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Debian decides to adopt time-based release freezes

The Debian Project                                 http://www.debian.org/
Debian adopts time-based release freezes                 press@debian.org
July 29th, 2009                  http://www.debian.org/News/2009/20090729

Debian decides to adopt time-based release freezes

The Debian project has decided to adopt a new policy of time-based
development freezes for future releases, on a two-year cycle. Freezes
will from now on happen in the December of every odd year, which means
that releases will from now on happen sometime in the first half of every
even year.  To that effect the next freeze will happen in December 2009,
with a release expected in spring 2010. The project chose December as a
suitable freeze date since spring releases proved successful for the
releases of Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 (codenamed "Etch") and Debian GNU/Linux
5.0 ("Lenny").

Time-based freezes will allow the Debian Project to blend the
predictability of time based releases with its well established policy of
feature based releases. The new freeze policy will provide better
predictability of releases for users of the Debian distribution, and also
allow Debian developers to do better long-term planning.  A two-year
release cycle will give more time for disruptive changes, reducing
inconveniences caused for users. Having predictable freezes should also
reduce overall freeze time.

Since Debian's last release happened on Feb. 14th 2009, there will only
be approximately a one year period until its next release, Debian
GNU/Linux 6.0 (codenamed "Squeeze").  This will be a one-time exception
to the two-year policy in order to get into the new time schedule. To
accommodate the needs of larger organisations and other users with a long
upgrade process, the Debian project commits to provide the possibility to
skip the upcoming release and do a skip-upgrade straight from Debian
GNU/Linux 5.0 ("Lenny") to Debian GNU/Linux 7.0 (not yet codenamed).

Although the next freeze is only a short time away, the Debian project
hopes to achieve several prominent goals with it. The most important are
multi-arch support, which will improve the installation of 32 bit
packages on 64 bit machines, and an optimised boot process for better
boot performance and reliability. 

The new freeze policy was proposed and agreed during the Debian Project's
yearly conference, DebConf, which is currently taking place in Caceres,
Spain. The idea was well received among the attending project members. 

About Debian

The Debian Project is an association of Free Software developers who
volunteer their time and effort in order to produce the completely free
operating system Debian GNU/Linux.

Contact Information

For further information, please visit the Debian web pages at
<http://www.debian.org/>, send mail to <press@debian.org>, or contact the
stable release team at <debian-release@lists.debian.org>

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