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More frequent debian-installer uploads and CD releases?

Hi folks,

lemme grab my beautiful d-i hat: U+1F3A9


During the wheezy release cycle, the following debian-installer versions
were uploaded (to unstable for most; to wheezy below the dotted line):

  version          used in
  20120327         -
  20120507         -
  20120508         7.0 Alpha 1
  20120626         -
  20120712         7.0 Beta 1
  20120828         7.0 Beta 2
  20120930         7.0 Beta 3
  20121114         7.0 Beta 4
  20130211         7.0 RC 1
  20130409         -
  20130412         -
  20130415         7.0 RC 2
  20130430         7.0 RC 3
  20130613         7.1
  20130613+deb7u1  7.2

This means 13 releases during the development cycle, and one per point

I'm not sure how you guys see it, but I think this was a rather moderate
(or say, reasonable) usage of the project's resources. I've tried to
find the right balance between including as many things as possible at
once, and not delaying releases for too long; that was a new exercise to
me, since I only started out of the blue one month before the freeze…

FTR, a debian-installer upload means, e.g. on amd64:
  240MB debian-installer-images_20131013_amd64.tar.gz

(size varies across architectures, depending on image types, etc.)

Proposal / question

So I thought it would be nice to check with all of you how frequently we
could think about uploading this package, even if that doesn't lead to
preparing CD images every time (hello Steve!). This would affect at
least the following components (disc + net):
 - ftp-master
 - mirrors
 - snapshot.debian.org
 - cdimage
 - …

On the building side of things:
 - buildds: costs almost nothing, build time is below 1 hour on armel
 - cdimage: only when building CD images.

I think it would be nice if we could be able to perform something like
an upload a month during the whole release cycle. History shows that we
sometimes needed to fix a few things and re-upload before performing a
release (with CD images), but we could probably stay below 20 uploads a
year even with such last minute fix-ups when a CD release is planned /

Would that work for everyone on the infrastructure side? Or should we
arrange (another…) debian-installerspecific thing? I suspect the mainly
affected services are:
 - cdimage: depends on the amount of images we end up keeping, but I
   guess we drop old development images after a few releases anyway,
   so shouldn't be too much of a burden as far as disc usage is
 - snapshot.debian.org: this one would get much more data than during
   previous release cycles…


Why, you ask? We already have dailies, but it isn't always easy to find
a good image to "bisect" from (because we only keep a handful as of
now). Also, having regular uploads means we always have an image handy
(possibly with a set of known bugs), instead of letting things pile up
in the repository, and only getting bad surprises when trying to put
things up together. [ From experience, the more we do before the freeze
approaches, the less pressure we're under when it's there… ]

Please keep in mind I'm really interested in learning about the
infrastructure side of things. I'm not promising I'll be effectively
uploading debian-installer every month. ;)

Thanks for your time.


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