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Re: Future releases of Debian

On Sat, Jul 19, 2003 at 10:39:20AM -0500, Drew Scott Daniels wrote:

> I'm sorry I can't easily reply directly to your messages on debian-devel
> as I'm not subscribed. You may be interested in my freeze date and release
> date estimate [1]. You may also find it interesting that Testing can get
> security updates [2]. The problem with security updates though is not
> enough man power (talk to idividual affected maintainers about this).

>From a user's point of view it doesn't matter whether the lack of 
security updates is due to technical problems or due to missing man 
power - all that matters is that security updates for testing are 
currently not available.

> To summarize: Sarge is likely waiting for kde and gnome to make their way
> into testing. Currently they wait for openldap2, some 68k building issues
> [3] and a few other things [4]. I believe Sarge will likely "freeze" by
> the end of this year (It almost is thought of as frozen.). Sarge will

You talk about your personal "date estimate" and " Sarge will likely
'freeze'". The last sentence is in the passive form. Unfortunately, a
freeze doesn't happen by itself, it's something that must be actively
done. Besides this, it's also important for maintainers to know early
enough when the freeze will definitely happen - a freeze short time
after the latest GNOME beta has entered unstable or a new major release
of gcc was made the default compiler is quite useless.

> likely be released 6 months after freeze which puts it ready for release
> in summer 2004. My predictions are based on information (goals,
> precedents, historical statistics...) I've collected from the archives. I
> agree that a freeze prediction, however inaccurate (but within a year) is
> useful to developers, and that a release prediction is equally valuable to

Your personal prediction is that Debian 3.1 will be released in summer
2004. Unfortunately, this doesn't matter much as long as there's noone
who sets definitely the rough dates. Yes, you can't tell the exact
release date, but someone has to set the beginning of the freeze early
enough (see above) or there will never be a beginning of the freeze
since always new software with new problems floods into unstable.

> users. I'm also quite happy with debian-installer, it works most of the
> time for me with the occational serious bugs that get fixed fairly quickly
> and would not likely crop up after a freeze. If you want to know that's
> left for the debian-installer, see the todo list in the cvs and ask in
> debian-boot. I don't know whether a graphical debian-installer is a high
> priority, if so then more help should go to the debian-boot people.

IMHO a Debian 3.1 with an installer that isn't worse than the one in 
Debian 3.0 is the minimum.

If it would take e.g. one year to get $important-nice-feature into the
installer there's enough time to release Debian 3.1 and start the freeze
for Debian 3.2 short after the release of Debian 3.1 to get this
$important-nice-feature into a stable release.

> Some things like the gcc 3.3 transition, xfree86 4.3... are not needed to
> start a freeze cycle. gcc 3.3 transition bugs can be considered RC bugs
> that need to be fixed before release or else the packages get removed.
> xfree86 4.2.x is already in testing and so 4.3.x could be accepted furring
> the early part of a freeze (providing it's not radically different, which I
> don't believe it is).

If a freeze date would be set e.g. in two months from now I don't expect
any unsolvable problems with the software currently in unstable (except
perhaps the installer). If the time until the freeze is used for a big 
decrease in the number of RC bugs things wouldn't look bad for a 
Debian 3.1 in the first half of 2004. OTOH, I miht be able to fix let's 
say 100 RC bugs, but without a definitely knowledge about release plans 
this doesn't help anything.

> If you want to help with the co-ordination of releases and revisions you
> should subscribe to debian-release and offer your services in places that
> seem appropriate and useful.

Looking through the debian-release archives it seems the list is pretty 
dead this year.

>      Drew Daniels



       "Is there not promise of rain?" Ling Tan asked suddenly out
        of the darkness. There had been need of rain for many days.
       "Only a promise," Lao Er said.
                                       Pearl S. Buck - Dragon Seed

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