I upgraded my laptop to Ubuntu Linux 5.10 from 5.04 over the weekend. It was as simple as changing ‘hoary’ to ‘breezy’ (I dislike codenames–version numbers are so much more immediately comprehensible, but whatever) in
/etc/apt/sources.list, running two commands, and waiting for a couple of hours while new packages were downloaded and installed. There should be a GUI for distribution upgrade. One may exist–I didn’t look.
Everything still works, with no post-upgrade manual fixing needed. Evolution seems a little better behaved, and I’m now running the current version (2.4.1) so have little excuse for not filing bugs.
The most noticable change is Evince as the default PDF viewer. Evince feels much faster than xpdf or AcroRead. I’m guessing that Evince is used to render PDF thumbnails on the desktop, a nice touch.
[T]there needs to be a lot more cross-distro compatibility or a lot fewer distros. This will make it much easier for software vendors to target the Linux platform and will make it much easier for Regular People to “shop around” for software.
I would modify that slightly: there needs to be one desktop distribution that people can install and vendors support without thinking (there will always be thousands of niche distributions).
Now if rent-a-dedicated-server businesses would start offering Ubuntu Server I’d be rather happy.