First: If I posted in the wrong forum, please move it to another forum. I'm not sure in which forum this subject belongs.
After the announcement by Michael de Raadt (https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=222263) I would like to pick up the subject of a long term release version of Moodle. As I'm not a developer, I do not really know if the discussion has been led in the developper community.
Our university (moodle.zhaw.ch) uses Moodle since fall 2004, and in the meantime, we have about 34'000 in Moodle-users and about 5000 courses. When upgrading Moodle to a new version (e.g. from 2.2 to 2.4), we have some essential parameters which we are bound to:
- Stability in daily operarations and bug-fixing is essential for us, even more important than new features. This means that we e.g. cannot upgrade to a new Moodle version 2 or 3 months after it has been released. We usually wait at least 4-6 months after a release until we upgrade and some bug-fixing by minor version (e.g. Moodle 2.2.1, 2.2.3) has been done.
- Do to "calendar" parameters (e.g. semesters, further education…), we can only upgrade at the end of July.
- We use only Moodle versions which are supported due to security reasons.
Parameter 1, 2 and 3 as well as the support cycle from Moodle (support for 18 months) force us to do an upgrade every summer, which means a lot of work (not only upgrading Moodle, but also lots of work for adapting manuals, educate lecturers). To demonstrate the issue:
- Moodle 2.2 has been released in December 2011. we upgraded to Moodle 2.2 in July 2012. Moodle 2.2 is supported until June 2012, which means we have to update again in July.
To be honest, an update every year is too much! It means a lot of work, but even more important, users generally do not like a change every year! At least 2 years with the same version would be a huge improvement.
Therefore, I would love to have a long term support version, which is e.g. supported for 3 years. This would make it possible for us to use the same Moodle version for at least 2 years.
Has there already been a discussion on that subject? What do other universities/schools/companies/institutions think on that issue?