If you're a system administrator, what you really want is a stable operating system with long-term support, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). If you're a system programmer, what you really want is the latest and greatest program. What to do!
In the case of RHEL, you can use Red Hat's optional Red Hat Software Collections. The newest beta update, Red Hat Software Collection 1.1. brings the latest Web development tools, dynamic languages, and open-source databases to developers working on stable RHEL.
This collection, available now for programmers with up-to-date RHEL subscriptions, offers the latest, stable versions of such languages as Python and Ruby. It also includes the most recent editions of database management systems (DBMSs) including MySQL and MariaDB.
That may be great news for developers, but I can't blame system operators for looking at these releases with a suspicious eye.
For those administrators, Red Hat would like to assure you that "individual releases of Red Hat Software Collections are supported for three years." In other words, this is a compromise that brings developers the latest hot tools, while also giving the administrators the security they need to deploy programs with confidence.