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Re: Bits (Nybbles?) from the Vancouver release team meeting


as a non-DD I am not so tuned into the Debian project as many of you
are. However I would like to make a proposal about the "hot topic".

As I have noticed, most people ojecting against dropping architecures
feared for the coherence of the systems. They wanted to be able to have
the *same* debian on all there machines and wanted security support and
all this stuff for *all* archs. 
The persons in favour for dropping archs noticed that they delayed the
release of sarge and caused a lot of extra work.

So I have given this some thought and come with a proposal quite simple:

Why not freeze the archive at a given time and make a release for all
architectures ready until then. As this code is frozen, the porters can
continue to work on the frozen codebase where only patches are allowed
which are needed fix the packages for the different architectures. This
seems to be the same the security team currently does. The ported
architectures would become available as soon as a new revision is
released (of course this should happen as soon as a new arch has caught
This would allow a fast release and keep the burden of the arch support
mainly with the porters who would be responsible for making there arch
ready for release. It would allow to support each archs as long as there
are sufficient developers available who can keep up with porting. The
security infrastructure can be shared by all archs. Porters may even
decide to skip one release if they are not up to it - this is not that
bad if the release cylcle is around 12 month.

This is the rough plan, now I will list some details or afterthought
(skip them if you are totally annoyed by this proposal anyway):
      * as there already is, the possibility to exclude packages from
        archs is always possible making debian a little less uniform -
        but why should debian fix the issues not properly adressed by
        the upstream author anyways - if he does not care about the bugs
        he receives from the debian package it should simply not be
        relased for this arch
      * there is no way to *force* the developers to accept the porters
        patches or care for their concerns any more, but come on -
        developers are not a community of assholes who want to keep your
        architectures out of debian
      * it is even possible to release with a subset of the packages
        (only the important ones and increase each step
      * People missing their arch in the first release will likely
        complain, but the other option would have been to delay all the
        other archs until this arch keeps up (which might indeed have
        happened faster if the whole release was delayed because
        everyone would press the obstacles - but I think that is unfair
        against the archs which are release ready...)
      * I intentionally disregarded the problem of the mirror size and
        buildd because the mirror problem received a lot of good
        suggestions and I believe the buildd  problem could be solved
        with additional hardware and if not architectures not up to date
        could simply be considered release ready and will have to wait
        another round...

Of course there is much to think about and to fine tune but it is a
proposal trying to combine the request of all users.
This might be totally unrealistic as I said I have no deep insight into
the debian architecture but _I_ think it is a good proposal.

Please let me know what you think about this proposal!

Greetings Ben

PS. it is only now that I've noted that a similar proposal was made at
http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2005/03/msg01372.html, so you can
consider this a more elaborate version of this suggestion. And please
forgive me if there are others who have made this proposal, its hard to
keep up with this thread

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