Dyanmic stable release + community membership
Hi, a dyanmic stable release has been on the back of my mind for a while
Those of us who use unstable as there main distro understand the
benefits that go with it, a constant flow of new available features, and
new versions of existing features. This is contrary to the traditional
stable release that is released every year or so with strategic updates
(slink R5) now and then
I see unstable as one of the best features of debian. A couple of times
ive tried to recommend unstable to others, but they are turned off as
soon as they here the name. I apreciate there circumstance, as "newish"
users they dont want to be exposed to bugs (they strugle enough as it
The paradox is by new users avoiding the bugs that come with unstable,
they also miss out on some new features that are as stable as they are
ever going to be and could make there life easier. They can go with bugs
and new features (some of these stable), or an outdated distro.
Its common to hear people saying that debian doesnt release often
enough, and its right to want to produce frequent releases. How frequent
is an ideal release schedule, even if debian could release a stable
every six months, the rapid pace of linux growth (how many packages
added in the last 3 months?) means that features will quickly draw users
Personally (as unrealistic as this would be) there would have to be a
stable release every 3 months for me to be happy with stable rether than
unstable. I guess this can be catered for by using the new releases of
I feel the scale of debian (i also see this as debians big strength)
will make it more and more difficult to do a stable bug-free release
But why not go with a rolling release ?
Instead of trying to get the current release of all 4600 (and growing
fast) programs (mostly) bug-free. Why not have a stable and unstable for
each package. So for example you could have a stable version of plugger
which is free of bugs and the unstable (bleeding edge) package of
plugger (that gives metscape bus errors ): )
For a package to be classed as stable it would have to pass some
criteria, e.g. no bugs over a particular severity, and some minimum time
spent as unstable (to get exposure to bug reports)
In this way stable users could have a dynamic release just like
unstable users enjoy,
They would have access to a bleeding edge stable release, a release that
evolves in internet time, not every x months or years. Currently stable
users have to wait for an official release, an update to the official
release, or a mix of UNstable and stable packages.
Personally i love the concept of a dynamic release, its satisfying to
connect every day to see what new features are available for me to
freely and easily install.
If there was a dynamic stable release, then it would be easy to do a
traditional release by just grabing all the current stable packages and
giving it a name (as opposed to putting all packages in stable)
If there were rc bugs in a few packages a dynamic stable release could
still evolve in other areas rather than all 4600 packages being frozen.
One of the things holding debian back (from getting more users) is its
perception as an "experts" distribution. If debian could improve its
stable release by having a dynamic stable release it would draw on
debians strengths (its size, package managment and the commitment and
openness of the debian community), to provide a reason for
new-intermediate users to come onboard.
B.T.W. Im not an official debian memeber (but feel im part of the
community) what happened to the concept of community membership. Why
cant linux users register as debian community members just to show there
support in there own way (even if they dont maintain a package). Why
cant i register my support for debian (just as i do a slaskdot, lwn, or
linux.com), i dont care if a have an email address, a registered
encryption key, (i dont even worked out how to send encrypted email).
If non-developers could register as debian community members then it may
become a source of strength for debian to guage its support, ie X
number of "regular" registered community members.
To me debian is the peoples distribution, if debian snubs the people who
want to show their support, then in the future that support may be less
forthcoming. WHEN DO WE STORM THE CASTLE ?