This just in, folks: Ubuntu is about to become (Susan Linton, OStatic) a rolling release distribution! SWEET!
Of course, this means no more weird numbering system, and no more silly "[adjective]-[animal]" names...or does it? Mark Shuttleworth does say that like any other rolling release distribution, Ubuntu will release ISOs periodically for people who are installing for the first time as well as for people who need to reinstall Ubuntu for whatever reason.
I'm not too happy about the move to Unity, and I'm cautiously optimistic about the move to Wayland, but I can say for sure that I'm ecstatic about this news. I really do agree that in an Internet-oriented world (reflecting Ubuntu's new/revised goals as well), rolling-release is the way to go.
Of course, this leads me to the question: what about Linux Mint? One of the reasons Linux Mint made a straight-up Debian-based edition was to take advantage of the rolling release model in the "Testing" distribution. Now that Ubuntu does that too, does this mean that Linux Mint will follow suit whenever that happens and drop the "Debian" edition altogether? I'm excited to see what's in store for the future!
(UPDATE: As it turns out, Ubuntu isn't actually going on the rolling-release route. All it's doing is essentially integrating the PPA functionality into the main system to allow people to get the latest versions of third-party software like Mozilla Firefox. I remember some Ubuntu developers mentioning this before (specifically regarding Mozilla Firefox), so this doesn't come as a huge surprise. That said, I'm a little disappointed that it's not what I thought it was.)