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Re: so what? Re: Debian development modem

> On Wed, May 27, 1998 at 08:14:56PM -0400, Raul Miller wrote:
> > Is it as simple as cutting more releases?
> > 
> > Let's say that every three months we split off an unstable version and
> > froze then released what we had at that point. Do you see any problems
> > with this?
> If only it were that simple.  Personally, I think a release every 4 to
> 5 months is about right.  However, testing and actually preparing a
> release are not fun.  With a volunteer organization such as Debian,
> there has to be a commitment, starting at the top and running all the
> way down, to get the dirty work done, even if it means putting a
> complete (but temporary) stop to all other development work.

Before work started on Hamm, there was plans to do exactly that -- 
periodic releases every 3-4 months.  This was because we had such a 
problem with missing deadlines.

However, do keep in mind:  We have had two major flag-day releases 
recently.  1.1 was delayed for a -long- time while we worked out the 
details of the a.out->ELF transition, and 2.0 is delayed as well 
because of the libc5->libc6 transition.

Both of those transitions required all the packages to be recompiled to 
new standards.  To be fair, the libc6 conversion is complete, and we 
also used the time to do other major overhauls (such as how we handle 
Emacs, TeX, etc, and getting the window managers to work with the 
menuing system).  These overhauls also take time.

We also took the time to improve the behind-the-scenes issues, like 
revamping the source packaging system, and overhauling the packaging 
system.  We have greatly improved the ease of maintaining the 
distribution as well, with more mirrors, new hardware for master, and 
better helper scripts for building, checking, uploading, and processing 

Also, 1.3 was a very successful release, and caused a -tremendous- 
amount of growth in Debian as well.  My available list shows nearly 
2000 packages (double that of 1.3), and we are forced to go to three 
CD's.  Since the libc6 transition, as well as everything else we tried 
to do for 2.0, took so long, this growth is being absorbed into 2.0.  
This added complexity is making the release take even longer.

But it is almost done.  2.0 is in a deep freeze right now, there is 
only about 100 release-critical bugs left, and some of those will be 
fixed by pulling the packages (not to pick on anything specific here, 
but is there any reason to have a non-free, libc5 "swish" (with a 
16-month release-critical bug) and a free, libc6 "swish-e"?).  We 
should be releasing 2.0 very soon.  The only major stumbling block will 
be figuring out how to split it across several CD's.

2.0 is a -big- improvement over 1.3.  But it also did most of the big 
changes.  I expect 2.1 to be a -much- simpler, faster, undertaking than 

> David
> -- 
> David Engel                        ODS Networks
> david@sw.ods.com                   1001 E. Arapaho Road
> (972) 234-6400                     Richardson, TX  75081
> --
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