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Pre-Stable Distro

To the Debian Developers,

Again I am writing to merely throw an idea out on the floor. It has to deal with the stress of having release date to cram for, as well as being accused of being a distro that never has up-to-date software in stable. I think you could solve this with a pre-stable distro.

This is how it would work: Packages are continuously being uploaded into unstable where active development is taking place. When they reach a low enough RC count and have "served their time" in unstable they are uploaded into testing. Here is where things would be different:

Once every three months the new "Pre-Stable" distro will upload only those packages from testing that have had 0 RC bugs for at least month and have been flagged by their maintainers as a good version to enter stable.

These packages will be uploaded into a current copy of stable where they will be tested against the current stable for three months. At the end of each month along the way, those packages that have not been able to survive being with stable packages without having an RC bug will be dropped. Those packages who survive for three whole months will be uploaded into stable. The upload would then be like a mini "new release".

Advantages for those using stable:

  1. They get new packages without having to wait years for them.

  2. Since this process repeats itself every three months the uploads will be very predictable, unlike testing which has uploads every day.

  3. These packages will have had zero RC bugs for at least four months straight with three of those months being tested against the current stable snapshot.

  4. These packages will have been flagged by their maintainers showing these are good versions of the packages, ie, the maintainers know -1 and -2 may not be ready for stable despite RC count and maybe -3 is better than -4.

    Advantages for developers:

    1.) There will not be the stress of worrying about release dates. The packages are ready when they are ready, and will enter stable accordingly.

    2.) They will be harassed less for taking so long for a major release.


1.) Many may argue we don't need another Distro, we already have three, four if you include experimental. ( I can already see responses sarcastically suggesting we should have 20 or 30 distros.)

2.) Maybe it is not reliable to release pieces of a distro every three months. (However, if the upload would damage anything in stable it would surely be caught in three months.)

3.) Security issues.

4.) Tradition: (See Fiddler on the Roof)

Anyways, I again want to repeat it is only a suggestion. I would not want Debian to do anything that would hurt Debian. However if it would help, all the better. I wish you all the best.

Joseph Smidt

       Joseph Smidt
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