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Potato and a half?

"Put it in!"  "Leave it out!"  "Put it in!"  "Leave it out!"  All right
already!  Good gods people, get lives---or at least go code or something.

The fact of the matter is that there is never going to be a "right" time
to release.  There's always one more very important feature new software
will add.  Maybe not all of them make as much press as a release of
XFree86 that has been completely redesigned over the previous generation
or a new kernel series, but most of them are pretty damned important to

Fact is, if woody isn't ready when some of this heavy hitting software is
considered to be stable a few people who want it or otherwise have some
interest in it (ie, possibly getting paid to do it) should take the time
to build an update to potato with a 2.4 kernel, a new X, and possibly the
latest apache release.  This was done for slink thanks to the hard work of
a few people over the course of a couple of weeks.  Among those people on
the "slink+.5" project were joeyh and shaleh who were asked to do it by
their employer anyway, so it didn't really take any time away from their
work on unstable.

And what happened to their work?  They offered it to us as a real update
to slink to hold over until potato was ready.  And what happened?  It was
rejected because "potato is almost ready" and because VA was responsible
for the update whether it was done by Debian developers or not.  Those
were EXACTLY the reasons given - check the archives.  Blind paranoia of
corporate influence and fear that it would detract from potato.

Well wake up people!  Potato STILL ain't ready.  It has 183 release
critical bugs according to dpkg on #debian right this moment.  This is a
full SIX MONTHS after these people spent TWO WEEKS working on it.

When I got this new machine (It's a PIII-450 with a suitibly large hard
drive) I couldn't even INSTALL slink on it.  I had to bootstrap the system
from a bzdisk and a zip disk I installed a chroot potato base on to with
another machine.  There are people still in that sort of a boat today.
Many of them are new to Linux, but enough aren't to tell you that while
they really wanted to install Debian they really didn't want to jump
through hoops to do it.

Where was the great and wonderful slink update with a kernel and set of
disk tools that could use my hard drive without doing bad things?  Where
was the X that worked with my video card?  I looked for it, but I couldn't
find it.

It was a shame to see that work go largely to waste.  Of course VA was
happy with it, and that's great for them.  But where was it when _I_
needed it?  Not available because of a few objections, most of which IMO
were baseless paranoia.  How quickly people seem to forget these things.

YES it's too late for XFree4 in potato.
YES it's too late for 2.4.x kernels
YES it's too late for a major new Apache

NO that doesn't mean that potato should be out there for a year or so
(given our track record) and become stale and largely useless.  It was
possible to fix slink then.  It will be possible to fix potato later.  Now
stop arguing about whether or not to put new software into it and focus
your efforts into getting the damned thing ready for release!

Joseph Carter <knghtbrd@debian.org>               GnuPG key 1024D/DCF9DAB3
Debian GNU/Linux (http://www.debian.org/)         20F6 2261 F185 7A3E 79FC
The QuakeForge Project (http://quakeforge.net/)   44F9 8FF7 D7A3 DCF9 DAB3

We all know Linux is great... it does infinite loops in 5 seconds.
        -- Linus Torvalds

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