Greetings, and thank you so much for all your hard work on Debian!
May I please offer a suggestion regarding the freeze?
I've been a maintainer now for several years, but don't have the time
to follow or contribute to the very active debian-devel
et. al. mailing lists. I get my information regarding Debian from the
weekly news on the web page, and try to adjust the releases of the
packages I maintain to fit the overall Debian release schedule. As
several of the packages I maintain provide complex numerical
capabilities requiring exhaustive testing, or interact in complex ways
with other packages, or are just plain too difficult for me :-), I
often discuss and revise these packages for months before uploading to
master. In some cases, these errors have revealed bugs in the
upstream source, which are then repaired after some considerable
period of time.
I've always regarded the freeze date as the final deadline when all
work must be finished and the package uploaded if it is to be
distributed. Now this may not be the best or even the correct meaning
of the freeze date, but I feel that many developers carry the same
assumption. I've read in your email that you intend to leave most of
the 200+ packages in Incoming for the next release. Please allow me
to suggest that this would obviate much of the work that maintainers
like me have put in over the past few months to make Debian as
up-to-date and capable as possible.
Of course I realize that you have many other considerations to weigh
in maintaining the quality of Debian. But may I suggest that the
policy of having the Incoming directory as of the freeze date included
in the release, coupled with the policy of a longer testing period
between freeze and release, provides a clearer guideline for
maintainers like myself to work within, and also best levers their
efforts at contribution toward Debian. Please be assured that in
writing this, I fully appreciate your unique perspective on these
issues from the center of all the activity, and will be completely
satisfied with whatever course appears best in your judgment.
Camm Maguire firstname.lastname@example.org
"The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens." -- Baha'u'llah