UDS-Boston.
I want to state that I really enjoy Kubuntu/Ubuntu, the community and the leadership behind it, but have not the openness behind this discussion that most other decisions are made. Is it because it is not there, or is it because this was not an open decision? I will continue to work with Ubuntu/Kubuntu for Kubuntu adoption and with the Official Ubuntu Book, Ubuntu Documentation, Ubuntu QA, and all other teams and projects I have volunteered for.
The next Long Term Supported Version of Kubuntu will probably be closer to 2010 if there is ever another LTS version. This is way to long to wait for a business or any other enterprise to wait to get on board the greatest desktop environment and have the stability they need.
The 18-month support of 8.04 on the Kubuntu side will also lead to some confusion over support and also over people adopting Kubuntu 8.04. This is already seen in the blogsphere based on reaction to the announcement.
I hope Kubuntu 8.04 will be a great rocking release and am looking forward to supporting it the best I can.