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Shortening release cycles

At Linux-Kongreß we discussed the desaster with Debian release cycles.
We have acknowledged that Debian currently has a lack of proper
release plans.  This is bad since it leads us into chaos and trouble
making any releases.

Our current situation results in our stable release being hopelessly
out-dated and the unstable release not being releaseable.  That's
quite bad for a lot of our fellow users and developers.

Our release cycle should plan to do two releases per year or three per
two years.  This would mean a large amount of stable time, but also
keep stable releases relatively up-to-date.

During the discussion these two ideas arose:

 a) Longer freeze time

 b) Concrete release plan

Both solutions require that releases are planed in advance - +/- two
months.  Thus the next release would be 6 months after potato got

 a) Longer freeze time

    One or two months after a release was done the distribution will
    be frozen again and bugfixing starts.  Only bugfixes, important
    changes and important packages will go into frozen.  New code will
    go into unstable.

    Packages that still have release critical bugs at the end of the
    freeze period will be removed.

 b) Concrete release plan

    No major changes are allowed to go into the distribution after two
    months after the last release.  (e.g. release on december 1st,
    major changes are only allowed to happen until february 1st).

    This will preserve us from a perl-, libc-, kernel-, gtk-, gnome-,
    FHS- and boot-floppies desaster that would hold off the release.
    We would also have four more months to fix those problems.
    Uploads of new packages would be allowed within this time as well.

    Instead of the unstable distribution these changes will have to
    use a combined or special staging area.  This will give that
    subsystem time to fix all trivial bugs etc.

    At freeze time RC bugs need to be fixed or affected packages will
    be dropped (if they're not too important like dpkg).  Maybe they
    should be dropped at the beginning of freeze combined but with an
    option to go back if bugs are fixed.



The MS-DOS filesystem is nice for removable media.  -- H. Peter Anvin

Please always Cc to me when replying to me on the lists.

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