Re: Release Cycle
Barclay, Daniel wrote:
> Why do so many defenses of Debian's release cycle length seem to ignore or
> skirt the issue of _how_ _much_ is planned to be in each release? (Saying
> "when it's right" still depends on what "it" is--which set of features/
> changes are involved.)
How much of what? If I'm understanding this correctly, it would depend
on each individual package and the features each of those packages have.
It sounds like you answered your own question in the tail end of the
> If there's only one feature or thing to do, it's easy to say whether
> it's done (right) or not.
> However, when you're releasing N thousand changes every 18 months or so,
> it's arguable that maybe you should be releasing N/2 thousand changes every
> 9 or 10 months.
Debian is a package-based distribution. Mentioning the changes in N
thousand packages is not only very time consuming, but it doesn't apply
to each individual user. As such, I don't think the majority of us
would want to weed through a long list of changes to find out what has
Also, with the way Debian is released (when it's ready), there's a time
when the testing tree is put into a "freeze". This means that the
version of the package itself doesn't change and only bug fixes are
implemented at this point. At this point, you can check for yourself
which changes are in the packages you plan to use.
> Obviously, not everything is simply divisible like that--e.g., a big change
> that takes many months to design, implement, and test.
Changes to the way Debian functions are mentioned in the mailing lists
and is updated in its documentation. For example, changes to the Debian
Installer or whatnot.
> Is Debian's stable release cycle relative long because Debian releases
> typically involve big changes that set the minimum time between releases,
> or is it because Debian not really attempt to design and make smaller, more
> frequent increments in order to keep Debian stable releases from getting so
> (relatively) old (while maintaining quality standards)?
Debian doesn't have a set release cycle, as you've noticed. It's long
because they want to produce a distribution that's very stable and
contains little or no bugs. Bugs that are submitted after a release are
found after the release is launched and they're normally not something
that's easily found/reproducable or system-breaking.