It looks Ubuntu 16.04 may be a fairly controversial release. It introduces Unity 8, the Mir display server, and snappy packages all at the same time. And to top it all off, it’s an LTS (long-term support) release, and those are supposed to be the more stable ones!
I think some of Canonical’s new ideas are pretty good, but I do worry that it’s all a bit much to change at once. I mean, if you remember Ubuntu 11.04 and 11.10, those were to be honest pretty buggy at times, and battery life was very bad on laptops, and that was just changing ONE thing (Unity, and then Linux 3.0). Still, to their credit, Ubuntu 12.04 was a very good release and seemed to fix a lot of problems with those older versions, but that was a year later! This time, it seems there’s a lot to do but not in so much time.
I should say: as a user of Linux Mint (and Ubuntu on virtual machines), I do like Ubuntu (and Debian), and I think they’ve made a lot of good releases like 14.04. This time, perhaps a step too far, as for example there’s not a lot of info on whether the Debian packages will work on the snappy version, and whether they’ll be limited, and so on. This makes it difficult for me as a developer to be 100% sure my programs will work, which is annoying.
I personally quite like the Debian packages, but having said that, I see the need for a unified platform and I’ll be happy if they make this a good release 🙂 They have made mistakes, like everyone has. However, I think if they pull this off, people will be happy. I do however wish I could say I think it’ll be good, but I hope to be proven wrong!
On a side note, they’re discontinuing the Ubuntu Software Centre which seems to be because it’s written in Python 2, and they want to remove Python 2 from the install disk. Not to worry though, because they’re replacing it with a GNOME program instead. I always found it to be slow, even on a quad-core system, so I’m actually quite happy about that. The daily builds are now available here too if you want to give it a try, but mind I think these are Debian based so far. You can also download Snappy Core here.