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Re: Temporal Release Strategy

Adrian Bunk wrote:

There are at least three different comparisons:

Debian sid is comparable to e.g. RedHat Fedora or Gentoo (which of these three is best is a different discussion).

Debian sid is for experienced computer users who always want the latest software and who can live with a bug here or there.

I think you nailed that perfectly. This should be the text on the debian website that describes the release and points people to a CD image to install it.

Debian stable is comparable to personal editions of other distributions like e.g. SuSE Professional.

These distributions are for users with few experience who simply want a running system. Debian is a bit behind in terms of being up-to-date and of userfriendlyness, but it's far superior in it's stability.

OK, I like this also, but s/stable/sarge/ and that would be perfect. No reason to alias stable to sarge. Just use the name and be done with it.

Debian stable is comparable to the enterprise products of e.g. RedHat or SuSE.

These distributions are usually installed on servers that are installed and intensively tested once. Security fixes are a must but mustn't cause any breakages. Updates to new upstream versions which might break something

Well, that is wishful thinking, but I've deployed debian sid against RH enterprise and commercial dists. Sometimes sid, sometimes sarge. It really depends on the customer and the competance of their staff.

In any case, you are thinking wishfully here and I'm not sure you have deployed debian to large clients. The primary problem is the poor impression that:

woody == stable == old
sarge/sid == testing/unstable == broken == pain == my servers crash

Note that you can't cover the last use case without a long-living and non-changing stable.

I think the debian community would be better served if never again the words "stable" were tied to a particular release.

How can you really say woody is any more "stable" than sid anyway? There are things so broken in the old versions of packages in woody that they can not be used anymore in a modern enviornment. Sure, it might be stable in the sense that it doesn't crash, but useless vs stable is undesirable. Having woody == stable is giving the false impression to people that don't know better that:

debian stable == old == obsolete == something is wrong with this picture

It just makes it hard to build confidence with decision makers that sid/sarge is safe to use over RHEL.

Look at the third use case I explained above. For these users of Debian, long-living releases where the _only_ changes are security fixes are _very_ important.

Again, I don't think you ever built a commercial product around Linux based on your statements here. No offence if you have, maybe it's just corporate culture differences between the EU and US?

No kidding, so what the heck is the point of having a stable symlink to woody. The stable, testing and unstable symlinks should be removed. They are just being used as FUD by people against debian.

They are not (see above).

I think I explained poorly what I meant by FUD. What I meant was that people that want other distributions to be used, use the FUD that sarge is "dangerous" and the only "stable" version of debian is ancient and too old to use.


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