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a forth release?

I have been pondering about an idea I had which would possibly
facilitate regular release cycles and also give more incentive to
the maintainers to fix RC bugs in their packages.

The idea is to introduce a forth release between stable and testing,
maybe something like "candidate" or the like. Packages move from
testing to candidate if the following criteria are met (all of which
are obviously tweakable parameters):

  - the package has been in testing for 6 months. this does not
    apply to security updates.
  - the package did not have any new bugs filed against it in the
    past month. this does not apply to security updates.
  - the package has no RC bugs filed against it.

If we put together a list of packages that must not be missing from
any official release and handle these individually, either by
prioritising their rc bug fixing, or by making exceptions for them to
enter candidate, then candidate is as RC-bug-free as it gets and
could be released every 8-12 months.

I realise that this is really just a formalisation of what is more
or less happening already, but I have the feeling that it would add
a lot of clarity for users and developers, and it would make
releases and the freeze cycle a lot easier.


Please do not CC me when replying to lists; I read them!
 .''`.     martin f. krafft <madduck@debian.org>
: :'  :    proud Debian developer, admin, and user
`. `'`
  `-  Debian - when you have better things to do than fixing a system
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