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Re: time based freezes

On Mon, Apr 04, 2011 at 10:15:07AM +0200, Julien Cristau wrote:
> On Mon, Apr  4, 2011 at 09:05:50 +0200, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> > I don't agree with this. You can do _a lot_ in 3 months. So saying "fall"
> > leaves a big uncertainty in terms of roadmap.
> > 
> And you know two years in advance exactly what you'll have done and what
> you'll want to do for the next three months?  I somehow doubt that.  And
> if I'm wrong, you can use the three months you have on your hands to
> polish your packages (and everybody else's).  Maybe that way the freeze
> can be less than 6 months.

Some people work to a plan from one release to the next (and I congratulate
them for managing!) but I think a *lot* of the minor work and QA work that
goes on is less coordinated or organised than that, with sporadic bits of
work towards a goal in fits and starts as people work around real life 
commitments,  followed by a short-term coordinated push to finish off work
before a concrete freeze date, nearer the time.

A worked example: I might have some vague goals as to what I would like to
achieve in Debian for the next release, immediately following the previous
release (i.e., now).  But I have no idea when the release will happen, nor
what else will happen in my life over the next 2+ years.  So, we make some
loose commitments and begin work on things.

At some point after that, I'll get a mail telling me we're freezing in a
month, or two months (or whatever), on date X.  At this point, the release
is concrete, my goals are either plausible or not, and I will be much more
organised in setting aside time for Debian and polishing off my packages
and ambitions for the release.  (and thus I was totally scuppered for

So if a vague freeze date (such as "Fall 2011") is all we get now, we still
need a firmer *future* date, nearer the time (e.g., "Freeze on Halloween",
announced late August), to allow this sort of work cycle to happen.

Of course, if we had more predictable freeze or release cycles from the
beginning,  my work patterns might be different.  It's a chaotic system,
with each of us adapting to the current environment :-)

Jon Dowland

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