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Bits from the Release Teams: Freeze timeline, fix RC bugs and changes to testing migration rules

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Prepare for freeze

We are about 3 and a half months way from the initial phase of the
buster freeze.  Please follow up on your plans for buster and
evaluate whether it is realistic to accomplish them for buster.
  Changes can be staged in experimental, to avoid disruption.  Keep
in mind that other volunteers may not have the same capacity to work
on your goals.  If there is a unfixed bug that is nagging you,
remember to fix it (e.g. via an NMU) now rather than later.

As a reminder, the freeze time table for buster is:

 * 2019-01-12 - Transition freeze
 * 2019-02-12 - Soft-freeze
 * 2019-03-12 - Full-freeze

Please consult the buster freeze policy and timeline[BUSTER-FREEZE]
for detailed information about the different types of freezes and
what they mean for you.

[BUSTER-FREEZE]: https://release.debian.org/buster/freeze_policy.html

Help fixing bugs

We know that many people would like short freezes (we do as well).
We can achieve this if we all pull up our sleeves and fix RC bugs
in testing before the transition freeze starts (or help remove
packages with RC bugs from testing).  You can do that now, by
looking at the list of RC bugs[BUGS] or joining the #debian-bugs
irc channel on irc.oftc.net.

Now is also a good time to join one of the planned Bug Squashing
Parties[BSP], or organise one yourself [HOSTINGBSP]. Note that
Debian is willing to reimburse 100 USD (or equivalent) for
expenses to attend Bug Squashing Parties.

[BUGS]: https://udd.debian.org/bugs/
[BSP]: https://wiki.debian.org/BSP
[HOSTINGBSP]: https://wiki.debian.org/HostingBSP

Updates to Autopkgtest support in Britney

We have been using autopkgtest results to influence the migration
of packages to testing in the past 4 months.  So far it has been
quite successful and we have solved most of the initial issues
discovered so far.  We will make autopkgtests regressions block
migrations to testing (just like RC bugs) before the buster
transition freeze (2019-01-12). This means that packages with
failing autopkgtests in unstable will not migrate to testing if the
autopkgtests succeed in testing.

To ensure that the tooling and procedures related to autopkgtests
have matured properly, we will implement this new policy in a
gradual way by slowly increasing the delay caused by regressions.

This will be implemented in the form of increasing the delay by
2 days per week starting now.  We will strive to deploy the
increase in the weekend of each week, (if we miss one, we will
update it as soon as possible after noticing the omission).

The increased delay will be applied retroactively to all packages
with regressions.  Therefore, we highly recommend that people
work on solving the underlying issue rather than wait it out.

For the Release Team,



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