Excerpts from a post by John Doug, the Ubuntu Backports project leader. §
I wanted to get GNOME 2.14 on Ubuntu 5.10 "Breezy Badger", and I was under the impression Backports would be having them. But turns out they dont. Heck, turns out they dont even have Firefox 1.5! (Breezy has Firefox 1.0.7 and Backports dont have the newer version). And this post by John elaborates on why Backports don’t have all these.
Its kind of tragical you know. When you are in Windows, you don’t really get bothered by all this. Want the latest Firefox? Sure, go download, double click, enjoy! But on a thing like Ubuntu (which claims to be userfriendly), I am told that it affects a thousand other components which I dont care about, and that I can’t have it, etc etc. And if I want the latest Firefox or GNOME, the only way is to upgrade to Dapper; and since that’s like delayed for 2 more months, all I can do is upgrade now and hope its stable.
(Ok, to be fair, I can download Firefox from Mozilla and install; but that’s not intuitive. That doesn’t make use of Ubuntu’s package management. As far as I am concerned, that’s a "hack" — something the average user *shouldn’t* be bothered with).
The cool thing about Linux, supposedly, is that all software is provided by the distro maker. So then its their responsibility that when newer and greater versions of existing software are released, they *should* be installable by the users! Now, with Ubuntu for instance, I feel handicapped that I am using Linux coz I can’t install a newer version of Firefox as easily as I could have done on Windows. And ditto for GNOME. Now that a stable version is released, I do not see any reason why my Linux distro cannot allow me to run that; and instead asks me to wait, or risk running an unstable version of the OS to run a stable version of the software I want!