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Re: Upstream "stable" branches and Debian freeze

On Tue, 01 Feb 2011, Thijs Kinkhorst wrote:
> On Mon, January 31, 2011 18:09, Christian PERRIER wrote:
> > However, upstream's policy in their "stable" branches is alway to only
> > fix "important" bugs (they don't call them this way...but the
> > definition is fairly close to Debian's). So, *in the case of samba*, I
> > can guarantee that the user's (indeed sysadmin's) experience is much
> > improved if (s)he can follow the upstream minor releases.
> In the past such things have not been allowed with the argumentation that
> even though stable may contain bugs, users rely on the behaviour that
> stable has. They may know about a bug but may have worked around it (and
> the update may break the workaround) or they do not know about a bug but a
> fix for it may break a previously functional system. And of course as we
> all know: bugfixes are not zero-risk and do have chances on new bugs being
> introduced.

It is a good thing that we are actually able to learn, and move forward
then, isn't it?

Some upstreams do so much regression testing and are so strict, that
you'd actually be doing a disservice to your users if you don't track
their stable branch during Debian stable lifetime.

> Being completely bug-free would be nice, but is probably unachievable. I
> think there's something to say for the predictability of a release: it may

You can just unplug it from the net and never update, if you want that
(and if you're going to do that, be smart and use read-only media for
the invariant parts of the system already): We've had several
regressions due to security fixes.  While those are not frequent,
they're certainly not rare enough that you can ignore the fact.

We seem to have reached a good equilibrium of stability versus
bug-fixing on most packages.  The current de-facto system works, let's
not mess with that.

  "One disk to rule them all, One disk to find them. One disk to bring
  them all and in the darkness grind them. In the Land of Redmond
  where the shadows lie." -- The Silicon Valley Tarot
  Henrique Holschuh

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