This is true, in my experience. I used to be ok with that, but I’m liking it less and less. It’s exactly why you’re getting so much flak, on multiple fronts. The vision you have for Ubuntu, as expressed by your actions and in various statements and discussions, it not something I, for one, want to see realised. It’s not where I want Linux to go.
If it were any other distro, I wouldn’t care. I would just switch the handful of boxen I have running it and recommend something else for the relevant use-cases, done. But Ubuntu is not any distro, it’s the public face of Linux, especially for home desktop use. So Ubuntu has the clout to make other distros follow suit and any and all controversy, fear, uncertainty & doubt attaching to it hurts Linux’s mainstreaming. If it were any other time, I’d say, I’m too old for this. But the end of Windows 7 support is near and for the first time non-technical (but privacy-conscious) people are actively looking for an alternative. Thus, I do care.
The question is, can Ubuntu be changed or must it be toppled and replaced as the leading Linux distro, even if that means losing years of progress?
Developers can make one package that runs on many releases of the same distro
… or even different ones, yes. For proprietary software that’s an advantage, but using it for open source software is just cutting corners. Forcing the whole system to be in lock-step, having all components tailored, is an advantage as far as quality & security are concerned.
Currently when an update to LibreOffice or Chromium (as examples) is needed, that’s tremendous work
The thing is, on an LTS release I don’t want updates as in newer version, certainly no big new features, I want backported fixes, security mainly. These are an ungodly amount of work, but irrespective of the packaging format.
Snaps automatically update so users have the latest software without manually updating […] can override this to a great degree
I do not want updates forced down my (or anyone’s) throat, no matter the “degree”. Users need to be educated, not treated like imbeciles. What’s next, automatic forced reboots?
The Snap Store provides delta updates, so users don’t have to download the full snap file every time
That’d be less of an issue, if the snaps weren’t so large in the first place. Also, if “disk space is not an issue, disk space is chap” is valid, then so is “broadband is cheap”. For the record, I think both are real concerns.
The whole thing sounds like you’re trying to emulate how things are done on iOS & Android, Windows & MacOS, app store and everything, throwing away Linux’ traditional strengths. The problem is, people who prefer how things are done on iOS & Android, Windows & MacOS are already using that. You can’t beat those OS’ on their own turf (only), if you try you’ll forever be playing catch-up. You need to offer something different, better.