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Re: Why not only support Sid and Testing?

Joseph Smidt wrote:
> 	I know I am in for an argument, but I think it is a good
> question.  I'm sure many of you have read Mark's blog:
> http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/56.  It says 76% of Debian
> users run unstable and probably a fair fraction of the rest run testing.

Those numbers are apparently based on this survey:
Which only examined 85 xchat users on #debian on oftc. The number
combined testing and unstable FWIW. I wouldn't give it much credance.

The version numbers from popcon are much more interesting, but also
heavily skewed by eg, d-i defaulting to installing popcon in etch but
not in (released versions of) sarge. 

One interesting thing I do see in the popcon numbers is that, even since
a little before the release of sarge, the number of machines with its
version of popcon installed has remained very close to the same, while
the number using testing versions of popcon surpassed it even before d-i
started installing it by default. I'm not sure that this indicates;
manually installing popcon probably selects for the kind of users who
use unstable/testing. It will be interesting to get the data from the
next stable release where many people should install it by default.

I do think that we probably have as many if not more users using
testing+unstable than stable, but at this point that can only be a gut
feeling, there aren't really good numbers to back it up.

> I think Debian (I maintain a couple packages too, and hopefully more in
> the future, so I am not just trying to tell those who work what to do)
> should consider only supporting unstable and testing for a few reasons:

If you're interested in Debian supporting unstable and testing and not
stable, then there are several things you can do to help bring those
distributions, especially testing, up to par as a really usable
distribution for a larger percentage of users:

* Participate in the testing security team, which can always use more help.
* Help with d-i and with getting frequent releases of the installer out.
* Help nudge those releases closer to being full releases of testing,
  rather than just being releases of the installer.
* Help the release team deal with RC bugs that hold packages out of
  testing with other issues that block transitions, so that testing has
  current versions of software (and current security fixes, etc).

Since all of these activities also have side effects that make stable
releases better and/or more frequent, and most of the work done targeted
at making stable releases better makes testing better in between, I've not
worried much about trying to realign the project's focus away from stable.

see shy jo

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