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Re: Some observations regardig the progress towards Debian 3.1

On Mon, Nov 17, 2003 at 11:28:41PM -0500, Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> > > So instead, we have a system where people take individual (or small
> > > group) responsibility for a particular piece of software, to take care
> > > of it and fix its bugs.  This way, we distribute the effort over a large
> > > number of people.
> > 
> > The problem is, this often chaotic development system doesn't scale to
> > over 1200 developers (including many MIA developers).
> I think the only sticking point is determining when someone is actually MIA.
> Once it is established that they are MIA, NMUs and adoptions are relatively
> painless.


> > > If Red Hat ships more of the software the user needs, maybe it is a better
> > > choice.  Choice is one of the great advantages of free software, after all.
> > 
> > The question is perhaps a different one:
> >   What is the goal of Debian?
> It meets my OS and application needs, and that is all that I ask of it.
> > This is not about "free software" or such goals, it's about what
> > audiences and niches does Debian target at.
> My "target audience" is myself and those around me (employers, co-workers,
> family, friends, etc.), and, by way of reciprocity, other Debian developers
> and their users.

This gives you over thousand different goals.

E.g. some developers package the latest and best (and buggiest) software
while others work one year until they consider a new upstream release to
be ready for unstable. None of these two is bad in itself, but there's
currently a strange mixture of slightly outdated super-stable and more
buggy latest&greatest packages in unstable. It would IMHO be more
productive, if far from the next freeze the latest software of all
packages is in unstable, and a few months before the next freeze no big
changes happen to all packages.

> > I'm not saying this would be immoral or something like that, but e.g. a
> > major release without Evolution [2] (currently ages away from reentering
> > testing) might make Debian stable unusable for many users - and you should
> > be aware of such consequences.
> I don't use evolution, so I really haven't concerned myself with this at
> all.  Some people that I work with do use it, though, so if there is
> something bite-sized that I can do to help it along, I would probably do it.
> However, evolution has no RC bugs, and is only waiting on dependencies.

Evolution is one example, not the only ne and perhaps not the best one, 
but there are many other packages that are important for this or that   

> > > I think this is more or less what was proposed in the last release timeline,
> > > where major changes in certain packages were frozen at various dates.
> > 
> > There are some problems with the release timeline:
> > 
> > Debian stable is too outdated, it doesn't even reasonable support most
> > available new hardware. At least one release [3] every year would be
> > required.
> You keep saying this, but in my experience it simply isn't true.  I
> regularly install woody on brand-new Intel systems.  Most of the time, the
> woody kernels suffice, and when I need some obscure bug fix from a later
> kernel, I simply upgrade the kernel rather than dismissing the entire
> release as "too outdated".

This might work on pure servers, but how do you manage to run XFree86
4.1.0 on brand-new graphics cards (e.g. integrated graphics of
brand-new Intel systems) in non-Vesa resolutions?

> I'm typing this from a woody laptop, because it's the only Debian system I
> have available at the time.  It has a usable graphical environment, with
> decent web browsers, development tools and networking facilities.  It gets
> the job done.  I simply don't need the latest GNOME or KDE goodies in order
> to be productive.

Most likely this laptop is two or three years old?

Debian 3.0 was mostly current at the time when it was released, but much 
support for current hardware is missing in Debian 3.0 .

> > What are the unexpected delays in the dvelopment of debian-installer?
> I don't think that I implied that there was any particular reason for the
> delays; the d-i folks would certainly know better.  My impression was that
> it simply isn't finished yet.

Why did debian-installer miss the dates in the latest release timeline 
by so many months?

>  - mdz



       "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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