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Re: potato late, goals for woody (IMHO)

Not having to touch a system is a win.  Not being able to touch a system
without it being called "unstable" is a loss.

I am going to have my head handed to me for suggesting this, but why not
move to a three-tier model on a semi-permanent basis, much like we have
during a period when frozen exists?  That is, shortly after the release of
potato as stable, then we freeze woody and create a new unstable tree
called zurg or whatever?  That would effectively guarantee a shorter
release cycle with little decrease in technical quality.  If we did it
this way, there would also be less pressure and scrambling to make sure
something gets into the freeze of any particular version.

We are already in a serious problem because, at best, potato will likely
be followed shortly after its release by the 2.4.0 kernel and, at worst,
will be released on the 2.2.x kernel after the 2.4.0 kernel has been
released.  It would make logical sense, after potato is finally released,
to focus on getting woody out the door as soon as possible on a 2.4.x
kernel.  That's a pretty realistic goal, and it would pretty much involve
declaring woody frozen whenever the 2.4.x kernel series settles down.  It
may be possible to handle 2.4.x kernel support by simply backing it into a
subrelease of potato, much as we did with slink and the 2.2.x kernel, but
what's the point?  In my opinion, it is possible and desirable to target
woody for release about six months after potato is released.

A shorter release cycle would mean that there is less change between
consecutive versions, barring major upheavals on the order of converting
from a.out to ELF, which should mean less to break and less to fix.  I
could easily see doing woody with about six weeks of freeze and six weeks
of testing cycles, or maybe eight weeks of freeze and four weeks of
testing cycles.  Simply announcing a planned freeze as a rough goal as
long as two or three months in advance could itself go a long way to
speeding things up substantially and achieving a six-month cycle.

I would have to check this, but my recollection is that Red Hat and SuSE
have each done two numbered releases since potato has been frozen.  The 
Debian release cycle is trying the patience of the user community.

>From the perspective of users, Debian is what gets out the door.

-- Mike

On 2000-05-03 at 21:18 +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:

> Because of late we seem to be taking four or more months to do a freeze.
> That leaves us, as a distribution, completely dead in the water: stable's
> not being updated any more than it ever is, frozen's not getting any
> new packages, and unstable's being ignored so that frozen can be fixed
> up for release.
> And because being able to just leave a system running and not have to
> touch it for a year except to run apt-get to keep it up to date with
> security patches is, IMHO, a win.

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