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Re: Woody / Stable

On Fri, 17 May 2002 08:44:14 -0400
Alan Shutko <ats@acm.org> wrote:

> Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> writes:
> > 	Well, what _do_ you expect people to say? What do we put on
> >  the web when there is no estimate of the time except that we shall
> >  release when we are ready to support woody, security wiser?
> Maybe a bit more explicitness about what needs to be done, and how
> long the people working on it think it might take.  It doesn't need to
> be accurate, but it would give people more of an idea on the
> timeframe: will woody be released this month?  This year?

Sure, I can agree with that -principle-. However, this is a volunteer
organization. The way it's organized, it's possible that there exist
time frames when -no one- knows the answer to that question; maybe
they know for their own packages, maybe not. Maybe someone thinks they
do know, but things crop up after. 

Maybe (as in this case) some relatively uninformed person who should 
have taken efforts to become informed before, posts a message to 
slashdot announcing a release mgr's guess as to when a release might be. 
The guess might have been pretty good, with woody itself being moreorless 
ready, but external infrastructure not ready and an install bug cropping 
up prevented the entire deliverable from being stamped for release. 
Perhaps an honest mistake on everyone's part, but the truth is debian 
does not announce release dates, for all these specific reasons and similar 
but more general ones as well.

> >  Essentially, woody shall be released when ready? 
> The problem with "It will be released when it's ready" is that it can
> be interpreted as meaning "It'll be released whenever we get around to
> finishing it." 

I'll advance to you that this can be the proper interpretation! As I 
said before, this is a volunteer organization. In any case, I don't
see a problem. Given the history and all the individual problems and
resolutions to those problems, debian has done pretty well thus far,
and has been far more -stable- than most other linux-based operating

> It sends a completely different message than "It'll be
> released when x, y, and z are done and working."

That sounds like a report to the manager who is cutting checks.

There exists (and existed, and will exist) timeframes where that 
message would (if organized and sent) read, "It'll be released 
when a, b, c, ... , z, aa, ab, ... az, ... zz, aaa, ... zzzzzzzzz 
are done and working."

Having said that, yes, "would be nice". So: when it does happen, you
owe profuse thanks to the people who did the HARD work of gathering the 
information from the (how many are we now, anyway? 1000 developers?)
many developers working on their individual packages. Maybe a pizza
and some beer or soda is also owed, apiece.

-Jim, who tried to form this message with a minimum of rudeness but
      still expressing the reality of the situation, which includes
      a certain amount of frustration among volunteers most of whom
      have other responsibilities and some of whom must put their
      volunteer efforts at a low priority wrt their actual lives.

      So (obviously now) debian releases can take a long time.

      Statements somewhat similar to this one have been made public,
      including one -far- more rude and -far- shorter, available at:


> -- 
> Alan Shutko <ats@acm.org> - In a variety of flavors!
> In an orderly world, there's always a place for the disorderly.

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