Canonical is preparing a new feature for its Ubuntu operating systems that should drastically reduce the number of people affected by regressions.
Canonical is issuing a large number of updates, sometimes on a daily basis. It's a given that bugs and regressions will slip through the cracks. A new initiative will take care of this problem.
The process is called phasing and it works like this: a select number of users, chosen randomly, will receive a new update and if nothing goes wrong (there are no bugs or regressions), the rest of the userbase will also receive the same update.
“The support for phased updates has existed in update-manager for a while, but we did not have the server side part implemented. Thanks to the work of Colin Watson, Evan Dandrea, and myself this is now done. This is initially enabled for Ubuntu 13.04 and going forward will apply to any packages being released to -updates,” stated Brian Murray on the official mailing list.
This new feature will start to work with Ubuntu 13.04 and it will probably remain in effect if all goes well.