Hello Linux Mint community!
Earlier today the idea occurred to me that LM13 should be based on U12.04.1. U12.04.1 is a bugfix and security update that should be released about three to four months after the release of U12.04.
I can see several advantages to this:
1. Many of Ubuntu's most critical release bugs will have been fixed, and the release will have been exposed to a wider testing audience (i.e. those that didn't test pre-releases but provided feedback since the official release).
2. Many software packages will have had their last bugfix and security updates from upstream packaged by Ubuntu by this time (leaving Ubuntu to take over maintenance), meaning less updates to download after installation.
3. The Cinnamon and MATE teams will have more time to develop and test the features they want to implement to make Cinnamon and MATE more "feature complete".
4. More time to gather feedback about Cinnamon and MATE, and select appropriately which desktop to make default.
5. It would be a potentially more unified release, with other editions (e.g. KDE and LXDE) perhaps being released at about the same time as the Main edition, as opposed to several months after (if appropriate coordination is performed between maintainers of the different editions).
(6. An advantage for users of LMDE - it would give some extra time for Linux Mint developers to straighten out the recent changes that have occurred in LMDE, with Debian having adopted Gnome 3, and potentially even issue Update Pack 5 before LM13 is released.)
...and a couple of disadvantages:
1. This change in the planned time of release could impact on development plans for other areas of Linux Mint, such as LM14. Also, the developers have lives, and may have made personal plans in the months following the intended release of LM13 in May.
2. We have to wait longer!
However, considering that Linux Mint makes a point of releasing "when ready", this would hardly be something new. Also, keep in mind that Ubuntu 12.04 is being supported for five years (i.e. until April 2017), so it's not as if delaying LM13 a few months would impact significantly on its support lifetime.
An alternative would be for Linux Mint to base LM13 on U12.04 and later release LM13.1 about the same time as U12.04.1. There would be the advantage of LM developers receiving more feedback from users before releasing LM13.1. However, there would be the disadvantage in that more time would have to be spent on iso testing, which could also impact the release of Update Packs for LMDE.
So, what do others in the Linux Mint community think? Are there any advantages or disadvantages I haven't considered? Vote on the poll and post comments!